Today is Bruce Springsteen’s birthday.
He was born on September 23, 1949 in Freehold, NJ, the first child and only son of Douglas and Adele Springsteen. At the age of 13, he bought his first guitar at a pawnshop for $18.00. Years later he told author Dave Marsh: “The first day I can remember looking in a mirror and being able to stand what I was seeing was the day I had a guitar in my hand.”
When Bruce released his first album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. in 1973, he was hailed as the next “New Dylan.” So, I thought that I’d pattern this post a bit after my post from May 24, 2010, celebrating Bob Dylan’s birthday.
In the vast ocean of all that has been said and written about Bruce Springsteen, including all that he has said about himself, it seems to me that the most important thing is his music: his songs, his records and his performances. But where at this point in the Dylan post, I ask you, the reader, to name your favorite Dylan song, I am instead going to ask you: what is your favorite Bruce Springsteen record? (This can be a recording of a single song or an entire album.)
Why the difference?
To me, Bruce writes great songs, but what he does best is make timeless, amazing records and give incredible live performances of the songs from those records.
In the recording studio, Bruce is famous for laboring over instrumentation, arrangements and the sound of his records. He has spent countless hours over days and weeks and months, getting his recordings to sound the way he hears them in his head. Dylan is famous for going into the studio with a group of musicians, quickly showing them the chord changes and outline of a new song and then launching into it, leaving the session players to catch up, follow along and hopefully, in the immediacy and inspiration of the moment, create something magical. Maybe he’ll try a second or third take, but if nothing seems to be working, he’ll often just move on to another song. So it seems that for Bruce, it’s the records (as well as his live performances) that matter the most.
Now, my answer to my question is: the album The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle. To narrow it down even further: on side 2, “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight).”
I love this record. Every time, every single time in all the hundreds of times I’ve put the vinyl on the turntable or the cassette tape in the car tape deck or the CD in the CD player, this record makes me sing along at the top of my lungs, dance around the room (or in that car seat) and smile my biggest smiles. It never fails, never lets me down. It always rock and rolls me right down to the core.
“Spread out now, Rosie, doctor come cut loose her Mama’s reins…”
And off it goes. Whew! What a ride it is.
So now it’s your turn: what is your favorite Bruce Springsteen record?
Click on “leave a comment” below and share you answer
P.S.: In my post of May 18, 2010, I ask the question: “How do you calculate the influence of a song in your life?” In it, I write about the influence Bruce Springsteen and his music have had on my life.
Check it out.
Happy 61st Birthday, Bruce Springsteen. Thank you for everything.