Timeless Springsteenian Eloquence: Born To Run Still Mesmorizes 30 Years Later

"In the day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway American dream. At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines..." Bruce Springsteen, Born to Run 1975.

"I have seen the future of rock and roll and its name is Bruce Springsteen." Jon Landau, Rolling Stone Magazine 1974.

"Bad Scooter? Man, that's me." The Commentator 2005.

1975 saw many albums produced and released from legendary acts. It was the year, for example, that Bob Dylan released 'Blood on the Tracks', Patti Smith 'Horses', Alice Cooper 'Welcome to my Nightmare', Elton John 'Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy', The Eagles 'One of these Nights' and Led Zeppelin 'Physical Graffiti.' In fact, the list of artists releasing albums that year included; David Bowie, Abba, Earth Wind and Fire, Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Barry Manilow, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkle, Bad Company, The Carpenters, Hall and Oates, Roberta Flack, Emylou Harris, Paul McCartney and Wings, Kiss, Linda Ronstadt, Rush, Roxy Music, Rod Stewart, T-Rex, Donna Summer, and Kraftwerk. While we're on it, Motorhead and Pere Ubu were formed that year.

Nice company to have when you pour your entire existence into a landmark album. The odds against Springsteen were great that year. There was probably a better chance of having the Broadstreet Bullies turning into figure skaters than Springsteen surviving his latest project. Yes, the external forces of know-nothings pushed him against a wall of seeming impossibility. Alas, Springsteen pushed back harder with this work. His two previous albums, though filled with melodic and harmonic imagery and memorable characters, did not capture enough attention. 'The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle' and 'Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.' were probably albums that were ahead of their time.

But he did survive and the album stands as a landmark album. Its emergence on the rock'n roll scene must have been met with a dose of refreshing hope. Hope that rock was finally back on the right track.

Defining or categorizing art is an impossible game. Looking back on the past and keeping things in their proper context is all the more challenging given how popular revisionism has become. With all we know now it really isn't all that difficult to rewrite history - and make things look better or worse than they really are or were.

Preserving the spirit and truth of history, well, that's another matter. Springsteen has been called many things and it's not my goal here to recite this. Instead, I'd rather offer my impression of this incredibly poetic album. What better way to treat history and this piece of art than with personal respect?

10, no hang on, I was probably 11 when I first listened to 'Born to Run'. That would make the year 1983. By then, the New Wave movement and its influence on music was in full stride and bands like Echo and the Bunnymen and Joy Division were affecting a whole new generation of kids. A full 8 years after 'Born to Run' was released, on a visit to my grandparents' home, I raided my Uncle's albums and boldly removed the record from its jacket and awkwardly placed it on the turn table.

I was young and stupid when the needle hit the record and the first notes to 'Thunder Road' filled the room. 'The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves. Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays. Roy Orbison singing for the lonely. Hey, that's me and I want you only.' By the end, I was older and wiser after the operatic conclusion to the song. 'It's a town full of losers and I'm pulling out of here to win.' The song shocked me into becoming a music fan. Lord, it was my opera.

The song exercised my mind and thoughts like it never had before. Up until then, I lived and died by the local events of my time. I lost my intellectual virginity to that album. If someone was to ask me what I think 'Thunder Road' represents, I would not even know how to express it. The song has meant so many different things over the years. It depends in the context to which I'm listening to it. I've probably written a screenplay in my head for the amount of thoughts it has offered me.

Over the years, the album offered a dizzying account of imageries that still captivate me. It was an album that thoroughly explores so many themes and ideas it literally leaves you in a state of catatonic marvel each time you listen to it. Whether you are driving through a drive-thru or on your way to a funeral - the song connects in ways unimaginable.

30 years, and 'Born to Run' still lives and breathes in ways I'm sure Springsteen himself never imagined. It was the latest work in the evolution of rock'n roll. I am also sure a new Springsteen was born after its release. It was a redemption of sorts for him. I salute the album that brought us Mary, Bad Scooter and the Big Man, Eddie and Cherry, the Rangers, the Magic Rat and of course, Wendy.

We all imagine that we have a soundtrack to our lives. 'Thundercrack', certainly is one for me. However, if I was to pick a line - among the many memorable ones - it would be 'Tear drops on the city Bad Scooter searching for his groove.' We all are.

For those who love ironies. 1975 was the year Roy Orbison, one of Springsteen's greatest influences, released his own album - 'I'm Still in Love with you.'

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