Springsteen signed a record deal with Columbia Records in 1972 with the help of John Hammond, who had signed Bob Dylan to the same label a decade earlier. Springsteen brought many of his New Jersey–based colleagues into the studio with him, thus forming the E Street Band (although it would not be formally named as such for several more years). His debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., released in January 1973, established him as a critical favorite though sales were slow.
Because of Springsteen’s lyrical poeticism and folk rock–rooted music exemplified on tracks like “Blinded by the Light” and “For You”, as well as the Columbia and Hammond connections, critics initially compared Springsteen to Bob Dylan. “He sings with a freshness and urgency I haven’t heard since I was rocked by ‘Like a Rolling Stone'” wrote Crawdaddy magazine editor Peter Knobler in Springsteen’s first interview/profile in March 1973. Photographs for that original profile were taken by photographer Ed Gallucci. Crawdaddy discovered Springsteen in the rock press and was his earliest champion. Knobler profiled him in Crawdaddy three times, in 1973, 1975 and 1978. (Springsteen and the E Street Band acknowledged by giving a private performance at the Crawdaddy 10th Anniversary Party in New York City in June 1976.) Music critic Lester Bangs wrote in Creem in 1975 that when Springsteen’s first album was released “… many of us dismissed it: he wrote like Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, sang like Van Morrison and Robbie Robertson, and led a band that sounded like Van Morrison’s”. The track “Spirit in the Night” especially showed Morrison’s influence, while “Lost in the Flood” was the first of many portraits of Vietnam veterans, and “Growin’ Up”, his first take on the recurring theme of adolescence.
In September 1973 his second album The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle was released, again to critical acclaim but no commercial success. Springsteen’s songs became grander in form and scope, with the E Street Band providing a less folky, more R&B vibe, and the lyrics often romanticized teenage street life. “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” and “Incident on 57th Street” would become fan favorites, and the long, rousing “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” continues to rank among Springsteen’s most beloved concert numbers.
In the May 22, 1974 issue of Boston’s The Real Paper music critic Jon Landau wrote, after seeing a performance at the Harvard Square Theater, “I saw rock and roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen. And on a night when I needed to feel young, he made me feel like I was hearing music for the very first time.” Landau subsequently became Springsteen’s manager and producer, helping to finish the epic new album Born to Run. Given an enormous budget in a last-ditch effort at a commercially viable record, Springsteen became bogged down in the recording process while striving for a “Wall of Sound” production. But, fed by the release of an early mix of “Born to Run” to progressive rock radio, anticipation built toward the album’s release. (by wikipedia)
And the rest is history …
The setlist represents the complete performance by Bruce and band inside a recording studio, KLOL-FM. This is lengthiest of all Bruce’s radio station sojourns; in fact this is practically a concert in itself. A stunning “The Fever” is performed because a studio demo of the song (later issued on the official Columbia 1998 release Tracks) had been sent to the station by Mike Appel a couple of months earlier and had been receiving strong phone-in requests. The entire show can be found in excellent quality on the CD ‘The Lost Radio Show’ from various labels including Whoopy Cat, Kiss The Stone, Postscript and Audifon. The two reels used for ‘The Lost Radio Show’ were rescued from the trash after KLOL were purging their tape library. Before they were bootlegged by Whoopy Cat, the reels were offered to Springsteen’s people, but they declined. The so-called intro/tuning includes parts of “Satin Doll” and “Beer Barrel Polka”. Comments made during this show positively confirm the stations as KLOL-FM and the recording and broadcast date as the afternoon of March 9.
Recorded live at KLOL FM Studios, Houston, Texas on March 9, 1974
01. Soundcheck 2.35
02. Satin Doll/Beer Barrel Polka (Ellington/Strayhorn/Vejvoda) 2.30
03. Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street (Springsteen) 5.56
04. Growin’ Up (Springsteen) 10.16
05. Mary, Queen Of Arkansas (Springsteen) 6.49
06. Wild Billy’s Circus Story (Springsteen) 5.40
07. Sentimental Journey (Brown/Homer/Green) 3.03
08. The Fever (Springsteen) 8.43
09. Something You Got (Kenner) 7.09
10. Interview with Ed Beauchamp 18.26