E Street Shuffle VS Monkey Time

Posted by

Story Behind the Bruce Springsteen Song “E Street Shuffle”

It’s no secret that the song “E Street Shuffle” is based on Major Lance’s “Monkey Time”. I’m pretty sure I have read about it before, BUT due my to laziness, I have never bothered to search out more. The song is written by the R&B legend Curtis Mayfield. It was first released by the Major Lance in 1963 on their album “Monkey Time”.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon this: E Street Band roadie “Albany Al Tellone” (Albee Tellone) wrote this on the BTX Bruce Springsteen fan forum:

The song “Monkey Time” by Major Lance was a hit in 1965 when I was 14 years old and Bruce was 15. When he taught me “E St. Shuffle”, I said that it reminded me of “Monkey Time”, to which he responded, “don’t worry about it”. In an interview that I saw about 40 years later, he told the interviewer that “Monkey Time” was partly the inspiration for “E St. Shuffle” I don’t recall where or when that interview was conducted. Sorry.

Now. I had to hear it myself. Yes, it’s very similar…

…but like always. I had to dig deeper. Al Kooper also recorded a version of the Major Lance’s “Monkey Time”, which is available on his album “A Possible Projection of the Future” (1972). After listening to that version, I’m 99% sure that Bruce has based the song to Al Kooper’s version. Check out the tempo changes and bridge. E Street Shuffle is much more similar to Al’s version compared to the original version done by the Major Lance. Judge yourself:

Similarities doesn’t stop there. “New York City (You’re a Woman)” is somewhat similar to the “New York City Serenade”. And if you dig ever deeper to Al Kooper’s catalog. Song titles etc. are pretty similar (or maybe they were just a typical for the era). And yes, I’m aware that Al Kooper recorded a whole bunch of covers, but still. Maybe I’m totally off the tracks. Yet, I find this stuff fascinating.

One more interesting version comes from Laura Nyro (whom lived in New York at the time). Recorded a medley of Monkey Time/Dancing in The Street in 1971:

What makes this interesting is fact, that Bruce Springsteen used to play the song Dancing in the Street regularly during the Steel Mill days (1970-1971), but that is just a coincidence…

 ..or is it? :)


Support My Ramblings  | iHerb Discount Coupon Code YUY952

Go to iHerb.com (I know you want to)

Did you know that using affiliate links will not cost you any extra time or money. Using coupon code above will keep my blog running!

 Share the rewards code to your friends too! All the funds will be used to buy a solar panel system to our roof.