Watch Bruce Springsteen Talk ‘The River’ on ‘The Tonight Show’
The two kicked off the interview with a look back at how The River came together — and how Springsteen, with his back to the wall financially, took a huge gamble by withholding the album for an extra year in order to write and record another LP's worth of songs.
"We handed in a single record first," Springsteen says in the clip, which you can watch above. "And I panicked after we handed it in, and I took it back. It didn't feel like quite enough. So I took it back and spent another year, in tears, making the double album. ... I shed man tears."
Springsteen, who didn't perform on the episode, continued the discussion in an additional segment, which you can watch in a pair of clips below. As he told Fallon, he desperately needed a hit with The River: "I had signed a lot of bad deals before when I was younger, and when we put this record out, I didn't have a lot of money in the bank. So it was critical this time."
Fortunately, all that hard work paid off with his first No. 1 album — which, as chart-topping hits tend to do, expanded his audience in brand new directions. "This was the record where women started to come to the shows," said Springsteen, laughing that "previously we played to a lot of young men, due to the homosexual undercurrents in my music. But we had a hit record, and when we had a hit record, that means it's date night. Women listen to Top 40 radio — at least my daughter does — and so finally people came and brought their dates. Girls came, and it was a much nicer scene."
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