Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
|"Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out"|
|Single by Bruce Springsteen|
|from the album Born to Run|
|B-side||"She's the One"|
|Producer(s)||Bruce Springsteen, Mike Appel, Jon Landau|
|Bruce Springsteen singles chronology|
The song tells the story of the formation of the E Street Band. However, when asked, most Springsteen fans cannot answer the question, "What is a Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out?" The meaning of the phrase is still a mystery. Even Springsteen himself says, laughing, in the Born to Run documentary "Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run": "I still have no idea what it means. But it's important."[this quote needs a citation]
The song's protagonist, "Bad Scooter", is a pseudonym for Springsteen himself (as indicated by the initials they share). In the third verse, "Big Man joined the band" refers to the now deceased Clarence Clemons, the band's long-time saxophonist.
As stated by Springsteen in the Wings for Wheels documentary, the idea for the composition of the horn intro was Steven Van Zandt's. Despite all of this, the single was a chart dud, getting no higher than #83 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, it has always had a strong following on album-oriented rock radio and amongst Springsteen's fan base.
- Bruce Springsteen – guitar, vocals
- Garry Tallent – bass guitar
- Max M. Weinberg – drums
- Roy Bittan – piano
- Clarence Clemons – tenor saxophone
- Randy Brecker – trumpet, flugel horn
- Michael Brecker – tenor saxophone
- Dave Sanborn – baritone saxophone
- Wayne Andre – trombone
Live performance history
"Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" has become a staple of Springsteen's E Street Band concert tours, with regular appearances from the 1975 and on Born to Run tours through the 1984 legs of the Born in the U.S.A. Tour, with one of the latter documented on the later Live/1975–85, and the 1988 Tunnel of Love Express. It then returned with a featured regular spot on the 1999–2000 Reunion Tour, often used as an introduction of the band. An extended 20-minute version was captured on the subsequent Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live in New York City release, and was frequently played during most of the legs of the 2007–2008 Magic Tour and during the 2009 Working on a Dream Tour. It opened the four-song set at Springsteen and the band's high profile half-time appearance at Super Bowl XLIII, which included Springsteen pointing out that the verse about "the Big Man" joining the band was the important part of the song.
A slower version of this song was played during the Born to Run tours, on December 31, 1975 in Philadelphia.
More recently, Springsteen has used the song as a memorial/tribute to Clemons on the Wrecking Ball Tour which is the first E Street Band tour without Clemons. During the song's third verse of "Big Man joined the band", Springsteen pauses the song where Clemons' sax solo should be performed so the crowd can cheer and honor Clemons' memory. Normally the pause lasts for a few minutes before Springsteen launches back into the song.
- Official lyrics
- What is a Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out? Mystery solved? Extrageographic Magazine
- Springsteen, Bruce Philadelphia 12-31-1975,