Radio Anthem Freeze-Out: The best song on BORN TO RUN that is not "Born to Run" or "Thunder Road"

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

There was discussion on the "Born to Run" vs. "Thunder Road" thread about whether we've ever polled this album, and it doesn't appear we have. But we already have a whole thread just for those two songs, which would surely dominate a full album poll. So I thought excluding them might produce more interesting discussion of a flawed (imo) but still pretty great record.

Poll Results

Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out 7
Backstreets 5
Jungleland 5
Night 4
Meeting Across the River 4
She's the One 1

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Monday, 21 November 2022 18:34 (one week ago) link

My own pick is "Night," because I love how fast and loud it is. And the bass line is nonstop.

really hard to deny jungleland

comedy khadafi (voodoo chili), Monday, 21 November 2022 18:50 (one week ago) link

outside the streets on fire on a real death waltz!!!!!

comedy khadafi (voodoo chili), Monday, 21 November 2022 18:51 (one week ago) link

"Night" because it embodies the album's themes and still finishes in 2:59. Also love the way a song that starts and ends in F major manages to climax on a D♭ sus4 chord ("somewhere toNIGHT") after a bunch of key changes. I haven't heard any later songs from him with that level of musical density.

"Meeting Across the River" is the only song where the characters are more than sketches (or, to be more generous, archetypes). "Backstreets" I find unbearably overblown.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 21 November 2022 21:56 (one week ago) link

I always think that, but then it rarely fails to convince me otherwise as I'm listening to it. Same with "She's the One."

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 21 November 2022 22:02 (one week ago) link

I love "She's the One" for the pounding Bo Diddley beat. Weinberg's best showcase on the album imo.

I love that Bruce brought Richard Davis onstage for this (though the clip is unfortunately brief and in poor quality):

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 21 November 2022 22:53 (one week ago) link


Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 21 November 2022 22:58 (one week ago) link

Backstreets intro! (until he starts singing)

StanM, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 01:55 (one week ago) link

I always get “Backstreets” and “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” confused, possibly due to the former containing the chorus of the latter (at 0:17 in “Backstreets,” same key and everything). Not for nothing did Wayne Newton (via Lester Bangs as impersonated by Mark Shipper) rave to Dave Marsh about the new “Darkstreets” medley in his Vegas show.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 22 November 2022 02:13 (one week ago) link

getting wasted in the heat vs. being on time and paying the cost

maf you one two (maffew12), Tuesday, 22 November 2022 02:17 (one week ago) link

Interesting poll. Impulse is Jungleland but I'll listen to the album because I don't think I have in at least 5 years.

maf you one two (maffew12), Tuesday, 22 November 2022 02:19 (one week ago) link

Wow at Mark Shipper reference. For all I knew all he ever wrote was Paperback Writer, which would be enough of course.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 22 November 2022 02:24 (one week ago) link

He wrote the “From The Cloud Of Lester Bangs” memos in Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 22 November 2022 02:46 (one week ago) link

From Top 50+, expanded blog version of my Top 50 posted on (some have showed up on there much more recently than mine---more to come, hopefully)

52. Bruce Springsteen labored for years on Born yo Run, as the title became ironic, but a lot of it worked, to varying degrees–most of all, for me, in "Meeting Across the River," which still sounds like a magical one-off: a seemingly basic scenario, with no purple passages, as written, sung, and played. Roy Bittan's keys get room to breathe, Richard Davis's bass slips through shadows, as it did on Astral Weeks, and Randy Brecker, having left his own purple passages far behind in Blood Sweat & Tears and The Brecker Brothers Band, leans his trumpet waaay out of Cherry's nightside window and fire escape (I don't think she's home).

dow, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 03:03 (one week ago) link

Sorry bout Born "yo" Run, although it kinda fits (was trying just now to lower-case the tee)

dow, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 03:05 (one week ago) link

This is almost as hard as the BTR vs TR poll. Think it has to be either «Night» or «Jungleland». Maybe the former, for its brevity and the « and she’s so pretty that you’re lost in the stars»-passage.

Mule, Tuesday, 22 November 2022 08:30 (one week ago) link

Yeah to expound on "Night" a little bit more, I think it's the song apart from "Born to Run" that makes the best use of the album's Spectorisms. The whole wall of sound just careening nonstop in unison, from the opening salvos of drums, guitar and sax straight through to the sign-off, always a little in danger of going off the rails but they make all the turns together. And inside that, still a masterful use of dynamics, charging into the chorus and then pulling the back the reins after two lines before going pell-mell again. Plus, great bridge.

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Saturday, 26 November 2022 00:01 (one week ago) link

I instinctively voted Backstreets, but I think my true answer might be Tenth Avenue Freeze-out. It's hard to decide because so many of the songs feel like the start of a narrative track that Springsteen's going to follow throughout the rest of his career - so do you choose the Ambiguously Queer Romantic Friendship track, or the I Work All Day but Feel Free in My Car At Night track, or the Bruce Springsteen Origin Story and Memoir track? They're all so good.

Lily Dale, Saturday, 26 November 2022 00:45 (one week ago) link

Those were my top two as well and it broke the same way.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 26 November 2022 00:59 (one week ago) link

Same but I will throw freezeout a vote

Tib, Saturday, 26 November 2022 06:01 (one week ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Sunday, 27 November 2022 00:01 (six days ago) link

Feel like there was some Greil Marcus or Dave Marsh thing about how when The Boss did “She’s the One” live he had to add both “Mona” and “Not Fade Away” to really make it work.

The Dark End of the Tweet (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 27 November 2022 00:04 (six days ago) link

Nice, I was hoping everything would get at least one vote.

nooooo I'm tooooo laaaate

woh ho hoooooooooooooooooooooo

maf you one two (maffew12), Sunday, 27 November 2022 01:20 (six days ago) link

from wayne robins' substack:

It was the home run call that rock and rolled Mets World.

August 5, 2019. The New York Mets are trailing the Florida Marlins 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning at Citi Field in Queens. Michael Conforto hits a tying home run, enhanced by Mets announcer Gary Cohen's trademark call of jubilation, "It's out of here!"

But Cohen and the Mets were just getting started. The next hitter, Pete Alonso, the Mets slugger who that season set a major league rookie record with 53 home runs, also hits it out of here. Back-to-back home runs. The crowd is going nuts. Cohen: "Pete Alonso gives the Mets the lead. A laser beam!"

As Alonso rounds the bases, Gary Cohen shouts out amid the joyous noise, "Scooter and the Big Man bust the city in half!"

Thus Sang Freud, Sunday, 27 November 2022 01:28 (six days ago) link

Thus Sang Freud, Sunday, 27 November 2022 01:33 (six days ago) link

Is that the xxxpost ambiguously queer bromance one? My gaydar is from Radio Shack, sorry.

dow, Sunday, 27 November 2022 01:33 (six days ago) link

I used to read Wayne Robins religiously back in the day, I should have realized you might follow him, TSF. Did you read his thing about The Last Waltz?

The Dark End of the Tweet (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 27 November 2022 03:04 (six days ago) link

xp I meant "Backstreets" - the one where there's endless debate about whether Terry is a boy or a girl and whether the song is about romance or friendship.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 27 November 2022 04:14 (six days ago) link

I thought it was about Terence Stamp.

The Dark End of the Tweet (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 27 November 2022 04:16 (six days ago) link

Did you read his thing about The Last Waltz?

just read it -- nice piece. i did a doubletake at the end when he wished his readers a happy thanksgiving. i guess he wrote it exactly a year ago.

Thus Sang Freud, Sunday, 27 November 2022 12:54 (six days ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.