— Smitty (@SmittyBarstool) August 25, 2015
If you don’t consider Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band’s 1975 album Born To Run a certified masterpiece of Rock ‘n Roll then you are either uneducated, ignorant, or an assclown. Probably a happy medium of all three. Stating Born To Run isn’t one of the greatest rock efforts of all-time would be like stating Catcher And The Rye is just meh or Citizen Kane is a shit flick. You’re just wrong. And why am I talking about an album that is 4 decades old? Because it still resonates more than ever. The reoccurring themes in the lyrics – escape, youth, rebellion, passion, love, heart – hold true not only in 1975 when these songs were released, but 40 years before and now 40 years after. Every generation in the modern age can relate to these songs. Not to mention most of these tunes are still fire jams. Thunder Road, BTR, Backstreets. All classics. She’s The One absolutely kicks. The intro Tenth Avenue Freeze Out and the sax solo in Jungleland drip pure sex. Everything about this album is borderline perfection.
And you’re damn right I’d defend The Boss to death over almost any subject. The man can do no wrong in the eyes of his followers. It could come out tomorrow that he headed a Subway Jared-like diddily organization that created a new Holocaust while eating live puppies daily and would still be elected Governor of NJ with 85% of the vote. You may not have to like him, but anybody who doesn’t at least give Springsteen respect as one of the all-time greats either a) doesn’t know music, b) only knows him from his new stuff (which I’ll admit with exception to The Rising is subpar compared to everything else) or his Born in the USA ‘pop’ days or c) is missing a chromosome.
Lyrically, he’s one be the best all-time. Yeah, I agree, he beat the ‘working man’ bit to hell, especially after now he’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars and sometimes gets way to political for his own good. But if you listen to his earlier, darker pre-Born in the USA stuff where he was struggling to make it – it’s beyond poetic Shakespeare shit. The songs he wrote about in the beginning has meaning to any man growing up trying to make something of themselves in this world. It’s about finding love and happiness and to basically survive day to day life without wanting to take the last gun in the bullet to the face. Like in Born To Run, these are themes that any person in any generation can relate too.
If you go to a Springsteen show, even if you don’t like him you gotta respect the nightly 4 hour performance he puts out. Live Springsteen shows are regarded as the greatest, most consistent performances in Rock and Roll history. That is if you can stand all of the middle-aged white people getting hammered like it’s 1980 again. Easily wayyyy more black people on that stage than the among the 20K+ rocking in the crowd.
Ranking The Characters In BTR:
7) Backstreets’ Terry – Laying here in the dark you’re like an angel on my chest, just another tramp of hearts crying tears of faithlessness.” That bitch blamed it all on Bruce then ditched. Fuck her. And yes, “her”. People have come out and said that Terry might be a guy but that’s a complete homoerotic fabrication. In the early versions of the song he clearly made her feminine as well as it’s well known Terry is based off a Boss flame in the early ’70’s. Myth: Busted.
6) She’s The One’s She - “But there’s this angel in her eyes, that tells such desperate lies, and all you want to do is believe her.” The lying, black soul of a broad that you just can’t let go of or won’t stop going after. Seems like there’s been way to many “She’s” for this lifetime.
5) Born To Run’s Wendy – “The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive, everybody’s out on the run tonight but there’s no place left to hide.” A bit of a biker hoochie, but that seems accepted. The dirty tramp isn’t able to get to where she needs to be yet, but she will soon.
4) Meeting Across The River’s Eddie – “We gotta stay cool tonight, Eddie, ‘Cause man, we got ourselves out on that line, and if we blow this one, they ain’t gonna be looking for just me this time.” See, now here’s a wingman ready to go to battle with his boys. Eddie seems like a good bro helping his buddy out, assuming he actually did. How many times you gonna let Bruce ask for favors, man? Don’t be that guy, Eddie. Help a brotha out.
3) Thunder Road’s Mary - “You ain’t a beauty, but hey, you’re alright.” At this point I’d take an “alright”. Oh, and Mary’s pulling out of here to win, too. So she’s got that going for her, which is nice.
2) Tenth Avenue’s Bad Scooter/The Big Man – “I’m gonna sit back right easy and laugh, when Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half.” A pseudonym for the Boss himself (BS, so clever Bruce) and Clearance, who’s actual nicknamed is used. Also can’t hate the fact they’re literally talking about themselves and when the E Street Band got kicking.
1) Jungleland’s The Magic Rat/Barefoot Girl – “Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge, drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain. The Rat pulls into town rolls up his pants, together they take a stab at romance and disappear down Flamingo Lane.” A fallen hero gunned down by his own dreams in the tunnels uptown. Barefoot Girl didn’t know what she had but if it’s anything like the sax solo, it would’ve been orgasmic. Thanks, Maximum Lawman. Now hit it C!