Born To Run

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flickr:40321315961
Commercially Released*: August 25, 1975
Label: Columbia Records/CBS Inc.
Produced** by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and Mike Appel
Recorded at The Record Plant and 914 Sound Studios (January 1974-July 1975)
Recorded by Jimmy Iovine and Louis Lahav, assisted by Thom Panunzio, Ricky Delena and Corky Stasiak 
Mixed by Jimmy Iovine, assisted by Thom Panunzio, Dave Thoener, Andy Abrams and Corky Stasiak 
Mastered by Greg Calbi
Design by John Berg and Andy Engel
Photography by Eric Meola

* A small quantity of blank label, advanced promo copies (called "Script Covers") were issued to VIPs about August 12, 1975. Normal promo copies were sent to radio stations on or about August 24.
** The track "Born To Run" was produced by Springsteen-Appel.

Overview

Born To Run was many more things than just the making of a great rock and roll record. It was the time in which Bruce Springsteen came to terms with his employer (Columbia Records, now Sony) and his management (Mike Appel going out, Jon Landau coming in). His music, studio management, and band leader skills all continued to progress, but to get this record done, his troubled relationship with his record company needed to be healed.

The Born To Run album sessions can be traced as far back as January 8, 1974 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, New York, with the first rehearsals of Born To Run and Jungleland, and concluded on July 20, 1975 at the Record Plant, though final mixing continued after the band went on tour. Wings For Wheels, the official documentary film on the making of the album, fails to delve into depth about the sessions. It took Springsteen six months to perfect the song "Born to Run" in the studio. One of Springsteen's inspirations for the production of "Born to Run" was Phil Spector, whose Wall of Sound recording style was behind countless hits of the 60s. He made numerous alterations that didn't all stick, including a backing chorus and various string arrangements. The first documented live performance of "Born to Run" took place at Harvard Square Theater on May 9, 1974. Springsteen's future manager Jon Landau was in the audience, and his review of that show featured this iconic line: "I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen." Landau's Real Paper review, appearing at exactly the right moment, transformed the manner in which Springsteen was perceived at the record label. In receiving the most enthusiastic accolades imaginable from perhaps the most influential rock critic alive, Springsteen was no longer under pressure merely to make a profit; now he had to be a prophet.

The "Born to Run" single was finally finished on August 6, 1974, but sessions ground to a halt when David Sancious and Ernest "Boom" Carter left the band. Springsteen and Appel placed a classified ad in The Village Voice for replacements: "Drummer (No Jr. Ginger Bakers) Piano (Classical to Jerry Lee Lewis) Trumpet (Jazz, R&B & Latin) Violin. All must sing." According to Springsteen's and Gary Tallent's recollections, the band auditioned 60 musicians, playing a half hour with each one. Among the group of applicants were drummer Max Weinberg and pianist Roy Bittan. Weinberg's experience ranged from rock bands to the Broadway pit, and Bittan had played with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Engineer Louis Lahav's wife Suki, who could play violin and sing, began performing with the band on "New York City Serenade", "Jungleland" and "I Want You".

Over Appel's vociferous objection, Bruce invited his new friend Jon Landau, who had produced undistinguished albums for the MC5 and Livingston Taylor, to join the production team in April 1975, and the now ex-critic managed to wring some progress from the proceedings. Perhaps most important, he convinced Springsteen to move from Blauvelt to the more expensive Record Plant in Times Square, where at least the pedal on the piano would not be audible in the sound mix. Landau promptly hired engineer Jimmy Iovine (veteran of Lennon's Spector-produced Rock 'n' Roll ). Another was that, as from April 13, 1975, he officially took a cut of the action, 2 per cent of Born's retail sales. Landau's share came half from CBS and half from Appel. In their new studio on April 18, with Landau as a producer, Springsteen and the E Street Band could focus on the album without distraction. Working extensively with Roy Bittan on piano for "Thunder Road," and Clarence "Big Man" Clemons on saxophone for "Jungleland," Springsteen annotated exactly what he envisioned, note-for-note, to his fellow

"Thunder Road" just got it's name in March, when Bruce decided to dismantle most of "Walking In the Street", a song the band had worked on the previous fall. "Wings For Wheels", which had great verses, needed a great ending, and after two months of frustration, Bruce took the main coda of "Walking In the Street", and made it the instrumental outro of "Thunder Road". Three days each were spent on Thunder Road and Jungleland during April, recording base tracks, vocals, instruments, leaving mixing, dubbing of vocals for July, near the end of the sessions. After "Jungleland" was done on April 25, takes were cut for Backstreets. Sessions resumed on May 4 with "She's the One" and "Lonely Night In the Park". It was obvious there were lyric problems with "Backstreets" and "She's the One"; both had great build-ups to the bridge, where neither had any lyrics. The rest of May was spent working on finishing the prior mentioned, along with "Night", "Linda Let Me Be the One" and "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out". Two days were spent on "Backstreets", which was now finished except for a missing bridge. On the final day, May 28, the only song worked on was a new composition, "The Heist", later changed to "Meeting Across the River".

Steve Van Zandt officially joined the E Street Band a week later on July 20, the opening night of the Born To Run tour.

Photographer Eric Meola, who captured the iconic "Born to Run" cover image, took nearly 600 photos in this album's two-hour cover shoot. Springsteen was only looking directly at Clemons in two of those photos. Springsteen and the E Street Band played 10 concerts at New York's Bottom Line to build hype before the album was released. October 20 Springsteen appears on the covers of Time and Newsweek on the same day.

Read more about the history of the Born to Run record……

Released

1. THUNDER ROAD 4:44 BORN TO RUN
2. TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT 3:08 BORN TO RUN
3. NIGHT 2:57 BORN TO RUN
4. BACKSTREETS 6:27 BORN TO RUN
5. BORN TO RUN 4:28 BORN TO RUN
6. SHE'S THE ONE 3:36 BORN TO RUN
7. MEETING ACROSS THE RIVER 3:11 BORN TO RUN
8. JUNGLELAND 9:32 BORN TO RUN

Total Running Time: 39:28

Visit our studio session-pages for recording information on the individual tracks.

Additional Information

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