Although Bruce Springsteen became known to the world as a singer/songwriter who wrote story songs embodying the spirit of the disheartened and the downtrodden, it is often forgotten that he started out as a wild, exuberant, and borderline naive artist. His debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. is a prime example of this youthful enthusiasm. Springsteen belts out lyrics in his raspy, intimitable voice the likes of which had not been seen in rock 'n' roll since Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde (fostering the inevitable Dylan comparisons that hound The Boss to this day.) Right from the kick-off of Blinded By The Light (later a big hit for Manfred Mann's Earth Band, but far better in this, the oringal version), it was obvious that a new and very talented singer/songwriter was on the scene: replete with a funky/jazzy rock riff and numerous horns, the song starts out with the lyrics "madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat/in the dumps with the mumps as the adolescant pumps his way into his hat" - and just goes on from there. The arrangements and playing are just as busy as the lyrics, and the playing, while not exactly what you would call tight, is huge-sounding, loose, and feels like it is just barely contained - in other words, the perfect backdrop for these wild lyrical flights of fancy. Despite somewhat hazy production, this remains one of the greatest debut albums of all-time. It has what still rank as some of Springsteen's best songs (Blinded By The Light, Lost In The Flood, Spirit In The Night) - not to mention the all-time classic lyric "nuns run bald through Vatican halls pregnant pleadin' Immaculate Conception." Although he would later come to be known and treasured as American's bard of the dispossessed, one can look back on this album and hear a Bruce who was just as good, infused instead with a brimming, admirable youthful enthusiasm. Essential Springsteen.