Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, "Kitty's Back" (1973)

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Now here we have the E Street Band with David Sancious and Vinny Lopez imparting more than a little bit of their jazzier sides. The jazz feel comes partly from Lopez’ loose-but-tight work at the kit and from Sancious’ wicked organ solo. “Kitty’s Back” also has one of my favorite guitar introductions, with Bruce absolutely digging in and spitting some fire as the horns lay out long lines in response. I’ve always thought of this song as a companion to the great and mysterious “Thundercrack,” with several obvious opportunities for guitar battles and all manner of improvisation.

Indeed, when Bruce and the band resumed the Magic tour in Hartford (2/28/08), the encore set burst with intensity as “Girls In Their Summer Clothes” was followed by the breathtaking trio of “Backstreets” -> “Kitty’s Back” -> “Born To Run.” It was an amazing night overall (beginning with the surprise of “So Young and In Love”), capped off by the relative rarity of “Kitty’s.” Twenty-one songs into the night and Bruce was still ready to rumble.

Check out the Hammersmith “Kitty’s Back” insanity:

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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