WCSX Classic Cuts
Bruce Springsteen: “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”
The Hook: New E Street Band member Roy Bittan helped arrange the intro and got to play some pumping piano that pushed the song along.
Albums: Born to Run
Writer: Bruce Springsteen
Stats: Peaked at number-83 on Billboard Hot 100.
Background: Born to Run was the first Bruce Springsteen album to feature pianist Roy Bittan and drummer Max Weinberg as members of the E Street Band. Bittan recalls that even though it was his debut with the band, Bruce was open to his input when it came to arranging “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.”
E Street Band pianist Roy Bittan on recording “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out. OC:…on that. :29
“That was really fun, that song. It really had that R&B-type feel and I remember in rehearsal we were trying to figure out a great intro for it and I said, ‘Why don’t we take that “I’m on my own” section — let’s use that instrumentally up front, but let’s built it up. There was this minor chord intro and all of a sudden there was a big drum shot and then, wham, we went into the rockin’ part of it. And pumping the piano really seemed to just push it along. For me, it was a great thing. I really got to play like a really heavy rockin’ piano part on that.”