In the early 1970s, Bruce Springsteen honed his musical chops in north Jersey bars and roadhouses, writing songs and creating a sound that became the anthem for disaffected suburban and working-class Americans. Springsteen’s populism, in songs like “Born to Run” and “10th Avenue Freezeout,” caught the romanticism of rock and roll but also a deep vein of populism in the dignity and respect his music paid to the lives and aspirations of ordinary Americans. Initially dismissed as derivative of Bob Dylan or Van Morrison, Springsteen created music that merged lyrical introspection with a powerhouse sound that made his concerts an ecstatic experience. Simultaneously, Time and Newsweek covers in 1975 vaulted “The Boss” and his E Street Band to national attention. Springsteen continues to be a powerful presence both in the American songbook and as a performer.
This Annie Leibovitz photograph was used as a poster for Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A” concert tour in 1984.