Bruce Springsteen says his initial instinct after hearing a finished version of Born To Run in 1975 was to throw the classic album into his hotel pool.

“When you first start, you’re not used to hearing yourself,” Springsteen told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. “Even two or three records in, I just couldn’t get used to the sound of my voice. … Very often, it sounds terrible to you. You’re making all these choices which you end up not comfortable with. I recorded that when I was a 24-year-old kid, you know?”

Engineer Jimmy Iovine flew out with the album while Springsteen was on tour, and they couldn't locate a turntable at first.

“We had to go to a music store, and we had to ask the guy if we could use the record player in the back of the music store," Springsteen added. "So I’m listening to the mastering of Born To Run, the two of us are standing there. … Jimmy is trying to get me to say it’s okay – ‘We can release it?’ – and I’m like, ‘Nhhhh … into the pool at the hotel!’ At any rate, we did release it and it worked out alright.”

Springsteen was more positive about the album cover. Now regarded as a classic, it features the Boss and late saxophonist Clarence Clemonsin an image which is only fully revealed when the sleeve is unfolded.

He called Born to Run “one of my very favorite album covers – the one that means the most to me. The nice thing about that cover is, it tells a story. It’s the beginning of a narrative. … Tt immediately makes you think about friendship, electricity, musical magic. It’s the beginning of some tall tale.”

Watch Bruce Springsteen on ‘The Tonight Show’


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