Last year, Steven Van Zandt looked back on his solo discography with an impressive 6LP/4CD box set. Rock ‘n Roll Rebel: The Early Work collected six albums on vinyl and added four CDs of bonus material, adding up to a definitive look at a powerful and politically-charged body of work. Earlier this year, the versatile E Street Band guitarist/Sopranos and Lilyhammer actor/Disciples of Soul bandleader began issuing Bob Ludwig’s remastered versions of all six original albums on CD, three of them with a DVD bonus. Today, he confirmed that all of those CD and CD/DVD editions – plus the exclusive four CDs of bonus material included on the vinyl Rock ‘n Roll Rebel box – will be released on July 31 as a 10CD/3DVD version of Rock ‘n Roll Rebel.
The following titles are included in the box set. All of the titles other than the 4 CD set of bonus material are also available individually:
- Men Without Women (1982) + DVD;
- Voice of America (1984) + DVD;
- Sun City: Artists United Against Apartheid (1985);
- Freedom – No Compromise (1987) + DVD;
- Revolution (1989);
- Born Again Savage (1999); and
- Bonus Tracks (51 tracks on 4 CDs) (exclusive to the LP/CD and CD/DVD box sets).
The individual reissues of Born Again Savage and Revolution arrived on June 12. Freedom – No Compromise arrives on July 10 with a bonus DVD of 1987’s Live at the Ritz, filmed at the nightclub housed inside New York’s Webster Hall. One week later, on July 17, Voice of America returns to print paired with a DVD of Live at Rockpalast 1984 from Freilichtbühne Loreley, St. Goarshausen, Germany. Then, on July 24, the series of standalone titles concludes with the reissues of Sun City and Men Without Women. The latter release is accompanied by a DVD of Live at Rockpalast 1982, filmed onstage in Grugahalle, Essen, Germany. Finally, Little Steven wraps up the campaign on July 31 with the 10CD/3DVD box set.
Together, these six albums pack a powerful punch. Men Without Women found the onetime “Miami Steve” turning in a Jersey Shore bar band classic of a piece with his contemporary work with Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes. He enlisted members of The Jukes, The Miami Horns, and The E Street Band (including Max Weinberg, Garry Tallent, Danny Federici, Clarence “The Big Man” Clemons, and The Boss) as well as Gary U.S. Bonds and The Rascals’ Felix Cavaliere and Dino Danelli. But from Voice of America through Revolution, Van Zandt and his varied collaborators radically shifted his sound to take in hard rock, deep soul, synth-driven dance rhythms, hip-hop, and world music. What didn’t change: Little Steven’s hard-hitting, socially-aware lyrics and edgy, passionate musicianship. 1999’s Born Again Savage paid tribute to his heavy rock heroes in the ’60s, featuring a power trio of Van Zandt (guitar), Adam Clayton (bass), and Jason Bonham (drums).
For 1985’s Sun City, Van Zandt and co-producer Arthur Baker recruited a “Who’s Who” to benefit The Africa Fund, including Pat Benatar, Ruben Blades, Bono, Jackson Browne, Ron Carter, Clarence Clemons, Jimmy Cliff, George Clinton, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel, Bob Geldof, Daryl Hall, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Kendricks, Darlene Love, John Oates, Bonnie Raitt, Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, David Ruffin, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Pete Townshend, and many more.
With a re-formed Disciples of Soul, Little Steven has released three justly acclaimed albums in recent years – 2017’s Soulfire, 2018’s Soulfire Live!, and 2019’s Summer of Sorcery – in addition to two soundtrack volumes from Lilyhammer. He also continues to crusade for important causes including one near and dear to his heart, music education, with the TeachRock project. “In a time of cutbacks in arts funding, Steve’s programs are keeping kids engaged in the arts, and in school – this is his greatest legacy,” opined Bruce Springsteen.
With these remastered CD and CD/DVD reissues from Wicked Cool Records and UMe, this may well be the ideal time to revisit Little Steven’s back catalogue. Rock ‘n Roll Rebel: The Early Work, in both 6LP/4CD (available now) and 10CD/3DVD (due on July 31) editions, is for sale exclusively through uDiscoverMusic.com at the links below! All music on both boxes is also currently streaming.
Little Steven, Rock ‘n Roll Rebel: The Early Work (Wicked Cool/UMe, 2019/2020)
- Lyin’ In a Bed Of Fire
- Inside Of Me
- Until The Good Is Gone
- Men Without Women
- Under The Gun
- Save Me
- Princess Of Little Italy
- Angel Eyes
- I’ve Been Waiting
- Voice Of America
- Checkpoint Charlie
- Out Of The Darkness
- Los Desaparecidos (The Disappeared Ones)
- I Am a Patriot (and The River Opens For The Righteous)
- Among The Believers
- Undefeated (Everybody Goes Home)
- Trail Of Broken Treaties
- Bitter Fruit
- No More Party’s
- Can’t You Feel The Fire
- Native American
- Where Do We Go From Here?
- Love and Forgiveness
- Leonard Peltier
- Liberation Theology
- Born Again Savage
- Camouflage Of Righteousness
- Guns, Drugs, and Gasoline
- Face Of God
- Saint Francis
- Lust For Enlightenment
- Tongues Of Angels
- Sun City – Artists United Against Apartheid
- No More Apartheid – Peter Gabriel & L. Shankar
- Revolutionary Situation – Keith LeBlanc
- Sun City (Version II) – Artists United Against Apartheid
- Let Me See Your I.D. – Gil Scott-Heron, Melle Mel & Duke Bootee
- The Struggle Continues – Miles Davis, Ron Carter, Stanley Jordan, Tony Williams & Herbie Hancock
- Silver and Gold – Bono, Keith Richards & Ron Wood