The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle

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The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
Studio album by Bruce Springsteen
Released November 11, 1973[1][2]
Recorded May–September 1973
Studio 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, New York
Genre Rock and roll, rhythm and blues
Length 46:47
Label Columbia
Producer Mike Appel, Jim Cretecos
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band chronology
Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.
(1973)Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.1973
The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
Born to Run
(1975)Born to Run1975
Singles from The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
  1. "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)"
    Released: 1975 (Germany only)
  2. "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)"
    Released: 1979

The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle is the second studio album by American rock singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen. It was recorded by Springsteen with the E Street Band at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, New York; and released on November 11, 1973, by Columbia Records. The album includes the song "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)", the band's most-used set-closing song for the first 10 years of its career.

As with Springsteen's first album released earlier in the year, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle was well-received critically but had little commercial success at the time. However, once Springsteen achieved popularity with Born to Run, several selections from this album became popular FM radio airplay and concert favorites. On November 7, 2009, Springsteen and the E Street Band played the album in its entirety for the first time during a concert at Madison Square Garden.[3]


According to biographer Peter Ames Carlin, Springsteen had developed a "renewed passion for full-band rock 'n' roll" when he started to record The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle in May 1973.[4] Sputnikmusic critic Adam Thomas later wrote that the album departed from the folk influences of Springsteen's 1973 debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and was instead characterized by "a grand fusion of nostalgic rock 'n' roll and soulful R&B".[5]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[6]
Chicago Tribune3/4 stars[7]
Christgau's Record GuideA–[8]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[10]
Goldmine5/5 stars[11]
MusicHound Rock4/5[12]
Q4/5 stars[13]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide5/5 stars[14]

There is disagreement on The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle's release date between official sources and third-party sources, including various Springsteen biographies covering the era. Springsteen's official website[15] provides a release date of September 11, 1973; however, it is known that Springsteen was still in the studio recording for the album past this date.[16] [17] The consensus among other sources is that the album was released in November; Carlin gives a date of November 11, though November 5 has also been cited among online sources.[18]

The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle sold poorly when it was first released in 1973 but received acclaim from critics.[5] Rolling Stone magazine's Ken Emerson said that its lengthy, vividly written songs make for a more challenging and romantic album than Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., but still retain that album's ebullient music because of Springsteen and the E Street Band's masterful playing.[19] In a less enthusiastic review for Creem, Robert Christgau wrote that it does not cohere as a whole, although its livelier songs make it "the kind of album that will be fun to go back to" if Springsteen improves upon it.[9] In a retrospective 1981 review, Christgau said that Springsteen eschewed the limiting folk conventions of his first album for a vibrant, quirky style of rock and roll that balances his celebrations of wild youth with a mature embrace of city life: "This guy may not be God yet, but he has his sleeveless undershirt in the ring."[8]

The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle made its first appearance on the British albums chart on June 15, 1985. In the wake of Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. Tour arriving in Britain, the record hit number 33 and remained in the Top 100 for 12 weeks.[20] The Rolling Stone Album Guide (1992) later called the album a "masterpiece", "cinematic in its sweep" and densely poetic with "vignettes of urban dreams and adolescent restlessness".[14] Goldmine magazine's Rush Evans said it was not only a five-star album but also Springsteen's "most overlooked album ... to those who know its seven richly vivid songs, it is recognized as an innovative masterpiece."[11] Reviewing it for AllMusic, William Ruhlmann felt the record epitomized Springsteen's romanticized songwriting and diversity as a composer, making it his best work and "one of the greatest albums in the history of rock & roll".[6] In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked the record at number 132 on the magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[21] Chicago Tribune critic Greg Kot was less enthusiastic and remarked only on how the record was highlighted by the beautiful three-song suite that ended it.[7]

Unreleased outtakes[edit]

Springsteen recorded many songs for his second album; at least eleven are known not to have made the final cut. Out of those eleven, "Zero and Blind Terry", "Thundercrack", "Seaside Bar Song" and "Santa Ana" were released on the Tracks box set, whereas "The Fever", a song which had also been recorded by Southside Johnny, was released on 18 Tracks.[22]

The following songs from the album's recording sessions remain officially unreleased:[23]

  • "Evacuation of the West". Recorded without Sancious and with no overdubs. It circulates in several bootlegs.
  • "Phantoms" (aka "Over the Hills of St George"). An early version of "Zero and Blind Terry". It circulates in the bootleg Deep Down in the Vaults.
  • "Fire on the Wing". Considered for inclusion in Tracks. The song remains uncirculated.
  • "New York Song". An early version of "New York City Serenade", which also included parts of an earlier song called "Vibes Man". The song remains uncirculated.
  • "Secret to the Blues". Reworking of a previous Springsteen song called "The Band's Just Boppin' the Blues". The song remains uncirculated.
  • "Angel's Blues" (aka "She So Fine" or "Ride On Sweet William"). Another uncirculated song.


