It was 50 years ago today -- January 5th, 1973 -- that Bruce Springsteen released his debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Springsteen, who was signed as a solo artist, was signed to Columbia Records -- the only label he's ever recorded for by record producer John Hammond.
Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. was produced by Springsteen's then-managers and publishers Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos and recorded in Blauvelt, New York's low-rent 914 Studios. Although not billed as such, the early E Street Band is featured on the set -- Clarence Clemons, Garry Tallent, David Sancious, "Mad Dog" Vini Lopez -- and an uncredited Steve Van Zandt, who provides a rumble blast of ambient amplifier noise.
Among the instant classics included on the set are "Blinded By The Light' -- a 1977 chart-topper in a drastically reworked prog version by Manfred Mann's Earth Band -- "Spirit In The Night," "Growin' Up," "For You," and "It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City."
Although the album did not crack the Top 40 on the Billboard 200 albums chart -- it eventually made its way up to Number 60. Reviewers hailed Springsteen as the "new Dylan" -- despiote the fact that Bob Dylan was still actively recording and only 31. Rolling Stone has since rated the album 37th on their list of "Greatest Debut Albums list.