ARTIST: Bruce Springsteen
TITLE: The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle
YEAR RELEASED: 1973
CHART ACTION: #59 US, #33 UK
SINGLES: 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Rosalita (Come Out Tonight), The E Street Shuffle
LINEUP: Bruce Springsteen, Clarence Clemons, David Sancious, Danny Federici, Garry Tallent, Vini Lopez.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Sprawling album that tells stories of various and sundry characters.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Springsteen’s second album finds himself consolidating his efforts into long (and long-winded) story-songs that were in the motif of his better songs on the debut album. The shortest track clocks in at 4:31 and the longest at almost 10 minutes.
This is an album you have to invest in – except for “Rosalita” there’s no songs with a lot of hooks and immediacy. These are songs you need to take time to work through and explore. They all shift around – tempos, moods, keys. Some of the songs, still, seem a bit too long to wind through the plot and the changes. He still needed an editor at times.
This is more of a rock-and-roll album than his previous effort, but still there are many other influences, especially the storytelling of Dylan and Paul Simon. The arrangements (only one guitar, accordion and saxophone all over the place) are also not quite full-on-rock and roll. It’s a transitional album for an artists that will soon find his sweet spot.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: E Street is where keyboardist David Sancious lived.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but some outtakes are on other Springsteen collections.
GRADE: B+: Some of the sprawling songs are just a bit too sprawly, but this is still a good addition to any collection.