Bruce Springsteen - Classic or Dud ?

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I know he's bound to be considered a monstrous dud, especially with British folks and technoid types, but I'm especially curious as to why. Poor Bruce, he's gotta be more uncool than Richard Marx these days. Not that his 90s albums helped much.

Patrick, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Yep, big fat dud. Always hated him. Crap songs that dominated 1984. Shit voice. The fucking E-street band. Never saw the point of Da Boss. It all when wrong early on when he was proclaimed The Future of Rock 'n Roll way back when. Okay so he wrote "Because the Night" and even that isn't too hot. Almost the perfect antipole of what I look for in music. Sorry, had to be predictable here.

Omar, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

"Born To Run" is a classic, up there with Roxy Music as an early example of po-mo cut-and-paste kitsch pop.

I can't get worked up and annoyed about Bruce in the way I can about some other rockers. He has an ear for a great line (the opening of "Hungry Heart" for instance) and I can forgive him a lot for that. He doesn't resonate with me and like the Replacements I think that's a cultural thing.

I also - and this is totally subjective - never get the impression Bruce ever thinks he's particularly cool. Which is not something I can say of most other 'real rock'n'roller' types, mainstream or otherwise.

Tom, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink


File under yet to be discovered. I was listening to an apologetic defence of his work from Sean Rowley on the radio the other day, and it got me wondering again. People of my generation's first real exposure to him was the 'Born in the USA' air-punching era and that obviously wasn't likely to engender much interest. Yes, I know it was all ironic.

What I have heard of his 70's stuff sounds like I might grow to love it. That midwest blue-collar world his songs inhabit seems harder to relate to than any other, but even in 1988, I had the feeling Paddy McAloon was missing the point with the song 'Cars & Girls'.

At the moment, I'm afraid the song of his I like best is a 90s one - 'If I Should Fall Behind', which I only know from the Grant McLellan cover version.

Badly Drawn Boy is a Springsteen obsessive, which I thought was quite cute.

Nick, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

I guess if want a simple answer as to why he's treated with disdain by the certain people, it's his overwhelming aura of earnestness.


Nick, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Paddy McAloon is an odd one, because he'd already missed a very similar point with "Faron Young", and then said in interviews that he'd missed it, and then proceeded to miss it again. I can't stand "Cars And Girls".

Tom, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

i admit i don't like all of the boss's stuff. i haven't even tried to, really. but "nebraska" and "ghost of tom joad" are terrific records.

matthew stevens, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Classic all the way as well. Soft-spot. As a youth I hated him (I was 7 in 1984 and "Born in the USA" was nowhere as fun as "Karma Chameleon" - I wanted to be Boy George, not some sweaty guy with a baseball cap tucked in his blue jeans). But in my teens I kept hearing fantastic pop tracks on the classic rock radio ("Badlands" for instance), and my English teacher once had us work on the lyrics to "The River" - the long live version with the speech at the beginning - so I went out and purchased a few Springsteen albums. For the record, there's always been City Simon who likes the Dead Boys and the Damned, and Countryside Simon who likes Ry Cooder and the Sundays, and somehow Springsteen linked these two sides of me beautifully. From "Thunder Road" to "Highway Patrolman" (I bought "Nebraska" after seeing Sean Penn's haunting "Indian Runner") to "I'm On Fire", Springsteen's songs have accompanied me through important journeys, love affairs and dry winters.

Simon, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, same as Simon, I used to dislike Bruce too at first, in 1984. I was into British synth-pop at the time and to me, he was just some old guy making a comeback, like John Fogerty or something. And I definitely agree that "Cars And Girls" song makes that Prefab Sprout guy look like a pretentious little twit. I kinda get the feeling that a lot of people dislike him (Bruce) because he's never had much of a sex-and-drugs-and-darkness-and-destruction image (even though Nebraska is as dark as 10000 Trent Reznors).

