Maybe you’ve forgotten where you were and what you were doing when you first heard “Born to Run”. That’s okay.
The song has seeped into everyday life and has become something of a standard. It’s on just about every BBQ playlist and it’s almost incessantly on the radio. For me this was one of those songs that was always there. It was a staple, a given and, growing up, I never really gave it a second thought.
One autumn morning my dad was driving me to junior high in his green Jeep. It was one of the first cold days of the year and on the radio there was playing a song, mysterious and painful, filled with angst and sadness. I don’t know if anyone can forget the first time they heard “Thunder Road”. That morning I was exposed to a real, raw artist and when found out it was the same guy (And the same album!) who did “Born to Run” I knew that up until that point I’d only seen the very precipice of Springsteen’s work and that there was an entire mountain of moving music behind it. In recognizing the beauty of the lesser-known tracks I almost instantaneously grew an affection for “Born to Run” and still consider it to be amongst the best driving songs of all time.
The 40th anniversary of Born to Run marks 40 years of songs like “Thunder Road” and “She’s the One” providing the soundtracks to peoples’ lives. It’s a testament to Springsteen’s talent and charisma that, 40 years later, an album that was the soundtrack to my father’s youth is now the soundtrack to mine. Unlike 40th wedding anniversaries or birthdays, which can sometimes be bittersweet and tinged with a sense of ephemerality, Born to Run’s 40th anniversary is purely joyful because of the sense of timelessness it exudes. I’m proud and thankful to have experienced Born to Run in its run thus far and I can only hope that the generations to come will have enough sense to uphold this classic’s legacy.