50 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Success didn't come easy for Bruce Springsteen, but he wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Incorporating everything from blues and gospel in his quest to find a voice, The Boss toiled away in the mid-Atlantic rock circuit for a decade before finding inspiration in his frustration. The result was Born to Run, a record steeped in Americana that catapulted Springsteen and the E Street Band to superstardom. Born in the U.S.A. cemented him as an icon, and the string of anthems he's released in the three decades since is a testament to the blue-collar work ethic that got him there. He restlessly howls on his most epic tunes, like the 1975 wall-of-sound romance “Born to Run,” with jingling xylophone, banging keys, and wailing sax piled atop pounding backbeats. His most intimate moments are woven into arrangements aching and sparse: “I'm On Fire” is nothing more than ghostly reverb and a hushed, rockabilly pulse; the folky “Atlantic City,” one of his most anguished ballads, is just voice and a strumming acoustic.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Success didn't come easy for Bruce Springsteen, but he wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Incorporating everything from blues and gospel in his quest to find a voice, The Boss toiled away in the mid-Atlantic rock circuit for a decade before finding inspiration in his frustration. The result was Born to Run, a record steeped in Americana that catapulted Springsteen and the E Street Band to superstardom. Born in the U.S.A. cemented him as an icon, and the string of anthems he's released in the three decades since is a testament to the blue-collar work ethic that got him there. He restlessly howls on his most epic tunes, like the 1975 wall-of-sound romance “Born to Run,” with jingling xylophone, banging keys, and wailing sax piled atop pounding backbeats. His most intimate moments are woven into arrangements aching and sparse: “I'm On Fire” is nothing more than ghostly reverb and a hushed, rockabilly pulse; the folky “Atlantic City,” one of his most anguished ballads, is just voice and a strumming acoustic.

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