Day 13: Bruce Springsteen – “The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle” & “Born to Run”

It’s a double-dose of The Boss today! “The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle” and “Born to Run” blasted through my beautiful Bose computer speakers today.

“The Wild…” Tracklisting

  1. “The E Street Shuffle”
  2. “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”
  3. “Kitty’s Back”
  4. “Wild Billy’s Circus Story”
  5. “Incident on 57th Street”
  6. “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)”
  7. “New York City Serenade”

This album explodes with the opening jam “E Street Shuffle.” I am absolutely in love with the funky guitar work of Springsteen’s and the excellent bass work of Garry Tallent.

The best song off this album is “Sandy,” a perfect description of the boardwalk life of the Jersey Shore. Wildwood and the pre-casino era of Atlantic City come to mind when I hear this song. It was a defining moment in the early song-writing career of Springsteen and is still one of his best-known masterpieces. It separates him from the bad-boy, jock-rock image he has gotten over the years.

Clarence Clemons is one of my favorite musicians of all time. His presence on this album was made right away with “The E Street Shuffle” and also on “Kitty’s Back” and most beautifully on “Rosalita.” The ending solo on “Kitty’s Back” is what this band needs more of. I say LeRoi Moore was the Clemons of DMB, an ultra-talented sax player who made songs what they were with his play and could kill any solo presented to him through the heart and soul he puts into his music.

“Rosalita” is another song I want to briefly talk about. The intro just explodes with sheer awesomeness. Clemons and Tallent make this song cry uncle when they’re done with it.

——-

“Born to Run” Tracklisting

  1. “Thunder Road”
  2. “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”
  3. “Night”
  4. “Backstreets”
  5. “Born to Run”
  6. “She’s the One”
  7. “Meeting Across the River”
  8. “Jungleland”

This is probably Bruce’s greatest piece of work. Each song on this 1975 classic is a hit and showcases the remarkable E Street Band perfectly.

“Born to Run,” “Thunder Road” and “Jungleland” are the three songs people identify with this album the most and rightfully so.

“Born to Run” is probably the most iconic Bruce song of all time. Played at every damn concert, covered my thousands of amateur and cover artists and played in every bar, “Born to Run” is the perfect mix of Bruce’s lyric writing and the band’s rocking ability. This is just another song that showcases Clemons’ solo and backing work.

But the one song that sticks out to me is the funky “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.” I love the bass and Bruce’s riff in this song as well. The horn section also give this song some great support and a fat, rich sound. It sounds like something straight out of The Blues Brothers.

“Jungleland” is the perfect ending to this album. It’s almost 10 minutes long and features one of Clemons’ most iconic solos. It’s about the street life and gang violence in the big city and a desperate attempt to get out. It brings “Born to Run” to a rightful close.

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