In a new interview with VarietyIovine said he learned valuable lessons while working on the 1975 LP that helped him develop his successful career as a label executive and entrepreneur.
Asked about a video clip showing him falling asleep after spending two days trying to capture the drum sound Springsteen wanted, Iovine explained that he found the patience to continue because he “just knew these guys knew stuff , which I did not know.”
He added: “Two words: the big picture. You take your shit out of it. So when you’re working with Springsteen, and a lot of the songs on Born to run go through, what, seven, eight, 12 radically different versions… there’s a goal he’s going towards. The whole album was like that. There are ballad versions of ‘Thunder Road’… [that] had tons of lyrics. Tons! He would sit down at the piano and write a line, go up and sing it, write another line—for days!
“I remember one day he was sitting out in the studio working on ‘Thunder Road’ with a guitar for 13 hours and only said the word ‘again.’ I fell asleep for five hours in the middle of it. “Again, again, again, again!” But one of the things I got from that album was learning to believe in something as much as the person doing it.”
Iovine had previously worked with John Lennon and continued to work with Patti Smithamong many others. “She was somewhere between the two, right in the middle of them,” he reflected. “She had that edge, personality-wise, that Lennon had. … But she also had the greatness of Bruce Springsteen in her music. … I’m telling you, to be with those three people in a row—you’d be dead not to be a better human being.”
Bruce Springsteen Albums Ranked
Because he spent so many of his formative years carefully crafting his albums, we don’t often think of Bruce Springsteen as a prolific artist. But he averaged an album almost every two years throughout his career.