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  • Bruce Springsteen - Lead vocals, guitar, harmonica; Roy Bittan - Piano, backing vocal; Clarence Clemons - Tenor and baritone saxophones, percussion, backing vocal; Danny Federici - Organ, glockenspiel; accordion; Garry Tallent - Bass, backing vocal; Stevie Van Zandt - Guitar, backing vocal; Max Weinberg - Drums
  • Recorded live with the Record Plant Remote Truck by David Hewitt, DB Brown and Phil Gitomer; original broadcast mixed by Jimmy Iovine
  • Multi-track reel-to-reel tapes transferred and restored by Jamie Howarth, Plangent Processes
  • Mixed by Jon Altschiller; Additional engineering by Danielle Warman
  • Mastered to DSD and PCM by Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME
  • Post Production by Brad Serling and Micah Gordon
  • Art Design by Michelle Holme; Cover Photo by Pjay Plutzer
  • Tour Director: George Travis
  • Jon Landau Management: Jon Landau, Barbara Carr, Jan Stabile, Alison Oscar
  • HD files are 24 bit/96kHz; Audiophile DSD files are DSD64



01. BADLANDS 05:50
09. THUNDER ROAD 08:16
11. JUNGLELAND 10:33
12. KITTY'S BACK 14:18
13. FIRE 03:17
14. CANDY'S ROOM 03:12
16. POINT BLANK 06:48
21. BORN TO RUN 05:44


living is easy with eyes closed


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The Boss Homes Home

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ, September 19, 1978

By Erik Flannigan

Like all great live performers in rock history, Bruce Springsteen has been heavily bootlegged on vinyl and CD, and the five live radio broadcasts from the Darkness tour were manna for home tapers and bootleggers alike. Bruce acknowledged as much himself during the July 7, 1978 Roxy broadcast in Los Angeles (the city at the epicenter of the bootleg business) when he declared: “Bootleggers out there in radioland, roll your tapes!”

Those legendary transmissions began to appear on illicit wax the following year, 1979. Live in the Promised Land (Winterland, San Francisco, December 15, 1978) was first, followed by Piece De Resistance, which pressed the Passaic 9/19/78 radio broadcast to six hot sides of vinyl in a box set. Bootleg historians say Piece De Resistance is almost certainly the best-selling Springsteen title of all time, which makes sense given that the show aired in his biggest East Coast markets.

When Live/1975-85 was announced in 1986, many presumed the legendary Passaic broadcast would provide the bulk of the Darkness tour material, but in fact, nothing from the show made the box set. The Roxy proved to be the source for all 1978 tracks featured on Live/1975-85.

The wait is finally over. Passaic 9/19/78 arrives in its glorious entirety, newly remixed by Jon Altschiler from multi-track, Plangent Processed master tapes. It offers a fresh take on the familiar broadcast version, crackling with energy and putting Bruce and the band so close you might reach out and try to touch the Big Man’s sax. It’s not a first-row seat; it is a first-row seat directly in front of the PA speakers.

Bruce is introduced with an exclamation: “The Boss comes home!” Indeed, this was a homecoming. The three Passaic dates were Springsteen’s first proper concerts in New Jersey since 1976, and the culmination of a NY-NJ Metroplex residency that included a trio of gigs at Madison Square Garden in August (his first-ever headlining the legendary arena) and three shows at the Palladium in the city just prior to Passaic. Following that introduction, it was off to the races.

“Badlands” bursts out of the gate, with more meaty guitars in the mix than we’ve heard before and Max’s drum rolls and trills snapping like someone lit a firecracker strip. Longtime fans will have heard the start of this show hundreds or maybe thousands of times before, but that familiarity coupled with the freshness of the mix makes for a thrilling listening experience. The sense of release “Badlands” delivers has never felt more tangible.

The first set features exemplary versions of core Darkness tracks “Streets of Fire,” “The Promised Land,” “Prove It All Night” with its tension-building instrumental intro, “Racing in the Street,” and the title track. We also get a preview of where Bruce is going next through “Independence Day,” played for only the fourth time in a still-evolving arrangement. The song was recorded for Darkness, and Bruce mentions it should end up on the next album. Another future River track, “Point Blank,” makes a spellbinding appearance in set two. 

