[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle (Bruce Springsteen, September 11, 1973)"][/caption] I can't believe I'm about to say this. Seriously, this is a big moment in my musical career. I like this album by Bruce Springsteen. I know, shocking, right? If you haven't clued in yet by reading some of my posts, I'm not a fan of Springsteen. But this album is great! Not only is the addition of the E Street Band fresh and a little more groovy than the cars-girls-cars-more-girls kind of rock that Springsteen belched out previously, its just more dynamic. But the lyrics are still classic Springsteen (ie. more cars and girls). Track Listing
- The E Street Shuffle
- 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
- Kitty's Back
- Wild Billy's Circus Story
- Incident On 57th Street
- Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
- New York City Serenade)
I like this album because there's a great sense of reminiscing about the past, but like I said, its more dynamic than the last album I listened to by Springsteen. The addition of the E Street Band, which at this point was unnamed, adds layers of instrumentation that compliment the raspy, slightly scratchy, full-bodied voice that Springsteen is so well known for. They also contribute to more unique sounds for each track, although they all have that "E Street" feeling to them, characterized by horns, a little bit of jazz organ, and some swinging, shuffling drums to top it all of (by the one and only Max Weinberg).
The album starts off with a kick as the Boss sings "The E Street Shuffle" and wails about kids dancing on the street to the E Street Shuffle. A very different tone from his previous album. Most of the tracks on this album are noticeably longer than usual, with many of them sitting between 5 and 10 minutes in length. I have a feeling this is partly due to the fact that the newly discovered band loves to jam and improvise, embellish the lyrics. Then we've got this great track, "Wild Billy's Circus Story" which describes the setup, performances, and take down of a travelling circus and all the elements from the human canon ball, to the ferris wheel. I love this track! It's a slower-paced song that has incredible clarity. It turns the idea of a circus into a beautiful, diverse experience, and highlights it all with a tuba, or harmonica, or accordian here and there, which is just enough to trigger that feeling of going to the circus or the fair when you were young. Really cool.
And the magic of this album continues in the next three tracks, including the well-known "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight), which I immediately recognized, which shocked me. It sounds familiar, and I have no clue why. I've probably heard it somewhere. It is one of the more popular tracks on this album. And I do love it.
The E Street Band has an incredibly tight sound, and there is an ease and clarity to the sound that really takes Springsteen's music to the next level. Between lyrics, the band sometimes explodes into huge (but still crisp) fanfare, but dies down just at the right moment to allow Springsteen's voice enough punch to keep the focus back on the lyrics again. So look, this album is 100% an album that I think all of you should listen to because its a kick-ass rock and roll album and is just a really fun album to listen to.