(from Australian Rolling Stone 1986 Yearbook)
A year end holiday bonanza from the Boss to his fans, this five album boxed set - bargain priced and shipped to stores in platinum quantities - was an attempt to do the impossible: to summarise, with just forty live-in-concert tracks, ten years' worth of marathon stage shows. It was not the complete feast of obscurities bootleg fans might have anticipated, nor did it accentuate Springsteen's inspired way with a cover (there were only four nonoriginals, his luminous reinvention of Elvis Presley's "Follow That Dream" not among them). But Live was nonetheless an event. It came bristling with hits that spanned the Boss's career, from "Spirit in the Night" to "Born in the USA" (the latter, in its fiery abandon, practically eclipsing the original studio version). And it showcased Springsteen, for the first time, in his undisputed element: at the helm of the E Street band, onstage, burning. Consequently, the set also seemed to confirm Bruce and his nonpareil group as the World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band, a title previously held by some guys from England.
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