Bruce Springsteen
Chimes of Freedom



by Channing Freeman STAFF
July 7th, 2006 | 9 replies

Release Date: 1988 | Tracklist

Chimes of Freedom is an EP that contains four live tracks by Bruce Springsteen. Released originally as a cassette in 1987, it was later released in CD format in 1988. There are two or three CD versions, one of which does not include the intro to Chimes of Freedom or the guitar solo in Tougher Than the Rest. The version I am reviewing has both of those.

Bruce Springsteen – Chimes of Freedom

Tougher Than the Rest starts out with a few seconds of applause, then Max Weinberg comes in on the drums. Max is soon joined by some clean guitar picking and synthesizer. Bruce’s voice is pretty much spot-on, sounding almost exactly like it does on his studio albums. Just after the three minute mark, a nice guitar solo comes in. The solo is slow, as to fit the pace of the song, but it fits nicely. The lyrics in this song talk about the different kinds of guys that girls want; but sometimes you just have to settle for what you can get.

“Some girls they want a handsome Dan or some good-lookin' Joe on their arm
Some girls like a sweet-talkin' Romeo. Well 'round here baby
I learned you get what you can get, so if you're rough enough for love
Honey I'm tougher than the rest."

Be True begins with a one-two-three count by Bruce. The band explodes with some great playing, including some stellar saxophone work. Roy Bittan’s piano playing also stands out nicely. The lyrics, as the title suggests, are about being true to your lover and proving your love. Max Weinberg’s drumming is a major highlight of this album. He lays down a solid beat in every song, as well as throwing in some great fills. Bruce’s vocals are once again nigh-perfect; it’s always nice to hear an artist that can translate their songs live the way they sound on the albums.

Chimes of Freedom is a cover of Bob Dylan’s classic. It starts out with Bruce promoting the Amnesty International Tour that was going to take place a few months later. He encourages the audience to attend the tour, and also to “let freedom ring." When Bruce is done talking, a keyboard starts playing the vocal line. I’m a huge Dylan fan, so I like Dylan’s version better, but Bruce does the song justice. After the first verse, the drums and guitars come in. A few verses were cut out by Bruce, so this song is only about six minutes long, as opposed to around nine minutes. I would have liked this song a lot better if it was done acoustically with all the verses, but this shorter electric version is still pretty good.

The version of Born to Run included on this album is just Bruce singing with his acoustic guitar and harmonica. As opposed to the uplifting, epic album version, this version is more mellow and melancholy. At certain points, Bruce’s voice barely reaches above a whisper. Whenever he says “Tramps like us, baby we were born to run," the crowd erupts with applause. During the final minute and a half or so, Bruce and the crowd exchange some “whoa-oh-oh’s" before Bruce ends the song with some nice harmonica playing. This is definitely a great way to end a good live EP.

If you’re a fan of Springsteen, I definitely recommend this. Bruce is great and full of energy live, and this album is no exception. In my opinion, it’s worth the money just for the acoustic version of Born to Run.

“Someday girl, I don’t know when, we’re gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go, and we’ll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us, baby we were born to run."


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Comments:Add a Comment 
July 7th 2006


Nice review, glad to see you're following through with your crazy idea of reviewing all your Springsteen and Dylan.

Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. It's gonna be around 13 or 14 reviews so I'll be pretty busy I guess.

Staff Reviewer
July 7th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Argh double post.This Message Edited On 07.08.06

July 8th 2006


Looking forward to all this stuff. Especially the Springsteen, who seems to be widely misunderstood and a bit taken for granted these days. This is a good EP. Be True is one of my favorite Bruce songs ever. He does a great piano/solo version of it on the new Live At The Hammersmith '75 album. And the Chimes Of Freedom cover here is really nice. Good review, too....

July 8th 2006


The only Springsteen song I have been able to get into is Atlantic City, the rest of his songs like Born To Run have music that belongs only to the decade is made in. Where as Dylan's song remain timeless.

July 8th 2006


^ Fine example. Like I said, widely misunderstood and taken for granted. Listen to the version of Born To Run on this EP and it's about as timeless as a song gets...And not everything Dylan has written is timeless. Not to take anything away from Dylan. And as a songwriter of course nothing really compares to Dylan. But Springsteen makes and writes distinctive and original rock n roll. It doesn't break or bend the rules much, but it doesn't have to. And yeah, his songs belong to the times they are made in, sure. That's the kind of songwriter he is. But just like in history, what goes around, comes around. That's like Springsteen songs. There will always be a time for them...This Message Edited On 07.08.06

July 17th 2006


Fair Enough

February 6th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

wouldn't be a 4 without Born to Run, soo good

January 20th 2015


Album Rating: 4.0

Avg is too low. Which is the case with most Springsteen on Sputnik

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