Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.

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Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
Studio album by Bruce Springsteen
ReleasedJanuary 5, 1973 (1973-01-05)
RecordedJuly–September 1972 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, New York
GenreRock, folk rock
Length37:08
LabelColumbia
ProducerMike Appel, Jim Cretecos
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band chronology
Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
(1973)
The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
(1973)
Singles from Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
  1. "Blinded by the Light"
    Released: February 1973
  2. "Spirit in the Night"
    Released: May 1973
 
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Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
Studio album by Bruce Springsteen
ReleasedJanuary 5, 1973 (1973-01-05)
RecordedJuly–September 1972 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, New York
GenreRock, folk rock
Length37:08
LabelColumbia
ProducerMike Appel, Jim Cretecos
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band chronology
Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
(1973)
The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
(1973)
Singles from Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
  1. "Blinded by the Light"
    Released: February 1973
  2. "Spirit in the Night"
    Released: May 1973

Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. is the debut studio album by Bruce Springsteen, released in 1973. It only sold about 25,000 copies in the first year of its release, but had significant critical impact. It was ranked at #379 by Rolling Stone on its list of 500 greatest albums of all time.[1] The album also hit the #60 spot on the Billboard 200 albums listing.

Background[edit]

Springsteen and his first manager Mike Appel decided to record the album at the low-priced, out-of-the-way 914 Sound Studios to save as much as possible of the Columbia Records advance and cut most of the songs in a single week.[2]

There was a dispute not long after the record was recorded -- Appel and John Hammond preferred the solo tracks, while Springsteen preferred the band songs. As such, a compromise was reached—the album was to have five songs with the band ("For You", "Growin' Up", "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?" "It's Hard to be a Saint in the City", and "Lost in the Flood") and five solo songs ("Mary Queen of Arkansas", "The Angel", "Jazz Musician", "Arabian Nights", and "Visitation at Fort Horn").[citation needed]

However, when Columbia Records president Clive Davis heard the album, he felt that it lacked a hit single. As such, Springsteen wrote and recorded "Blinded by the Light" and "Spirit in the Night".[3] Because pianist David Sancious and bassist Garry Tallent were unavailable to record these songs, a three man band was used—Vini Lopez on drums, Springsteen on guitar, bass, and piano, and the previously missing Clarence Clemons on saxophone.[3] These two songs bumped "Jazz Musician", "Arabian Nights", and "Visitation at Fort Horn", leaving a total of seven band songs and two solo songs. The album was originally slated to be released in the fall of 1972, but it was moved back to early 1973 to avoid the pre-Christmas crush.[4]

Both "Blinded by the Light" and "Spirit in the Night" were released as singles by Columbia, but neither made a dent in the US charts.[4] Manfred Mann's Earth Band released a version of "Blinded by the Light" on their album The Roaring Silence, which reached number one on Billboard's Hot 100 on 19 February 1977 and #1 on the Canadian RPM chart the same day.[4] This recording of "Blinded by the Light" is Springsteen's only number one single as a songwriter on the Hot 100.[4] His best showing on the Hot 100 as a performer was in 1984, with "Dancing in the Dark", which peaked at number two for 4 weeks.[4]

On November 22, 2009, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. was played in its entirety for the first time by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York, to celebrate the last show of the Working on a Dream tour.[5]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic5/5 stars[6]
Chicago Tribune2.5/4 stars[7]
Robert ChristgauB+[8]
Rolling Stone(positive)[9]
Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[10]
Sputnik4.5/5[11]
Absolute Punk94%[12]

Robert Christgau, writing in Creem, praised the album, saying "This boy has a lot more of the Dylan spirit than John Prine. His songs are filled with the absurdist energy and heart on sleeve pretension that made Dylan a genius instead of a talent."[8]

Ken Emerson wrote in his review of The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, "Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ . . . was like 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' played at 78 RPM, a typical five-minute track busting with more words than this review."[13]

In 2003, the album was ranked number 379 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[1] They ranked it 37th on their list of greatest debut albums.[14]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bruce Springsteen.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Blinded by the Light"  5:06
2."Growin' Up"  3:05
3."Mary Queen of Arkansas"  5:21
4."Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?"  2:05
5."Lost in the Flood"  5:17
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."The Angel"  3:24
7."For You"  4:40
8."Spirit in the Night"  5:00
9."It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City"  3:13

Personnel[edit]

The E Street Band[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

Song-by-song musician credits[edit]

1. Blinded by the Light

2. Growin' Up

3. Mary Queen of Arkansas

4. Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?

5. Lost in the Flood

6. The Angel

7. For You

8. Spirit in the Night

9. It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Levy, Joe; Steven Van Zandt (2006) [2005]. "379 | Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. - Bruce Springsteen". Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (3rd ed.). London: Turnaround. ISBN 1-932958-61-4. OCLC 70672814. Retrieved 5 March 2006. 
  2. ^ "Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ". Stoneponylondon.net. 1973-01-05. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  3. ^ a b "Happy 40th: Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Greetings From Asbury Park, New Jersey’". CBS. 1973-07-05. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  4. ^ a b c d e By Lester Bangs (1973-07-05). "Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  5. ^ Goldstein, Stan (November 15, 2009). "Bruce Springsteen to play the entire 'Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.' album in Buffalo". nj.com. Retrieved 16 November 2009. 
  6. ^ Ruhlmann, William. Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. at AllMusic. Retrieved 29 November 2005.
  7. ^ Kot, Greg (August 23, 1992). "The Recorded History of Springsteen". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (April 1973). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". Creem: 70. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  9. ^ Bangs, Lester (July 5, 1973). "Bruce Springsteen Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. > Album Review". Rolling Stone (138). Archived from the original on 20 June 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2004. 
  10. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Bruce Springsteen". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. pp. 771–773. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.  Portions posted at "Bruce Springsteen > Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 7 February 2011. 
  11. ^ "Review: Bruce Springsteen - Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  12. ^ "Bruce Springsteen - Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. - Album Review". AbsolutePunk.net. 1973-01-05. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  13. ^ Emerson, Ken (January 30, 1974). "Bruce Springsteen The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle > Album Review". Rolling Stone (153). Archived from the original on 24 February 2006. Retrieved 20 April 2003. 
  14. ^ "The 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-04-08. 
  15. ^ Carlin, Peter Ames (2012). Bruce. New York, NY: Touchstone. p. 129. ISBN 978-1-4391-9182-8. 

External links[edit]