Bruce Springsteen, 'The Wild, the Innocent & the E-Street Shuffle' (1973)
As much musical theater as rock and roll, the Jersey giant's first two albums introduced a colorful cast of seaside and big-city lowlifes while launching one of the longest-running and most consistently exhilarating (and exhausting) shows in touring history. Springsteen's September sequel to January 1973's Greetings From Asbury Park offered more snapshots of his carnivalesque hometown, as in "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)." But it was in future tour warhorses like the Shakespearean "Incident on 57th Street" and "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" where he evinced the musical depth, man-for-all-seasons ambition, and tension-release drama that would make him and his E Street Band American rock's preeminent ambassadors for decades to come.
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