It was 40 years ago Sunday (November 8th, 1980) that Bruce Springsteen's fifth album, The River, started its four week ride at Number One. The album, which was released the previous October 17th, marked “The Boss'” first chart-topper and double album.
The album was co-produced by Springsteen, manager Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin, and Steve Van Zandt — the same team that would be behind the boards for 1984's multi-platinum Born In The U.S.A. collection. The River also gave Springsteen his first self-performed Top 10 hit, with the album's lead single, “Hungry Heart” — featuring backing vocals by Flo & Eddie, which peaked at Number Five. The album's second single, the ballad “Fade Away,” topped out at Number 20.
Sessions for The River took place at Manhattan's Power Station and ran from April 3rd, 1979 through May 9th, 1980. At one point Springsteen — confident that he had a followup for 1978's Darkness On The Edge Of Town — actually delivered a single-disc collection to Columbia Records for release, titled The Ties That Bind — before pulling the album back and undertaking even more sessions with the E Street Band throughout 1980.