springsteen craft


On this day in music history: June 4, 1984 - “Born In The USA”, the seventh studio album by Bruce Springsteen is released. Produced by Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt, it is recorded at The Power Station and The Hit Factory in New York City from January 1982 - March 1984. Springsteen’s previous album, “Nebraska” released in 1982, featuring stark and spare acoustically driven songs recorded on a four-track cassette recorder, receives great critical acclaim but is perceived as a commercial disappointment following the success of “The River” in 1980. For the follow up, Springsteen goes about crafting an album that preserves his artistic integrity, while reaching the largest listening audience possible. The resulting album is a massive critical and commercial success, spinning off seven top 10 singles in the US (tying with Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814) including “Dancing In The Dark” (#2 Pop), “Glory Days” (#5 Pop) and the title track (#9 Pop). Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band support the album with a massive worldwide tour running from June 29, 1984 until October 2, 1985. The albums iconic cover photo featuring a shot of Springsteen wearing a pair of well worn blue jeans with a red baseball cap sticking out of the right back pocket is taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz (Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair), and becomes an enduring and much imitated image. The red baseball cap had belonged to the father of Springsteen’s friend Lance Larson. Larson gives the cap to Bruce after his father’s death. Springsteen uses the cap on the album cover in tribute to his friend’s late father. “Born In The USA” is also the first compact disc to be manufactured in the US by CBS Records’ Terre Haute, IN pressing plant. “USA” also wins Springsteen his first Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male for “Dancing In The Dark” in 1985. The album is remastered and reissued on CD and 180 gram vinyl in 2014, with both configurations replicating the original vinyl LP packaging, including the inner sleeve and lyric sheet insert. “Born In The USA” spends seven weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 15x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.