Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Highway's Jammed With Broken Heroes On A Last Chance Power Drive

Released August 25, 1975, Springsteen and the E Street Band's third album Born to Run has been called one of the greatest albums of all time. Springsteen has also referred to it as  a maturation in his lyrics, saying Born to Run the album where I left behind my adolescent definitions of love and freedom*. Springsteen has said that he wanted Born to Run to sound like Roy Orbison singing Bob Dylan, produced by Spector.

The album cover adorned with Eric Meola’s classic shot of Springsteen holding his Fender leaning up against Clarence Clemons gives away the work that went into the album. This one frame is one of over three hundred taken for the cover.
Side 1
The album boasts some of not only Springsteen and the E Street Bands best hits, but some of rocks most iconic songs. With the soft piano and harmonica opening of Thunder Road, the album quickly builds tempo. As for track number two, I’ve walked by 10th Avenue and E Street and been to the ice cream stand, the landmark basis for Tenth Avenue Freeze Out.  This song talks about the formation of the band who would give Springsteen his wall of sound that he was searching for. This album focuses on New Jersey, New York, and the working class, blue collar hero. Side One ends with a romantic ambiguous song about love, platonic or not, on the beaches and in the Backstreets.


Side 2
Born to Run is possibly one of Springsteen and E Street Band’s best and most recognized songs and the tile track of the album. It’s about his love of a girl named Wendy and his Zeppelin like Trampled Underfoot muscle car undertones. She’s The One takes the rock sound to historic level with the 50’s sounding guitar. Again, it’s about love but love that shouldn’t be wanted since she seemingly tore out his heart. Meeting Across the River shows the depth of Springsteen’s characters that he develops for his songs. Jazzy to the core, this song brings us to a haunting and classic final song. Jungleland is the showcase to this album. Violins and gang violence, wrapped perfectly in a Clarence Clemmons solo saxophone bow.

Albums are not written like this anymore. They don’t go into the studio for months and work until every sound is right. Forty years and this album has not been topped. This is our history. It is the history of the young and in love. The story of the working class going to the shore and trying to make ends meet. Born to Run is just as much Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s history, as it is ours.

Side 1

Thunder Road
Tenth Avenue Freeze Out

Side 2
Born to Run
She’s the One
Meeting Across the River


Inteview  Richardson, Mark (November 18, 2005).

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