Bruce Springsteen gave us a sip of his fifth album, The River, 40 years ago — with the release of its first single, “Hungry Heart.” It became his first hit, peaking at number-five on the Billboard 100, which is ironic, given he didn’t write it for himself.
“I wrote it for The Ramones originally. I saw The Ramones in Asbury Park [New Jersey] and ended up talking to them for a while and said, ‘Man, I’m gonna write The Ramones a song.’ So I went home that night and I sat at my table and I wrote it in about the time it took me to sing it and I think I brought it in — we either made a demo of it or I played it for [my manager] Jon [Landau] and he said, ‘No, you better keep that one.’
“Hungry Heart” has been featured on several movie soundtracks, including Risky Business, Peter’s Friends, The Wedding Singer and The Perfect Storm. It was also played during the 11th episode of season two of The Handmaid’s Tale.