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The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle

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Editors’ Notes

His first album, the excellent Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., presented a singer/songwriter with sharp lyrical skills and an emotional spectrum that could bring tears to the eyes of attentive listeners. His second album, The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle, added his stellar E Street Band. This is where Springsteen becomes an electric performer, with songs that invent new structures and court deep narratives. “The E Street Shuffle” and “Kitty’s Back” are among the funkiest songs he’s recorded, while “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” and “Wild Billy’s Circus Story” are the warmest and most heartbreaking on the album. “Incident on 57th Street” is pure cinemascope, an elaborate tale that sweats like a classic early-‘70s film. “Rosalita (Come out Tonight)” is archetypal Springsteen, complete with Clarence Clemons chasing the Boss with his ebullient sax while the lyrics tell of Bruce’s dreams of rock stardom. “New York City Serenade” is a beast, starting with David Sancious’ elegant piano intro and working its way to a dramatic conclusion. Essential.

Customer Reviews

Springsteen's Underrated Masterpiece

This is Springsteen's best album. It may not be his most anthemic, or straight ahead rockin', but it rewards close listening years after its release. Springsteen and the E Street Band weave a dynamic sonic landscape that is a true fusion of genres imbued with a rock sensibility. Against this backdrop, Springsteen's lyrics light up a portrait of adolescence, love, loss, amd change in the grimy underbelly of '70 New Jersey. The E Street Band ripples with rock n' roll energy and jazzy exuberance that lends a shivering tension to the quiet, whispered parts, and then rips forth in a seemingly wild and uncontrollable explosion of sound when each refrain rolls around. It is perplexing then that drummer Vini Lopez and pianist David Sancious were let go after this album, because they, along with Clarence Clemmons, are the true stars of the E Street Shuffle. Their replacements may have given Born to Run more mainstream palatability, but the unique genius of Lopez and Sancious is not matched again. Lopez' drumming gives this album its tight but explosive sound, and Sancious' accomplished piano playing embellishes the music with subtle classical/jazz undertones. Sancious really shines on the epic closing track "New York City Serenade." To me, THIS is the essential Springsteen album and one of the greatest in rock n' roll history. Highly Recommended, to say the least.

This album is beautiful

I'm a 30 something. Born in the USA hit the airwaves when I was just a kid. That album was my favorite. I didn't know anything about anything. But I knew that album came from someplace different than most of the crap on the radio. I had no idea it would take me 15 years or so to find out where. I've always come back to springsteen over the years. The more I knew and felt about American roots music the more I would find out about Springsteen's music piece by accidental piece I kept migrating back through his career enjoying all of his masterful adventures in American music. But this album is the wellspring of his unique genius for telling the story of all of us working guys in way that gives us a little more to reach for. He makes the struggle of everyday life beautiful. And this is him in his hungry days. Sweating it out for peanuts. Taking it all in and spitting back as a poetic musical landscape. I agree with the other reviewer. The musicianship on this album is so good its crazy to think about how it was just a pivotal turn in his career. I can't help but to wonder what else this band could of done. Nothing against the E-Street guys. But but the aural effect of this peculiar mix of 70's music in transition put down with such Jersey feel and with such talent and creativity will never be duplicated. And it should be in the collection of lovers of American music.

beyond excellent

This is a jazzy, soulful, funky, and incredibly eclectic rock and roll album full of romance, joy, and youthful exuberance. Springsteen takes a deep look at our everyday lives, finds the many beautifull diamonds in the rough, and puts them down in poetry.

Biography

Born: September 23, 1949 in Freehold, NJ

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In the decades following his emergence on the national scene in 1975, Bruce Springsteen proved to be that rarity among popular musicians, an artist who maintained his status as a frontline recording and performing star, consistently selling millions of albums and selling out arenas and stadiums around the world year after year, as well as retaining widespread critical approbation, with ecstatic reviews greeting those discs and shows. Although there were a few speed bumps along the way in Springsteen's...
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