Bruce Springsteen – The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2012
Proto Bruce! These early Springsteen records sound like the dawn of life on Earth. They’re wild, they’re raucous, and they’re definitely hinting at greatness. Springsteen’s songcraft is already damn solid on this, his second album, and I’m almost surprised at this record’s quality. It has been sitting on my shelf for three years and I’ve never put it on! Don’t know why! The Hold Steady is one of my favorite bands, and their debt to Springsteen’s anthemic storytelling rockers has always been worn on their sleeve, but The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle is hitting all those same Hold Steady buttons. The storytelling is rich and Springsteen does a great job of bringing you into his little corner of Jersey. It’s drenched in the 70s and surprisingly theatrical. Most importantly, it’s a FUN record. One that can be absorbed without the critical eye of his later work or the emotional investment of his mid-80s records, and sometimes that’s just a damn nice thing to have.
"The E Street Shuffle" - You can see the seed of the Hold Steady in their daddy's eye on this one.