42. "Meeting Across the River"
Born to Run, 1975
Springsteen dashed off "Meeting Across the River" in "about an hour." But he wasn't that fond of it. His then-manager Mike Appel claims he had to lobby to get the song on Born to Run. "That's a great song," he told Springsteen. "Reminds me of Naked City." Roy Bittan's somber late-night piano figure and Randy Brecker's noir trumpet back a short, open-ended tale about small-time hoods going across the Hudson to do a deal. "That two grand's practically sitting here in my pocket," Springsteen sings, though you get the sense that's not how the night will end. The suggestive track even birthed a 2005 short-story collection in which various authors took inspiration from Springsteen's shadowy tale.