I'd do that cutesy "It's ba-ack!" thing, but that's such a cliché, don't you think?
The sheer power of this song simply cannot be overestimated. Bruce Springsteen is one of the biggest rock stars of all time, and that's a good thing. Although I am a fan, I'm not a hyper-Bruce partisan (haven't once seen him in concert), but I think he better than anyone embodies the sense of hugeness, freedom and epic excitement that rock & roll is supposedly all about, but too often isn't. There's a purity to Springsteen, no matter how rich and famous he gets, and even when his songs are more boring than dirt, I appreciate that it's real, honest, American dirt.
"Born to Run" is not boring as dirt. It's unquestionably his best song, probably one of the best songs by anyone ever. It's just such a bracingly pure expression of what everyone must feel during some dark night of the American soul or something. By 1975, when it was released, Springsteen was maturing, looking back on the endless hardscrabble streets of his New Jersey upbringing, the epic nights of possibility and adventure, and he was seeing the bitter undercurrent. "Born to Run" is hardly a bitter song (unlike "Born in the USA"—you hear me, dumb-ass politicians?), there's some resilient optimism, but he drenches it in the desperation and neglect of a man who's starting to see his runaway American Dream for what it truly is: a death trap, a suicide rap. He's begging—absolutely begging—Wendy to let him in, he wants to be her friend, he wants to guard her dreams and visions. He swears, they'll run till they drop, baby, they'll never go back (altogether now)—WO-O-OH!
I like to karaoke to this song, but it takes a whole lot out of me; for a tune like this, you either bring it hardcore of you don't bring it at all (I once knocked over a bass drum during the instrumental solo; another time, I broke the microphone before the vocals even began). Better yet, sing along to it while you're driving, and make sure you learn all the lyrics first. Trust me, it's worth it.
More of NT's greatest hits: "Shake Some Action," "Chips Ahoy!," "Radio, Radio," "Could You Be the One?," "Summer in the City," "Teenage Kicks," "Strawberry Fields Forever, " "Tunnel of Love," "I Get Around," "Local Girls," "Don't Let's Start," "Suffragette City," "See-Saw," "My Name Is Jonas," "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Reelin' in the Years," "Objects of My Affection" and "Crimson and Clover," "OK Apartment" and "Just What I Needed"