Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Bruce Springsteen "Born to Run" (1975)
When I was in High School, in the early 80s, you had two choices of radio stations. One was a pop channel, with lite rock & dance friendly songs (with the occasional cross over act like Michael Jackson). The other was the "rock" station, it's format being what we would now refer to as "classic rock". I suppose that it was actually the tail end of the prime period of that format's original version, when the songs we're still hearing today were still more or less new.
I didn't own any Springsteen records, but I knew a lot of the songs from the radio. I remember having a strange relationship to the material. There was a certain urbanity & ethnicity to the music that was strange & offputting. But I could certainly relate to many of the continuing themes of the music...young kids looking for kicks, yearning to leave their deadend towns.
Years later I learned to appreciate some of the structural nuances of Springsteen's work, his mastery of language & the way he fused disparate elements of early rock & soul. The lyrical vignettes he wrote may perhaps be some of the best writing documenting young people in a certain time. But I can still remember how it felt to be trapped in that small town, & dreaming of a day when I could run free.