Patrick, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

DUDE! There is not excuse for even asking this, totally classic, baby. Born To Run (the album and the song) is one of the most glorious moments in rock-pop ever, out Spector-ing Phil Spector. His voice is only crap when he decides to pretend he's Bob Dylan, which is becoming frightfully more and more common. Sure, a lot of the Born In The USA-era stuff is dated now due to production value but it's still got some very solid songwriting.

And yes, Tom, he's got a very good ear for a line.

Ally, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

I get to piss on the parade here. Yay me!

I heard the version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" when I was young and that is pretty spiff, I freely agree. Circa 1984, liking El Bruce was unsurprising for me as that was a pretty damn good radio year -- Chuck Eddy specifically called it as such in _Stairway to Hell_, and he was goddamn right. Thus liking all that stuff he made was a matter of course alongside all those singles from _Purple Rain_ and _Like A Virgin_ and etc.

Time went on and I proceeded to not care. I never cared enough to buy an album anyway, and the 'classic early singles' only made sense in my classic rock phase, which lasted about nine months in senior year.

Then I ended up in LA and encountered the first of Robert Hilburn's 345,234,843 printed sermons on How Bruce Springsteen Heals the Sick, Raises the Dead and Means More to Human Existence Than the Combined Efforts of Louis Pasteur, Billie Holiday and Charles Schulz. I encountered other blowhards. The music touched me with the impact of a dying flea. A roommate was obsessed with him to the point of near mania. I cried.

The end.

Frankly, the Walkabouts any day of the goddamn week, month, year, decade, century, etc. If the relative fame levels were reversed, I would cling to this assumption with even more deep, abiding passion because then I would have The People on my side. Even alone, though, it's comfy. And Frankie Goes to Hollywood's version of "Born to Run" is my fave.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

The Wild, the Innocent, and the E-Street Shuffle is a terrific album. Also the live boxed set. Also, The River. Also, hell. Also almost everything thru Tunnel Of Love. One of those artists who you need the right "mood" to get. Or, just to be driving a car.

Sterling Clover, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink


i actually liked born_in_the_u.s.a when it came out at age 7, but later, i found it to be an obstacle in getting to love bruce, and i'm sure there are a ton of artists out there whose work at that time has kept people away from them.

as sterling said, it's funny what driving a car can do, especially when it's another dark and lonely night out on an empty anonymous new jersey highway and "born to run" comes on the highway. but i've been there, so i'll move on.

you can get by on the first five or so albums on the music and production alone -- unless of course you hate phil spector and are, therefore, destined to spend eternity in hell -- and the later stuff will stick if you find something in the lyrics that rings far too true. sure, he mines the same territory in a lot of his songs, but so do belle & sebastian and so did the smiths; except the kids in bruce's songs could kick the ass of their counterparts in the aforementioned.

ned, i think you have the same problem as tom: it's a cultural thing. ;)

fred from new jersey, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Ooh. The dark and lonely highways of despair. *plays the violin*

It's not a cultural thing; I mean for god's sake Motorcycle Emptiness might as well be Bruce Springsteen on a literacy trip in terms of subject, and I know Tom likes the song, and I believe Ned does too. Whether that particular statement was tongue in cheek or not, it's a tired excuse and reasoning, one usually used by the saddest of Bruce Springsteen fans, the ones who "identify" with his sentiments, seemingly losing track of the fact that BRUCE'S CHARACTERS NEVER ACTUALLY MAKE IT OUT. Some positive role models to rock out to.

The thing is, I think it's the voice and the earnestness, which was already said. The stylistic values of it....the basic cultural and escape sentiments, lyrically, of Motorcycle Emptiness and Born to Run might be very similar in tone, but the style and vocalisings are entirely, 100% different. Bruce has a very sarcastic bent, a very dark bent, lyrically, but his style of music softens the blow and sometimes people just don't like it.

And those people are wrong, incidentally :P

Ally, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

2 albums are CLASSIX: 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' and especially 'Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ'.

Nebraska is half good but doesn't deserve the plaudits it gets as the Springsteen album it's cool to like.

The rest is pretty much DUD.

alex thomson, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

"Oh yes, he's a dud..."

Nevermind that Born in the USA was my first record not meant to be played on the Fisher Price record player (with the STEEL NEEDLE)

Nevermind Tracks Nevermind the fact that Born to Run is one of the best driving albums ever when your top is down and it's summer and the road between Ventura and home stretches out and empty at night with no cops...

Nevermind he has out Dylan-ed Dylan

Nevermind that he can outrage The Man as he pushes the dark side of life. (41 Shots)

Nevermind the line "The record company Rosie, JUST GAVE ME A BIG ADVANCE!"

Nevermind the Live box set, reminding us just how powerful he was

Nevermind Time and Newsweek

Nevermind Thunder-Fucking-Road

Nevermind The cover of Jersey Girl

Nevermind Tracks

Nevermind the MTV Unplugged set where he scrapped the entire notion of an acoustic show and just plugged in and tore down the house

Nevermind everyone on this list who called him a dud.

JM, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

"Nevermind he has out Dylan-ed Dylan"

well, Bruce isn't *that* bad! ;)

Omar, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

The entirety of the lyrics to Rosalita are a Great Rock Moment, Jimmy. Don't just single out that line ;)

Ally, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

I note your list, Jimmy, and yet, somehow, it makes no sense to me. ;- )

La Bruce just collectively calls to my mind a stunted bastard vision of music that presumes he was the sole carrier of the 'spirit of rock and roll truth' that the Beatles and Stones 'started' in the sixties. A CLAIM I HAVE ENCOUNTERED MORE THAN ONCE, though thankfully not here, and happily never from the man's own lips either, at least to my knowledge. Without that rhetoric I would just shrug and ignore him for somebody more interesting, but with it, frankly, he becomes a very very useful target to kick against. Perhaps only a straw man, but one I wouldn't mind seeing go up in flames.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Springsteen is, doubtless, a spirit of a rock and roll truth, which he has a near monopoly on. I think, maybe, if I had grown up in a real city, instead of a tourist-trap disneyburb retirement town, that whole swaths of music wouldn't resonate with me. But there I was, and I don't know if you have to have that certain feeling to get Bruce. If you have to know that you're suffocating, that you'd rather die than stay, that the air was too think to dream in, if you have to have known that.

The boy has fallen off of late, but... I'm reminded of the Bangs article where he describes how he dismissed this Maoist band as sounding like Bruce, and the band replied "oh, good, the working class like that stuff" or something of the sort, and I'm reading this thinking -- no. no. no. The correct answer is "oh, good. Bruce fucking rocks!"

What I appreciate about Bruce is how he can capture the majesty of a major chord. How so many of his songs have the same progression, but you don't realize it 'till you try to play 'em yourself. How he can take gospel music and write it to a girl instead. And yes, more of them damn anthems.

I mean.. I know that anthems aren't an alien concept to the UK -- after all, The Who were full of them. But maybe British anthems are a different type a "get off of my cloud" or "sod off" type, more cynical and pissy than dreamy and wide-eyed. Maybe this is, after all, because America is The Big Country, The Great Bitch, et cet. Maybe to get America you have to get just how there's always somewhere you might go, maybe.

Along these lines, "Not Fade Away" which is a novel by Jim Dodge is a great rock road story, sort of like the lighter side of Richard Hell's "Go Now" or the more earnest(?) side of Bruce McCullough's "Doors Fan" sketch (on his album, Shame-Based Man). Yes. Get that spirit of the open highway.

Sterling Clover, Sunday, 25 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

A dud, but only because of unpleasant memories of listening attentively to my copies of *The River* and *Live 1975-1985* like a good rock-critic-in-training, and finding it impossible to feel anything about them other than apathy. He's done a goodly number of really great ones such as "Hungry Heart," "Dancing In The Dark," and "Racing in the Street" but he invariably makes my mind wander after more than a couple songs.

