100 Greatest Bruce Springsteen Songs of All Time

An expert panel of writers and artists pick Springsteen's best songs, from "Rosalita" to "Wrecking Ball"

31

"New York City Serenade"

bruce springsteen
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, 1973

"My romantic ideas and fantasies of New York City," was how Springsteen described this song and "Incident on 57th Street." The 10-minute epic – the longest track on any Springsteen studio album – combined fragments of two earlier songs, "New York City Song" and "Vibes Man" (the latter of which contained images of domestic violence that Springsteen edited out). Arranged by David Sancious, who played its sweeping, jazzy piano lead, it's full of Mean Streets imagery, spooled out over a song that bridges Dylanesque storytelling, doo-wop and Latin jazz via Richard Blackwell's subtle conga playing.

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