Welcome to “20th Century Boss,” our in-depth series on the albums that Bruce Springsteen released in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. It begins today with two episodes on the first three albums of Bruce’s career.
In episode one, Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem joins us to discuss 1973’s Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J., and The Wild, The Innocent, And The E Street Shuffle. In many ways, these are the “prequel” albums for Springsteen’s peak era, which commenced with Born To Run. But Fallon remains a steadfast fan of Greetings, the album that ushered him into Bruce fandom when he was a teenager in the early ’90s. While Springsteen’s songwriting was less refined on these releases, the sheer exuberance and invention of his wordy, image-filled songs are still plenty thrilling.
In episode two, Jeff Rosenstock dives into the first true masterpiece of Springsteen’s career, 1975’s Born To Run. While Rosenstock was raised on punk and ska music, he was also drawn to Springsteen’s most uplifting and spirited record, highlighted by classics like the title track, “Thunder Road,” and the climactic “Jungleland,” which boasts the greatest and most dramatic sax solo in rock history. How did Bruce pull off an album that walks the tightrope between poetic transcendence and potential self-parody? Jeff helps us figure it out!