Bruce Springsteen released his 4 CD Tracks box set in 1998, but I didn’t buy it until perhaps a decade later. What is more, even though I’ve owned it for a year or so, I’m just now really beginning to listen to it. Had I gotten to it earlier, especially the first of the four chronological disks, I think I would have a better idea of what will perhaps become the most important writing/editing I’ll ever do, that being the work that is tentatively titled Rock and Roll Music, the Poetry of Our Time.
Those who have read the preface to my poetry book, pulse, have read the first written evidence of this theoretical thought process. In that short epistle, I didn’t mention anyone who came between 1964’s Bob Dylan and 1979’s The Sugarhill Gang. Had I known, and/or paid attention to some of Bruce’s early stuff, I’m sure he would have gotten mention as well.
Between the first half of the first disk of Tracks and his debut album, Greeting From Asbury Park, New Jersey, there is plenty of evidence of poetry and early rap styling in his work.
“Blinded By The Light,” “Growin’ Up,” “Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?,” “Lost in the Flood,” “Spirit in the Night,” “It’s Hard to be a Saint in the City,” “Bishop Danced,” and “Thundercrack,” among others even, all sport some of the tools or rap/ hip-hop.