Michael Daddino, Sunday, 25 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

I have to say Classic, though I can see why some could argue otherwise. Looming large is the cultural gap, for our friends from the Eastern Hemisphere. Hard to tune in to what Springsteen has going on from there. But those first three records are great, still, and Nebraska is also excellent when you're in the mood. In 1984 I owned about 15 albums total, and even then I had Springsteen's entire catalog. So I'm definitely biased. All of Born in the USA is horrible now. That production really sinks it, even though half the songs are strong.

Mark Richardson, Sunday, 25 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

I should note that, being American myself, the Cultural Gap thing is rather overrated as an explanation. ;-)

I will say, though, that I do lack a car and have never had one. That might serve as a better explanation. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 25 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Nah... I don't even have a driver's license and I love the man. Cars are my favorite place to listen to music though.

Patrick, Monday, 26 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

The Automobile as Stationary Listening Environment. How revolutionary.

I wish I wasn't misinterpreting.

Otis Wheeler, Monday, 26 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Uh... I meant when *someone else* is driving, Otis.

Patrick, Monday, 26 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Thank god, otherwise it sounds like something Thom Yorke would do.

Ally, Tuesday, 27 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Smashing, in loads of ways. You have to get used to REPETITION with the Boss - you have to get used to the idea that he is frequently writing pretty much the same song again and again, and is *not apologizing for it*. On Nebraska (yes, probably still the best LP, for my money; but I like lots of the others) he even repeats the same lyrics. The whole rock-writer idea of originality, uniqueness etc is just not in play with a lot of the Boss's stuff: to stretch a point, it's less like a load of individual songs, more like a single fabric that he is reweaving for as long as he likes. In that sense he's something akin to a bluesman, I suppose.

Inspirational in some ways. I have often felt that England needed a Springsteen, albeit not just a a copycat 'rocker'; I mean, someone who would write about all the lost and found small-town lives. But to be fair, I suppose there is already a UK tradition here: the probably Jarvis Cocker is a case in point.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 28 February 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Ah, but that's what you're doing yourself, Reynard :).

Robin Carmody, Friday, 2 March 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Dud. Never cared much for Brooce's brand of schlock n' roll....Heard "Greetings from.." and "Darkness at the edge of town" and they just sounded like MOR to me. "Nebraska" I do like however but thats even got "Used cars" on used cars are a symbol of poverty...pah!...There isnt too many highways in Ireland and if there was I wouldnt spend time listening to Springsteen...

Michael Bourke, Sunday, 4 March 2001 01:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...
A part of the reason he's not being taken too kindly by them there "hip" folks is:

1. they don't understand that he's actually not as "pro-america" as they might think he is

2. they don't have as close a connection to "old school" code (which includes "old school" rock)

3. they are mostly college kids on their way up to some office job or whatever that is removed (if not far removed) from the "underworld" (the "blue collar" or "real" world) to get the lyrical sentiments

4. well, and...sometimes people just don't like something 'cause they just don't like it

I, however, do not apply to any of those 4. For I actually do "get" some of the appeal of Bruce (albeit, it took my until my mid or late twenties to get there). Sure, his overly sentimental (downright broadway or maudlin) look at the working class can be a bit (or a bunch) too much. And sure, his music can be too simple and/or too derivitive. But, that's a part of the whole. Familiarity in both music and lyrics, is a large part of the appeal of his stuff (and those like him, ala Mellencamp, etc). He just had the concept to put nearly a whole career on the working class/blue collar life like no other has (not in such a wide reaching broad sense, at least - other than Mellencamp, but Bruce did it a bit better and first).


