Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
It begins. The Boss' auspicious 1973 Jersey-rock debut can't match the genius bombast to come, but portents abound. Clarence Clemons joyfully honks away on fizzy handclap jam "Spirit in the Night" and the rumbling "Blinded by the Light." (Yes, Bruce wrote it, and it doesn't sound like "wrapped up like a douche" when he sings it.) The vivid street-tough tragedy "Lost in the Flood" and stark solo elegy "Mary Queen of Arkansas" set those patterns. And Bruce himself is jubilant and commanding and word-drunk from the onset. Best line: "Wizard imps and sweat-sock pimps/Interstellar mongrel nymphs."