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By Quin Hillyer
Thirty-five years ago the day I write this, on Wednesday, a rising artist released the greatest rock-n-roll album of all time. It was not a political album by any means, and the lead musician was and is anything but a conservative, yet conservatives should nonetheless celebrate almost every chord and lyric of the entire album known as Born to Run.
Please, readers, don't have a conniption fit. Yes, I know that the album's impresario Bruce Springsteen can spout off liberal tomfoolery in an obnoxious, self-important manner. We all know he sometimes fancies himself a protest troubadour, and that a few of his songs -- such as the anti-police "American Skin (41 Shots)" -- are absolutely insufferable. Forget all that. This is about the majesty, pathos and profoundly expressed yearning, backed by absolutely anthem-like, soul-stirring music, of a particular album in the summer of 1975 that really did "rock" the world.
This is an album of a striver, of somebody who won't accept a lesser destiny defined by his socio-economic class or by the lower expectations of others. These are the songs of a quintessentially American character (or, rather, characters, plural), of people who know the proverbial American Dream isn't a pie-in-the sky fantasy or an inherited birthright but a matter of grit, imagination, pluck, and the rawest of raw energy unleashed in the right direction.