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Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (Numbered Hybrid SACD)

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Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (Numbered Hybrid SACD)

Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (Numbered Hybrid SACD)


The Soulful Rock ‘n’ Roll Revue on Which Bruce Springsteen Becomes the Boss: The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle Teems with Discovery

Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's Renowned Mastering System: Numbered-Edition Hybrid SACD Plays with Expressive Clarity

Released only eight months after his exhilarating debut, Bruce Springsteen's The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle contains rousing dispatches from the boardwalk, the street, the beach, and the bedroom. It explodes with energy, dares to dream, teases with humor, crackles with tragedy, clings to hope, and overflows with discovery, youthfulness, and personality. It features an unforgettable cast of characters — corner boys, teenage hustlers, doomed lovers, jazz men, junk men, factory girls, fortune tellers, alley cats, pimps, escorts, and more — illuminated by vivid color, breathtaking detail, and poetic action.

Musically, the heartfelt 1973 record is inhabited by sympathetic vignettes and cinematic arrangements steeped in rock 'n' roll, soul, jazz, and R&B. It finds the New Jersey native looking beyond the parameters of his preceding record and seeking to move on from environments he knows well (and chronicles here) by rushing headlong toward unknown territories, adventures, and people. Underpinned by the singer-guitarist's ambitious poetic enterprise and will to succeed, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle is the album on which Springsteen becomes the Boss.

Mastered on Mobile Fidelity's renowned mastering system and housed in mini-LP-style gatefold packaging, Mobile Fidelity's numbered-edition hybrid SACD presents Springsteen's sophomore record in audiophile sound. It plays with a clarity, energy, and openness that complement the expressiveness, dynamics, and scope of the seven restless songs. Everything from the separation between the instruments to the natural decay of the notes and youthful candor of Springsteen’s voice comes across in studio-like fashion. The work that Rolling Stone ranked the 345th Greatest Album of All Time deserves nothing less.

Determined to liberate anyone within earshot and unafraid to come on strong, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle serves as the debut of the E Street Band — not only heard but seen for the first time by most of the public courtesy of the back-cover photograph. This is where saxophonist Clarence Clemons, organist-accordionist Danny Federici, and pianist David Sancious step out of the shadows — and drummer Vini Lopez and bassist Garry Tallent again stoke a fiery rhythmic engine that helps drive the untamed, reimagined big-band swing of “Kitty’s Back,” breathless R&B thrust of “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight),” and carefree dance steps of the funky “The E Street Shuffle.”

Of course, the main attraction remains a then-24-year-old visionary on the precipice of becoming a sensation and turning a then-bloated rock scene on its head. Recorded over three months while Springsteen and company were busy touring his debut LP, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle reflects the high-octane approach the vocalist embraced onstage and drifts away from the label-dictated acoustic-based frameworks of his debut. The set also witnesses Springsteen deepening his  observational skills, with narratives such as the romantically tinged “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” and redemptive epic “Incident on 57th Street” mirroring changes taking place in the singer’s own life, small towns, and America at large.

A thrilling collision of memories, reflections, and composites — Sandy, Rosalita, and the latter’s parents are all based on actual people Springsteen knew, as is the community depicted in the opening track — the aptly titled The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle resonates decades on due to its truths, authenticity, and spirit. Those characteristics — as well as the fact that many of its lengthy songs come on as the equivalent of sweaty, feverish soul revue that won’t stop until you’ve been exhausted — also explain how this now-iconic album triumphed over the reservations of industry “experts” that both demanded Springsteen re-record it and instructed deejays not to play it.

Yet there’d be no stopping a record that saw the past, present, and future, a band whose will would not be denied, and a phenomenon who was born to run. A never-ending invitation to act real cool and stay up all night, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle always feels alright.

  1. The E Street Shuffle
  2. Rosalia (Come Out Tonight)
  3. Kitty's Back
  4. Wild Billy's Circus Story
  5. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
  6. Incident on 57th Street
  7. New York City Serenade