2020 Album Draft- Round 2 Pick 4- Cincinnati Babyhead Selects- Bruce Springsteen- The Wild, The Innocent & The E-Street Shuffle.

Cincinnati Babyhead’s blog can be found at- https://cincinnatibabyhead.wordpress.com/

I was going to bend the rules and take everybody’s picks. That way I could take Mike’s ‘Born To Run’ choice and that would take care of Bruce. But if I did only get 10 I would have to take some Springsteen with me.

 I’m going to plagiarize the take I did on this record when I first started the CB thing. “Sparks fly on E Street”. When I hear that I’m gonesville. I heard a cut from this record on a late night FM radio station when I was a kid. I couldn’t remember the name of the cut but I did remember the guys name. Off to the record store. ” The guys name is ah .. Bruce Springsteen? He sounds a little like Van Morrison”. Luckily CB ran into a hip record store guy because this record wasn’t real popular. Got the record home. From the first cut to the last, this music did it for me. It moved me in all sorts of ways.

The singer was painting a world that was seductive, forbidden for a young kid. Pool halls, arcades, greasers, girls, fights, hustlers. Things I knew like beaches, circuses, midways. railroad tracks, nicknames. This Bruce guy knew this world and he filtered it through his talent and made this music. Magic! 

The music. Horns , organ, drums, guitars, congas, accordion, tuba, backing vocals and Bruce Springsteen’s great vocals. ‘Kitty’s Back’ What a song. (CB knew a couple kittens). The organ rips it up. The boys on the chorus “Here she comes, here she comes,” Then a sax solo at the end. Yup! This one still gives me goosebumps. I love a good story song. Especially with a happy ending. Kitty came back. The boys are celebrating. I could write up every song but just take my word for it. They’re all good.

This album did it for me. I became a life long fan. This is the Bruce album I have listened to the most. It really did shake things up for me. It brought a lot of different styles together. Springsteen was letting his influences out. His lyrics conjure up so many images for me. I’ve been singing them for a long time. The band was was a perfect accompaniment for his songs. This band is good. Plus they all looked like guys from my neighborhood. This record just made me want more of this Bruce guy’s music. I got it in droves. An absolute CB favorite. One of those special records we all have.

“God save the Human Cannonball” and CB.


  1. It’s so strange to think that this album and “Greetings…” weren’t considered good enough, and that “Born to Run” was his last chance, with Columbia, anyway. This album is so far and away better than most anything out there today. Yeah, yeah, get off my lawn and all that, but it’s true. His lyrics have been incomperable since the first needle dropped on “Blinded by the Light.” I love this selection.

    • Hammond never liked the band . He wanted Bruce to do the singer songwriter thing.This album has so many styles. I still love it today. I guess it has to do a lot with when we first get exposed. This was it for me. Oh yeah, he lets the band shine on this one. Outstanding work by all, Federici, Clemmons, Sanscious down the line.Now you’re going to send me of to ‘Greetings’ with the’Blinded’ reminder.

  2. Great pick CB. I adore this record, and it’s hard sometimes to choose between this and Born to Run. Every song is a work of art. I think “New York City Serenade” is Bruce’s most underrated song. Here’s a video I made about Springsteen’s records in which I confess my love for this LP.

    PS – On my way to the desert island, I’d probably sneak this LP inside the BTR gatefold.

    • I had this picked out before you did the BTR take. Yeah I’m sneaking your pick along also. From watching your clip we have a lot of common ground with Bruce.’Greetings’ also holds a special spot with me. So many great tunes on that one. It was like he was jamming as much as he could into those first 3 records.
      Not a bad cut on this record for me Mike. Look forward to your next pick.

  3. Some great tracks on it…I wonder if he or anyone else though realized back then how famous and iconic he’d go on to be. Like you suggest, Bruce’s appeal is he’s an “every man”…just a bit better with words and composing than most other every men!

    • I like your last quote. I’m sure Bruce had visions on making it big Well he did but I wondering if it matched his original dream.
      He just paints so many scenes and emotions with this record. It’s about as romantic as CB gets.

    • I like the tracks I know off it but haven’t heard the entire record. Going to have to win a lottery to add all these good picks to the record/CD collection!

  4. Great choice, CB – not that you needed to hear that from me, but I said it anyway! πŸ™‚

    I’m also glad you highlighted an album that wouldn’t have been my first choice when it comes to Bruce. While perhaps predictable and as such somewhat lame, my Bruce pick to take on a desert island would be “Born to Run.”

    It’s also important to note I’m much more familiar with “Born to Run,” so my decision to some degree is clearly biased by “ignoance”. From “The Wild, The Innocent…”, essentially, I only knew “Sandy”, “Rosalita” and “Incident on 57th Street” – all great tunes; but I prefer songs like “Thunder Road”, “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”, “Backstreets”, “Born to Run” and “Jungleland” – I realize that’s pretty much the entire friggin’ “Born to Run” album! πŸ™‚

    Now that I’m listening to your pick, I’m gaining new appreciation of this album, which is great!

    • I think it’s all about where we come in. I can definitely see ‘USA’ I like that album. Great mix of where he was at. With this album it has so many tunes I have had with me for a long time. It’s like a film in ways. So many stories. I still get charged when the the band does their singing on ‘Kitty’s back’. If you havent seen the Live at ‘Hammersmith’ it’s a good time capsule of this era just a few years later. Bands a little different with Mad Dog and David being replaced but same vibe. Always good to get your input.

  5. I haven’t heard this album yet but now will. I love how he sounds in this part of his career. I like the images of him out and about in NJ with his homies, living a carefree life as young people. How he was able to bottle those experiences into his music is pure magic. Wonderful choice of musician, Dean.

  6. Needless to say Great Pick CB…”Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” is like a mini opera all by itself… a lot of twist and turns. People discount those first two albums…I think Born To Run crystallized everything he was going for up until that point but the other two have their own identities and somethings that Born to Run doesn’t have.

    Springsteen and Dylan are the kings of imagery I believe.

    That is two 10000 Maniacs, Bruce Springsteen, and two Who…

  7. Of the eight Bruce albums from Greetings to Tunnel of Love [after that I find his work spotty} this one has always been my least favorite. I know I am in a minority when it comes to Bruce fans in not loving this album- not saying its not a good album it is a good album but I have never thought of it as great. My friend Erwin is the only person I have come across who feels as I do about this album- everyone else loves it- and I am aware of that. Maybe its just because I don’t identify at all with the life Bruce sings about here. I have another friend- who saw Bruce on this tour- and loves this album- but pretty much dismisses the rest of Springsteen’s career as a pose- that the real Bruce is on this album.

    • Funny to hear the two differing opinions. Just listening to Sandy as I respond. The lyrics work for me but it’s also the music. Federic’s accordion does a number on me. When I heard touches like that it, it was all new to me since I was listening to mostly hard rock, blues rock. I get how things hit people differently. I chose this one because I had to take some Bruce music. I could have easily picked a number of his albums. I love all those records up to ‘Tunnel’. And a few after also. I would think the “real Bruce” is on all his work.
      Two Bruces, can we make it three Bruces?

    • He did once sing “two faces have I” Again that that I give the album a thumbs up- I am just not as enthusiastic as 95% or more of listeners to it are. A 3 1/2 stars out of 5 or maybe even 4 stars.

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