Certain Songs #137: Bruce Springsteen – “She’s The One”


Album: Born to Run.

Year: 1975.

Wiih its killer organ and secret basslines and big-ass drum fills, the Phil Spector-by-way-of Bo Diddley “She’s The One” packs a universe of epic grandness into just four-and-a-half minutes. And if the Born to Run version was all that we ever got, dayneu. 

But it was just a fucking trailer compared to the live version. On that 1978 tour, over Max Weinberg’s kick drum, Bruce would reference other classic songs with the Bo Diddley beat: “Not Fade Away,” “Mona,” “Gloria” – whatever came to mind – setting up what was always an absolutely monster version of “She’s The One”

The the density of the sound of the E Street Band is absolutely breathtaking: how Roy Bittan’s piano & Danny Federici’s organ intertwine, how Garry Tallent’s bass and Max Weinberg’s drums drive everything, and oh yeah, here comes Clarence Clemons kicking out a  sax solo while everybody is joyfully shouting “Whoa, she’s the one!”

And after that, they’re off to the races, pretty much leaving every other band ever in the dust. 

The last two minutes of any live 1978 version of “She’s The One,” with all of the building and building and stopping and starting and crashing and moving ever forward with ever single member of the band playing within an inch of their lives, ranks with the greatest rock ‘n’ roll music by anybody in any context. It’s utterly thrilling every single time.

“She’s the One” performed live in Landover, MD, 1978

“She’s The One” performed live in Passiac, NJ, 1978

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Every “Certain Song” Ever

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