THE PHILIP COHEN COLLECTION: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - WORCESTER 1988

February 23, 2010 – 4:04 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
Tunnel Of Lust [Swinging Pig, 2CD]

Live at The Centrum, Worcester, MA, February 28, 1988 (artwork date is wrong). Very good audience recording.

A high quality, 2CD audience recording recorded while on tour behind the “Tunnel of Love” album. The title and the cover photo of Bruce with Patti Scialfa refers to the fact that Bruce’s affair with Patti had already begun before Bruce divorced the previous Mrs. Springsteen. While this was a “Swingin’ Pig” release, the actual discs appear to be pressed by the early bootlegger “Disques Du Monde”. - Philip Cohen

If Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska is considered a weighty album, then Tunnel Of Love - even if it was about the vagaries of love, or as music critic Jon Pareles wrote, that the album “turned inward, pondering love gone wrong” - could well be the closest Springsteen was to crafting a pop album, with Brilliant Disguise the most telling song on the album: “I heard somebody call your name, from underneath our willow/I saw something tucked in shame, underneath your pillow/Well I’ve tried so hard baby, but I just can’t see/What a woman like you is doing with me.”

The wikipedia mentioned that the Tunnel of Love Express tour shook up fans with changes to the stage layout, favorites dropped from the set list, and horn-based arrangements. While the Tunnel Of Lust release lacks a number of tracks and the encore, it also reflects a Bruce Springsteen who seemed to have been caught up in the moment and trying to juggle the many plates before him.

He was still trying to recapture some of the old magic from the ’70s (sample the monologue before I’m A Coward); dug into his back [staple] catalogue (Adam Raised A Cain, She’s The One, 10th Avenue Freeze Up); he was still working the populist streak from the Born In The U.S.A. tour (War, I’m On Fire, Dancing In The Dark); and had to push the new songs (Brilliant Disguise, One Step Up, Light Of Day, Tougher Than The Rest.

Lesser acts might have floundered and the fact that the show succeeds (the missing songs notwithstanding) attests to Springsteen’s command of the stage; he had excellent to decent songs and perhaps was trying to leave a personal mark (on the show). Compared to his 2009 shows where he was much more focused, the scattershot tracklist on Tunnel Of Lust can be a bit bewildering, but it is also what is most endearing about the show. Here is a rock icon who seems to be playing mix and match (with his songs), not wholly succeeding and yet soldiering on.

Guess that’s one virtue that Springsteen’s fans appreciate - no retreat, no surrender. It’s not his most accomplished set but it will get you through the night.

Thanks to Phil Cohen for sharing the tracks.

Note: A longtime music fan, Philip Cohen was a contributor to the now-defunct ICE Magazine and compiled the boxsets for The Yardbirds, The Small Faces, Humble Pie and Nice.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1:
Track 101. Tunnel Of Love (11.0MB)
Track 102. Be True (6.6MB)
Track 103. Adam Raised A Cain (8.4MB)
Track 104. Two Faces (4.8MB)
Track 105. All That Heaven Will Allow (12.9MB)
Track 106. Seeds (7.4MB)
Track 107. Roulette (6.3MB)
Track 108. Cover Me (10.0MB)
Track 109. Brilliant Disguise (6.7MB)
Track 110. Spare Parts (19.6MB)
Track 111. War (4.5MB)

Disc 2:
Track 201. Tougher Than The Rest (9.7MB)
Track 202. She’s The One (9.8MB)
Track 203. You Can Look (5.7MB)
Track 204. I’m A Coward (14.4MB)
Track 205. I’m On Fire (6.5MB)
Track 206. One Step Up (7.9MB)
Track 207. Part Man, Part Monkey (6.9MB)
Track 208. Walk Like A Man (7.7MB)
Track 209. Dancing In The Dark (8.4MB)
Track 210. Light Of Day (15.6MB)
Track 211. Born To Run (6.4MB)
Track 212. 10th Avenue Freeze Out (6.0MB)

Lineup (according to the wikipedia):
E Street Band
Bruce Springsteen - lead vocals, most lead guitars, harmonica
Roy Bittan – piano, synthesizer
Clarence Clemons – saxophone, congas, percussion, background vocals?
Danny Federici – organ, accordion?
Nils Lofgren – guitars, pedal steel guitar?, background vocals
Patti Scialfa - background vocals, some featured duet vocals, acoustic guitar
Garry Tallent – bass guitar
Max Weinberg – drums

The Miami Horns
Mario Cruz – saxophone
Eddie Manion – saxophone
Mark Pender – trumpet
Richie “La Bamba” Rosenberg – trombone
Mike Spengler – trumpet

Click on the link to order Bruce Springsteen’s latest album, Working On A Dream.

