There are very few records that could illicit the almost academic like study of its origins, but Bruce Springsteenâ€™s career defining Born to Run is one that can. Recorded nearly 35 years ago, the record was delayed in part due to Springsteenâ€™s extreme perfectionism and intense pressure from the bandâ€™s record label desperate for a big seller after their first two efforts garnered critical praise, but failed to find an audience with the record-buying public.
Louis Masur, author of the Soiling of Old Glory, brings both a researcherâ€™s mind and a fanâ€™s sense of history in dissecting the story around the making this laborious album. Though clearly and admittedly a fan of Springsteenâ€™s music, Masur still manages to remain objective blending not only the raves that followed the albumâ€™s eventual release, but also the negative reviews and expected backlash. Though Springsteen wasnâ€™t interviewed for the book, Masur does manage to quote extensively from past interviews with the musician and includes plenty of The Bossâ€™s almost legendary onstage banter.
â€œWhen I did Born to Run, I thought, Iâ€™m going to make the greatest rock â€˜nâ€™ roll record ever made.â€ Springsteen, 1987.
The book might be a bit tedious for anyone whoâ€™s not a real fan of the record, but come on, how many people out there really donâ€™t consider Born to Run one a brilliant album?
Runaway Dream: Born to Run and Bruce Springsteen’s American Vision by Louis P. Masur/Bloomsbury Press/256 pages