Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Bruce Springsteen's debut album Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ released in early '73 sounds far too wordy, steeped in post-folk Dylan and try-hard street poetry to be of much interest today.
It was filled with promise but only a few songs realised it.
The follow-up later that year however -- this album which often boils with boisterous energy -- coupled all the best of the debut with Jersey soul-rock and comes across like soundtrack of his influences.
From the Spanish sounds of Phil Spector and the horns of soul acts, through a roll call of characters which might have stepped out of a Scorsese film sketched in just a few lines to the joyous seven minutes of the crowd-pleasing Rosalita, this was the album which confirmed a major talent emerging.
When Born to Run arrived two years later the songs had become more refined and cinematic, the guitars pushed to the fore and Springsteen came on like a leather clad street hero.
Those who fell in love with it (about 10 million around the world) might have glanced back to his two previous albums . . . but found them not to their liking because they were so different.
But The Wild has stood the test of time and the songs are discrete and memorable, songs like Kitty really swing, and the second side of the record -- Incident on 57th Street, Rosalita, New York City Serenade -- could make for a film or ballet in themselves.
Sony Music have just dumped all of Springsteen's early albums out a ridiculously low price but of them all -- Darkness on the Edge of Town is essential of course, The River a not-so-guilty pleasure -- this is the one which rewards a rediscovery.
And at just $10 at JB Hi-Fi stores here, it is hardly a major financial risk or investment to go to.
There is more about Bruce Springsteen at Elsewhere here.