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Springsteen Album-By-Album Discussion/Costume Party

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dr. Zoom, May 31, 2019.

  1. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    So somebody here suggested I do this. I have jury duty for at least the next week, so what the hell, it will keep me from looking at dirty pictures on the internet.

    Post your observations, thoughts, comments, gushing tributes and barbed criticisms here. Only rules are keep it civil, try to have a sense of humor, and remember that opinions are not facts. Also remember that honest, constructive criticism does not constitute 'hatred' towards Mr. Bruce Springsteen. If you have a problem with anything that goes on here, PM a Gort and let them handle it.

    So here we go...


    GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK NJ

    [​IMG]


    Released January 5, 1973

    Recorded July-September 1972 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt NY. Produced by Mike Appel, Jim Cretecos.
    Engineered by Louis Lahav

    Side One

    Blinded By The Light
    Growin Up
    Mary Queen of Arkansas
    Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
    Lost In The Flood

    Side Two

    The Angel
    For You
    Spirit In The Night
    It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City

    After being discovered by legendary talent scout John Hammond, the big debut for the 23 year old kid from Freehold NJ. Columbia was expecting a mostly folk album in the early 70's singer/songwriter vein. Springsteen had other ideas, bringing in the embryonic elements of what was to become the E Street Band.
    The album turned out to be a mix of folk and r&b influenced rock in the vein of Van Morrison (Springsteen was hailed by many as the "new Dylan", but I always heard more Van on this one). The consensus seems to be that it is a strong, if uneven debut album. If it wasn't for the 2 very late additions to the record (Blinded and Spirit), it is possible the album would have been dead on arrival and Springsteen might be still playing bars or driving a school bus.

    (A really inspired, inventive album cover too)
     
  2. blastfurniss

    blastfurniss Forum Resident

    Location:
    Marion, OH, USA
    Die hard Bruce fan and while this isn't one of my favorite Springsteen records, it sure is a strong debut. Blinded, Growin' up, 82nd St, LitF, For You, SitN, and Saint are strong songs that sound like Dylan meets Van Morrison but also lay the foundation for what would come 2 records later on Born to Run. Playing is great throughout (particularly Clarence and Sancious). Production is the album's weakest link. Columbia thought they were getting a folk artist and what they got was so much more.
     
  3. blair207

    blair207 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fife, Scotland
    Sounds a bit lightweight when played right through. Bruce couldn’t find Clarence for most of the sessions so I don’t really consider it a true E Street Band LP.
    The songs are very strong. Everything apart from Mary Queen of Arkansas and The Angel is played fairly often live and the live versions especially Its Hard to be a Saint in the City are more powerful than the album versions.
    I agree with the Van Morrison observation. In the main a strong debut which has many songs that have really stood the test of time.
     
  4. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    [​IMG]

    First look at his first record, January 1973
     
  5. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
  6. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    I heard the first four Bruce records in my teen years so I have an attachment to the early ones. The first is not as good as what was to follow but there is enough there to make it compelling enough. I like "It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City", "Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?" and, especially, "For You" from this record the most. I started with this one on a cassette with vinyl recordings on each side of the first two Bruce records. It encouraged you to play the two records equally so I got to know this record pretty well.
     
  7. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    Mary Queen and The Angel bring it down a few pegs, but he was 23, and that's the kind of thing he was noodling with at the time. It's a pretty strong debut to me. I think I read somewhere that the total recording budget was around 10 grand.
     
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  8. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    It was also the beginning of Bruce Springsteen being very different live than on record...

     
  9. jwoverho

    jwoverho Senior Member

    Location:
    Mobile, AL USA
    A good debut but only an indication of what would follow. Lyrically it can be a bit overripe as if he’s trying to fit as many words as he can into some verses, but there is still enough striking imagery here to impress.

    The Dylan and Van influences are obvious, but they also aren’t overbearing or derivative.

    The standouts for me are SAINT, FOR YOU and SPIRIT, with the last being the one true classic from the album.
     
  10. EndorphinMachine

    EndorphinMachine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brussels
    This will be fun!

