Thursday, August 25, 2011

Born Today: Born To Run

Happy Birthday to arguably one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time! On this day in 1975, Bruce Springsteen released a collection of triumphant songs and social commentary which would forever change music and everything it meant. The album stood for youthful ambivalence, blue collar USA, big loss, little gain, passion, heartbreak, the open road and mostly - a concept that encompassed every bit of Springsteen's determined and exhilirating first albums - getting out. 36 years ago, with songs like "Backstreets", "Thunder Road", "Jungleland" and of course, the glorious title track - everything changed, even if just a little.

Greil Marcus, in his October 9, 1975 Rolling Stone album review of Born To Run entitled "Springsteen’s Thousand and One American Nights", said:

"Springsteen’s answer is Born to Run. It is a magnificent album that pays off on every bet ever placed on him - a ’57 Chevy running on melted down Crystals records that shuts down every claim that has been made. And it should crack his future wide open...

What is new is the majesty Springsteen and his band have brought to this story. Springsteen’s singing, his words and the band’s music have turned the dreams and failures two generations have dropped along the road into an epic - an epic that began when that car went over the cliff in Rebel Without a Cause. One feels that all it ever meant, all it ever had to say, is on this album, brought forth with a determination one would have thought was burnt out years ago. One feels that the music Springsteen has made from this long story has outstripped the story; that it is, in all its fire, a demand for something new.

Oh-o, come on, take my hand,” Springsteen sings, “Riding out to case the promised land.” And there, in a line, is Born to Run. You take what you find, but you never give up your demand for something better because you know, in your heart, you deserve it. That contradiction is what keeps Springsteen’s story, and the promised land’s, alive. Springsteen took what he found and made something better himself. This album is it."

No one could say it better, other than the boss himself in his breathtaking songs. Happy Birthday and congratulations, Bruce. For whatever it's worth, you certainly changed my life.

Rest in Peace Clarence "The Big Man" Clemons, January 11, 1942 – June 18, 2011

1 comment:

  1. Love Bruce!! Thunder Road is one of my all time favorite songs!