Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, "New York City Serenade" (1973)

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Bruce ends The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle with another image-drenched epic. The song features the piano of David Sancious in full bloom accompanying Billy and Jackie down the dark and blue streets of a Manhattan night. There’s a story of redemption that might happen…and then it might not. The combination of the story and the music puts my ear parts in a cinematic frame of mind.

Part of me thinks that the sequence should have been flipped, with Rosalita closing out the record on a more rockin’ note. Years of listen have pushed that notion out of my head. Now the song feels almost like a foreshadowing of what’s to come, with stories managing to be more compact and yet so full of vision.

Next up: Thunder Road

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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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