Steve Van Zandt finally left his sideman and producer role and stepped out as a frontman to release this superb album in 1982. Of course he was and is a member of the E Street Band and one of Springsteen's oldest friends, but after the break up of an early Springsteen band, Steel Mill, and before rejoining Bruce at the end of the Born To Run sessions, Mr. Van Zandt went on the road as part of an oldies package tour backing up a variety of sixties soul group. The combination of early to mid 60's soul music and rock has always been a big element in Bruce's music and the Jersey Music scene that produced him, Steven, Southside Johnny and others. The training Steven received on those package tours serves him well on Men Without Women. The album has a wall of sound production feel to it and songs like "Forever", "Save Me" and "Angel Eyes" would not seem out of place in Phil Spector's catalog. There are soaring horns, stinging guitar riffs and tortured vocals all over the album. Mr. Van Zandt does not stray too far from the E Street family as members of the band appear to lend support as does the Boss himself. Bruce is uncredited on the album, but you can plainly hear him singing back up on "Until the Good Is Gone." With it's lyrics about the relationships between men & woman and the trials and tribulations between adults, the album is like a more rhythm & bluesier older brother of Born To Run. These songs may be about what happens to the Magic Rat, Barefoot Girl, Terry & Wendy and the others when they grow up and get into mature relationships. After this record, Mr. Van Zandt used his subsequent albums as a voice for his political stances. But on this record, he just lays it it on line, singing about the things men and women do.