2020 Album Draft- Round 1 Pick 6- Music City Mike Selects- Bruce Springsteen- Born To Run.
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Born to Run” – Bruce Springsteen This record’s release in the late summer of 1975 changed my life as much as it did Springsteen’s. While he started his ascent toward superstardom, I obsessively began to follow his every move. My BTR love affair started with the tease of hearing the title track on New York City’s WNEW-FM whose radio waves crossed the Hudson into my New Jersey bedroom. The song’s message of faith and hope and the musical bombast of its wall of sound made me want to get into my car and drive to the Jersey Shore with my mystery girl to find life’s promise and leave all the worries of my world behind. I was a hopeful optimist like the Boss. These lines from that song just clobbered my emotions back then and for the next 40 years made me cry every time I heard Bruce sing them live. Oh, someday girl, I don’t know when We’re gonna get to that place Where we really want to go, and we’ll walk in the sun But ‘til then, tramps like us Baby we were born to run Those tears reflected the joy of seeing my lifelong dreams fulfilled. I found the girl I loved and together we took that walk and somehow got there. But there was so much more to the record album that changed my life. A few weeks before I could buy BTR, I saw Bruce and his E Street Band live for the first time at the Bottom Line in New York City. From the moment I first set my eyes on that bearded kid in a leather jacket, I felt a kinship. Although he was older than me, it felt like we were both from the same place. And while Springsteen changed over the years, it will always be that kid from the streets that I chose to identify with. He reached me through passionate thoughtful lyrics and magnificent music played by the best band I would ever hear in my life. Has there ever been a record more beautifully cinematic than BTR? “Thunder Road,” “Meeting Across the River,” and “Jungleland” all could have easily been embellished into screenplays. The music was also magical. From the simple Bo Diddley beat of “She’s the One” to complex arrangements such as the mind- blowing sax solo by Clarence Clemons on “Jungleland.” If there’s a weak track on the record I haven’t found one. It even sports one of the greatest and most recognizable album covers of all time. It’s also one of the best records of all time to listen to into the car. In my closet somewhere is the worn-out 8-track tape that I used to play back then. Despite its eventual success, the frustration of the record almost led to the end of Springsteen’s career. He tried so hard to make the perfect song and record that achieving that goal became next to impossible. Ready to give up, he even went so far as to throw an early acetate pf BTR into a hotel swimming pool. But while making this record, Bruce began his relationship with Jon Landau, who not only helped produce the record, but became friend and manager, as well as the beacon to help guide him through all the madness that fame was about to bring. One day you are sleeping in a surfboard shop and the next you are on the cover of Time and Newsweek . For me, once I heard BTR, I knew that I would never love a record more than this, and to this day, I haven’t. I think Bruce Springsteen himself ultimately realized its greatness and just how much it meant to tramps like me.