People who know me well know that I am an unapologetic Bruce Springsteen fan. His music speaks to me, as it does to so many people around the world, in a way that seems to reach right through to the soul.
Today is the 40th anniversary of what might be termed the phenomenon of Springsteen and the E Street Band. Forty years ago today, the album Born to Run was released, and the rest, as they say, is history. Many publications have marked the anniversary with articles about it, including the Slate.com article which I read.
It wasn't his first album. He had had a couple of them before but neither had made much of a splash.
Born to Run was not a spur of the moment album. Ever the perfectionist when it comes to his music, he took a long time to get it just right. For example, it took him six months during the spring and summer of 1974 to record just one track, the title song. A typical song on a modern album might take up to three hours to get just right. Obviously, Springsteen felt a lot was riding on that song.
It would be hard to choose a favorite Springsteen song. Some of my favorite lines come from Thunder Road, The River, Jungleland, Glory Days, Badlands...well, you name it. But it would be difficult to argue against Born to Run as THE iconic Springsteen song. There's a reason why his fan, Jon Stewart, requested the song for his recent sendoff on The Daily Show.
The song was so iconic that it even made it to Sesame Street. Sort of.
Let's mark this 40th anniversary with a compilation video of performances by Springsteen and the E Street Band of the song that made them famous. They were all much younger then and some of the faces on the video are no longer with us in the flesh. But in spirit, they will live forever. I dare you to watch the video and not smile at the obvious joy these performers take in the music and in the connection with their audiences.