Day 19 – A Song From Your Favourite Album
Jungleland – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
The album, of course, is “Born To Run”, the record that really launched Bruce’s career as a major rock act back in 1975. Needless to say, I did not toddle down to the shops as a 2 or 3 year old and snap it up when released, but as soon as I began to like Bruce’s music it was one of my first back catalogue purchases. In total, I have bought it three times – once on vinyl way back when, once on CD when I replaced all my cassettes and LPs and once in the 30th anniversary remastered gift set, complete with documentary and live DVD. That, if nothing else, proves how much I love it.
Only eight songs, but it is a genuine case of quality winning out over quantity. There is not a song I don’t like on there, and I would say there are two or maybe three that would make my all time top ten list. It’s not just me either – Bruce himself obviously recognises the value of this music. Out of all his extensive back catalogue, the songs from this album still feature very prominently in his live performances. I have heard all of them at least once in the 10 Springsteen concerts I’ve seen, and I would say that four or five are regular fixtures in the set list these days.
The title track has already featured in the previous 18 choices as my favourite song, so today I have chosen my next favourite. Jungleland is an epic song, combining the storytelling style of Bruce’s earlier work with the amazing full-band arrangements that began on this album. It has everything – changes of pace, superb solos (especially the monumental sax solo by Clarence Clemons), great lyrics and it conjures up an atmosphere so brilliantly. Truly some of Bruce’s very best work, also showing off the virtuosity, power and togetherness of the E Street Band as well.
The version in the video is from the last Springsteen concert I saw – at Hyde Park in the summer of 2009. I was thrilled when it became a concert regular again a few years ago, as it was not performed in the first few shows I saw. As always the performance in London that night was exceptional, one of my highlights of the whole concert.