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Released in 1973, 'The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle' was Springsteen's second album. With the help of the collaboration with the E Street Band, this album is proclaimed by some Springsteen fans as his best. I myself am one of them.
It is a sadly overlooked album, with his much more commercially successful latter day works such as 'Born in the USA' giving Springsteen his fame, despite the variety and raw nature of his earlier years providing a far greater showcase of his talents.
The first song on the album is 'The E Street Shuffle' (4:31). It sets the mood and tone for the rest of the album perfectly; a fast-paced song about the activities of a group of youths on E Street in New Jersey. However, many may become lost due to the constant references of New Jersey locations.
The second track is rather different to the first in terms of pace. '4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)' (5:36) shows Springsteen's full talents in the song writing department as he describes the relationship between himself and the Sandy of the title, aswell as crafting a lyrical relationship between himself and the boardwalks of the New Jersey shore. It it also notable for possibly introducing the character of Rosalita as the 'waitress.'
'Kitty's Back' (7:09) is a jazz song containing an organ solo by David Sancious with an excellent guitar riff by Steven Van Zandt at the beginning of the song. 'Kitty's Back' was often used by Springsteen in concerts during the 70s with an extended middle part where the organ solo is in order to incorporate solos from other E Street Band members such as the aforementioned Steven Van Zandt and saxophonist Clarence Clemons.
'Wild Billy's Circus Story' (4:47) is the fourth song on the album and is about a handful of circus workers, containing standout lyrics such as: "The man-beast lies in his cage, sniffing popcorn."
'Incident on 57th Street' (7:45) is another song which shows Springsteen's story telling abilities; citing acclaim such as being "the successor to Bob Dylan". This song is about 'Spanish Johnny,' who forms a relationship with 'Puerto Rican Jane' whilst succombing to the temptations presented to him.
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (7:04) is the most popular song on the album - Springsteen often closes shows with it. The song is about a love between Springsteen and Rosie, who struggle to stay together due to her parents forbidding it.
During live performances, Clarence Clemons truly shines - a consistent feature of Springsteen's early albums.
The final song is 'New York City Serenade' (9:55). With an introduction which would fit into the classical genre (which slowly descends into rock/jazz), this is a superb end to this masterful album. It features a few characters such as "Billy", "Fish lady" (a prostitute) and the "Jazz man."
Overall, this album not only solidifies Springsteen's position as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time, but also goes to show that he and his E Street Band are far more than what most folk think of them - commercial rockers. With this delve into blues, jazz and heartland rock (clearly influenced by Van Morrison's great album 'Astral Weeks'), he became not ony an icon for blue collar Americans, but one of the most talented musicians of the 20th century.
The wild & the innocent & the e street shuffle was the 2nd album from bruce springsteen released in the same year after his debut greetings from asbury park.
This is a very classic sounding album , like the first album it didn't sell as well but remains a favourite among many fans.
more uptempo and slightly better produced this is more of a epic than the first with long epic songs.
This gained a lot of attention for the now classic epic rock track rosalita and the ballad 4th july asbury park sandy.
Lyrically and song wise its hard to believe someone of his young age at the time could write songs like these.
The e street shuffle - is a funky catchy jive song that starts the album
4th of july asbury park sandy comes second with its tale of the waitress who he pleads to leave with him
Kittys back is a epic guitar funk track about a prostitute that musically is outstanding
Wild billy circus story, is a funky folky track about the circus
Incindent on 57th street starts the last 3 epic songs off with its gangland street punks and romance story
Rosalita comes blazing in after incident with the plea to rosie as described one of the finiest songs in rock( though better live )
The album ends on the classicical intro into the beautiful and soulful new york city serenade which is a mighty fine clasic track