The back photo for the album featured six members of Springsteen's backing E Street Band standing in a doorway[24] of an antique store on Sairs Ave in the West End section of Long Branch, New Jersey.[25] The building was across the street from West End Elementary School, and for years was Tommy Reed's bicycle repair shop and penny candy store; it has since been demolished and its former location is occupied by a parking lot.[25]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Bruce Springsteen.

Side one
1."The E Street Shuffle"4:31
2."4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)"5:36
3."Kitty's Back"7:09
4."Wild Billy's Circus Story"4:47
Side two
5."Incident on 57th Street"7:45
6."Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)"7:04
7."New York City Serenade"9:55




  1. ^ Carlin, Peter Ames (2012). Bruce. Simon & Schuster. p. 162. ISBN 1471112357. Retrieved May 12, 2018. Released on November 11... 
  2. ^ Dolan, Marc (June 4, 2012). Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock 'n' Roll. Norton. p. 93. ISBN 978-0393345841. In terms of sales, the release of Wild and Innocent in early November made even less of a ripple in the pop market than the release of Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. had done in January. 
  3. ^ "Bruce Springsteen to perform entire albums at Madison Square Garden shows". 3 November 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Carlin, Peter Ames (2012). Bruce. Simon & Schuster. p. 163. ISBN 1471112357. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Thomas, Adam (March 4, 2009). "Review: Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle - Bruce Springsteen". AllMusic. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Kot, Greg (August 23, 1992). "The Recorded History of Springsteen". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Bruce Springsteen: The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s. Da Capo Press. p. 366. ISBN 0306804093. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (April 1974). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  10. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Bruce Springsteen". Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958. 
  11. ^ a b Evans, Rush (June 21, 2011). "True 5-star albums: Bruce Springsteen's 'The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle'". Goldmine. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ Graff, Gary (1996). "Bruce Springsteen". In Graff, Gary. MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. ISBN 0787610372. 
  13. ^ Williams, Richard (December 1989). "All or Nothing: The Springsteen back catalogue". Q. p. 149. 
  14. ^ a b DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James; George-Warren, Holly, eds. (1992). The Rolling Stone Album Guide (3rd ed.). Random House. p. 663. ISBN 0679737294. 
  15. ^ The Official Bruce Springsteen Website (1973-09-11). "The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle – The Official Bruce Springsteen Website". Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  16. ^ Carlin, Peter Ames (2012). Bruce. Simon & Schuster. p. 162. ISBN 1471112357. Retrieved May 12, 2018. Recording sessions for Bruce's second album began at the 914 Sound Studios in mid-May. Given how crucial touring was to the group's week-to-week income, the sessions were squeezed into dayslong increments through late September. 
  17. ^ Dolan, Marc (June 4, 2012). Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock 'n' Roll. Norton. p. 93. ISBN 978-0393345841. It had taken four months, six separate rounds of recording, to get to this point, and still in the second week of September Springsteen’s second album was only half ready. 
  18. ^ Murphy, Jane (November 5, 2013). "'The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle' turns 40". AXS. Retrieved May 12, 2018. 
  19. ^ Emerson, Ken (January 31, 1974). "The Wild, the Innocent the E Street Shuffle". Rolling Stone. New York. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  20. ^ The Guinness Book of British Hit Albums, 1996
  21. ^ Levy, Joe; Steven Van Zandt (2006) [2005]. "132 | The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle - Bruce Springsteen". Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (3rd ed.). London: Turnaround. ISBN 1-932958-61-4. OCLC 70672814. Retrieved 14 April 2006. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Brucebase - The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle - Studio Sessions". 
  24. ^ "E Street should lead directly to the Rock Hall of Fame". Goldmine. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  25. ^ a b Goldstein, Stan (15 May 2009). "Bruce Springsteen Rocked Here". Retrieved 13 April 2012. 

External links[edit]