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I am a huge Springsteen fan and was therefore bound to love this album - and I did! However, I do believe that it is his second best album, after Darkness On The Edge Of Town.
This is arguably Bruce's most well-know album and most popular album, and for good reason. The album cover is iconic with Bruce Springsteen resting on Clarence Clemmons and the songs are well put together and in a good order.
Born to run features eight songs and lasts less than 40 minutes. But the quality of the songs more than makes up for the length of the album. The album tells a story throughout the album, starting from "Thunder Road" and finishing on the 9 minute epic "Junglelnad" (my favourite song of all time). The album also features Bruce Springsteen's most well-known song, Born To Run.
Lyrically, the album is superb, especially in Jungleland.
This album is amazing start to finish.
Born to Run is the album that made Springsteen a star, and rightly so - it's one of the best rock and roll records ever made. From the very first notes of "Thunder Road," it's clear you are in the presence of a very special writer and performer. There are only eight songs on the album, but every one is a mini epic all of its own, creating an album of modern American yearning that hits home whether you're American or not.
Thunder Road is an absolute classic, the quintessential Springsteen song, which starts out as tender and ends up rocking. It also contains the immortal line "You ain't a looker, but hey, you're all right," which Springsteen makes sound highly romantic but which, believe me, if you repeat this to your girlfriend it won't go down quite as well. "Backstreets" contains some of the best singing Springsteen ever did, and "Born To Run" is quite simply one of the best and most iconic rock n roll songs ever, up there with "Satisfaction" and "Like A Rolling Stone."
One of the definining moments of Springsteen's career and modern rock music in general, Born To Run is an album that makes you feel young - with all the contrasting emotions that that entails. It's bombastic, and epic, and a tad over the top. But it's absolutely brilliant.
So, after 30 odd years, how does the Boss' rock and roll defining album stand up?
Fantastically well, if the truth be told. Springsteen transformed himself from a Boho Dylan-esque songwriter into a full on rock god with the minimum of fuss. Album opener 'Thunder Road' is still the best thing he ever penned, a anthem for every dreamer that still dreams of just getting away from everything that holds them down, "It's a town full of losers, we're pulling out of here to win". The surprisingly funky 'Tenth Avenue Freeze Out' follows, before launching into the manic 'Night'. The title track still bears a passable and somewhat unfortunate resemblance to Meatloaf, but still has a great power and message - And acts as a accompaniment to Thunder Road. This was the high point of Springsteen's early career, until The River came along and blew it away - But it still holds sway as the Boss' most important collection of songs to masses of his fans
Born to run first released in 1975 took a year to write and record.
springsteen was making a name for himself as a live act and the kids were dancing on the seats but the first two albums were'nt selling
what was needed was a rock album!
So with that in mind and rumours of the record company thinking of dropping him springsteen returned to the studio with one mission, to write the best rock album ever made.
The stories that surround this album are legendary with what springsteen would recall as the hardest time of he's life at that point.
He and the e street band spent over a year recording this album with recording sessions lasting days on end with no sleep recorded mainly at night he and the band would spend hours and hours just trying to record one part of a song.
Bruce had a clear vision of how he wanted this album to sound but he had no idear how to do it, hence endless takes after takes for perfection where they would record a track and nail it, but then bruce would say no lets try one more time again and again.
This commitment and quality led to what many describe as one of the best albums ever made. with its phil spector style wall of sound and a class of fantastic lyrics and epic anthems this defined bruce as the famous quote said " THE future of rock & roll !
This album starts with the classic thunder road with its almost poetry lyrics that on paper read like a perfect love song.
and ends with the epic jungland with what id class as the best saxophone solo ever put to popular music.
in between there is one of the ebst rock songs ever born to run. the fun tenth avenue and the classic backstreets.
At the time of release this album certainly must of lived up to its hype. now in 2008 it still sounds very real and suitable for today.
Springsteen also released this album in a 30th edition box set which id highly recomend in that box set you get a live show from 75 london which is of amazing quality and performance plus a remasted version of this album 9 the only album he has remastered so far ) also you get a making of born to run dvd.
Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen ... Tracklisting
1 Thunder Road
2 Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
4 Back Streets
5 Born To Run
6 She's The One
7 Meeting Across The River
In 1975, Bruce Springsteen was on the verge of being dropped by his record company. His first two albums, "Greetings from Asbury Park NJ" and "The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle", has met with critical acclaim but hadn't been huge commercial success stories. It was make-or-break time. He went into the studio with the E Street Band for a few months - a tense, tiring time by all accounts - and came out with this, possibly the greatest rock album of all time.
At eight tracks and under forty minutes long, "Born to Run" is not exactly the longest album ever made. But it says more in those forty minutes than most albums could in twice that time. Each track covers the underlying, recurring theme of wanting to break free, to "get out while we're young", and Springsteen & E Street pull it off perfectly and with fervour and passion.
