Rolling Stone - 7/5/73, p.64
"..influenced a lot by the Band..a Van Morrison tinge every now and then...what makes Bruce totally unique and cosmically surfeiting is his words...a bold new talent with more than a mouthful to say.." [Lester Bangs]
Personnel: Bruce Springsteen (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, piano, congas, hand claps, background vocals); Bruce Springsteen (bass instrument); Vini Lopez (vocals, horns, drums, hand claps, background vocals); Garry Tallent (horns, bass instrument); Richard Davis (double bass, upright bass); Vincent Lopez (drums); Clarence Clemons (vocals, saxophone, hand claps, background vocals); David Sancious (saxophone, piano, organ, keyboards); Harold Wheeler (piano).
Audio Remixer: Jack Ashkinazy.
Liner Note Author: Charles Burr.
Recording information: 914 Sound Studios, Blanvelt, NY (07/1972-09/1972); 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY (07/1972-09/1972).
Arranger: Bruce Springsteen.
Hailed early on by Columbia producer and talent scout John Hammond as "the new Dylan," Bruce Springsteen has always shared many of the folky, poetic, word-savvy tendencies of his hero and predecessor. Nowhere is this more evident than on Springsteen's debut, GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK, NJ, which veritably bursts at the seams with lyrical invention, pell-mell imagery, and acoustic-guitar driven troubadour tunes. Yet Springsteen trades in on Dylan's pensive and bitter sides for dew-eyed optimism and exuberance.
While there is spare, folkie fare like "The Angel" and "Mary Queen Of Arkansas," on which Springsteen sings of his local New Jersey color in his uniquely passionate voice, there is also something fresh and irrepressible here. A rock & roll heart beats at the center of GREETINGS, with a spunk and spirit that push the whole affair along. "It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City" and "Growin' Up" are fueled by David Sancious's rollicking piano, wailing tenor sax, and Springsteen's husky voice. Together these elements defined a James Dean rebel persona and a giant rock & roll ambition that would guide Springsteen's music for the rest of his career.