Born to Run: 40 years of excellence


Courtesy: Wikipedia

Paige Morse, Editorial Board

Bruce Springsteen’s incredible third album, Born To Run, turned 40 years old this past August 24. The music still influences people just as much as it did back in good ol’ 1975.

Growing up in working class Freehold, New Jersey, Springsteen- also know as the Boss- watched his father struggle to keep a steady job while his mother was a secretary at an insurance office. The Boss had a complicated relationship with his father, which he credited as the inspiration for many of his songs. His passionate storytelling derived from his lack of empathy with his dad starting at an early age.

Born to Run skyrocketed the Boss into the spotlight. Even though the album only has eight songs, Born to Run is one of the most powerful albums of all time, showcasing what it’s like to be young and wild. In his previous albums, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, The Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle, Springsteen crammed as many rhyming words as he could into most of his songs. I like a lot of the songs on these albums, but not many of them compare to the poetic masterpieces found on Born to Run.

It was the album where Springsteen found his place in rock n’ roll. The eight songs on Born To Run were laid out in the perfect order, beginning with “Thunder Road,” a compelling ballad opening with a beautiful harmonica played by the Boss himself. The closing line in “Thunder Road” summarizes the entire album: “It’s a town full of losers and I’m pulling out of here to win.”

Anyone can relate to the songs on this album. Some of them deal with breaking out of the small town where nothing goes on while others deal with relationships and the struggle of growing up. The lyrics in each song are so honest that they paint a picture in the listener’s mind. The instrumental is tied together with the smooth, intense saxophone playing of the late Clarence Clemons.

“Jungleland” is arguably one of the best songs Springsteen has ever written. The song takes place in New York City and describes the love story of the “barefoot girl” and the “magic rat.” Springsteen made this song very cinematic with bizarre main characters and lyrics, like “There’s an opera out of the turnpike. There’s a ballet being fought out in the alley.” The Big Man’s sax solo in the middle builds up a wall of emotions as the song’s tone shifts from exciting to heartbreaking.

There are many places mentioned in the album such as the bustling streets of New York City and the small New Jersey town everyone has to break out of, which enables anyone who cares to listen to picture the “street poetry” Springsteen has perfectly sculpted. When I listen I can see each song happening right in front of me- the power of the storytelling knocks me off my feet. When I listen to Born To Run I feel like I am a part of something great.