    Decent enough album, but it doesn't get much play in the EndorphResidence.
    The Hammersmith '75 versions of Lost in the Flood &t Saint are two of my very favourite Boss tracks, the intensity of those versions lift them up various levels. The Angel, Mary Queen and Bus? (to a lesser extent) don't do much for me, and for the rest of the album I get my share on bootlegs...
     
  11. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    I always thought Lost In The Flood was the closest he ever came to sounding like Elton John. Especially the intro.
     
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  12. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
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  13. MySweetFork

    MySweetFork Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Blinded is my favorite. Growin' up is a close second. All around solid debut album.
     
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  14. Girlpower

    Girlpower Senior Member

    Location:
    Norway
    No, but at the time I was probably dancing to this one while being in diapers.
    About half an albums worth of really good songs. I always thought of this record as the only one in his catalouge that sounds a bit restrained.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
    Dr. Zoom likes this.
  15. Python

    Python Forum Resident

    Location:
    S.F. Bay Area
    I think this one is a masterpiece, aside from, as others have mentioned, "Mary, Queen Of Arkansas" (the future "Queen Of The Supermarket"?) and "The Angel," though I like the latter much more than the former (and not just because it's two minutes shorter). Replace those with "Arabian Nights," "Cowboys of the Sea" and/or "Two Hearts in True Waltz Time" and you've got a much stronger album.

    I like this way better than The River (currently being dissected on the other thread) and, for that matter, every album he released after Darkness...
     
  16. EndorphinMachine

    EndorphinMachine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brussels
    Keeping that in mind the next time it's on, never made the connection.
    I'm searching for an Elton-song to compare it to, maybe the guitar-version of Madman Across the Water? (not) Coincidentally my favourite EJ-song.
     
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  17. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    Yes, definitely restrained. CBS thought they were getting coffeehouse James Taylor style singer-songwriter, not a street punk who fronted a red-hot R&B/Soul/rock& roll bar band. John Hammond saw the coffeehouse guy, and apparently didn't like that Greetings ended up a harder-edged record.
     
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  18. Girlpower

    Girlpower Senior Member

    Location:
    Norway
    I knew they wanted a new Dylan type, but I never thought about that in connection with it being restrained. I guess he tried to quiet things down in order to please CBS and at the same time keep it rocking to please his own vision. Not successful in either direction.
    Lyrically, he's all over the place. Still, I think it's a really good debut album for a songwriter his age.
    My favorite here is Saint in the city, specially the live version from the Live 1975-85 box set.
     
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  19. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    I might have replaced Mary Queen with "You Mean So Much To Me". That song goes all the way back to '71, and was a live show highlight all through '73.
     
  20. Girlpower

    Girlpower Senior Member

    Location:
    Norway
    'Then she's so much woman she makes me feel like a little boy'
    That's a good choice. I remember listening a lot to this one on the Great Dane boot, a single cd in cardboard cover.
     
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  21. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    This is the definitive version for me...



    I hear Van the Man all the way here
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
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  22. mr_spenalzo

    mr_spenalzo Forum Resident

    That version of Lost In The Flood is as good as it gets. There’s more beauty, more intensity, more interesting detail (5 quick shots... love that bit).
     
  23. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    Location:
    The Southwest
    To this fan, Greetings is a four-star album, a unique work delivered right before he put together one of the greatest runs of albums in rock and roll history. Hammond and CBS wanted a Bob Dylan/James Taylor-esque folk album, but got something different. Hammond partially got his way on a few songs, and Springsteen was allowed to bring the band in on a few others (although the band results are extremely understated and not representative of the E Street bar band sound of the era). Some of the lyrical passages are very enticing and intriguing, while others are a bit wordy without much substance. Still, it was unique approach to writing that he publicly never revisited again, and the album did deliver a couple of stone-cold classics that have stood the test of time.
     
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  24. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    I can just imagine people coming to see him at places like My Fathers Place or The Main Point expecting to see James Taylor, and ended up seeing an act that more closely resembled The Who.
     
  25. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    Location:
    The Southwest
    Yeah, his debut album was not exactly an accurate representation of him as an artist. But, Appel knew Springsteen had that side to him and knew it would appeal to Hammond.
     
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