Having said all that, 'Nebraska' and 'Ghost of Tom Joad' are the only two full albums that I would declare anywhere near a "classic" state of existence (with 'Nebraska' being the one clear-cut vote). Many of the rest of his 70's and 80's albums have some good solid worthy singles on them, but. I can't go so far as to get 'The River' (for example) anywhere near a "classic" nod. That one, in particular, I find to be overrated (though still having the wonderful track "Stolen Car" and the title track deserving of 'Nebraska'-like attention).

michael g. breece, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

Wow. I'm digging this message board "I Love Music". To think one would find a mention of Bruce McCulloch 'Shame Based Man' in a Bruce Springsteen thread, ahhh...the possibilities.

Anyways, I forgot to mention to huge (to the point of shadowing) element as to one of the why's (or why not's) of enjoy/appreciating Bruce. Which is: DRIVING. Cars and driving is such a central and/or reoccuring figure/subject in his work that...I can't believe I forgot to touch upon that (only after reading some of the others posts, darn it). But yea, I do LOVE to drive. Which also helps to explain the appeal of Springsteen (to me, at least).

*By the way, I do own that McCulloch album 'Shame Based Man' it (some really funny stuff and one of the very rare comedy albums worthy of many plays - if not it's own discussion here on "I Love Music"...anyone?). Every single one of my girlfriends (one present, others past) hated it. "And if (after torching the stolen car) you can still hear the Doors playing...then you have become...a DOORS...FAN!" I'm not a Doors fan, however.

michael g. breece, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

MG Breece (hey, sounds like a car): I wonder whether you agree with me that a large part of the point of the Boss is repetition - the fact that he does the same thing over and over again?

the pinefox, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (14 years ago) Permalink

6 months pass...
I listened to Born To Run riding the bus to work today. This is the first CD I ever purchased, back in 1985 (I'd already bought a few LPs), and I still have my original copy. Don't believe that business about CD rot -- it's doing fine.

I hadn't listened to this record in a couple of years, but god, it still sounded great. Actually, I kept getting shivers down my spine when it was playing and it had me close to tears a few times (mostly on "Thunder Road" and "Backstreets.") Listening to this today finally settled an ILM debate for me: Music can never affect me quite as much now as it did when I was a teenager. No record I've heard in the last few years, including Loveless, has had as much affect on me as Born to Run did this morning, and I know it's not just because Born to Run is such a great album. This is a record that got to me when I was young and emotionally vulnerable in a way that I'm not anymore, at the age of 32. I still feel music very deeply and appreciate and enjoy a wider range of music than ever, but music doesn’t completely overpower me the way it did when I was 15. Oh well.

Springsteen is still a big classic, by the way, despite all the incredibly corny lines on Born to Run.

Mark, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I like how he lets the words of "Born to Run" tumble out of his mouth, like a horse taking a dump.

DeRayMi, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I like how he lets the words of "Born to Run" tumble out of his mouth, like a horse taking a dump.

So much for my epiphany...;0)

Mark, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Anyway: classic, though not a personal favorite.

DeRayMi, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

9 months pass...
I finally bought a Springsteen record! (The G Hits, even though I know it's got lots of shite on, cause I like owning G Hits). It's pretty great up to the point at which it isn't. Let's talk about Bruce again!

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:18 (13 years ago) Permalink

the new one that ponefix and dq agreed on is unfortunately quite boring as to its actual like, er, sound – hence i only played it once so far, curse you persuasive fellows

"candy's room" is the grebtest song ever written about being in love w. a prostitute when you sound a bit like david bowie

mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:22 (13 years ago) Permalink

Tom if you ever feel like owning a whole album I have you pegged as a River man. At what point does G hits peter out?

Mark (MarkR), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:25 (13 years ago) Permalink

"My Hometown" is the first one I didn't really enjoy. "Brilliant Disguise" sounds laboured. After that I don't 'get it' yet (or it sucks).

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:29 (13 years ago) Permalink

(It's obviously my Mark Pitchfork day cos I also bought Vision Creation Newsun!)

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:31 (13 years ago) Permalink

"candy's room" is the grebtest song ever written about being in love w. a prostitute when you sound a bit like david bowie

Is this a new genre? Cos that'd be fucking incredible.

I still love Bruce Springsteen. Put on Rosalita and you will see me go insane.

Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:01 (13 years ago) Permalink

So will I.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:23 (13 years ago) Permalink

Right, so next time you are in NYC, that's what we shall do.

Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:24 (13 years ago) Permalink

Meat Loaf almost makes me want to like him.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:24 (13 years ago) Permalink

I didn't explain exactly WHY I would go insane, but hey.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:34 (13 years ago) Permalink

I didn't need to ask ;)

Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:39 (13 years ago) Permalink

All is well. ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 05:21 (13 years ago) Permalink

"Candy's Room" was the first Bruce song I wuvved.

alext (alext), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 11:58 (13 years ago) Permalink

xpost Winterland is not legit released yet, don't know where you saw that. Agora/Cleveland is the only '78 show he's selling right now.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 13 January 2015 21:47 (10 months ago) Permalink

oh man that agora show is unbelievable and I'm not even the world's hugest springsteen dude.

tylerw, Tuesday, 13 January 2015 21:55 (10 months ago) Permalink

Winterland is not legit released yet, don't know where you saw that

Oh yeah you're right, I was looking at this and assumed it was official as it is being sold on Amazon but on closer inspection it is a bootleg:

Since when did Amazon start dealing in bootlegs, by the way? Or is this some kind of grey area thing like the two I linked above?

you've got no fans you've got no ground (anagram), Tuesday, 13 January 2015 22:06 (10 months ago) Permalink

I will say, regardless, that anyone who has never heard the Cleveland show will be absolutely agast and baffled that it was never released in any form before now.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 13 January 2015 23:45 (10 months ago) Permalink


difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 13 January 2015 23:46 (10 months ago) Permalink

yeah it is maybe the only springsteen anyone needs! ok, maybe not... don't attack me springsteen stans!
bootlegs are always popping up on amazon these days, which does seem weird -- not sure if it has to do w/ copyright loopholes. or it's just illegal!

tylerw, Tuesday, 13 January 2015 23:48 (10 months ago) Permalink

I think the loophole is that it's a radio broadcast. So, technically/theoretically, whoever owns the broadcast recording (like the radio station) can maybe-not-entirely-illegally release it, or at least license it for release (in Europe, at least).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 13 January 2015 23:52 (10 months ago) Permalink

tyler otm imo, it's pretty definitive

like if you only have one, this is the one to have

difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 13 January 2015 23:53 (10 months ago) Permalink

though it is also crazy that the agora show was the *norm* for 1978 (at least the recordings I've heard suggest this). dude was operating on a whole other level.

tylerw, Tuesday, 13 January 2015 23:57 (10 months ago) Permalink


difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:02 (10 months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I don't think there is a single Springsteen show up through the breakup of the E Street Band that could be considered less than great, actually. He was famously grouchy during his I think No Nukes festival set, but it's a killer set, still, and I can't think of any of date he's ever played sick or less than 110%. The Tunnel of Love tour was a pretty set setlist, for once, but those shows were also great. Even post reunion there have been no real stinkers. He's a force of nature, really.

Hope they release Winterland, and Roxy. At least as far as 1978 goes. River and BitUSA, the band is still strong, but 78 is his peak. It's no small wonder that he just managed to stretch that peak for 10 more years of touring.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 14 January 2015 02:37 (10 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

Wow, he just released the 1980 New Year's Eve Nassau show! This is one of my favorite things ever.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 28 March 2015 00:17 (7 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

There's people, sir, that'll try to put you down...

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 29 May 2015 15:09 (5 months ago) Permalink

Roger is only maybe 5 years older than Bruce, but when Bruce hangs with people of that era he seems like such a kid.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 29 May 2015 16:00 (5 months ago) Permalink

3 weeks pass...

Kinda late with this, but last week Columbia dropped individual editions of the remasters from the box. So if (like me) you've been holding out...

