365 Days of Album Recommendations – May 17

Bruce Springsteen – The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle


It is perhaps telling that my favorite Springsteen albums are the ones that do not have Max Weinberg on them.

This is a genuinely strange and excellent album. It’s just all ripe with weird and greasy Jersey Shore bar band R&b, Jazz, Folk, Soul, and Rock n’ Roll, and it’s loaded with time changes, loopy instrumental arrangements, oddball characters and boarded-up boardwalk pathos. In short, the kind of record they don’t make anymore.

I mean that seriously. You couldn’t make this kind of album these days, and have it go out on a major label. And you can’t make this kind of album at home in your “digital studio.” This is an old-fashioned, big-hearted rock n’ roll record that somehow turned into a really eclectic Americana freak out that dips its toe into about 20 different genres.

Check out the crazy swing of “Kitty’s Back” and you’ll see what I’m talkin’ bout …

Catlong sighs holding kitty’s black tooth
She left to marry some top cat, ain’t it the cold truth
And there hasn’t been a tally since Sally left the alley
Since Kitty left with big pretty, things have got pretty thin
It’s tight on this fence since them young dudes are muscling in

I’m reading Springsteen’s autobiography right now. Check out the section on how this album happened. Fascinating stuff … And a credit to Springsteen that he stood by the album and demanded that it be released as it was, despite the label’s threats (which turned out to be true) that they wouldn’t support it …

As Springsteen says in the book, he’d never write again like he did for this album. I’m glad he did when he did …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: