Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We Interrupt This Movie Week for a Special Tuesday Essay Question

Bruce Springsteen's "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" from The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (1973).





1. This is the greatest single rock track ever recorded. Seriously -- name a better one.

2. This is what prog would have sounded like if anybody in any of those prog bands had, in fact, a scintilla of soul.

Discuss.

[Movie Week resumes tomorrow]

23 comments:

Gummo said...

I've never understood Springsteen worship and never will.

steve simels said...

This song doesn't do it for you?

For real?

Joe said...

I went to the University of Virginia in the late 70's. I was not the typical UVA student at the time-a bit of a hippie, almost druggie. I loved Bruce and lived in a dorm my first year. Got invited to a Frat party at a very preppie Frat. Almost didn't go, but I did. Felt out of place upon arrival, until Rosy came on. Place went crazy they knew all the words. Ended up having a good time. Later the frat brother in my dorm borrowed a bunch of LP's, Bruce and others to see what he was missing.

Sal Nunziato said...

He uses every rock and roll trick in the book in this one song and it never feels manipulative. This is what, I think, separates the Bruce lovers from the Bruce haters. Bruce fans embrace the dynamics while the haters feel it's contrived.

I didn't even have to listen, I got chills just knowing I could.

steve simels said...

What Sal said.
:-)

cthulhu said...

I don't dislike it, in fact I do like it (a lot better than the stuff on "Born to Run"), but best song ever? Not for me; that would be "Won't Get Fooled Again", probably. My favorite Bruce is probably "Nebraska", FWIW...

Michael said...

I can think of a boat load of songs to call the best rock song ever and I'm not sure Rosalita is on the list.
Best performance of a rock song ever? Rosalita vintage 74!

steve simels said...

I specifically said recording, not song.

Just being a pedant here....

Michael said...

ok, recoding is good. Performance is still better! :)

Anonymous said...

i am totally in the dark on Bruce lore, but i always assumed that this album's tracks sound less "contrived" than later Bruce albums due to David Sancious' input. high on my list of regrettable split ups of leaders and sidemen.

MCB said...

1. A great song and performance, but the production is too muted for this to count among the "greatest rock tracks". I'm with Michael - he did this one better live.

2. Now, there's "soul" and then there's "Soul". I would argue that there's plenty of "soul" in the best prog, just not much "Soul". In any case, you're mixing apples and oranges here. Prog has a different set of intentions than an extended Springsteen track.

Brooklyn Girl said...

"Rosalita" .. truly joyous noise, and the louder, the better! I don't care if it's contrived or not.

Phillydog said...

In a live situation, Rosalita was unmatchable. Then, now & forward. This whole album is undeniably great, but the studio versions are a little... mannered. Live, these songs were sonic bazookas. (hmm.. cool band name there.)

Regarding the prog thing, I'm divided. Prog is for the brain; Rock is for the hips.

pete said...

Yes, I saw BS put on a great show in 1978, and yes, there are BS singles I might put on a favorite-drunken-jukebox list. But without him actually selling the song in front of me this one feels stiff, overcompensated, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink.

That list?

10. Hungry Heart
9. I'd Feel a Whole Lot Better
8. One Way Out
7. Fat Man in the Bathtub
6. Green Manalishi
5. Baby I Love You or any one of a dozen other Aretha tracks
4. Please Please Me or any one of a dozen other Beatles tracks
3. She's So Cold or any one of a dozen other Stones tracks
2. Shot of Love or any one of a dozen other Dylan tracks

And at #1

Good Golly, Miss Molly by the undisputed Queen of Rock and Roll Little Richard. The drums alone make this the greatest rock record ever made. The rest is the most sinfully delicious gravy in history.

steve simels said...

Well, I believe that drum thing would be the late great Earl Palmer.

Hard to argue with that...
:-)

Anonymous said...

Kitty's Back pulls even at the finish line for a tie!!!!!



ROTP(lumber)

pete said...

Actually, I agree with #2.

Faze said...

Great list, Pete! For my part, I hate to say this so soon after Clarence Clemons' death, but the sax on the recorded version of Rosalita is mixed up too high, and is altogether too prominent and busy through the whole song -- especially in the buildup leading to the final chorus. We needed to hear a thicker band sound in that recording. More drums. Counterintuitively, it's the discipline and control of the band that makes those Little Richard Speciality records so exciting. "Bumps" Blackwell would have bumped Clemons' sax down, and gotten some kind of drum and guitar thing going on in that song -- to really bring out its essential greatness.

Noam Sane said...

Great song, wonderful performance, production is fine by my lights, really top-flight stuff, and one must wonder: how did he get from here to sub-Johnny Cougar-esque pap like "Glory Days"?

Haik Mendelovich said...

I've come to appreciate Bruce in recent years, but, having grown up on the Jersey Shore, I just couldn't stomach his stuff back then.

Mainly because it was pumping out of every bar's jukebox (remember those, boys and girls?) all the time, and I swore that NYC's big rock station, WNEW, was on BS's payroll. Daily morning glass of "Bruce Juice" ~gag!~ and so it went through the day.

So I turned to Elvis Costello and the Ramones for relief.

Now that I've, ahem, matured, I can appreciate what Bruce was able to accomplish with a track like this, which is undeniably great, kitchen sink approach or no.

Having said all that, I always though that BS made a mistake hiring Max Weinberg way back when. The man's a metronome.

Just imagine Rosalita with Keith Moon, and you'll see what I mean.

Anonymous said...

For what its worth, Max Wienberg isn't on this track. Its Vinny Lopez who was brilliant if undisciplined and brought a looseness to the early E Street Band that ended with Max and the departure of David Sancious.

However, many of the live versions noted as superior featured Max. Go figure.

But it gets my vote as well as one of the greatest rock recordings (but not songs) of all time. Its not even the greatest Bruce song of all time.

reddyrooster said...

Great song... but "Kitty's Back" is better...

CovetedNOPrizeWinnerWithOakLeafCluster said...

Haik describes my general feeling toward Bruce, which I am sure was more oppressive where he was than where I was. Rosalita is a brilliant song, though.