Bruce Springsteen – Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.

I got this album in 1986 and have never stopped listening to it. This is one of my favorite Springsteen’s albums. It was his debut album in 1973 and there is not a song on it I don’t’ like… It’s not very polished but that is ok.  The songs have a stream of conscious feel to them. The album was critically praised but did not have huge sales.

The most famous song on the album is “Blinded By The Light” which was covered later by Manfred Mann Earth’s Band that peaked at #1 in 1977. They also covered another song off the album called “Spirit of the Night” which peaked at #20 in 1977.

Personally, I like Bruce’s versions of both songs much more. “It’s Hard to be a Saint in the City” is another great track and one of the most powerful songs he ever wrote. “Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?” is a journey through an enjoyable play of words. It was written about a bus journey to a girlfriend’s house. Here is a sample of a verse

“Wizard imps and sweat sock pimps
Interstellar mongrel nymphs
Rex said that lady left him limp
Love’s like that (sure it is)
Queen of diamonds, ace of spades
Newly discovered lovers of the Everglades
They take out a full-page ad in the trades
To announce their arrival
And Mary Lou, she found out how to cope
She rides to heaven on a gyroscope
The Daily News asks her for the dope
She said, “Man, the dope’s that there’s still hope”

I hear Dylan and a Van Morrison influence in Bruce’s first album. It is rough and raw but worth the price of admission. My personal favorite is “Spirit of the Night.” This song hints at some of the characters and places that start populating Bruce’s musical world.

The song Growin’ Up is a complex and honest look at growing up and rebellion. Some lyrics…

“I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere, and you know it’s really hard to hold your breath
I swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared, I was the cosmic kid in full costume dress
Well, my feet they finally took root in the earth, but I got me a nice little place in the stars
And I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car
I hid in the mother breast of the crowd, but when they said, “Pull down,” I pulled up
Ooh…growin’ up
Ooh…growin’ up”

This is a crazy good debut album. I like it a little better than his second album “The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle” but both albums were building up to everything crystallizing in his third…Born to Run.

Track Listing

Blinded By The Light
Growin’ Up
Mary Queen Of Arkansas
Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?
Lost In The Flood
The Angel
For You
Spirit In The Night
It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City

Spirit of the Night

Crazy Janey and her mission man were back in the alley trading hands
‘Long came Wild Billy with his friend G-Man all duded up for Saturday night
Well, Billy slammed on his coaster brakes and said, “Anybody wanna go on up to Greasy Lake?
It’s about a mile down on the dark side of route eighty-eight, I got a bottle of rose so let’s try it
We’ll pick up Hazy Davy and Killer Joe and I’ll take you all out to where the gypsy angels go
They’re built like light
Ooh, and they dance like spirits in the night” (all night)
In the night (all night)
Oh, you don’t know what they can do to you
Spirits in the night (all night)
Oh, in the night (all night)
Stand right up now and let it shoot through you

Well now Wild young Billy was a crazy cat and he shook some dust out of his coonskin cap
He said, “Trust some of this, it’ll show you where you’re at, or at least it’ll help you really feel it”
Well, by the time we made it up to Greasy Lake I had my head out the window and Janey’s fingers were in the cake
I think I really dug her ’cause I was too loose to fake
I said, “I’m hurt,” she said, “Honey, let me heal it”
And we danced all night to a soul fairy band
And she kissed me just right like only a lonely angel can
She felt so nice, just as soft as a spirit in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Oh, Janey don’t know what she do to you
Like a spirit in the night (all night)
All night (all night)
Stand right up and I let her shoot through me

(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)

(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)
(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)

Now the night was bright and the stars threw light on Billy and Davy
Dancing in the moonlight
They were down near the water in a stone mud fight
Killer Joe gone passed out on the lawn
Well now Hazy Davy got really hurt, he ran into the lake in just his socks and a shirt
Me and Crazy Janey was making love in the dirt, singing our birthday songs
Janey said it was time to go
So we closed our eyes and said goodbye to gypsy angel row, felt so right
Together we moved like spirits in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Oh, you don’t know what they can do to you
Them spirits in the night (all night)
All night (all night)
Oh, stand right up and let it shoot through you
Like a spirit in the night (all night)
All night (all night)
All night (all night)
All night (all night)
All night (all night)
All night (all night)
All night, ooh, ooh, man, all night
The night
Be-da-ba the night
In the night

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

24 thoughts on “Bruce Springsteen – Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.”

