"Chimes" is a really fine little record. It was originally released for the benefit of Mr Kite - no, wait, Amnesty International - and it opens with a powerful, slow rendition of "Tougher Than The Rest", rolling along like a monolith, all thunderous drums and vibrating bass notes from the keyboards of Roy Bittan and Danny Federici.
Then follows the first release of the excellent rocker "Be True" (which showed up on "Tracks" ten years later), and a six-minute cover of Bob Dylan's "Chimes Of Freedom" (a few verses are cut, otherwise it would have been a ten minute version).
Bruce Springsteen, it has been said, grew up wanting to be either Roy Orbison or Bob Dylan, and his muscular rendition of "Chimes" is nothing less than majestic.
His powerful baritone voice is at the very forefront of the mix, and he sings the first two verses accompained only by piano and synthesizer, before drummer Max Weinberg comes in at the beginning of verse three.
It's still Springsteen driving the song along, though. The drums seem to be trying to keep up with him all through the next four verses, and they finally give up and fall silent for verses seven and eight, only to reappear as the song winds down.
Finally we are treated to an acoustic, Dylan-esque version "Born To Run", harp and everything. And like Dylan, Springsteen significantly alters the melody, making the song moodier, darker, more pessimistic.
This is a fine concert souvenir. Not an absolutely essential purchase, perhaps, but an enjoyable one nonetheless, and impressive for as long as it lasts.