From the tinkling piano intro of ‘Thunder Road’, with a harmonica part soaring over the top sending a shiver down the spine as both instruments quicken in tempo in preparation for Springsteen’s titanic vocals; to finale ‘Jungleland’, a ten minute epic that builds and builds through a heart- wrenching two minute saxophone solo from Clarence Clemons into mad piano arpeggios that Springsteen howls over before dissolving back into the opening riff. When the whole thing is over, you know you’ve been taken somewhere.
‘Thunder Road’ ends with the lines ‘But when you get to the porch they’re gone/On the wind, so Mary climb in/It’s a town full of losers and I’m pulling out of here to win’, setting up the album’s themes of love, escape, youth and adventure that carry on through Springsteen declaring ‘Tramps like us, baby we were born to run.’
The first six months were spent on the title track alone, and another eight spent in a desperate yet rewarding attempt to record seven songs of equal quality, with entire weeks devoted to choosing which guitar, amp and tone would be closest to perfection. Devastatingly the Boss was unhappy with the final product.