The first time I heard The Promise (the song) was when “18 tracks” was released in april 1999. I had read about it and had very high expectations, I was not disappointed. The 1999 release is great and it is a new recording of a song written much earlier. Bruce said he couldn’t find a version he liked enough to release on “Tracks” and re-recorded it for “18 Tracks”. This new recording had just Bruce Springsteen and his piano, and he does a toned down but intense version. The sombre performance enhances the stark qualities of the song.
“This boy has a lot more of the Dylan spirit than John Prine. His songs are filled with the absurdist energy and heart on sleeve pretension that made Dylan a genius instead of a talent.”
– Robert Christgau, Creem magazine
Greetings from Asbury Park NJ is the first studio album by Bruce Springsteen, released in 1973. It only sold about 25,000 copies in the first year of its release, but had significant critical impact. It was ranked at #379 by Rolling Stone on its list of 500 greatest albums of all time. The album also hit the number sixty stop on the Billboard 200 albums listing.
The re-release that is part of the box-set (released autumn 2014) sounds amazing!
Bruce played 3 concerts @ Nassau Coliseum at the end of 1980, and the New-year eve concert is the most famous. The concert bootleg “Nassau Night” (Crystal Cat) from the 12-31-1980 concert is one of the most famous (& best) Springsteen boots. BUT the concert he played on the 29th is also fantastic… and he played a heavenly version of “Incident on 57th Street” (only River Tour version – and next live version didn’t come until September 25th 1999 in Philadelphia, PA)
Incident on 57th Street – 1980-12-29:
“This is, uh…this is a song we haven’t done in a real long time…(?) …this is, uh, I hope I remember all the words, alright, I might not, I just learned them (?)…”
~Bruce intro for “Incident..”