Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – ‘Hungry Heart’
  • Writer: Bruce Springsteen
  • Producers: Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, and Steve Van Zandt
  • Recorded: Early 1980 at the Power Station in New York City
  • Released: October 1980
  • Players:
    Bruce Springsteen–vocals, guitar
    Roy Bittan–piano
    Clarence Clemons–saxophone
    Danny Federici–organ
    Garry Tallent–bass
    Steve Van Zandt–guitar
    Max Weinberg–drums
    Flo and Eddie–backing vocals
  • Album: The River (Columbia, 1980)
  • Also on:
    Live/1975-1985 (Columbia, 1986)
    Greatest Hits (Columbia, 1995)
  • “Hungry Heart” was Bruce Springsteen‘s first bona fide hit single, peaking at Number Five on the Billboard Hot 100. It peaked at Number 44 in the U.K.
  • In the liner notes for his Greatest Hits album, Springsteen reveals the origin of “Hungry Heart,” and how he almost gave it away: “I met the Ramones in Asbury Park and Joey asked me to write a song for ’em. I went home and that night I wrote this. I played it for (manager) Jon Landau and, earning his money, he advised me to keep it.”
  • “Hungry Heart” was the first Springsteen song to be used for a movie soundtrack — Risky Business, which was Tom Cruise‘s breakthrough film.
  • The song became a concert favorite, and Springsteen started a ritual by letting the crowd sing the first verse and chorus before he joined in.
  • The B-side of “Hungry Heart” was a short rocker called “Held Up Without A Gun,” which didn’t appear on The River. This began a tradition of Springsteen using non-LP tracks for his B-sides.
  • The success of “Hungry Heart” pushed The River to Number One on the Billboard 200.
  • The arduous recording for The River album went through 1979 and much of 1980. One version of the album, titled The Ties That Bind, was abandoned, and the final double album was culled from an estimated 90 songs that Springsteen and the E Street Band had recorded.
  • Production costs for The River were said to top $500,000.

FAST FORWARD:

  • Springsteen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999.
  • In 2006, Springsteen released a new, non-E Street Band album called We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, and toured Europe and North America behind it. He recently released a live CD and DVD from the tour.
  • Springsteen dismissed the E Street Band in 1989, although he reunited with them, briefly, in 1995, and for world tours in 1999-2000 and 2002-2003. In 2007 they released a new album, Magic, and are now on tour again.

E Street band keyboardist Danny Federici, whose organ playing was showcased on “Hungry Heart,” died April 17th, 2008, at age 58, of cancer.