February 13, 2009 – 3:28 am

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Prodigal Son At Winterland - The 25th Anniversary Remaster [Prodigal Son, 3CD]

Live at the Winterland, San Francisco, December 15, 1978, very good Pre-FM/FM.

Didn’t you feel a sense of trepidation when Bruce Springsteen climbed on the piano when he performed at the Super Bowl?

There was a time when Springsteen didn’t give a toss about climbing on pianos, or jumping from speakers for that matter. There was certainly no hint of alarm among the fans then. For the diehard fans, Bruce Springsteen would always be there, forever and ever, amen. But that was a long time ago. Those were the days when three-hour-plus shows were the norm with Springsteen recounting all sorts of tales. Those were also the days when Springsteen was trying to show that rock ‘n’ roll had a personal meaning and that he could strike an intimate connection with his audience.

Somehow things changed or felt to have changed during or after the Born In The USA tour. By then, Springsteen was a corporate figure, whether he liked it or not. It was stadiums for him and it’s probably during the Tom Joad era that he returned to the smaller venues.

But in 1978, Springsteen must have been stung when Darkness At The Edge Of Town could not repeat the commercial success of Born To Run. Those who found the joy in Born To Run missing in Darkness must have wondered what had happened.

To remind his audience he has a new album out, Springsteen performed practically the Darkness album in the first hour of the show. Given that it was about a week before Christmas, why not throw in the “customary” yuletide chestnut or two? But a Springsteen show is more than a collection of new songs. It’s a gathering and meeting of like-minded fans; it’s a communal celebration and Springsteen and the E Street Band did not disappoint.

Fortunate are those who were present at the show - they will have something to tell their children and grandchildren - while the rest of us can only salivate to this grand recording.

These tracks are no longer available for sharing.Disc One: (73:17)
01. Badlands (5:34)
02. Streets Of Fire (5:28)
03. Spirit In The Night (7:44)
04. Darkness On The Edge Of Town (5:46)
05. Factory (3:55)
06. The Promised Land (6:10)
07. Prove It All Night (12:30)
08. Racing In The Street (9:55)
09. Thunder Road (6:02)
10. Jungleland (10:02)

Disc Two: (68:15)
01. The Ties That Bind (4:32)
02. Santa Story (3:46)
03. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (4:13)
04. The Fever (8:29)
05. Fire (3:0
06. Candy’s Room (3:11)
07. Because The Night (7:36)
08. Point Blank (8:36)
09. Mona / Preacher’s Daughter (3:50)
10. She’s The One (8:54)
11. Backstreets (11:52)

Disc Three: (46:00)
01. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (10:49)
02. Born To Run (4:49)
03. Detroit Medley (9:22)
04. 10th Avenue Freeze-Out (6:2
05. Raise Your Hand (5:32)
06. Quarter To Three (8:55)

Bruce Springsteen - vocals, guitar
Roy Bittan - piano
Clarence Clemons - saxophone
Danny Federici - organ
Garry Tallent - bass
Steven Van Zandt - guitar
Max Weinberg - drums

Click here to order Darkness At The Edge Of Town and other Bruce Springsteen albums.

  1. 20 Responses to “DARKNESS AT THE EDGE OF WINTERLAND 1978”

  2. Killer Diller Thriller Brilla… This is one hell of a fantastic classic show from a tour that’s rarely been matched in rock history. Been listening to this blistering blast on & off for 30 years… Great reminder that live Bruce is not just the clown that showed up Super Bowl Sunday. Not that Bruce hasn’t almost always brought along the vaudeville party-time vibe. But it always sounded like an earned & earnest celebration, not a hollow joke. Yes, at the SB he was in stadium, but it was obvious he was most conscious of and was playing to the TV audience - on the box a small gesture goes a long way. An all out over-the-freaking-top ham-slam-down goes down like bilge. Especially in light of the world today. Sure Bruce is rich as hell, but he still seems to care so why not show it. A lot of the TV audience he was addressing is hurting. Bruce could have dropped a Badlands or even Atlantic City in the middle of his set. Instead he opened with a 10th Ave Freeze-Out that came on like a show-capper. By the time he wrapped with Glory Days it was all daze and no glory. His biggest stage ever and he came up small… Thanks to the magic of bootlegging however, you can still get inspired by Bruce to make a gritty and grand stand against the coming storm and then even dare to dance in the middle of it.

    By thewaymouth on Feb 13, 2009

  3. The Boss was great at the half time show, and like the Prince half time show this was all show-biz and fireworks. The Boss still managed to capture the brilliant live show encore that we all love.

    Still its great to go back in time to a very different Boss.

    Both are great and his new album is superb.

    By Dice on Feb 13, 2009

  4. U2 brought it hard in its celebration of the Super Bowl after 9/11, but that apparently didn’t inspire the Boss staring into the great depression. Maybe this old Bruce fan asks and expects too much. Prince was far from all showbiz & fireworks. Sure he had some fun with flare to get the crowd excited, then he got real heavy and bluesy on us. In a torrential rainstorm, Prince played & offered tribute to the victims still recovering a year the Katrina. “Proud Mary” into “All Along the Watchtower.” From “We’re rolling, rolling on the river” to “Outside in the distance, a wild Kat did growl/ Two riders were approaching & the wind began to howl!” Then he went into “The Best,” the song the Foo Fighters wrote for John Kerry’s failed bid to defeat the Worst president ever in ‘04. But I guess if all you want to do is party you see what you want to hear.

