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Monday, August 25, 1975

Bruce Springsteen Released Born to Run: August 25, 1975

Originally posted 8/25/11. Updated 2/22/13.

image from nme.com


Release date: 25 August 1975
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Thunder Road / Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (1/26/76, #83 US) / Night / Backstreets / Born to Run (9/20/75, #23 US, #16 UK) / She’s the One / Meeting Across the River / Jungleland

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.3 UK, 10.4 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 3 US, 17 UK

Rating:


Review: From the onset, Springsteen was billed as a “new Dylan”, but his first two albums were commercial disappointments. This made his third album a “make-or-break” effort WR and he delivered the first album in which he “fully realized the sound that would earn him the title of ‘the Boss.’” NRR His goal, as Springsteen later said, was to sound like “Roy Orbison singing Bob Dylan produced by Phil Spector.” TL

The effect “required months of studio tinkering to perfect” TL as the album is filled with “layers of guitar, layers of echo on the vocals, lots of keyboards, thunderous drums.” WR “Not coincidentally, it was also his first album to feature the revamped lineup of the dynamic E Street Band.” NRR “His two virtuoso players, keyboardist David Sancious and drummer Vini Lopez, [were] replaced by the professional but less flashy Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg.” WR The band also featured “saxophone player Clarence Clemons, second guitarist ‘Miami’ Steve Van Zandt, organist Danny Federici, [and] bassist Garry Tallent.” NRR

Born to Run

Born to Run had a big sound, and Springsteen wrote big songs to match it.” WR “The overall theme of the album was similar to that of The E Street Shuffle; Springsteen was describing, and saying farewell to, a romanticized teenage street life. But where he had been affectionate, even humorous before, he was becoming increasingly bitter. If Springsteen had celebrated his dead-end kids on his first album and viewed them nostalgically on his second, on his third he seemed to despise their failure, perhaps because he was beginning to fear he was trapped himself. Nevertheless, he now felt removed, composing an updated West Side Story with spectacular music that owed more to [Leonard] Bernstein than to [Chuck] Berry.” WR “No one before or since has tried to pack as much of the American experience into 39 minutes, and no one has come as close to succeeding.” TL

Thunder Road


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