Listen to this track by Once-And-Future-Boss and game-changing singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen. It’s “It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City”, a tale of machismo, morality, and a retelling of the hero’s quest. The song serves as the closing track to Springsteen’s first album, 1973’s Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, released on January 5 of that year.
This song was an early composition of Springsteen’s, relatively speaking. He’d done time fronting a number of New Jersey-based bands from the mid-to- late-60s, including The Castiles, Earth, Steel Mill, and Dr. Zoom & The Sonic Boom (featuring Steve Van Zandt and Southside Johnny), plus a number of related groups in addition to his sideline as a solo artist.
All the while, he’d put in considerable effort in honing his craft as a singer-songwriter, particularly as a lyricist, concurrently developing his established skills as a guitar player and front man of rock and R&B-oriented bands around town. The balance he’d look to strike would be with his abilities to craft songs to be easily interpreted in a solo setting, but with enough musical juice to be applied to a larger ensemble, too. This is a direction he’d been moving in intermittently even before he got his record deal.
It was this song included among a others that made the impact he needed to get there. And it would be some important people who would first hear the song that would get Springsteen’s burgeoning career into motion. Read more