The first track, "Thunder Road", is one of the album's best-known tracks. The cinematic opening lines - "The screen door slams / Mary's dress waves" set us up for what is a cinematic album if ever there was one. Like much of the album, "Thunder Road" is an ode to freedom; every last second resonates powerfully, from the fabled, subdued harmonica to minute-long jazzy outro. It's one of the album's slower tracks, not quite as passionate as "Backstreets" and "Born to Run" but every bit as beautiful.
"Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" follows. A raucous, jazzy, triumphant good-time song, it is the track that strays the most from the album's core "Born to Run" theme, but that is by no means a criticism. A nice slice of rock and roll tinged with jazz and R'n'B.
"Night", the album's shortest track (at 3:01) is next. An oft-overlooked gem, it is concise and intense, representing everything Springsteen stands for: "you work hard all day to blow 'em away in the night". Out-and-out rock and roll, with superb production, it's one of those songs everyone should hear but few have.
Up next is "Backstreets". Home to one of Bruce's most powerful vocal performances of all-time - he really gives it all he's got here - it's 6 and a half minutes of unbridled passion. Urgent, intense, dramatic and yet possible to sing-along with, it covers quintessential Springsteen themes with a superb song that, despite the meticulous production, sounds raw, fiery and energetic.
Title track "Born to Run" follows - my favourite rock song of all-time. Immensely powerful and impeccably pulled-off, it's exhilarating rock and roll with a superb "Wall of Sound" style production that gives the song an extra dimension - at times urgent, at times melancholy. It's home to Springsteen's finest lyrics - "In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream / At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines" - Clarence Clemons' finest jazz solo, Phil Spector's finest production work and one of the finest outros in music. It's rock perfection.
Next is "She's the One". Any song placed after "Born to Run" has a lot to live up to, but "She's the One" puts up a good fight. Towards the end the most archetypal "rock and roll" song on "Born to Run", it's infectious and powerful.
"Born to Run"'s only true ballad, "Meeting Across the River", follows. Moody, jazzy and melancholy, the dark lyrics are complemented by a beautiful, poignant melody.
The epic "Jungleland" ends proceedings. At nearly ten minutes long, it's the longest cut on the album, but not one second is wasted. We run the gamut from quiet, calm piano-driven verses to sax solos and intense, "Wall of Sound" angsty shouts. At times intense, at times more subdued, it's an undeniably powerful song that winds the album's theme of wanting to get out, run away on a subdued "maybe some day.."-type note.
The original CD was released in a jewel case. The 30th Anniversary Edition packages the album with a DVD of a performance by Springsteen & the E Street Band at London's Hammersmith Odeon in 1975 and a documentary DVD entitled "Wings for Wheels" in a shiny 12"x6"x1" box which opens out to display one holder containing the three discs in cardboard cases and another holder containing a book of photos.
The Hammersmith Odeon concert is over two hours long and features 16 songs: some from "Born to Run", some from earlier albums, some rarities. Video is average but the 5.1 Surround sound mix is superb. The "Wings for Wheels" documentary is 90 minutes long and offers some very interesting insight from Springsteen and many people who worked on the album. It features a lot of archive footage interspersed with the new footage; it also gives you a chance to hear some of the early mixes of the "Born to Run" track - one of which includes a choir, of all things! The photo booklet is 48 pages long and is roughly half colour, half black-and-white.
The album itself remains absolutely essential for any Springsteen fan; and is highly recommended for any fan of rock music in general.
"Born to Run" is the rare record that actually lived up to the rampant hype surrounding its release. So bloated was the media campaign in September 1975 that Bruce, then relatively unknown, simutaneously landed on the covers of Time and Newsweek. If that wasn't enough, Bruce's future manager Jon Landau, then a heavyweight rock scribe, proclaimed to the world "I've seen the future of rock-n-roll and its name is Bruce Springsteen." Lofty expectations indeed; expectations that would've destroyed a lesser artist. Seemingly oblivious to all, the 26 year-old boy wonder blasted all barriers with this 8 song extravagaza which celebrated the romance and freedom that rock music offered. "Thunder Road", "Backstreets" and "Jungleland" are poetic paeans to suburban boredom. Never forelorn or morbid, Springsteen's mini-dramas offer not only escapist possiblities but, more importantly, they offer hope. If Bruce, the Magic Rat or Wendy (or perhaps you the listener) fail to reach the holy grail in the suffocating "swamps of Jersey" (or wherever you live), there's always a chance someplace down the road. That very slice of hope, and the exciting sense of danger it provides, is expressed so perfectly in the somber "Meeting Across the River" and in the underrated rocker "Night". Of course, the title song is one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, escape songs ever written. Any kid growing up in suburban America can relate to the lines "Baby this town rips the bones from your back/ it's a deathtrap/ a suicide rap/ we gotta out while we're young/'Cause tramps like us...Baby, we were Born to Run". Those anthemic lyrics landed Bruce in the public spotlight where he has remained for 2 1/2 decades. While I personally believe that 1973's "The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle" is Bruce's best album, "Born to Run" is undoubtedly h
is most enduring. Admittedly, I'm not a fan of Bruce's post "River" output and I'm truly disqusted with the current state of popular "music". However, when listening to "Born to Run", I suddenly remember what all the fuss was about. More importantly, through the sheer power of music, I feel as though I'm young again.
