Bruce Springsteen came out of New Jersey in the early 1970s sounding like a cross between Bob Dylan and early Tom Waits, backed by the rambunctious E Street Band. After toughening up his sound, Springsteen created his 1975 masterpiece, BORN TO RUN, which garnered critical acclaim for its blend of Spectorian grandeur and street poetry. Nine years later, BORN IN THE U.S.A. made him a worldwide superstar with its beefed-up stadium-rock sound. Along the way, he's produced such low-key acoustic-based milestones as NEBRASKA and THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD, never losing the blue-collar ethos that is central to his vision. His 2002 album, THE RISING, is considered one of the finest artistic responses to the 9/11tragedy produced in the event's immediate aftermath.