#999: 1975, Bruce Springsteen, Born To Run

by Charlie_East_West on March 16, 2015

We finally reach song 999. As a theme to mark our 1000th song, we will be posting the 10 greatest classic song omissions from our first 1000 songs and listed within #1000-#1009 song choices.

The committee has now voted for these top 10 songs, and regrettably, my own personal favourite just missed the top 10 by a whisker and finished 11th in the voting. So, I am hear to ensure that my all time favourite just squeezes into the 1000 first songs by a whisker.

The song in question is Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. This magnificent beast of a song has been my all time favourite song for 25 years. Even today, I still get stirred by the magnificent opening drum solo, the relentless wall of sound and one of the most gloriously overblown middle eight key changes in music history. This song has absolutely everything.

Born to Run as a song and also as the album is a hugely distinctive work of art. Springsteen created an evocative and vivid picture of life in New Jersey. In Born to Run, the mundane of New Jersey in the early 1970’s becomes a place that is romantic, heroic and fantastic:-

Beyond the Palace hemi-powered drones scream down the boulevard
Girls comb their hair in rearview mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I wanna die with you Wendy on the street tonight
In an everlasting kiss”

These lyrics could well have been bored shitless teenagers in a dreary Jersey-Shore backwater, but with Springsteen’s imagery, a glockenspiel, and a trademark Clarence Clemons saxophone, it is transformed into musical cinema and the individuals become the romantic leads.

The Springsteen genius of taking broken dream individuals living in Nowhereville towards hope and aspiration through widescreen rock music has become his trademark. Born to Run is still to this day, an incredible 40 years on – his masterpiece.

No one in music can make a bad situation sound so good. No one in music can make a record sound so good.

Take it away, Boss…

And so we await song 1000…Take it away, George East…

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike Killingworth March 17, 2015 at 6:06 pm

Agree with all of that.

And he went on to give us “Streets of Philadelphia” and “The Ballad of Tom Joad”.


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