It was 35 years ago today (November 10th, 1986) that Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band released their 40-track, five-record, set Live 1975/85. The album spanned the group's touring career from their 1975 Roxy Theatre performance in Los Angeles, to the sold-out stadium dates of the then-recent Born In The U.S.A. world tour. In addition to the five LP's, Live 1975/85 was also issued as a three cassette and three CD set. The album — which was the first to give the E Street Band equal billing — shipped platinum with advance orders for over 1.5 million copies. Live 1975/85 became the first album since Stevie Wonder's 1976 set Songs In The Key Of Life to debut at Number One. The album has since been certified 13-times platinum.
The album wasn't without controversy, with fans objecting to the mix, which had triggered drum sounds for aural consistency and a mid-'80s sameness throughout — despite the band's evolving sound which was recorded at a variety of different venues. Fans also had a problem with some of the tunes being truncated after hearing the uncut performances on bootleg. The fact that most of the performances sprang from Springsteen's New Jersey or Los Angeles runs particularly rankled fans who were aware that some of the band's hottest shows weren't all hometown gigs. Many complained at the time that the set was top heavy with live versions of the mammoth Born In The U.S.A tracks — which had already reached saturation airplay since it's June 1984 release.
The album spawned two singles — a cover of Edwin Starr's 1970 hit “War” which hit Number Eight and Springsteen's first release of “Fire” — which the Pointer Sisters brought to the Top 10 in 1978. The single flopped, reaching only Number 46 and broke “The Boss'” string of eight straight Top 10 hits.