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).
Springsteen reconvened the E Street Band for 11 new songs on Magic, noting that the album’s title refers to the “times when what’s true can be made to seem like a lie, and what’s a lie can be made to seem true.” Magic debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart, and singles “Radio Nowhere” and “Girls in their Summer Clothes” each won Grammys for Best Rock Song.
The Essential Bruce Springsteen is a compilation album by Bruce Springsteen, released on 11 November 2003. Per liner notes comments by Springsteen, the collection was intended as an introduction to his music for new fans who attended shows on The Rising Tour; hence, it includes songs from every Springsteen album since his debut. The album was available as a 2-disc set and, later, as a limited edition 3-disc set; for the latter, the third disc contained a selection of rarities and previously unreleased recordings.