Happy Birthday Bruce Springsteen! The artist once said that he would like to make a record with the lyrics like Bob Dylans, a sound like Phil Spector produced it and vocals like Roy Orbison. Although Springsteen was tagged as the next Bob Dylan early in his career, he never shied away from his love of 60’s pop radio songs and rock. His first interest in music came from seeing Elvis Presley perform on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956.
A series of bands came and went from 1965 to 1971, some of which included future E Street Band members, but Springsteen was a solo act when he signed his first record contract. He immediately rehired most of his own band and initially his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ was ignored. Manfred Mann had a hit with a cover of Blinded by the Light four years later. Since then the record has gone double platinum and has been named one of the best debut records of all time.
Springsteen’s second album The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle was also initially a failure. It drove Springsteen to rework his band for one final try with Columbia Records. The third time was the charm – Born to Run peaked at number three and while none of the singles did nearly that well, the album benefited from a popular radio format of the day, album oriented rock. Almost all tracks on the album got significant airplay.
This set the stage for Springsteen’s biggest selling album, 1984’s Born in the USA. The record sold 30 million copies worldwide and featured seven hit singles. The title song was often misinterpreted – especially by politicians who chose not to listen to the lyrics but focused on the catchy chorus. Over six decades of performing what could sometimes be three to four hour concerts, he has earned his nickname – The Boss. Happy Birthday, Bruce!