That's what this album is - an everlasting kiss with rock and roll. The lyric comes, of course, from the title track ("I wanna die with you Wendy on the street tonight, in an everlasting kiss"). "Born to run" is an album I've had since the late seventies, but have continued to play regularly ever since. More often than any other Springsteen album. It stays with you, this one. 1975 was Springsteen's year, no doubt about. Front cover of Time and Newsweek, and those "I have seen the future of rock and roll" quotes. And, when I heard the "Born to Run" album, I started to think that for once there was some substance to the hype. It starts unassumingly, with the harmonica of "Thunder Road" - a surefire way of getting yourself tagged the next Bob Dylan! Generally, there's a simplicity to the songs, yet many of them are also no-holds-barred rock operas. And there's most definitely an Phil Spector kind of sound, with a song like "The Night", for example, crashing in - BIG from the start, not just building up to being a big song. The songs can be over the top, but are not ashamed of it, if that makes any sense. Meatloaf must have taken a lot from it, as did Ellen Foley (big voices, big American sound) and Bob Seger and John Cougar were obviously influenced by Springsteen's sound. The songs were like Dylan's, and the piano (especially on "Jungleland", played by the excellent Roy Bittan) reminds me of Billy Joel, who was around slightly before Bruce became so famous. But there's also some real meaty saxophone, from Clarence Clemons (except on "Tenth avenue freeze out", where David Sandbourne does the honours). There are several themes that run through the album. On one level, the subject matter seems to be mainly Cars and Girls. There's also the theme of ESCAPE - whether it's physical
escape, travelling on the road, or escape to a better life through music. Cars ("roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair" - Thunder Road), and motorcycles ("strap your legs round my engines" - Born to run) offer means of escape, as does Bruce's guitar - he sings "I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk". As he sings at the end of "Thunder road": "it's a town full of losers, and I'm pulling out of here to win!" Another repeated phrase is the need to "make it real". "Meeting across a river" is the one song which I am not completely bowled over by, with its meandering trumpet in the background. It's a sordid tale about two buddies who are taking the illegal route to escape - a drug deal possibly. You just know that they're not going to make it, that way. It's hard to believe now, but the single "Born to run" wasn't a hit at the time, only reaching no. 23 in the USA charts. The album's lyrics have become more meaningful to me over the years. "We ain't that young any more" (Thunder Road) is going to ring a bell with many who, like me, have grown up with his songs, and it's also a theme that crops up a lot in some of Springsteen's later work. "Jungleland", the closing track, is another operatic, big stage musical type song. The lyrics even use metaphors of opera and ballet to describe what's going down on the street - even "a real death waltz", which adds to the very arty feel. Very cinematic feel, and the song includes many true-to-life characters. (I have read somewhere that much of the song is based upon some experiences of buddy Southside Johnny, whose band emerged as part of the Springsteen explosion) The saxophone adds something else to the track, giving it an immense power. This is an album that affects me so intens
ely, I really cannot listen to it at the same time as doing something else. Driving for instance - it's just not on. I have to give it my full attention, but also, it affects me emotionally that I have to be able to collapse in a heap at any point. Yes - an everlasting, OTT kiss - that sums it up pretty well.
A collection of glorious songs all about the simple wonders of cars and girls; of being young, vibrant and alive; a desperate yearning for true happiness and salvation from the spiritual and material poverty of the streets of New Jersey. This album is all classic material with no filler. It opens with the bittersweet "Thunder Road" which sets the theme for the rest of the album, of yearning to break out of the restrictive atmosphere of a small town of "losers". It begins with a slow, plaintiff harmonica wail, speeds to a feverish pitch along the way and ends with Bruce's defiant cry of "I'm bustin' out of here to win!". This and the triumphant title track "Born to Run" are the most outstanding tracks for me. The instrumental arrangements of all the songs herein are superb. The Boss aimed to emulate Phil Spector's "wall of sound" style and he succeeds admirably especially on the tracks just mentioned as well as "She's the One", a Bo Diddleyesque number with haunting glockenspiel chimes, funky, muscular guitar and Clarence Clemons' trademark talking sax. It's been ages since I put this one on the stereo, but I can still remember all the melodies of its songs and Bruce's honest phrasing so vividly in my mind, today. A true rock 'n' roll classic.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Thunder Road
2 Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
4 Back Streets
5 Born To Run
6 She's The One
7 Meeting Across The River