Love, Wilco (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 25 June 2015 20:38 (5 months ago) Permalink

I listen a lot to the E Street satellite channel. Came across the Dave Marsh show and man does he suck. Rhetorically wondered why "hipsters" gravitated towards "Nebraska" (he stupidly suggested lack of drums!), then wondered if that album was the only Bruce disc without "a happy ending."/As if BitUSA " Darkness" or Tunnel end on an up note.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 25 June 2015 21:23 (5 months ago) Permalink

Well, maybe Tunnel is ambiguous, but The River sure ends bleak.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 25 June 2015 21:26 (5 months ago) Permalink

So Tunnel of Love has yet to get the remastered treatment, correct? Thought I read that it was in that group that was getting remastered, but maybe not. I can't wait to replace my old crappy-sounding River and BitUSA CDs. Are these remasters 2009 Beatles good?

Rod Steel (musicfanatic), Friday, 3 July 2015 21:57 (4 months ago) Permalink

are the remasters available on CD or just iTunes?

wizzz! (amateurist), Friday, 3 July 2015 23:24 (4 months ago) Permalink

marsh probably means it's the only bruce album that is pretty devoid of lighthearted/upbeat moments. which is mostly true. IIRC christgau said that the unrelentingly bleak worldview of 'nebraska' was more 'left-correct'

that said, i'm not really defending marsh. lord knows using the word 'hipsters' in order to work up a straw man is one of the most unnecessary and lazy things a critic can do.

wizzz! (amateurist), Friday, 3 July 2015 23:26 (4 months ago) Permalink

XP CD--They just broke up that box set from last year. (See my revive upthread).

Love, Wilco (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 3 July 2015 23:49 (4 months ago) Permalink

Although I notice now I wasn't specific about format then.

Love, Wilco (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 3 July 2015 23:50 (4 months ago) Permalink

The Bruce remasters sound great, even Nebraska.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 4 July 2015 01:16 (4 months ago) Permalink

"nebraska remastered" has some nice assonance going on

wizzz! (amateurist), Saturday, 4 July 2015 16:56 (4 months ago) Permalink

Live/1975-85 is still insanely good after all these years. The album remasters sound great, but I still find myself gravitating to the live set more than anything (and I still find myself choking up at the prelude to "The River").

Sam Weller, Monday, 6 July 2015 09:29 (4 months ago) Permalink

Get one of the awesome shows he's selling, like River tour 1980 or the 1978. Live box was edited and fussed with. Still great tho.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 6 July 2015 10:56 (4 months ago) Permalink

Well, I do also love the "true" shows, like the famous Agora one. But edited and fussed with is what makes the boxed set great imo! I'm a sucker for added-in audience noise and the like, if it serves a narrative purpose...

Sam Weller, Monday, 6 July 2015 11:14 (4 months ago) Permalink

Yeah I have the Winterland and Nassau boots but I'd much rather listen to the live box.

anthony braxton diamond geezer (anagram), Monday, 6 July 2015 11:36 (4 months ago) Permalink

Wow, been a while, Bruce:

Taken in tandem with the Brian Wilson cameo a week or two back, it's nice to see Bruce stage-crashing with some regularity again.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 19 July 2015 19:51 (4 months ago) Permalink


curmudgeon, Monday, 20 July 2015 04:16 (4 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

This mess could go in a million threads, but I love the look on Bruce's face when he's sharing the mic with Mick Jagger and George Harrison, with Dylan chugging away on guitar behind him. Especially when he forgets the words.

Can only imagine the drugs coursing through almost everyone.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 3 August 2015 14:41 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

River box set on it's way.

MaresNest, Friday, 16 October 2015 11:43 (1 month ago) Permalink

Already mentioned this on the dedicated River thread, but it's good to have it here as well.

schlep and back trio (anagram), Friday, 16 October 2015 11:46 (1 month ago) Permalink

Ooops, I did do a search, guess I used the wrong terms, apologies!

