Success didn't come easy for Bruce Springsteen, but he wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Incorporating everything from blues and gospel in his quest to find a voice, The Boss toiled away in the mid-Atlantic rock circuit for a decade before finding inspiration in his frustration. The result was Born to Run, a record steeped in Americana that catapulted Springsteen and the E Street Band to superstardom. Born in the U.S.A. cemented him as an icon, and the string of anthems he's released in the three decades since is a testament to the blue-collar work ethic that got him there. He restlessly howls on his most epic tunes, like the 1975 wall-of-sound romance “Born to Run,” with jingling xylophone, banging keys, and wailing sax piled atop pounding backbeats. His most intimate moments are woven into arrangements aching and sparse: “I'm On Fire” is nothing more than ghostly reverb and a hushed, rockabilly pulse; the folky “Atlantic City,” one of his most anguished ballads, is just voice and a strumming acoustic.