Posted: 29 July, 2016
In September Bruce Springsteen will release an autobiography Born To Run and a companion album Chapter & Verse taking us from his early days as a teenager in a garage band called The Castiles through to the Wrecking Ball album and tour over the last couple of years.
You can’t have The Boss without his band, and to love Springsteen is to love The E Street.
In its 40+ year history, over 30 musicians have served in the E Street Band with Roy Bittan, Steven Van Zandt, Garry Tallent & the late Big Man Clarence Clemons being the longest serving.
It’s a delight to see them at work…no two set lists are the same, there are hundreds of back catalogue to choose from – and nothing is ever set in stone.
While we wait for Born To Run and the companion album, here are the Top 10 Springsteen & E Street Band songs.
Oh and if you want to challenge me…hit me up on twitter @kassulke
10. THE E STREET SHUFFLE
The opening track from Bruce’s 2nd album ‘The Wild The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle’, this is an ode to life on the Jersey Shore. E Street was the address of one of the early band members David Sancious. This is young, no worries Springsteen. Life is fun & carefree.
9. 10TH AVENUE FREEZE OUT
This is Bruce and Clarence’s friendship in song “…and the Big Man joined the Band”. It is also the story of the E Street formation…however no one knows exactly what a Tenth Avenue Freeze Out is. Bruce, please tell us in the book mate.
8. 4TH OF JULY ASBURY PARK (SANDY)
Set in New Jersey, this is a powerful song about unrequited love…it inspired Kiss’s Shandi and was also covered by The Hollies. I saw this live in 2014 and bawled my eyes out. God dammit Bruce, straight in the feels!
So much of the Born To Run album is epic. What a bloody masterpiece. Roy Bittan’s minute long piano intro leads into the story of first love and a desire to escape the small town life “we swore forever friends/on the Backstreets until the end”
6. PROVE IT ALL NIGHT (78 VERSION)
Sometimes…if you’re lucky, Bruce and The E Street perform the “78 Version” of this live. It includes a minutes-long guitar intro that changes up the studio version. If a Springsteen song was sex, this would be it.
5. BORN TO RUN
Well because, obviously.
God I love Darkness On The Edge Of Town. It’s a gutsy, angsty record that takes you on a ride. Things are great and in the opening track though…it’s full of promise and hope for a better future (before things turn to shit completely ‘Adam Raised a Cain/Something In The Night/Streets Of Fire’ etc). This song more often than not opens the show
3. THUNDER ROAD
The start of the Born To Run story. It ain’t pretty but hey it’s alright. Sometimes, Bruce performs this stripped back, sans E Street. I saw this done in London in 2012. It was a really lovely, intimate way to open the show.
Clarence Clemons sax solo. That is all.
1. ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT)
This is the E Street in full flight. This track often closes the show, and showcases the friendship and muscicianship of Bruce, Clarence and Stevie. Also it’s about sneaking out with your loved one…who hasn’t done that?