Greetings from Asbury Park NJ
Released on January 5, 1973
01. Blinded By The Light
02. Growin' Up
03. Mary Queen Of Arkansas
04. Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street
05. Lost In The Flood
06. The Angel
07. For You
08. Spirit In the Night
09. It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City
Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing Bruce Springsteen - the 'new Bob Dylan'.
It might be hard to believe today - but this is how Springsteen was perceived at the beginning of his career. Listening to his debut album, it is easy to see why. Cut in a single week, 'Greetings for Asbury Park, NJ' is considered by many as wordy and underproduced. Figuring that he'd have only one shot at the title, Bruce Springsteen poured everything he had into his first album. While it is by no means his best work, it is an interesting snapshot of where it all began for The Boss.
"I got a lot of things out on that first album. I let out an incredible amount at once - a million things in each song. They were written in half-hour, 15-minute blasts. I don't know where they came from . . . I had all that stuff stored up for years, because there was no outlet in the bars I had been playing. No one is listening in a bar, and if they are, you've got a low PA system and they can't hear the words anyway."
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. Most of the album's flaws are due to its low-budget production. Mike Appel decided as much as possible of the advance from CBS should be saved. Appel and Springsteen decided to record at the low-priced, out of the way 914 Sounds Studios.
'Growin' Up', 'Spirit in the Night', became live show favorites for Springsteen audiences. 'Hard to be a Saint in the City' was the world's first glimpse at the street-suss sound that Springsteen later perfected. Manfred Mann, Greg Kihn, and even David Bowie covered songs from this album.
Why the odd album title? It seems that early suggestions from CBS and Columbia Records included Bruce claiming he's from New York City instead of the NJ Shore. They thought more people would respond to a new artist if he was associated with a well-known, major city instead of New Jersey.
"Like, the main reason I put Asbury Park on the title was because they were pushing for this big New York thing, this big town. I said, 'Wait, you guys are nuts or something. I'm from Asbury Park, New Jersey.'"