The Boss’s signature song is speeding by mansions of glory when suddenly Springsteen eases off the throttle and takes us on a slow, surrealistic ride on a carnival of sound.
A veritable kitchen sink of instruments is tossed into the production as he cruises the girls combing their hair and sizes up the boys lookin’ hard - there are dozens of overdubbed guitars, piano and organ, glockenspiel, strings, you name it. It’s heady and dreamy, a rush of romantic frenzy and epic sonic grandeur, and just as Springsteen professes his mad love for Wendy and his need for that everlasting kiss - huh! - he roars off into a rock ‘n’ roll street opera that takes on all comers.
Grandiose, messy, adventurous – it rams so many ideas and sounds together that it easily could have been a musical five-car pileup. But Born To Run, particularly its extended middle eight, is a Spectorian celebration of unhinged, reckless emotions. Stopping its explosion of desperate feelings would be like trying to stop a last-chance power drive - and you know you can’t do that. One-two-three-four!