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Two albums in one year for Bruce Springsteen! After a first salvo of nine titles on Greetings From Asbury park, NJ, the Boss got back to work and released a new effort ten months after his very first record. Released on November 5, 1973, it contains songs that would become show classics for decades.

If Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, Bruce Springsteen’s first album presented as a sort of allegory what one of the greatest rock stars would become, his second effort channels the singer’s energy and begins to establish his reputation as an independent songwriter. paired with, in particular, a B side composed of what would become his trademark, his trademark: his pieces of bravery. Blocks of more than seven minutes, including one reaching ten minutes. For a rock album, this is quite unusual: this kind of timing is rather reserved for prog-rock records, specializing in extremely elaborate mini-symphonies. Bruce Springsteen here brings a new dimension to rock itself: long songs like certain Bob Dylan titles, sharp guitars and leaden rhythm. Certainly, on his first effort, some tracks didn’t make much sense, a collection of words worked for their assonance and rhythms, which clashed with each other. Springsteen played rhyme like a virtuoso, his words responding to the devastating riffs of his Fender Esquire, and more than anything, he played with exuberance because, already, behind the young Bruce, he was pointing out the one who would establish himself as an ultimate stage beast , despite then, a rather limited personal repertoire. The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle is him, a lot… Seriously! The songs are even more ambitious and sometimes even more romantic. The writing strengthens, the energy is channeled into more controlled songwriting and yet, remains in the vein of Greetings… His album released less than a year before this new LP. Springsteen clearly asserts himself here as one of the new talents to be reckoned with. WECB moreover, he would qualify him as the new Dylan, alongside the man who would become one of his traveling companions and with whom he would form a solid friendship, Elliott Murphy.

Like Greetings, this new album evokes with powerful metaphors the streets of New York and the Jersey Shore where it comes from. And above all, his texts abandon expressions that are at best crazy, at worst, incomprehensible. From now on, he plays a new card, one ranging from ultra-realism to romance. Springsteen is developing as a writer of music and words. His new songs, including the most poignant title of the album, “Incident on 57th Street”, a sort of mini-opera sung in a melodramatic voice, to the jubilant “Rosalita” are, strangely of the same vein: he recounts his youth with powerful images, but systematically tempered by the sadness that this innocence will inevitably remain fleeting. Bruce plays on this tension, this confrontation which generates an urgent and desperate need to seek salvation in flight. It is this type of story that he will develop further in Born to Run And Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

At the same time, Bruce Springsteen is rethinking his music: if the substance may seem common, the form takes on a new dimension: his E-Street Band, a rock group made up of high-level musicians, is transformed in turn into a prog group, RnB, rock, early punk, but also American pop: they can play everything, without asking any more questions: jazz, funk, text-mex, folk, country. Everything goes there and better, everything can go there and always with desire and energy. Springsteen himself is the guitarist and leader of an extraordinary orchestra, a group that is beginning to take its definitive form as a rock’n’roll machine. The photo which illustrates the back of the cover is eloquent on this point: a bunch of scruffy guys who will knock your socks off. A whole program: two skinny white guys, two strong black guys, a skinny Latino, and a scrawny singer-songwriter who we still have trouble calling a Boss.

Track listing:

  1. The E Street Shuffle – 4:31
  2. 4th of July Sandy Asbury Park – 5:36
  3. Kitty’s Back – 7:09
  4. Wild Billy’s Circus Story – 4:47
  5. Incident on 57th Street – 7:45  (Oats FAVORITE Song)
  6. Come Out Tonight Rosalita – 7:04
  7. New York City Serenade – 9:55

Staff :

  • Bruce Springsteen: Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica and Mandolin
  • Garry Tallent: Bass, Tuba
  • Danny Federici: Accordion, Piano, Keyboards
  • David Sancious: Piano, Keyboards, Saxophone
  • Clarence Clemons: Saxophone
  • Vini Lopez: Drums
  • Richard Blackwell: congas, percussion
  • Albany “Al” Tellone: baritone saxophone on “The E Street Shuffle”
  • Uncredited: Suki Lahav: backing vocals on “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” and “Incident on 57th Street”


The SPL Rocks!

Pulled up to my house today
Came and took my little girl away!
Giants Stadium 8/28/03


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@ralfsturm posted:

How can a human being write such a song at 23/24?!

Ask a 22 year old Bob Dylan.

Chimes Of Freedom

Far between sundown’s finish an’ midnight’s broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
An’ for each an’ ev’ry underdog soldier in the night
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

In the city’s melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden while the walls were tightening
As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin’ rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an’ forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burnin’ constantly at stake
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
An’ the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Through the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken-for-granted situations
Tolling for the deaf an’ blind, tolling for the mute
Tolling for the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased an’ cheated by pursuit
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Even though a cloud’s white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
An’ the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
An’ for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing

Starry-eyed an’ laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an’ we watched with one last look
Spellbound an’ swallowed ’til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an’ worse
An’ for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing


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