  1. i ‘discovered” Bruce with Darkness On The Edge Of Town”- then had to back track and buy up the first three albums. I like the debut a lot but the second album is one of the least played of his albums- for me at least. Although I do like the debut I think it falls in the category of Dylan and Van’s first albums- not in a discussion for greatest debut albums- but they all showed promise of things to come.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe it was the time that I found it but I really connected with it. I had just turned 19 and to this day I can remember most of the words. I agree with you on the second… I always preferred this one.
      I started with The River > Born in the USA > Born to Run > Greetings… I could see some of those characters form by then on it. The sound of the album leaves a lot to be desired but the songs came through.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I saw Bruce on The River Tour a couple years ago it was late in the tour and it really wasn’t The River Tour anymore although that is what he called it…. played way too much from the second album. I have always loved The River-[my first rock concert was Bruce’s River Tour in 1980} I was disappointed with the 2016 concert.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That would have been a great first concert artist to see… I’ve seen him twice. Once with the E Street Band and once in 2000 I think… with acoustic only…

        My first concert? REO… in 82 just to go to a concert so you started MUCH better than I did lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I have only seen Bruce twice too- 1980 and 2016. So at least at one point I could have said my first and last concert was Springsteen.. well one thing can be said for starting with REO. …the first Bruce has to still rank in the top 5-6 concerts I’ve been to.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Bruce gives you everything he has… that is for sure. He doesn’t cheat anyone in concert.
        REO and the next was Billy Squire… my fortunes lifted up after that… The Kinks and Beatlemania

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Although I was disappointed in that 2016 concert- and so was my friend who went with me- we both agreed Bruce left it all out there. It was song selection we weren’t happy about not the performance/ effort given.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Off topic- finished up Life On Mars- what a great final episode….and just finished the chapter in Harpo Speaks! where he was touring Russia…

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Life On Mars I really liked the ending because he picked feel over data so to speak… Ashes to Ashes explains what happened.

        I have to wonder what those papers were around his leg!

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I want to watch the extras before I return the dvd’s… i saw him ending up back in 1973 but not the way it happened. I just figured there is no way you can leave Annie. …. The library is connected with over 100 other libraries and on one has Ashes to Ashes! I thought for sure someone would….. Yes that was a great chapter in the book! What were in the papers? I was in a couple used book stores over the weekend and I was looking for a copy of the book but couldn’t find any- guess I will be ordering a copy..

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I’ve never found out what those papers were… I don’t think anyone has… you would think it would be public by now.

        I’m glad you liked both and I didn’t over hype them too much.

        You are right… there would be no way to leave Annie. Gene also made him better and the other way around.

        a friend of mine recorded Ashes to Ashes off of BBC… that is how I got it…

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I looked on amazon and it looked like 1- the dvd’s were not playable on our DVR’s and they were mighty high priced what was listed. .. No neither were over hyped at all no doubt I will be re-watching Life On Mars again in the future.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. That’s what I thought about Ashes to Ashes… I have them in avi files. The DVDs are probably Pal you are right.

        What dvds I’ve had I ripped them and stream them through our living room tv… the wife wanted the room the dvds took up… but she didn’t get my books lol… it’s nice because I just scroll and watch what I want.

        I’m glad you liked them both

        Liked by 1 person

      12. I watched a few episodes and after watching the BBC version it didn’t match up. Harvey Keitel is a great, great actor but he wasn’t Gene Hunt. Maybe the characters were just too established in my mind… I know it got cancelled and they had to rush the ending.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Oh… My son and I brought The Wire to Destin with us for late at night… we are on Season 3 episode 3… Its great.

        Liked by 1 person

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