Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ turns 40

Sony Music

On June 4, 1984, Bruce Springsteen released what would become one of his most successful albums, Born in the U.S.A.

The album, recorded with The E Street Band, spent seven weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200 Album chart and produced seven top-10 singles: the title track, “Dancing in the Dark,” “Cover Me,” “Glory Days,” “I’m On Fire,” “I’m Goin’ Down” and “My Hometown.”

Because it dropped during the era of MTV, Springsteen released his first music videos to promote the album, kicking things off with “Dancing in the Dark,” directed by Brian De Palma and featuring a then-unknown Courteney Cox, well before her Friends fame. 

Craig Marks, co-author of I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Revolution, tells ABC Audio Bruce wasn’t exactly comfortable with idea of the music video at first, but eventually allowed De Palma to film performances of the song in concert, planting Cox in the audience for Springsteen to pull onstage for a dance. 

The now-iconic video was a huge hit and introduced Springsteen to a whole new audience, with Marks noting the dance became “the signature music video moment” for The Boss.

“What it really did for Bruce Springsteen was took him from a singer/songwriter whose fan base was mainly men at that point and introduced him to a whole new audience through MTV. Not just men, but of teens and of women,” Marks shares.  

With Born in the U.S.A. Bruce became a global superstar, selling over 30 million copies of the album worldwide. The album was certified 17-times Platinum by the RIAA and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2015.

Springsteen is celebrating the milestone anniversary with a special vinyl release of the album, dropping June 17. 



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