A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Born to Run was the third album by Grammy-winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bruce Springsteen. This was Springsteen's breakthrough record, rising to No. 3 on Billboard's U.S. album chart and receiving great critical acclaim; it's No. 18 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The poetic lyrics focus powerfully on the lives of small-town teenagers desperate for freedom and love; songs like "Thunder Road" and "Born to Run" equate cars and driving with both of these desires. Young people have sex in a couple of the songs, but there is nothing graphic in the lyrics or terribly suggestive in the musical tone. Profane language is minimal -- one "hell" and one "damn" -- and there's no violence to speak of, except for the certainty that some of these teenagers are not driving safely.
What's the story?
BORN TO RUN, the third album by Grammy-winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bruce Springsteen, was a huge breakthrough record for this artist, rising to No. 3 on Billboard's U.S. album chart and prompting more than one music critic to label him the \"new Dylan\" because of his eloquent, original lyrics. The songs focus on teenagers' powerful feelings of love, loneliness, and desperation. Images of cars and driving, rock 'n' roll bands, and city summer nights are repeated, as they are on other Springsteen records. Each Bruce Springsteen song suggests a slice of blue-collar life where emotions run extremely high, and the characters feel they have \"one last chance to make it real.\" Bruce Springsteen is widely considered one of the greatest rock 'n' roll songwriters -- and live performers -- of our time, and many consider this album his magnum opus.
Is it any good?
Born to Run is a magnificent achievement of songwriting and musical drama. Each song feels cinematic, with a well-realized scene, characters, and situation, and the dynamic arrangements evoke strong emotions. And with its focus on blue-collar heroes, this album firmly established Springsteen's status not only as a great artist, but also as a champion of the common man -- an image that he has upheld over the years with his actions as well as his music. Born to Run is a must-listen for any Springsteen fan, and really for anyone who enjoys the work of fine singer-songwriters.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the desperate feelings of the characters in Springsteen's songs. Do you ever feel trapped like these people do?
Bruce Springsteen has been outspoken in his support of President Obama's election, and he has been an activist for social and charitable causes. Do you think artists should use their position to gain support for issues they care about?
Today, Bruce Springsteen is a multimillionaire who still writes very evocatively about the lower classes. Do think he's still down to earth?
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love music for teens
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.