#842: 1998, Bruce Springsteen, Zero and Blind Terry

by Charlie_East_West on January 23, 2014

Earlier this week I posted my review of the new Bruce Springsteen album, High Hopes. The album is essentially reworked versions of outtakes and unreleased Springsteen songs plus a few well thought out cover versions.

What the album does do is highlight the gargantuan amount of wonderful songs that Springsteen has never released. This was clearly shown on his 1998 album Tracks – which features a massive collection of the ones that got away, ones that didn’t make it onto his albums or get released as singles, outtakes and B-sides which were not part of any previously released Springsteen back catalogue.

This album is stacked full of great music spread across 66 songs. In amongst this treasure trove of goodies lies the wonderful Zero and Blind Terry – an outtake from his second album, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. So while this song was initially developed in 1973, it finally made its release on the Tracks album in 1998.

This song is one of my all time favourite Springsteen songs. It is a typical Springsteen tale of kids on the street trying to get away from their troubles to desperately find their own escape route. Apparently the song is Part 1 of a story featuring a character called Terry, whose tale is later developed in Backstreets on Born to Run.

This is classic early Springsteen. Street storytelling. The E-Street Band. His ability to crowbar in 30 words within a single line in a verse and featuring the brilliant use of a calliope organ and the unmistakable sound of Clarence Clemons’ iconic saxophone.

Most people are completely unfamiliar with this song. So, have a listen and make it familiar. It is worth it.

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