    By thewaymouth on Feb 13, 2009

  5. a year *after Katrina

    PS “…I only wanna see you laughing in the Purple Rain.”

    By thewaymouth on Feb 13, 2009

  6. Bruce is great as always, but his blog on the SB left a few cold spots over at:


    “…The Super Bowl is going to help me sell a few new records, that’s what I wanted because I want people to hear where we are today. It’ll probably put a few extra fannies in the seats and that’s fine. We live high around here and I like to do good business for my record company and concert promoters.”

    By JD Lynn on Feb 14, 2009

  7. Whooh, the Boss said it was gonna be as if you walked in during the final minutes of an encore, and that’s what he did. It was great and you need to step back and enjoy it. Sure I’d have loved a brilliant Boss guitar solo, and as a long time fan I’d have loved him to show the depth that comes from a 3 hour epic show, but that just aint possible in 12 minutes, unless you are after the subtelty of the Prince show. This was a fun celebration that should be taken in that spirit, and it sure made me smile and get up off the sofa! As we stare into the abyss, at least we had a hurrah from the Boss to take our minds off it all, if only for 12 mins and an extra 30 seconds. Serious, download yourself a high-def AC3 version and just enjoy it. Millions around the world did. There aint nothing wrong with just having a party. You should come on over to Mary’s sometime, you might just enjoy it.

    By Dice on Feb 14, 2009

  8. where is disc # 3. i just can’t get enugh of this great stuff

    By mkane on Feb 15, 2009

  9. This is great stuff — thank you very much!

    By Rafe on Feb 16, 2009

  10. I was looking for a recording of the Superbowl-gig on hypemachine, but there wasn’t any.
    I was also a little bit disappointed. Maybe I expected too much. Prince and Tom Petty were great, but Bruce didn’t quite make it. Maybe 12 minutes is really too short für him & the E-Street Band to get warm.
    The first “problem” was that “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” is a great song, but maybe not the best to start a show - especially not a show of only 12 minutes. And then: his new album is by far not one of his best, in fact I’d put it in the lower third/last quarter of his records.

    By Walter on Feb 16, 2009

  11. Very nice. Bring on Bruce! We have tickets for this tour, saw him last year at the same facility and he gives it his all for the whole evening!

    By Tom on Feb 18, 2009

  12. A great tour, and a great show.

    By Hulkzilla on Feb 21, 2009

  13. Thanks for 2 great Bruce shows. I would love to see some of the early 70’s ones show up here.

    By Matt on Feb 22, 2009

  14. it’s been along time since i listened to electric springsteen - this is as good as it gets, badlands and because the night particularly
    thank you!

    By g on Feb 24, 2009

  15. Thanks a lot … Have a nice day …


    By Loulou on Aug 2, 2009

  16. “There was a time when Springsteen didn’t give a toss about climbing on pianos, or jumping from speakers for that matter.” REALLY?

    By DRW on Mar 14, 2010

  17. “There was a time when Springsteen didn’t give a toss about climbing on pianos, or jumping from speakers for that matter.” Oh really? I first saw Springsteen in 1974, and he jumped all over the place then, and I saw the second night of the Winterland December 1978 two-night stand, and he jumped and juked and jived (the James Brown imitation during the Mitch Ryder set was priceless).

    By DRW on Mar 14, 2010

  18. “There was a time when Springsteen didn’t give a toss about climbing on pianos, or jumping from speakers for that matter.”

    I have to take issue with this as well. There was jumping off of pianos, and a huge amount of kinetic energy in general at the Winterland show I caught, as well as at the Berkeley Community Theater show earlier that year. I remember the Paramout Theater show a few years earlier as being a bit more restrained. At any rate, Springsteen shows in the 70s were the best I have ever seen, aside from the brillant performances, there was a magical aspect to them that can’t really be properly described to someone who was not there.

    By Bruce M. on Oct 19, 2012

  19. Hey, BigO, could you re-post this killer show? Thanks as always…

    By TDC on Oct 19, 2012

  20. Big O, please do re-post this entire show. I have a great many Springsteen boots, and a vast collection of all the others…Stones, Who, Floyd, all the great bands…and this one is up there with the best of them all for all-time. It ought to be the one to start all collections with. “Prodigal Son At Winterland” rivals any live LP ever put out by anybody, in terms of performance and quality of recording; there isn’t a “weak link” in this entire concert, start to finish, and it adds to the overall historical intrinsic value in that this is an FM radio broadcast from back in the days when radio truly mattered. Please put this one back up, and leave it up permanently as the yardstick by which to measure all other boots against.

    By Mr. Jimmy on Apr 25, 2014

  21. Please repost this

    By Terri S on Aug 14, 2019

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