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Born to rerun: Boss' classic in a box set

November 14, 2005|Geoff Boucher

When was the last time you listened to "Born to Run"? For Bruce Springsteen, two decades had passed when he recently popped in the CD. The New Jersey rocker was in an ideal setting: He was driving at night on a Garden State highway. It was earlier this year, and plans were being assembled for this month's commemoration of the landmark 1975 album.

"I thought I knew exactly how it would sound, but it surprised me," Springsteen told Associated Press of his mile-marker trip to the past. "It was a nice moment, driving back from the city, and it caught me by surprise again. There's no other record quite like it.... I never made another one."

Exactly how he and the E Street Band came up with the singular CD is the focus of the archival-minded "Born to Run: 30th Anniversary Edition," a $40 box set that hits stores this week. It includes a CD of the newly remastered album, a 48-page booklet and two DVDs -- a film of Springsteen's storied (but rarely seen) 1975 performance at the Hammersmith Odeon in London and "Wings for Wheels," a comprehensive documentary about the album's torturous creation and its resonance in rock history.

If that sounds a bit much, you don't know the appetite of Springsteen fans: There's also a big-screen showing of footage from the box set planned for Tuesday night at selected theaters (the lone local showing, at the Irvine Spectrum, is sold out), a new "E Street Channel" on Sirius Satellite Radio that will play and dissect the Springsteen songbook through the remainder of the year, and a seven-episode podcast of the "Born to Run" music and discussions available through iTunes.

The Boss himself is on an acoustic tour that (surprise, surprise) happens to wind through New Jersey this week.

And they say you can never go home again.

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