45 years ago this album made music history
This month marks the 45th anniversary of the release of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run.
I’ll never forget the first day I heard the album and song. It was in August of 1975 and I was standing in front of my high school when my friend Joe Zizza pulled up in his ice blue '68 Chevrolet Chevelle SS with mirrored moon hubcaps. There was music blasting from his car.
He turned it all the way down, leaned over and said to me “Get in, you’ve got to hear this.”
I told him I was waiting for a ride and he said “I’m telling you, get in.” I did and he popped Born to Run back in the 8-track, he cranked up his custom stereo and something amazing came out of those speakers. Something I never heard before.
My ride showed up, I said that Joe was giving me a ride and we continued to sit in his car for three hours listening to the album over and over again. I had Bruce’s first two albums Greetings from Asbury Park and The Wild, the Innocent and the E-Street Shuffle and I liked them, but this, this was something different.
It was a rock anthem, it was a rock opera, and it was a story about getting out of the neighborhood streets and finding something special. Each song had a message, a story, some fantasy, some dreams but all of it was amazing.
It was on that hot day in August when that album changed my music DNA.
Rolling Stone magazine ranks the song Born to Run at number 21 of the all-time best Rock and Roll Songs of all time. The Album ranks in the top 50 of the best Rock and Roll albums of all time.
Bruce started to write Born to Run in May of 1974. He wrote it as I pointed out on another post, by sitting on the edge of the bed in a small cottage house on West End Court in Long Branch.
He had a spinet piano in the small house and would write late at night. He had a small 45 record player on a table and would fill his rest or down time with the great music from his high school years which had such a strong impact on him.
Bruce says that his influence for Born to Run weighed heavily on Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound,” with the vocal operatic passion of Roy Orbison, the guitar licks of Duane Eddy, the storytelling lyrics of Dylan and the physical passion and thrust from the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis!
Listen to Born to Run and it’s all there. Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound on Tenth Avenue Freeze Out, Roy Orbison’s passionate cry at the end of Jungleland, Duane Eddy’s guitar riff and Elvis’s physical thrust on She’s the One and Dylan’s lyrics on Meeting Across the River.
It’s no wonder that each of these songs took months to produce in the studio. They were truly well done and so well produced. It was the album that sold the world on Bruce Springsteen, it was the album that had the two largest news magazines, Time and Newsweek, simultaneously put Bruce Springsteen on the cover and proclaimed him the Future of Rock and Roll, and it was the album that took my love and passion for music and sent it into the stratosphere.
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