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20. "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out"

Born to Run, 1975

Even Springsteen can't explain what a Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out is. "I still have no idea," he said with a chuckle in 2005. "But it's important." Beyond the title, the song is about the formation of the E Street Band. The group had been named for only about a year by this point, but Springsteen was already crafting a mythological narrative about when "Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half." The song also brought a new member aboard. Longtime friend Van Zandt dropped by the studio while the tune was being recorded and helped craft a horn arrangement for it. Springsteen liked what he heard, and the E Street Band had a new guitarist.