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Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.

4.3 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 25 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0000024ZT
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,100 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Blinded By The Light
2. Growin' Up
3. Mary Queen Of Arkansas
4. Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street
5. Lost In The Flood
6. The Angel
7. For You
8. Spirit In the Night
9. It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City

Product Description

1973 debut album from the singer/songwriter who would later become one of the biggest superstars in the world. Features future classics like 'Blinded By The Light', 'Growin' Up', 'Spirit In The Night' and 'For You'.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Bruce Springsteen obviously had a lot to say on his debut album (I don't think he ever wrote songs this long on any of his subsequent albums), but don't expect anything like "The River" or "Born In The USA" on this one.
"Greetings From Asbury Park, New Jersey" contains several fine songs, such as "Blinded By The Light", the Dylan-inspired "Growin' Up" and "Lost In The Flood", but the truly strong melodies are few and far between. Most of the lyrics are great, sure, but the music isn't always.
There is definitely something appealing about Springsteen yelling out his exuberant lyrics with barely any kind of recognizable melody, but it wears out a little bit after a while. Just listen to "Mary Queen Of Arkansas" - classic, strong Springsteen lyrics, not a hint of an actual tune.
Some fans and critics accused Bruce Springsteen of selling out when he released "The River". They felt that he had "gone pop" with songs like "Hungry Heart" and "Cadillac Ranch".
Well, compared to this album "The River" certainly is more of a pop album, if tunefulness equals pop that is.
A bit more pop would have been kinda nice, actually.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD
Bruce was NOT "on" this day! But, I can't give Springsteen any less than 3 stars--the man is just a flat-out entertainer.
That aside, though: "Blinded by the Light" wasn't even good as a mainstrem hit, and the Boss' version (he wrote it, after all) is pretty bad as well. The rest of the album is really a labor of love, not only for the young E Streeters just finding their groove, but for diehard fans who want to make it through this sometimes abrasive, sometimes just embarassingly naive effort. Really, only the diehard need apply--this one is anathema for the merely curious, but, curiously, a must-have for hardcore Bruce fans. Naturally, it's a product of the musical times--everyone was doing experimental folk/rock/jazz in 1973; but that doesn't make it good. Thank God Springsteen outgrew it! Being able to say that your collection is complete might balance out the purchase price for some people, but I'd avoid "Asbury Park" if at all possible. Anybody want my copy?
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Format: Audio CD
When people first heard Bruce Springsteen's 1973 "Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.," they said that he was the next Bob Dylan. But, with all due respect to Bob, that would be too simple. I can see what they were trying to say, though. Each song was a saga bursting with words. Springsteen, on this record, has always been guilty of trying to fit too many words into each bar of music. (Check out these lines from his opening song, and one of the more well known tunes from Springsteen's early days, "Blinded By The Light":
"Go-cart Mozart was checking out the weather chart to see if it was safe to go outside/
Little Early-Pearly came by in her curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride/
Oh, some hazard from Harvard was skunked on beer playing backyard bombardier."
His redemption is that the stories he told needed every single one of the words he chose for his sagas. One word less, and they would be choking for breath.
Early and first-time listeners of this record didn't really know that two years later, they wouldn't be hearing this folk-rock Springsteen sound again till about 20 years later. If they had known, they would have paid more attention. "Greetings" was a commercial failure, despite a relatively above-average critical response. It's a difficult record to get into - much easier if you were already a Springsteen fan weaned on Born To Run (1975) and Born In The USA (1984), although the fact that only Garry Tallent and Clarence Clemmons from the now permanent E Street Band play here may be somewhat of a damper, too (what, no Little Steven? No Mighty Max?). It's difficult for the reasons stated earlier - when you have what's amounted to a song poem of Chaucer proportions set against minute musical maneuvers, where does your attention go?
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