Born to Run (Front Cover).jpg

2020 Album Draft- Round 1 Pick 6- Music City Mike Selects- Bruce Springsteen- Born To Run.

You can find Music City Mike’s blog- at https://musiccitymike.net/

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.


  1. Music City Mike comes up with a must. I feel the same way as you do on this one. I came to Bruce on the record before. I ate his first two up and couldnt wait until he released this one.Special record for me also. So much good stuff (I’m a sax nut so I got a good dose of that). Cinematic, explosive, romantic … Bruce filters all his influences and instincts through his creativeness on this. Good one Mike. I’m heading out the door for a walk and I think I’ll slap this one in the discman and get lost in the records world.
    (I’m waiting for a ruling from Hans on if I can take everyone else picks so I can take more than 10 to my island)

  2. Born To Run- is one of those albums sure to go in Round 1. I was ‘turned on” to Bruce with the next album- Darkness On The Edge Of Town- so it remains my favorite but Born To Run has to be the most important album of Bruce’s career. Great choice Mike.

  3. While my Springsteen journey in earnest began in 1984 with the “Born in the U.S.A.” album (I think “The River had been the only Springsteen tune I had known before then), if I had to choose one record by the Boss, it would be “Born to Run.”

    One of my all-time favorite Bruce tracks is on that album: “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” – I just love the Stax vibe of that tune! And, of course, there are other gems like the title track, “Thunder Road”, “Backstreets”, “Jungleland” – damn, the entire record is just great!

    So, good choice! 🙂

  4. Great choice and write up. Backstreets is the song I keep going back to on this great album. It’s one of the very few perfect albums out there.

  5. Good album for sure. Strangely, given all the publicity for him in the USA, in Canada he didn’t seem to be widely known until ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’. but fans caught up quickly.

  6. Thunder Road is one of my all time favorite songs. Oh the desperate yearning, begging to be accepted and acted upon. I always see them riding away together at the end in my mind. Great album choice. It was on my list.

    • I can’t think of an album that had a better side 1 and side 2 openers- Side 1 Thunder Road Side 2- Born To Run. When I saw Bruce in 1980 on The River Tour- he came out and played Born To Run first song- how many times do you see an artist throw out their most famous song at the get go?

  7. A great choice and a great write-up, Music City Mike. Your passion for Bruce and this album really shine through. It’s definitely one of the best albums of the 70s, a decade loaded with superb albums.

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