The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle – Bruce Springsteen in the Reflecting Pool

Bruce Springsteen – The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle – 1973

The puzzle isn’t complete on WIESS. It’s alllllmost there. It’ll take another album to fulfill the promise made by marketing execs and Jon Landau.

But, this is a helluva sophomore record.

From the very opening, the lazy horns into the casual, jammy skiffle of E Street Shuffle, Bruce, the song writer, singer and leader is in fantastic form.

The album really shows its teeth on “Kitty’s Back”. This is where Steel Mill, the roots of Bruce, rear their powerful head. A band, tight and led but loose and comfortable, making unforgettable music. Anyone who wants to hear the earliest big band sounds of a big rock band, need only listen to the end of that song.
And, this is the one with “Rosalita” on it. Need I say more? The album sort of peter’s out for me towards the end with the 9 minute New York Serenade. It’s not bad, just nowhere near what he was about to come up with.

Springsteen’s most experimental moments on future records will be hailed as left turns and an artist growing and trying new things. Feh. He was doing that 41 years ago.

41 years ago. Yikes.

Grade A
ASide: Kitty’s Back, 4th of July (Sandy), Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
BlindSide: Wild Billy’s Circus Story, Incident on 57th Street

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