Like he has said, this was the last time he made music without wondering if anyone would ever hear it.
It shows. It's rough, but verbally virtuous. There are more lyrics on this album than on his next three combined! He can't stop.
Compared to his subsequent albums, it's terrific to see his progression...but as a start, it's merely average.
There are a handful of stone classics...like "Growin' Up" and "It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City", but having been exposed more to his incendiary live versions, these pale.
But, in my opinion, if you get ONE Springsteen album, you should get them ALL. Like The Beatles. Even their "weak" albums are essential, if you know what I mean.
Besides, it's fun to put on "Blinded By The Light" for your uninitiated friends and watch them say, "He covered this song?"
Then they wonder why you're laughing...