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Bruce Springsteen appreciation thread


kirkt
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One of the most uncool musicians to admit to liking to many people, probably because of the patriotic association with Born in the USA and the awful Dancing in the Dark. Still, lyrically and musically the guy is a genius . I've been listening to We Shall Overcome (one of the bravest albums for a musician of his status) and Devil and the Dust lately. I saw a few other people mentioned him in their all time top 10 so come on, what you gotta say bout the boss?

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HE'S NUMBER 1!

The Born in the USA album is responsible for his image as an America-loving, Stars and Stripes-waving, overblown, stadium guitar hero. The Dancing in the Dark video doesn’t help of course! The songs and lyrics on that album are great though but the 80’s didn’t do favours for a lot of artists in terms of production. (funny that Reagan used Born in the USA as his election campaign song when you check out the lyrics) Quite a bit of Nebraska was written for that album too which is well worth a listen, they are like night and day but both 100% quality songwriting.

Darkness on the Edge of Town is my favourite album of all time. Human Touch is the only album I never listen to. I will write an essay on The Boss later on, back to work………

“The work, the working, just the working life…” – Factory, Darkness on the Edge of Town.

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HE'S NUMBER 1!

The Born in the USA album is responsible for his image as an America-loving, Stars and Stripes-waving, overblown, stadium guitar hero. The Dancing in the Dark video doesnt help of course! The songs and lyrics on that album are great though but the 80s didnt do favours for a lot of artists in terms of production. (funny that Reagan used Born in the USA as his election campaign song when you check out the lyrics) .

Nebraska is probably my favourite album. In his live sets he does Born in the USA acoustic and it sounds like it belongs on Nebraska. It's a shame it has been taken the wrong way by so many proud, pro-war Republicans. Lyrically, Springsteen has always been on top but as you mentioned, it was that awful production sound that let him down with Born in the USA, Human Touch and Lucky Town (I actually like Tunnel of Love).

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Guest DustyDeviada

I would say I'm a casual fan, have the Greatest Hits and a couple of others. Just downloaded a Steve Earle bootleg with Bruce as a special guest the other day.

Funnily enough I would say Born in the USA is my least favourite "Boss" track, the synth sounds really crappy.

Anybody heard his original version of Pink Cadillac? It's good!

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Anybody heard his original version of Pink Cadillac? It's good!

Yeah, that's on "18 Tracks". It's quality. Buy Darkness on the Edge of Town.

Tunnel of Love is his best 80's album for me. The synth intro to the title track is a bit dodgy but every song in the album is a belting good un.

The Born to Run 30th Anniversary release is a must have for the "Making of" DVD. A mate of mihe thought he came across as arrogant but I just see him as one hard working perfectionist. I've never seen him live which is a must before I die (or more likely before he does)

For me he is the best storyteller of human desperation and hope all wrapped up in one.

I think that "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" is his poorest offering songwise!

I've read quite a few books on him and must say that his music is much more interesting than his life story. I recommend "It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive" by Eric Alterman if you're interested. A basic biography detailing every album up to The ghost of Tom Joad. He also thinks Human Touch is poor.

His first 2 albums Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle are great. They have a much funkier element that any of his later stuff. Best songs are "Blinded by the Light", "Growin up" (there's a magic acoustic version on 18 Tracks), "Spirit in the Night", "The E Street Shuffle", "Incident on 57th Street" and "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)".

Then there was Born to Run which is unadulterated musical genius from start to finish. A true masterpiece. Then came Darkness on the Edge of Town which is also genius, "Racing in the Street" being one of the best songs lyrically of all time. The River is good but not one of my favourites, the second half is actually a bit boring. When you're in the mood for listening to Nebraska there is nothing more beautiful in the world. Raw emotion.

Born in the U.S.A. is his most commercially successful and you can imagine many people who own it (Reagan included?) wouldn't dig Darkness or Nebraska. The songs are really strong but if you're against 80's synth/pop production you may not see past this. The video and pop sound to "Dancing in the Dark" belie the lyrical content, as in "Born in the USA". I wouldn't have it any other way but I think he took some bad advice in the making of that album production and marketing wise. This is why people think he is shit. I remember reading an interview with Antony Costa from Blue on the release of his solo work where he claimed the rockin' guitar sound was as a result of his love for "good time American guitar boys like Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams". I guess this was the only album he'd heard. I still want to kill him.

Tunnel of Love was written when his first marriage was failing and this comes across in the themes of the songs. I took a while to come round to it but it is in my top 3 Springsteen albums now. Human Touch and Lucky Town can be ignored. The latter is a bit more gritty and has better songs but is still far from great. MTV Plugged is a quality live album but has too many Human Touch and Lucky Town songs on it. They sound a lot better on this than on the studio albums though. The opener "Red Headed Woman" is good light hearted fun.

