I hadn't ever given it much thought, but I realized tonight on my third straight listen that Land Of Hope And Dreams is the Springsteen song I've gone to the most over the last twenty years. I love everything about it, every version. It was the perfect new song for Bruce's reunion with the E Street Band, which was also a true reunion with us. and it's taken on deeper meaning for me as I've grown older and it's grown older, seen rebirth on Wrecking Ball and grown familiar once again.
It's a certain sort of understated genius when a song can serve as both a eulogy and a celebration of life. In Badlands, Bruce said "it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive," and the entirety of Land Of Hope And Dreams is a confirmation of that truth. Never has an invitation so inclusive felt so exclusive upon my receiving it.
I know some think it's paint-by-numbers Bruce, but that whole concept is one I don't subscribe to. I consider it quintessential and essential Springsteen.
You know what I like? I like how every time I come onto this forum, I see these words, and that beautiful song comes back to me.
Proud to say I've heard it played live
My 4th favourite song
But my number one go to after a crappy
There’s nothing wrong with the studio version. But it’s necessarily a notch down from the perfection that is the 2002/2003 version complete with the People Get Ready portion.
I love the studio version.
Land Of Hope And Dreams - Glasgow, June 2016
I completely understand that for those lucky enough to be present on the reunion tour, they will love the early arrangement. It must have been an incredible thing to witness. I am also one who thinks the studio version on WB is perfect. And the band were so tight playing it in 2013/2014. A few years back I was playing with a video editing suite, and I synced up the audio from Joburg 1 Feb to a good audience video from the UK the year previously. (Hyde Park?) and it was PERFECT until about 2 and a half minutes in. The only giveaway was that Max did slightly different fills on the cymbals in 2014. Apart from that, this band was a machine and I was blown away by how tight the playing was, almost a year apart.