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Bruce Springsteen, The River, and the Outtakes
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By Leann Pomaville
Oct. 18, 2013 12:01 a.m.

The River

Thirty-three years ago today, Bruce Springsteen’s fifth studio album, The River, was released. The album was life changing for many people, me included. According to Bruce Springsteen on November 8, 2009 at Madison Square Garden:

The River was a record that was sort of the gateway to a lot of my future writing. It was a record we made after Darkness on the Edge of Town. It was a record made during a recession – hard times in the States. Its title song is a song I wrote for my brother-in-law and sister. My brother-in-law was in the construction industry, lost his job and had to struggle very hard back in the late 70s, like so many people are doing today. It was a record where I first started to tackle men and women and families and marriage. There were certain songs on it that led to complete records later on: “The River” sort of went to the writing on Nebraska, “Stolen Car” went to the writing on Tunnel of Love. Originally it was a single record. I handed it in with just one record and I took it back because I didn’t feel it was big enough. I wanted to capture the themes I had been writing about on Darkness. I wanted to keep those characters with me and at the same time added music that made our live shows so much fun and joy for our audience. So in the end, we’re gonna take you down to The River tonight.

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