Compared to the gargantuan Live/1975-85, 2001's Live in New York City seems like the very definition of restraint, but consider this – not only does it span two discs, it leaves out a considerable portion of the set list from the show and thereby the set list of Springsteen's celebrated 2000 reunion with the E Street Band. Some critics complained that this record was little more than a tie-in to the HBO special of the same name, but even if that's true, the record would have merit since it illustrates exactly why this group should never have parted ways. In a sense, even if this is the third live album in Springsteen's catalog, it's the first that attempts to replicate the feeling of an evening out with the E Street Band (the Live/1975-85 box tried too hard to be an ultimate experience; MTV Plugged captured a transitional phase).
… Bruce, truth be told, is not the greatest singer in the world, and his hoarseness does very occasionally get gobbled up in the mass of sound the band is putting out, but that's about the only complaint I have with this concert. Otherwise we get a remarkably clean and clear reproduction of the music with no obtrusive audience noise. Separation is excellent, but it's the remarkable fidelity that will impress most right off the bat. Turn this one up to 12–11 won't be quite enough.
Essentially an update of the multi-million selling 1995 'Greatest Hits' package, this 2009 Tour Edition adds four tracks recorded since the original release. Serving as the perfect introduction to one of America's finest singer/songwriters, this compilation focuses on Springsteen's work with The E-Street Band and features such well known hits as 'Born To Run', 'Dancing In The Dark' and 'Born In The USA'.
This Sony release is essentially the Bruce Springsteen greatest-hits set that appeared earlier in 2009 as a Wal-Mart exclusive – setting off a mini storm in the media about whether or not the pro-union Springsteen should have any dealings at all with the non-union Wal-Mart company – with three tracks, "Long Walk Home" (from 2007's Magic) and live versions of "Because the Night" and "Fire," added to the end of the sequence. Columbia's 18-track Greatest Hits set from 1995 probably does a better job of charting through the commercial, radio-ready side of Springsteen's career, but the addition of the live tracks here strengthens this collection and makes it feel like a much broader and more rounded portrait than the original Wal-Mart issue was. The truth is, Springsteen has so many great songs that it is probably impossible to put out a single-disc greatest-hits set that would please everyone, but this one essentially does it's job – you've heard all of these songs on the radio.