MaresNest, Friday, 16 October 2015 11:48 (1 month ago) Permalink

Kind of a disappointing set. It's a shame the pacing is so off these releases, since buying this means getting another copy of the just remastered "River," which is two of the "four" CDs. The "single" version of the album was really great as a bootleg called "The Ties That Bind." The outtakes, half are previously released, a lot of the odds and ends are on "Tracks" already, or the "Essential" set. I think 10 of the songs here have never been heard by anyone, though, which is exciting.

As for the DVDs ... eh. The docs have been good, but nothing essential to own. Having a show is cool, but I sort of wish we got a few more sets added to the live archive series instead.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 16 October 2015 14:41 (1 month ago) Permalink

I do kind of hope he does this with Nebraska. That and BitUSA have the most potential, given what has (or has not) been released so far.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 16 October 2015 14:42 (1 month ago) Permalink

I could see a combo BITUSA/Nebraska set, since they were recorded around the same time (and there's hella overlap in the demos).

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 16 October 2015 14:48 (1 month ago) Permalink

is there going to be a cheaper version of this River set (ie w/ the single disc river + the outtakes disc)? i might be into that ... too many expensive box sets this season.

tylerw, Friday, 16 October 2015 14:49 (1 month ago) Permalink

And no one has ever heard the electric Nebraska. But as the demo version of the song BitUSA shows, that era's demos can be revelatory. Like, check this spooky Nebraska-Pink Cadillac:

Compared to

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 16 October 2015 14:53 (1 month ago) Permalink

Speaking of a potential future BitUSA box, "Frankie" was one of those tracks that he recorded several times, for Darkness, for The River and for BitUSA. The song never ended up on an album, though it did find its way to "Tracks." However, I never liked that version because I've long loved this epic version from the BitUSA sessions, one that has this real magic to it:

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 October 2015 23:31 (1 month ago) Permalink

Not Bruce-specificalky but I finally got to see Nils Lofgren solo @ Bridge Benefit last night and he was everything I had hoped for

Had no idea he was playing piano for Neil Young at 18, holy fuck what a career

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 26 October 2015 01:47 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

I have a relative who is close friends with Nils and I got to meet him once. Such a nice guy with an amazing career. The one thing he said that I found particularly impressive is that he's left handed, but he taught himself to play righty just so he wouldn't miss out on any spontaneous jam opportunities.

He said he's played with just about everybody at one point or another and a lot of that wouldn't have ever happened if he couldn't play righty.

kornrulez6969, Monday, 26 October 2015 04:27 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

He might be the single most talented underutilized working guitarist. Love Springsteen, but Nils is pretty much wasted in the E Street Band.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 26 October 2015 13:22 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Sure, but it's one heck of a reliable damn paycheck.

Sam Weller, Monday, 26 October 2015 13:32 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Well, yeah. They're bound for life at this point. Just saying, he's really good, which is totally unnecessary in the band. In Neil Young's band, too, more or less - Nils has told stories about playing with ankle weights to stop him from moving around so much on stage with Neil.

Nils' play the blues soloing so good on this:

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 26 October 2015 13:52 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

ooh yeah that's great soloing!

niels, Monday, 26 October 2015 15:44 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Maybe he tells this story all the time, idk, but I dug it:

When he was working on After The Gold Rush he was there as a guiarist. Neil asked him to play piano and he told Neil "I don't really know how." Neil
was like, "Dude you've been playing accordion since you were 5, of course you can!" And the accordion playing informed the tempo of his piano part on Southern Man

fuckin awesome

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 26 October 2015 16:25 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

I really like Nils' self titled album from 1975 a lot. Just a really solid 70s rock record.

brimstead, Monday, 26 October 2015 17:52 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Nils is pretty much wasted in the E Street Band.

to some extent, every guitarist who isn't bruce is pretty much wasted in the e street band. but if i were bruce, i'd happily pay nils to stand around doing nothing for three or so hours a night just so i'd know he'd be there whenever "because the night" came around.

fact checking cuz, Monday, 26 October 2015 18:21 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 26 October 2015 18:44 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

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