Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out is a song by Bruce Springsteen from his third studio album, Born to Run, released on August 25, 1975.


"Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" was one of the last songs to be recorded for Born to Run. It was recorded on May 5th and 16th, 1975 at The Record Plant in New York City. The song tells the story of how the E Street Band was formed, but in the documentary, Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run, the title is still unclear, with Springsteen stating, "I still have no idea what it means. But it's important." The "Bad Scooter" in the song is Springsteen himself, while the "Big Man" is Clarence Clemons. As stated by Springsteen in the Wings for Wheels documentary, the idea for the composition of the horn intro was Steven Van Zandt's. Despite all of this, the single was a chart dud, getting no higher than #83 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, it has always had a strong following on album-oriented rock radio and amongst Springsteen's fan base.

Lyrics Edit

Teardrops on the city, Bad Scooter searchin' for his groove
Seem like the whole world walking pretty and you can't find the room to move
Well, everybody better move over, that's all
Cause I'm runnin' on the bad side with my back to the wall

Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

Well, I was stranded in the jungle trying to take in all the heat they was givin'
The night is dark but the sidewalk's bright and lined with the light of the livin'
From a tenement window a transistor blasts
Turned around the corner, things got real quiet real fast
I walked into a Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

And I'm all alone, I'm all alone
And kid you better get the picture
And I'm on my own, I'm on my own
And I can't go home

When the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band
From the coastline to the city, all the little pretties raise their hands
I'm gonna sit back right easy and laugh
when the Scooter and the Big Man bust the city in half
with the Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out


Bruce Springsteen - guitar, vocals, horn arrangement
Garry Tallent - bass guitar
Max Weinberg - drums
Roy Bittan - piano
Clarence Clemons - tenor saxophone
Randy Brecker - trumpet, flugel horn
Michael Brecker - tenor saxophone
Dave Sanborn - baritone saxophone
Wayne Andre - trombone
Steve Van Zandt - horn arrangement


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