ARTIST: Bruce Springsteen
TITLE: Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ
YEAR RELEASED: 1973
CHART ACTION: #60, #41 UK
SINGLES: Blinded by the Light, Spirit in the Night
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Growin’ Up, For You, It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City
LINEUP: Bruce Springsteen, Clarence Clemons, Vini Lopez, David Sancious, Garry Tallent, Harold Wheeler
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Debut record for a singer / songwriter / rocker from New Jersey that got some acclaim at the time but not much action on the radio. It was wordy, you know.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band’s first album is an at time rambling affair that doesn’t know quite where it’s going. That’s understandable, since at first the album tracks were split between basically solo Springsteen and band cuts, until label boss Clive Davis wanted a couple of singles on the album
The addition of “Blinded by the Light” and “Spirit in the Night” definitely upped the quality factor. They were both excellent songs and its surprising they weren’t considered in the first place. Elsewhere, Springsteen spins tales in a most loquacious manner, as if he were paid by the word with a bonus for an interesting rhyme scheme.
The backing by this version of the E Street band is a bit sparser. Clemons isn’t available for all of the cuts, so you do mix his saxophone colorings. I found that there is a big difference between the best cuts and the so-so cuts. There are some early masterpieces here; you work around the rest.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The three songs excised from the album for the singles haven’t been released, officially. The band on the two singles was just Springsteen, Lopez and Clemons since Sancious and Tallent had other commitments.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: B+: More hits than misses. Not a complete album, yet, but you could tell he had some great music in him.