The Classic Album at Midnight – Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run

The Classic Album at Midnight – Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run


Tonight (September 27th) on the world famous Classic Album At Midnight on Radio Nova we’re playing Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run.

The album is presented in full with no commercials or interruptions.

Springsteen’s first two albums – 1973’s Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle – had made the singer/songwriter a critical darling but had failed to find a large audience. That would change with 1975’s Born to Run, which propelled Springsteen to global stardom.

Having released his first two albums in the same year, Springsteen found himself stuck in the studio for months, backed up by a healthy budget from Columbia Records, who were determined to make Springsteen into a commercial success. Springsteen would spend a total of 14 months in the studio for Born to Run, with six months dedicated to the title track alone. He later revealed that he was frustrated in being unable to communicate some of the musical ideas that were floating around his head.

In order to appeal to a wider audience, Springsteen ditched the New Jersey-centric lyrics of his first two albums.

Springsteen brought in producer Jon Landau and engineer Jimmy Iovine, who developed a Phil Spector inspired “Wall of Sound” arrangement.

Bruce would play lead and rhythm guitar and harmonica on Born to Run. His backing band included trumpeter Randy Brecker, tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker and baritone saxophonist David Sanborn. E Street Band members Roy Bittan (keyboards), Clarence Clemons (saxophone), Garry Tallent (bass), Max Weinberg (drums), Danny Federici (organ), David Sancious (keyboards) and Steven Van Zandt (backing vocals) also featured.

In its originally released form Born to Run features eight tracks. On Side A are Thunder Road; Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out; Night; and Backstreets. Side B gives us Born to Run; She’s the One; Meeting Across the River; and Jungleland.

Springsteen described taking a “four corners” approach to the sequence of songs on the album. Each side’s opening song (Thunder Road and Born to Run) is uplifting and filled with escapism, while the side closers (Backstreets and Jungleland) are melancholy tales of loss.

Born to Run was released on August 25th, 1975, backed by a massive promotional campaign by Columbia Records. After debuting at number 84 on the Billboard album chart, Born to Run leapt into number 8 in its second week, ultimately peaking at number 3.

The hype around Springsteen began to explode, with the singer/songwriter appearing on the covers of both Time and Newsweek in the same week. Springsteen was uncomfortable with being labelled “the future of rock” by Columbia. At his first UK concert he tore down posters emblazoned with the message “Finally the world is ready for Bruce Springsteen,” and ordered badges that declared him “the future of rock n’ roll” not to be handed out.

Born to Run would re-enter the Billboard chart in 1980 and 1985, following the releases of hit albums The River and Born in the USA.

The album continued critics’ love affair with Springsteen. Rolling Stone’s Greil Marcus called Born to Run “Magnificent.” The Village Voice’s annual critics’ poll ranked Born to Run as the third best album of 1975. Rolling Stone place it at number 21 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It’s listed in America’s Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry of historic recordings.

You can take orders from The Boss at midnight tonight on Radio Nova.