The Ghost of Tom Joad is not as good as Nebraska but still a beautiful album. The title track doesn't lend itself well to rap/metal however.

The Rising is his answer to 9/11 and has some fantastic songs on it, mainly about the human element of the loss of lives. He tells the stories of the bereaved perfectly. His love of NYC and its people is obvious and this is the best E Street album since Darkness....

Devils & Dust is good. I've never managed to get properly into it though. The lyrics are wonderful but it just doesn't quite do it for me.

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions is an absolute nailer if you like that sort of thing and proves that he is a master of 3 musical styles. The DVD you get with it is quality too.

I could go on but I don't think I'll ever make it as a music journalist and I'm needin my dinner.

BRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCEEEE :love: :love: :love:

BUY DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN

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Yeah, that's on "18 Tracks". It's quality. Buy Darkness on the Edge of Town.

Tunnel of Love is his best 80's album for me. The synth intro to the title track is a bit dodgy but every song in the album is a belting good un.

The Born to Run 30th Anniversary release is a must have for the "Making of" DVD. A mate of mihe thought he came across as arrogant but I just see him as one hard working perfectionist. I've never seen him live which is a must before I die (or more likely before he does)

For me he is the best storyteller of human desperation and hope all wrapped up in one.

I think that "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" is his poorest offering songwise!

I've read quite a few books on him and must say that his music is much more interesting than his life story. I recommend "It ain't no sin to be glad you're alive" by Eric Alterman if you're interested. A basic biography detailing every album up to The ghost of Tom Joad. He also thinks Human Touch is poor.

His first 2 albums Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle are great. They have a much funkier element that any of his later stuff. Best songs are "Blinded by the Light", "Growin up" (there's a magic acoustic version on 18 Tracks), "Spirit in the Night", "The E Street Shuffle", "Incident on 57th Street" and "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)".

Then there was Born to Run which is unadulterated musical genius from start to finish. A true masterpiece. Then came Darkness on the Edge of Town which is also genius, "Racing in the Street" being one of the best songs lyrically of all time. The River is good but not one of my favourites, the second half is actually a bit boring. When you're in the mood for listening to Nebraska there is nothing more beautiful in the world. Raw emotion.

Born in the U.S.A. is his most commercially successful and you can imagine many people who own it (Reagan included?) wouldn't dig Darkness or Nebraska. The songs are really strong but if you're against 80's synth/pop production you may not see past this. The video and pop sound to "Dancing in the Dark" belie the lyrical content, as in "Born in the USA". I wouldn't have it any other way but I think he took some bad advice in the making of that album production and marketing wise. This is why people think he is shit. I remember reading an interview with Antony Costa from Blue on the release of his solo work where he claimed the rockin' guitar sound was as a result of his love for "good time American guitar boys like Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams". I guess this was the only album he'd heard. I still want to kill him.

Tunnel of Love was written when his first marriage was failing and this comes across in the themes of the songs. I took a while to come round to it but it is in my top 3 Springsteen albums now. Human Touch and Lucky Town can be ignored. The latter is a bit more gritty and has better songs but is still far from great. MTV Plugged is a quality live album but has too many Human Touch and Lucky Town songs on it. They sound a lot better on this than on the studio albums though. The opener "Red Headed Woman" is good light hearted fun.

The Ghost of Tom Joad is not as good as Nebraska but still a beautiful album. The title track doesn't lend itself well to rap/metal however.

The Rising is his answer to 9/11 and has some fantastic songs on it, mainly about the human element of the loss of lives. He tells the stories of the bereaved perfectly. His love of NYC and its people is obvious and this is the best E Street album since Darkness....

Devils & Dust is good. I've never managed to get properly into it though. The lyrics are wonderful but it just doesn't quite do it for me.

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions is an absolute nailer if you like that sort of thing and proves that he is a master of 3 musical styles. The DVD you get with it is quality too.

I could go on but I don't think I'll ever make it as a music journalist and I'm needin my dinner.

BRRRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCEEEE :love: :love: :love:

BUY DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN

Haha that's an amazing post. I've had Darkness on the Edge of Town on vinyl since I was 13 but I've not listened to it in ages. I really need to dig it out again. I can see why many people associate Springsteen with the likes of Bryan Adams just because of born in the USA. Its really tragic.

I had a copy of the MTV Plugged on tape when I was about 11 but I'm not sure if I kept it. Atlantic City was my favourite song on it and then I realised that it was miles better on Nebraska.

I think The River is his most underrated album. Point Black is an absolutely amazing track.

Is 41 shots available on The Rising? That's one album I've yet to check out (or the 18 tracks CD for that matter).

Spot on about Born to Run. I've not yet got the re-mastered edition though...one day!

