Album: The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle.
I honestly don’t even know what to do about Bruce Springsteen. I’m positive that all my favorite Bruce songs are the ones that you’re all sick of, and given that he’s been one of the most over-analyzed artists in history, I’m not sure I’ve got a whole lot to say about him. So I’ve been looking at these next few songs with more than a little bet of dread.
That said: for decades I’ve known where I want to be if World War III ever broke out – wherever it is that Bruce Springsteen is performing “Rosalita.” There may not be a song in recorded history with more forward momentum, especially live. Check any of the bootlegs from 1978, where the song just builds and builds and builds, where even the band introductions (often during the section where they dropped into an lightspeed instrumental of “I Can’t Turn You Loose”) somehow kept the momentum going.
Back in 1979, ABC ran a “Heroes of Rock ‘n’ Roll" special (narrated by Jeff Bridges!), and they showed just a couple of minutes from the below clip of Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band playing “Rosalita” live in Phoenix in 1978. It just killed me. Eventually, the whole thing showed up on MTV. It killed me even more.
During this clip – from that insanely great 1978 tour – you get the impression that they’re not only the tightest rock ‘n’ roll band that anyone’s ever seen, but that anything could happen at any time. Usually it’s one or the other, but almost never both. It’s a perfect combination of rock and roll spirit, musicianly chops and masterful showmanship. It remains in the top 5 live performances I’ve ever seen on video.
“Rosalita” performed liver than you’ll ever be in Phoenix, 1978
My Certain Songs Spotify Playlist: