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Q.� What makes it so different
A.� The album is different from Springsteen's first two albums, Greetings From Asbury Park and The Wild The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle for two specific reasons, the maturity of the writing, and the change in production sound.
Springsteen had carved out a reputation as a composer of vivid lyrical skill and intensity, but his occasionally over-wordy material sometimes strayed too far away from the urgency and excitement that his professed aim as a rock and roller required. The production tended to err on the side of the lightweight, and it was a change for the better all round when the production trio of Mike Appel, Springsteen,�and his manager Jon Landau came together with the epic tales of romance and youth that make up the Born To Run album.
Q.� It sounds like Springsteen took the first two albums to really hit his stride.
A.� Hindsight would indicate that there is a large element of truth in that assessment. The intensity of the visions that Springsteen conjured with his lyrics, of young men keen to break out of tedious backgrounds, and take chances on finding love with a beautiful woman and a fast car, saw him enter the upper echelons of American lyric writers.�Some even put him on a par with Bob Dylan, an accolade Springsteen himself would deny. But it's the production of the album�- the sound of a stereo album that's as near to mono as it can get, in dutiful homage to the genre master Phil Spector, and brimming over with horns and strings to make each song a full-scale epic scenario al on its own.
Q.� What are the stand out tracks
A.� The title track, and Thunder Road perfectly encapsulate the album's tone, and the time it was written, and both became staple crowd anthems when Springsteen hit his peak as a stadium superstar touring the Born In The USA album. Using Born To Run to stretch out his panoramic visions, Springsteen is rarely better than on the sprawling Jungle Land, even making poetry out of the gangster reference to a gun as a 'friend'.
Q.� Was this the debut of the famous E Street Band
A.� Only in part. Most people assume that the thunderous drum sound that opens up the Born To Run title track is provided by long-time drummer 'Mighty' Max Weinberg, but in fact the drum credit belongs to the equally appropriately monikered Clarence 'Boom' Carter. Similarly, the piano work is that of original keyboard player David Sancious who departed after the album's completion. On board for the long haul were sax player Clarence 'Big Man' Clemons, guitarist 'Miami' Steve Van Zandt, and Roy 'The Professor' Bittan.�Even the nicknames ensure that everyone knows that these are not just superb musicians, they are larger than life characters who put flesh on the lyrical fantasies of Bruce 'The Boss' Springsteen.
Q.� What did the critics make of Born To Run
A.� This was without doubt the album that convinced everyone that the old fashioned themes that have made American rock great�- cars, girls, romance, freedom, and excitement, were all being given new life by Bruce Springsteen. Rock critic Jon Landau saw Springsteen in concert and reckoned he had seen his rock and roll past flash before his eyes, and its future, and that was Bruce Springsteen�- an out-of-context section of that review�was used to hype Springsteen, not that he need it! With simultaneous cover stories on Time and Newsweek, two of the biggest publications in the US, the critics were positively panting for new superlatives to heap on the saviour of rock music. Critic Dave Marsh, who was to become Springsteen's biographer and close friend, summed it up with the kind of short sharp comment that can make rock criticism great. Rolling Stone Magazine dated 15 December 1977 quoted his observation on Born To Run�- "The definitive American rock LP. Wanna fight " That really does say it all.
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