Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Classic Songs: Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen

Born to Run written by Bruce Springsteen was the title track on Springsteen’s 1975 album of the same name. The single was Springsteen’s first hit single peaking at #23 on the USA Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was also his first single released worldwide, although it made little impact outside of the USA.

I (Griff) feel that for my generation – Born to Run has been responsible for more vehicle speeding tickets that any other single in music history. There is something about the opening guitar riff and driving beat that results in an involuntary downward movement of the foot on the gas pedal. By the time we get to the final verse and “the highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive” our carpool karaoke is likely to feature on a speed camera highlights reel. But what a way to rack up a fine. That’s right Bruce, because ‘tramps like us, baby we were born to run’. For the offended road safety junkies, I would like to point out that most speed cameras are on straight bits of road and placed to maximise revenue not safety. If you are still offended then sign up as a Newswarper and we can argue in the comments. I am happy to take on that debate.

Five Facts

Born to Run sleeve – vinyl recording
  1. Bruce Springsteen had the idea for the title in 1973 when he woke up and wrote down the phrase ‘born to run’. He recalled “I liked it because it suggested a cinematic drama I thought would work with the music I was hearing in my head.”.
  2. The recording was completed between May and August 1974 and the Album was released in August 1975. However, the song was included in Springsteen’s live shows in the year before its release. The reason the studio recording was shut away for a year was because the record label refused to release it as a single without an album to back it up.
  3. Springsteen was not the first artist to record the song. Allan Clarke, the original lead singer for British group The Hollies, recorded the song and included it on his I’ve got Time’ solo album. However, delays in the release of the album meant it wasn’t released until after Springsteen’s Born to Run album.
  4. Born to Run is ranked at #27 on Rolling Stone Magazines 2021 list of the ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time’. It was the highest placed Springsteen song on the list.
  5. Such was the complexity of Springsteen’s vision for the song and his obsession with reproducing the sound he imagined in his head, he ended up with 72 instrumental and vocal tracks squeezed into the 16 track studio recording equipment.
The full version of the Born to Run album cover.
Born to Run Official Video

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