The release of Nebraska, a stripped-down and disturbing solo album that, while a major left turn for a mainstream rock artist, becomes lauded by critics and beloved by fans. Bruce had attempted to revisit the songs himself and with his band throughout the year, but the music captured on the record is what he originally recorded on acoustic guitar and harmonica in January, 1982 stark, intimate, and uncompromising.
In Phoenix, a film crew captures footage for what will be Springsteen’s first music video, “Rosalita,” and additional songs later released as part of the Promise box set.
In a publicity coup engineered by producer Mike Appel, Springsteen appears simultaneously on the covers of Time (“Rock’s New Sensation”) and Newsweek (“Making of a Rock Star”) magazines. Springsteen tells Time, “I don’t understand what all the commotion is about…I feel like I’m on the outside of all this, even though I’m on the inside. It’s like you want attention, but sometimes you can’t relate to it.” In Newsweek, he says, “What phenomenon? We ain’t no phenomenon. The hype just gets in the way.”
Springsteen’s third LP, Born to Run, is released. Co-produced by Springsteen, Appel, and Landau, the album is wildly praised by critics and goes gold in a matter of weeks, cementing Springsteen’s reputation and his standing with the label after the relatively poor commercial performance of his first two albums.
A high-profile, ten-show stand begins at The Bottom Line in New York and builds excitement for Born to Run, with the title track released as a single at the end of the month.