Happy 50th anniversary, Bruce Springsteen! Thanks for sticking with NJ
ASBURY PARK — He could be “blinded by the light” or blinded by the light from all the trophies he’s won over the years.
Bruce Springsteen has been an icon in the music business for decades and being a Jersey boy himself, born and raised, only sweetens the pot.
Thursday is the golden anniversary of Springsteen’s debut album, “Greetings from Asbury Park.” The Boss, from Freehold, was living in Asbury Park when the album was released on Jan. 5, 1973.
“Greetings” was such an important album because it was considered a bright spot for the struggling Jersey shore resort town that was in the midst of an economic downturn that lasted for decades, according to city leaders.
Record label tried to get him to turn his back on New Jersey
Performing on the album, besides Springsteen and his distinctive, gravelly voice include future E Street band members Garry Tallent on bass, Vini Lopez on drums, David Sancious on keyboards, and the “Big Man” Clarence Clemons on saxophone.
One of the most memorable things about “Greetings” besides the songs of course, is the album cover with the postcard that reads “Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ” with Springsteen’s autograph.
During “A Conversation with Bruce Springsteen,” in 2017, hosted by Bob Santelli at Monmouth University in Long Branch, Springsteen talked about this album cover.
He said in the early 1970s when Columbia Records signed him, you were either a New York artist or a California artist. So, it was only fitting that record executives wanted audiences to associate Springsteen with the Big Apple.
But Springsteen wanted to stay loyal to his Jersey roots.
He saw a postcard on the Asbury Park boardwalk which gave him the idea for the album cover and the title.
“I pulled it out and said, ‘Yeah, Greetings from Asbury Park.’ That’s New Jersey. Who’s from New Jersey? Nobody. It’s all mine!” he said.
Songs on “Greetings from Asbury Park” include:
“Blinded by the Light”
“Mary Queen of Arkansas”
“Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?”
“Lost in the Flood”
“Spirit in the Night”
“It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City”
The British rock band Manfred Mann’s Earth Band did a cover of Springsteen’s “Blinded by the Light,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. in February 1977.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of “Greetings,” local musicians will perform the entire album at The Langosta Lounge in Asbury Park tonight at 8 p.m.
Will Springsteen show up? It's anyone's guess.
Since “Greetings from Asbury Park,” Springsteen has released 21 studio albums and 23 live albums.
The Boss, at age 73 shows no signs of slowing down. On November 11, 2022, he released the album, “Only the Strong Survive,” a compilation of 15 soul and R&B cover songs.
Springsteen and the legendary E Street Band are also set to go on tour this year starting Feb. 1 in Tampa, Florida.
They wrap up on April 14 at the Prudential Center in Newark before embarking on the European leg of the tour, which starts in Barcelona, Spain on April 28.
Word is they'll return to the U.S. for stadium shows this summer
Off season at the Jersey Shore is a treat