Along with “Fire” and “Because the Night,” Passaic 9/19/78 features four Springsteen originals that were not released at the time. While we have come to take the live performance history of these songs for granted, Bruce is virtually alone in featuring so much unreleased music in his sets, and the inclusion of songs you can only hear at the shows was part of the magic that defined the live Springsteen legend.

The first set ends with a special and apropos “Meeting Across the River.” It is the live version I’ve heard the most and my all-time favorite performance of the song, sounding moody and marvelous as Bruce spins the tale accompanied by Roy Bittan and Garry Tallent. “Meeting” into “Jungleland” (as they are sequenced on Born to Run) to close the first set is the coup de grâce for 80 minutes of sheer perfection.

Bruce begins the second set with “one for all the folks in Philadelphia listening in,” “Kitty’s Back.” The resplendent E Street showcase cooks for 13 minutes and has not sounded this crystal clear since Sally left the alley. The same can be said for a stunning “Candy’s Room,” as Steve’s backing vocals soar — you can even pick out Clarence’s baritone voice in the left channel as Bruce sings “what…she…wants…is…me.”

Riches abound as we move through “Because the Night,” “Point Blank,” a long “Not Fade Away” into “She’s the One,” and a sublime, luscious “Backstreets” before the set closes with a pacey “Rosalita.” The encore slows down to mythologize the Shore with “Sandy,” and the moment when Bruce sings, “the boys from the casino dance with their shirts open,” then asks, “is that you out there?” is a charming reminder that Passaic 9/19/78 is indeed one for the locals.

Incredibly, the encore sustains and at times exceeds the energy level of the main set. “Born to Run” is taken at breathless full speed. “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out’ downshifts slightly in tempo, though Bruce remains fully committed to his wide-ranging vocal gymnastics. “Detroit Medley” presents one final opportunity to showcase the band’s chops (tune into the right channel for Stevie Van Zandt’s guitar lick masterclass) in a full-frontal rock ’n’ roll assault.

Because there always has to be one more, a final encore of Eddie Floyd’s soul classic “Raise Your Hand” closes the night, a lyrical reminder that Bruce and the band are there in service of the audience, be they inside the Capitol or listening at home in the markets Springsteen namechecks.

Though he couldn’t have known it at the time, 41 years later, Bruce gives us another chance to experience Passaic in the comfort of our own homes and marvel at the prowess of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band playing their hearts out for longtime fans.


living is easy with eyes closed

I have no words!



This is THE best live recording I've ever heard (and I've listened to this show over hundred times in the last 31 years since I first got a bootleg of it in '88 ) and it's like it never graced my ears before. Slipped Disc Records certainly got the title right when the cut this to vinyl back in the day


a masterpiece




LB posted:

An “it’s about time” release. Hardly a surprise, but great to finally have in this quality. Is Flannigan’s Winterland reference in the second paragraph a hint of December’s release?

One can only hope... and pray.  


The SPL Rocks!


Pulled up to my house today
Came and took my little girl away!
Giants Stadium 8/28/03


Is Bruce Springsteen's Capitol Theater 1978 Radio Broadcast, Restored in 96/24 HD Download, Essential Listening?


AR-BruceCap78OfficeCoverShot450.jpgThe new high resolution download of Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band at The Capitol Theater 1978 is something of a revelation for fans of The Boss. It has been meticulously restored by Plangent Processes' innovative technology which has been used previously by Bruce as well as The Grateful Dead and many others.

Even if you taped this show off the air on a Nakamichi Dragon cassette recorder or a fancier-still reel to reel machine back in the day, you probably haven't heard this music sound this good.  And if you heard this show from one of the many variant versions of the Piece De Resistance bootleg, that added in a whole host of other problems to the recording... Even the CD versions of that have a sort of wonkiness to the sound. The versions on YouTube are all over the place sonics wise... 


AR-PlangentTapeHeads225.jpgWell, on the most basic level, this new version is skipping over the compression placed on all broadcasts for radio transmission back in the day... It is eliminating tape hiss and other recording anomalies you may have incurred on your consumer grade or even pro grade tape machine while recording said compressed FM broadcast. If you, like me, didn't have a great tape deck to begin with in 1978 and got your copy dubbed from your friend's mid-range Akai or Harmon Kardon deck, well then you will be hearing this concert without that multi-generation loss and other distortion which inevitably inserted itself into your copy of the show. 

