“The release date is just one day. The record is forever.” Bruce Springsteen, 1975
Forty years ago today, on August 25, 1975, Columbia Records released Born To Run, the third album by the New Jersey-born, songwriter/singer/guitarist Bruce Springsteen.
The song “Born To Run” started rather simply.
“One day I was playing my guitar on the edge of my bed, working on some song ideas, and the words ‘born to run’ came into my head. At first I thought it was the name of a movie or something I’d seen on a car spinning around the Circuit, but I couldn’t be certain. I liked the phrase because it suggested cinematic drama I thought would work with the music I was hearing in my head.”
[From: Songs (1998) by Bruce Springsteen and the 48 page booklet included in Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run – 30th Anniversary Edition.]
The album Born To Run was anything but simple.
Writing about Born To Run for the All Music Guide to Rock (2002), William Ruhlmann describes the album as being “an updated West Side Story with spectacular music that owed more to (Leonard) Bernstein than to (Chuck) Berry” and “an intentional masterpiece.”
For Bruce, “The primary questions I’d be writing about for the rest of my work life first took form in the songs on Born To Run (“I want to know if love is real”).”
[Also from: Songs (1998)…]
There are eight songs on Born To Run: “Thunder Road,” “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out,” “Night” and “Backstreets” on Side 1; “Born To Run,” “She’s The One,” “Meeting Across The River” and “Jungleland” on Side 2.
I love them all. But if I had to pick a favorite, the single song and performance that for me really stands out from all of the devastatingly great songs and performances on the album, I would have to say that “Meeting Across The River” is the one.
Stop and listen.
That recording features: Bruce Springsteen, vocals; Roy Bittan, piano; Richard Davis, bass; and Randy Becker, trumpet.
What’s your favorite song on Born To Run?
In 2009, Bloomsbury Press published the book Runaway Dream: Born To Run and Bruce Springsteen’s American Vision by Louis P. Masur.
In this wonderful book, Louis asks: “How do you calculate the influence of a song in your life? We have songs that carry enormous meaning for us, songs we want played at our weddings or at our funerals, songs that every time we hear them, every single time, we pause, we remember, we smile, we sing, we ignite. And maybe even more than that. Maybe we have music that has changed or saved our lives.”
The music of Bruce Springsteen has indeed influenced, ignited and changed my life. His music never fails to make me pause, remember, smile and sing. And as long as Bruce Springsteen continues writing and recording and performing, I will continue to have new music from him to look forward to.
How great is that?