  1. 14 Responses to “THE PHILIP COHEN COLLECTION: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - WORCESTER 1988”

  2. I remember this title as being one of the “holy grail” of silver disc bootlegs back in 1988. Swingin’ Pig was then that infamous label responsible for the Beatles “Ultra-Rare” series and most releases were considered a prized possession. I saw people paying $50-$75 for this set at stores and record conventions and they all went like hot cakes… CD boots were new and everything (regardless of quality or completeness) was snapped up with fervor. Prior to the Crystal Cat monopoly of Bruce in the 90’s, Springsteen was 2nd fiddle to Led Zeppelin, Dylan, Pink Floyd, Beatles, Stones etc. Most early Bruce boots were reissues of common titles and classic shows from vinyl… this was the first break out testing the waters for recent shows and the loopholes that Europe allowed… After this the floodgates opened and 1000’s of titles ( good & bad ) followed… Ahhh, the 80’s. now a distant memory where the commerical bootleg industry thrived on us music lovers hunger for rare music…

    By Woodstock on Feb 23, 2010

  3. I was at the 2/25/88 Opening Night in Worcester and I have this “Silver” cd set. Opening night was the toughest ticket I’ve EVER seen. Great show as always with Bruce.

    BigO has done it again!
    Folks, this set is a true “MUST HAVE”…

    By TDC on Feb 23, 2010

  4. I saw Bruce in ‘88
    Thank you Big O

    By Hulkzilla on Feb 23, 2010

  5. hey bigo, thanks! this is pretty good. i played it walking and the giants of jazz-union hall, belgrade, serbia 11.2.71.

    best,
    ed

    By Ed Saad on Feb 23, 2010

  6. I drove to this show from outside Hartford, got yelled at by a cop for lousy driving, scored a ticket which, I later realized, was fake, but still somehow got me inside. Maybe my favorite Bruce show ever–including when (especially because of?) he forgets the words to “Born to Run.”

    This was one of the few silver boots I ever got on CD, and I never even had any idea it was rare.

    By scott (the other one) on Feb 24, 2010

  7. Just to reassure you fans: the brief sound drop-out in the song “Tunnel of Love” in in the “Swingin’ Pig” source CD’s.

    By Philip Cohen on Feb 25, 2010

  8. Thanks for this show–the best recording I’ve heard so far from this tour.I assume you’re the same Phil Cohen who lived in Miami.I used to work at the Specs in Hialeah in the 70s where you were a frequent customer…Still in Miami?
    By any chance do you have any of the ‘76 Chicago /Beach Boy shows?I know its probably not your thing-but MY guilty pleasure…

    By Harold on Feb 27, 2010

  9. To Harold,

    Yes, I used to come into the Specs in Westland Mall. Worked in Hialeah(for my father) from 1973 until he passed away(Nov.1996). I was also a regular customer at Record Shack/Record Land/Blue Note in North Miami Beach. There’s no record store there at that location any more. I recall some of the Specs Hialeah employees, incl. Joyce & Manley.
    Actually, I am a hard core Beach Boys fan. I’ll have to look into it about shows from the Beach Boys/Chicago tour.
    Yes, I’m still in South Florida.

    By Philip Cohen on Feb 27, 2010

  10. Thanks for this gem Phil. Can you share some of your Beach Boys stuff? What other bands do you have?

    In the early 90’s I worked at a record store called Izzy’s in NJ. He would get all the major bootleg releases like this and sell them for up to $100 at times. He would make me feel like i’m missing out if I didn’t have these titles and this is one of the titles he made feel feel bad about not having. I couldn’t afford it at the time. So nice to finally find a copy for myself. Thanks

    By Matt on Mar 4, 2010

  11. Matt,

    As far as I know, nearly all of my Beach Boys material is stuff that is already in the Big O archive. I have a great Beach Boys collection…..but Big O has an even bigger Beach Boys collection. I’ve supplied plenty of material(many artists) that you’ll hear throughout the year, here at Big O. Stay tuned!
    (no, I don’t have any material from the Chicago + Beach Boys “Beachago” tour. My main interest in Beach Boys is in 1960’s recordings.)

    By Philip Cohen on Mar 5, 2010

  12. This was my first and only Bruce show. And I admit that night I was somewhat put off. I didn’t get it.

    I wasn’t exactly digging the show. And The Centrum gestapo was out in force so you couldn’t smoke grass in your seat. I hadn’t expected that. Then my wife gave me a ton of shit then for smoking instead in the Men’s Room. I couldn’t win for losing.

    I was a huge Bruce fan. But I was not a big fan of ‘Tunnel Of Love.’ The year it was released I had just gotten married. I didn’t understand the darkness in the shadows Bruce had found in that tunnel… till a few years later when my wife stopped giving me shit and just suddenly divorced me. By then I had found myself in the deepest part of a tunnel, with a lonesome train suddenly bearing down on me.

    Then I got it. And I really get it now hearing this. Thanks for turning me on for the first time to this tour.

    By thewaymouth on Mar 7, 2010

  13. This is terrific, thank you! The links to 4shared aren’t working though: “The file link that you requested is not valid.”

    I would love to have the complete recording.

    Thanks for roio!

    By Tim Merritt on Mar 15, 2010

  14. The links are back. Thanks again!

    By Tim Merritt on Mar 15, 2010

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