But even more important, Plangent Processes technology is effectively eliminating problems that might have existed with the original tapes. You are effectively hearing a line recording of the show the way it happened (more on that in a moment) but its even better than that as Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band at The Capitol Theater 1978 was recorded on multi-track tape, so it has been properly mixed (by Jon Altschiller) for the first time since the 1978 live broadcast! 

AR-JamieHowarth225.jpgI asked Plangent Processes' founder and inventor Jamie Howarth what we can expect to hear on this version of the show. He provided some helpful insights (provided unedited to ensure contextual and technical accuracy):

"The tapes were in immaculate condition but like all tapes from that era needed to be baked. 

They were well recorded by Record Plant Remote. But ANY analog machine adds a subtle abstraction to the performance - doesn't feel as real, because the timing and pitch shifts affect the steadiness of the performance, less tight, less "muscular" in this case. We're usually hearing 2 layers of this (the multitrack and the stereo mixdown) but here those problems are gone... we're hearing the mics, the actual playing - with zero  deterioration in groove or intonation. 

AR-BruceCap78BootlegOne450.jpgAnother subtlety is the reduction in intermodulation distortion. The tape transports' flutter is not just a gargle (which is a fairly low frequency flutter) but actually if the flutter is above 20Hz in oscillation rate (stop and picture that) it starts to manifest as the same sum and difference distortion that is classic IM, only worse... at many more frequencies and with many more multiples than would be found in a preamp or amp. If these levels of IM distortion were in a piece of electronics it would be roundly criticized. But because of the way flutter is thought-modeled and measured it's not even recognized as distortion. We are often described as Windex for audio because the removal of those beats and ring modulations clears out the clouded texture omnipresent in tape recording generation loss. Here there is none of it. Typical well maintained multi-tracks generated well over 0.1% IM. Clearly audible in absentia post-processed."

So, you may be wondering what I have heard on this new master of Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band at The Capitol Theater 1978? Well, the drums and bass are indeed immediately more focused, tighter and rounder. Bruce's guitar leads are scorching without harshnesses. I'm not hearing certain distortions I remember from the many times I listened to this concert on my dubbed cassette (for the record: I didn't bother to go looking for my old cassette to compare knowing the multi-generational version I had... heck.... I don't know if I even have it anymore!).  

AR-BruceCap78Marquee450.jpgJump ahead toward the end of the show to spine tingling intro to Bruce's cover of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" and you'll hear to the sound of a band on fire resonating in the concert hall... Listen for the sound of the Capitol Theater reverberating Bruce and the E-Street Band's palpable energy... Take in that amazing slap echo on Bruce's voice. It is just haunting.

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band at The Capitol Theater 1978 was very much a homecoming for The Boss and he rose to the occasion delivering a performance that many consider among his best. Riding on the joy of his then new hit album Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Bruce was not resting on his laurels with this show (has he ever? no way!). He broke out no less than four new songs for this broadcast. "Point Blank" and "Independence Day" appeared a couple years later on The River. Bruce delivered a soaring version of a song he co-wrote with Patti Smith -- which she was having a hit with at that time -- "Because The Night." "Fire" would be a hit for The Pointer Sisters but Bruce's concert version remained unreleased until the Live 1975-85 boxed set and a studio version didn't come out until The Promise was released in the 00s.

Anyhow, I could go on but I think you get the idea that Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band at The Capitol Theater 1978 is probably a download you'll want to get sooner rather than later. 

You'll not only hear an incredible concert again sounding better than ever before but if you're like me it may stir buried memories... For me, listening to this restored recording of Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band at The Capitol Theater 1978 rekindles forgotten high school times, lost nights spent cruising suburban and city backstreets, replaying this concert in a friend's beat up old car on cassette... drinking stale beer, chasing romance and contemplating when you'd be able to break away from that scene for a better future. For tramps like us, this concert was part of that life soundtrack... Lyrics to then-unreleased songs like "Independence Day" resonating in the Summer heat: 

AR-BruceCap78zCloseUp450.jpg"Well say goodbye it's Independence Day

It's Independence Day all boys must run away

So say goodbye it's Independence Day

All men must make their way come Independence Day"

Answering the question of the headline above: I do consider Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band at The Capitol Theater 1978 essential listening.

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