Key Live Performance
Here, we have the acoustic arrangement of "Born To Run", which was released on the Chimes of Freedom LP in the late 80s. Nowadays, it seems that nearly every song has an "acoustic version" of it out there, and usually it is done in jest. However, a re-imaging of a popular song, by the artist himself, was a greater novelty 25+ years ago. This version of "Born To Run" comes at a fascinating time in Springsteen's career, too, as he had just released Tunnel of Love and would soon be leaving the E Street Band behind. This performance symbolically captures this new phase in Springsteen's career, as he takes his most iconic song down to its bare bones and rebuilds it by himself.
"Oh-oh, Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we're young
`Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run."
"Born to Run" is filled with a surprising amount of violent imagery, including two uses of "suicide", along with dying, being broken, etc. The lyrics spotlighted above are simultaneously gruesome and catchy. It's a trick you don't see in many pop songs, as they tend to stick to words like "baby" and "i wish". With these in-your-face lyrics, it isn't surprising that it was nominated to be New Jersey's official state song.
Come on. It's "Born To Run"! It's Bruce's most iconic song, and for good reason. You've got a dramatic drum-roll to start, an instantly memorable chorus, and an amazing drop. It's hard not to drive recklessly when listening to this song. It's the perfect anthem for lovers and dream, and yet, crazily enough, many people would say that it isn't even the best song on the album! It just goes to show how on point Bruce was at this point in his career. This song has been a pop-culture staple for 40 years, and will easily be for 40 more.