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'Thunder Road'
Bruce Springsteen
It may not be his best known work but “Thunder Road” could reasonably be called the quintessential Bruce Springsteen track. The first song on his breakthrough album Born To Run, it has everything you’d want from a Springsteen track – rootsy
Bruce Springsteen
Song facts
Composer Bruce Springsteen
Genre Rock
Album Born To Run
Year of Release 1975
rock from the E Street Band, impassioned vocals from The Boss, and a great kitchen sink lyric. After two critically acclaimed but commercially disappointing albums, Springsteen was under pressure to come up with a hit when he recorded Born To Run. So he took a risk, decamped to The Record Plant in New York, and attempted to recreate Phil Spector’s famed ‘Wall Of Sound’. “Thunder Road” shows that influence clearly. The piano and harmonica introduction sets the introspective tone of the song and by the time the full band joins them a minute later you’re hooked, thanks to Springsteen’s cinematic lyric. In fact the whole track, which was named after a 1958 Robert Mitchum film, is held together by his skilfully narrated tale of an average Joe desperate to escape “a town full of losers” with his girl, a Chevy and a guitar. The sessions may not have been easy – “I was born, grew old and died making that album” Springsteen said – but they were successful, and gave him the chart success he so dearly needed.

Bruce Springsteen
Writer's block is something that comes and goes according to Bruce. And he has word of warning for would-be song writers who don't want to lose their creative urges - stay away from television. In America anyway.


Other versions
Bruce Springsteen
 Bruce recorded a slow version of Thunder Road for his Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live 1975 - '85 album.

Its like you're right in the middle of a movie, and everything is taking place all around you.

Drew Walker

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Songwriting tips

Tips on how to be professional and what to do if the PA breaks in Becoming A Performer
What makes a good lyric? Find out more in Writing Lyrics
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