Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mountain of Love

As further evidence—as though any were needed—of the qualification of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as one of the very finest cover artists of all time, we present this specimen from February 1975.

Springsteen and crew rip into this Harold Dorman song as though it were their own composition and there are label executives in the audience and this is their very last shot at a record deal. In reality, they already had a record deal...although they were on the verge of losing it, if their next album—the band's third—tanked the way their first two had.

Fortunately, the album they were recording at the time was a little something called Born to Run. Unfortunately, the recording process was long, arduous, frustrating and at that point wasn't producing anything near the quality they needed or knew they and the songs had in 'em.

All of which is to say it was probably an amazing relief to take this band, full of piss and vinegar and clearly feeling their oats, with relatively new members Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg, out to play in front of a rapturously adoring audience of already devoted fans. Which just might explain why they attack this song with the ferocity of starving wolverines and the precision of top-flight neurosurgeons.

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