Born To Run was released on August 25, 1975. It was Bruce Springsteen‘s third album. The first two records, while critically acclaimed, did not sell very well. I think most industry experts would agree that in today’s market, Springsteen would have been dropped by Columbia probably after the first album and definitely after the second record. “He’s a live act that can’t make a hit record.” I can imagine them saying.
In today’s market Bruce Springsteen and The E Street band would be popular on the festival circuit but would probably have a hard time selling records. They would most likely be on an independent label or slugging it out on their own. Let’s just say, I’m happy that Born To Run came out in 1975 instead of 2015.
It’s still one of my favorite albums to this day. I can still feel the restlessness Springsteen must have been feeling in the deliver of the music and lyrics. He had to prove himself worthy.
This was probably his last shot and he knew it. “The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive!” Hearing “Born To Run” now, it sounds like a love letter and a promise to his fans. “We’re going to get to that place that we really want to go”. I think this is why sometimes his more popular songs are not played at shows but “Born To Run is practically guaranteed to be played. He got to that place and has been taking us on that “walk in the sun” ever since.
On a lighter note, I also think the cover is the most famous elbow photo ever, imho (Thanks Clarence!)
Even Sesame Street had the good sense to include Cookie Monster on the front cover. Although Bert as Bruce? I think Bruce’s amazing ability to count should have landed The Count as Bruce or Grover’s frenetic energy might have been a good Springsteen.
Because Bruce is still a vital live act. Let’s post eight live versions of each song. Only eight songs and less than 40 minutes in length! Can you imagine someone doing that today? I wish they still would. Born to Run remains one of the few albums in which I could probably quote all the lyrics. So show a little faith! Are you ready? Ah One! Two! Three! Four!
1) Thunder Road: If you watch only one of these videos. Watch this one. It’s probably one of my favorite live clips of Springsteen. This is from The Capital Centre in Largo, Maryland on August 15, 1978
2) 10th Avenue Freeze-Out: Bad Scooter Bruce Springsteen. Same initials. Same guy? Hammersmith Odeon 1975
3) Night: Show 10 of 10 at Giants Stadium, Aug 31st 2003
4) Backstreets: Solo piano. Still powerful without the band
November 22, 2005 – Sovereign Bank Arena, Trenton, NJ
5) Born To Run: Video I believe from 1985
6) “She’s The One” Datch Forum in Milan, Italy on November 28, 2007.
7) “Meeting Across The River A song for Eddie and the guys in the Bronx
8) Jungleland: First performance without Clarence “Big Man” Clemons Gothenborg July 28, 2012. I get emotional every time I watch Clarence’s nephew Jake Clemons bust into the sax solo.