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Haha that's an amazing post. I've had Darkness on the Edge of Town on vinyl since I was 13 but I've not listened to it in ages. I really need to dig it out again. I can see why many people associate Springsteen with the likes of Bryan Adams just because of born in the USA. Its really tragic.

I had a copy of the MTV Plugged on tape when I was about 11 but I'm not sure if I kept it. Atlantic City was my favourite song on it and then I realised that it was miles better on Nebraska.

I think The River is his most underrated album. Point Black is an absolutely amazing track.

Is 41 shots available on The Rising? That's one album I've yet to check out (or the 18 tracks CD for that matter).

Spot on about Born to Run. I've not yet got the re-mastered edition though...one day!

"American Skin (41 Shots)" isn't on any studio albums. It's on the latest "best of" which is a double disc "Essential Bruce Springsteen" which I don't own (part-timer :O ). It's better on "Live in New York City" :up:

18 Tracks is worth a look. Or if you're feeling flush get "tracks" (68 songs!).

The Band also do a great cover of Atlantic City on the album "Jericho".

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I've always found that a decent alternative to the "Born In The USA" album was the five disc live set from 1975-1985. In a live setting, and shorn of the big bucks production values, the songs really shine through, especially on tracks like "I'm On Fire" and "Born In The USA" itself (the howl he emits towards the end of that track can give you blisters). There's loads of other good stuff on there as well, including his versions of Edwin Starr's "War" and Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" (complete with preamble). The version of "Growin' Up" is great too, simply for the way he stops the song halfway through to justify his life to his parents, who were sitting in the crowd. It's available on a 3cd set as well, but it's well overdue for a remaster.

Agreed on all counts! Talking of preambles, how long from the start of the track does he actually sing "I come from down in the valley.." in the River?! (times it, 5:49)

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Having Silivio Dante in your backing band is always a plus. He's got connections.

I suppose that adds a bit of cool too!

Nils Lofgren's facials are scarier though....

Speaking of Lofgren, his solo in Youngstown on Live in New York City gives me "the feeling". What a cracking version of that song.

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Guest bluesxman

Pink Cadillac was the B Side to Dancing In The Dark I think, I used to have it, best version I've heard. I think he suffers a lot by way of his most well known tunes from the 80's period being rather dated in terms of production. I'm On Fire is a fantastic tune.

I own Nebraska (a great album), Born To Run, Darkness On The Edge Of Town and recently got The Wild, The Innocent And The E-Street Shuffle, which was very different and never got into it straight off but can see it growing on me.

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Guest DustyDeviada
Having Silivio Dante in your backing band is always a plus. He's got connections.

He almost came a-cropper in the new ep I watched last night!

And I like Santa Clause is Coming to Town, one of the better Christmas tracks on heavy rotation on the radio each December.

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Great thread - The Boss is long overdue some respect. I just got the cd version of the Hammersmith Odeon gig the other day after I re-watched the dvd from the Born to Run 30th Anniversary set and was once again blown away by the stripped down piano version of Thunder Road he kicks the set off with. It beats the one on the Live 75-85 version (which is good but this one is better).

Wish he would play a gig in this part of the world. Don't think he's been north of the border since he played Edinburgh on the Tom Joad tour.

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have to admit i'm partial to a bit of the boss - nebraska, lucky town, tunnel of love, the rising and the ghost of tom joad are my faves

You really must hear Darkness on the Edge of Town :laughing:

Further to Dave's post, I got out the live 75-85 CD and listened to its entirety last night and put it back on tonight. 3.5 hours of magic that. Not a poor track. I'm no guitar geek but the solo work (people say that?) on Adam Raised a Cain is what guitars were made to do.

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  • 6 months later...

A pilgrimage of sorts

Woop woop, I'm going to see Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band in London, Dec 19th :up:

Anyone else seeing him on this tour?

Anyone enjoying the new album? Just having my first listen and am quite happy despite the fact it has a song called Gypsy Biker, a grower I'd imagine.

Yeah, So I'm going to see the Boss :love:

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Anyone else seeing him on this tour?

Anyone enjoying the new album? Just having my first listen and am quite happy despite the fact it has a song called Gypsy Biker, a grower I'd imagine.

You ken I have :up:

In Toronto on Mon15th, here's a clip of Born To Run during the encore, brilliant!

(not my clip)

just wish I had heard the new album before the gig as he played half of it.

Totally amazing gig, E-Street are awesome.

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Never really taken to Mr Springsteen...but like a few songs e.g. The River and Philidelphia. Take Born To Run which catches me in two minds..maybe it's the huge production but it's something which leaves me almost cold but I know it's a good song. Born In The USA sounds like a chest beating Uncle Sam song but the lyrics tell another story but again it leaves me cold.

BUT We Shall Overcome - The Seeger Sessions is rather excellent. I don't know why but in this setting he sounds excellent.

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