Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle
If Springsteen's debut, 'Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ' revealed just how ambitious a talent he was, it also fell just short of realizing those ambitions. No such problem with this, his second album. The Dylanesque wordplay is there, but with more narrative detail, as on '4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy),' 'Kitty's Back,' and 'Rosalita,' each of which became instant Springsteen classics and were demanded by his concert crowds for years. But even on this record, the music isn't allowed to take a back seat to the words - the latter two, at least, are full-tilt rock and roll numbers, with abrupt tempo shifts, soaring instrumental parts, and production that's just chaotic enough to make you wonder if the whole thing is going to blow apart and then smile in appreciation when it doesn't. 'The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle' was the first time Springsteen scaled the heights of rock and roll greatness - but it wouldn't be the last.