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 (fifteen 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 (fifteen 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 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

BROOOOCE!

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 (fifteen 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.

N.

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

CLASSIC.

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 (fifteen 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 (fifteen 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 (fifteen 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 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Nevermind he has out Dylan-ed Dylan"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robin Carmody, Friday, 2 March 2001 01:00 (fifteen 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 it...like 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 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

three 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).

Classics:

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 (fifteen 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' and...love 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 (fifteen 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 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

six 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Anyway: classic, though not a personal favorite.

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

nine 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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

So will I.

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

Meat Loaf almost makes me want to like him.

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

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

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

I didn't need to ask ;)

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

All is well. ;-)

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

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

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

Picked up my friend Steve to see the Mekons in the city. It was 7:15, and the Springsteen channel was maybe 2/3rds of the way through "New York Serenade," the first song he played at the epic August Meadowlands set they were broadcasting. We drove into the city and got to the gig a bit early, then the band went on a bit late. The Mekons were ragged but managed maybe two hours of music. We got back to the car around 10:20, and Bruce's Meadowland's set was nowhere near done. It was mid-'Dancing in the Dark," which means there were still five songs to go, all around 6-10 minutes long, and it was still far from wrapping up when I finally got home. I mean ... wow.

Meanwhile: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/21/books/bruce-springsteen-memoir-born-to-run.html

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 21 September 2016 04:14 (six days ago) Permalink

He raised his three children without rock-star mementos in the house. “My kids didn’t know ‘Badlands’ from matzo ball soup,” he writes. “When I was approached on the street for autographs, I’d explain to them that in my job I was Barney (the then-famous purple dinosaur) for adults.” His eldest son says, in shock, “Dad, that guy has you tattooed on his arm.”

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 21 September 2016 04:18 (six days ago) Permalink

Who is going to be awesome and convert this list to a public playlist on Spotify?

http://www.vulture.com/2016/06/every-bruce-springsteen-song-ranked.html

Brevs Mekis (dandydonweiner), Wednesday, 21 September 2016 16:20 (six days ago) Permalink

hmm all titles in that article have youtube links afaict so if you want a playlist with every bruce song haphazadly ranked it wld prob be a lot easier to youtube it

niels, Wednesday, 21 September 2016 16:25 (six days ago) Permalink

Does anyone know where I can find a streaming service that provides access to some Bruce Springsteen tracks?

Gravity Well, You Needn't (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 21 September 2016 16:33 (six days ago) Permalink

Ah good point Niels...so the thing to do would be make a YouTube playlist of those tracks and then import to Spotify via:

https://soundiiz.com/login

That site has been very handy in the past btw.

Brevs Mekis (dandydonweiner), Wednesday, 21 September 2016 16:45 (six days ago) Permalink

Starting to wonder which Jimmy Cliff songs he covered. I had forgotten about "Trapped," which was popular for one hot minute because it was on a benefit album, (We Are The World?) and see some other tunes on YouTube from The Harder They Come, including "The Harder They Come" with Jimmy himself. But I also seem to recall him playing "Vietnam," although I am finding little evidence of it.

Gravity Well, You Needn't (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 22 September 2016 04:43 (five days ago) Permalink

(We Are The World?)

Yep, that's the one (and I wish the question mark was actually part of the title), and "Trapped" got a ton of airplay at the time.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 22 September 2016 14:33 (five days ago) Permalink

I don't know why I am thinking he covered "Vietnam." Did he? Or did it appear in some other context - the "Treasure Island" section in Stranded?- and I am just confounding.

Gravity Well, You Needn't (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 22 September 2016 14:48 (five days ago) Permalink

There's bootlegs of a song he did called Vietnam that later mutated into Born In The USA. I don't know if his song has anything to do with the Jimmy Cliff song.

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 22 September 2016 15:57 (five days ago) Permalink

New Order (!) covered Vietnam, but don't think Bruce did.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 22 September 2016 16:40 (five days ago) Permalink

i love bruce in jersey shred devil mode. could watch bruce solo vids a lot actually.

scott seward, Friday, 23 September 2016 01:08 (four days ago) Permalink

scott seward, Friday, 23 September 2016 01:10 (four days ago) Permalink

Mr. Ford will be hearing from the Dutch embassy...

"Springsteen’s part Scots-Irish, part Italian family was a caldron of these bubbling forces."

scott seward, Friday, 23 September 2016 01:18 (four days ago) Permalink

I like Springsteen guitar but he's best when he knows when to get out of the way, especially when paired with James fucking Burton:

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 23 September 2016 02:11 (four days ago) Permalink

This is a great one:

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 23 September 2016 03:22 (four days ago) Permalink

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/bruce-springsteen-call-trump-moron-228586?cmpid=sf

“The republic is under siege by a moron, basically. The whole thing is tragic. Without overstating it, it's a tragedy for our democracy,” the rocker said, when asked what he makes of the “Trump phenomenon”.

Countdown to Trump slamming the Boss on twitter, aka the end of his candidacy.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 24 September 2016 00:20 (three days ago) Permalink

Boring Bruce slams me in low-selling Rolling Stone! Sad! Not A Fan!

a full playlist of presidential sex jams (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 24 September 2016 01:07 (three days ago) Permalink

#JohnCaffertyIsBetter

a full playlist of presidential sex jams (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 24 September 2016 01:09 (three days ago) Permalink

You're on firefired!

Autotune the Sky (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 24 September 2016 01:18 (three days ago) Permalink

Countdown to Trump slamming the Boss on twitter, aka the end of his candidacy.

If/when this happens, Chris Christie's brain will explode.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Saturday, 24 September 2016 01:19 (three days ago) Permalink

that jersey shred devil mode is great!

niels, Saturday, 24 September 2016 10:59 (three days ago) Permalink

Bruce looked nervous talking to Colbert about the book on tv last night. Interesting if not totally insightful.

curmudgeon, Saturday, 24 September 2016 11:50 (three days ago) Permalink

Perhaps you will find something in this interview more to your liking:

Autotune the Sky (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 24 September 2016 15:47 (three days ago) Permalink

Bruce seemed fine on Colbert. Meanwhile, Nils's Jersey shred devil by proxy:

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 September 2016 15:48 (two days ago) Permalink

Noticed recently that he tends to "borrow" song titles: "Party Lights," "Mansion on the Hill, "All Or Nothin' At All" to name three that come to mind, don't know how many more there are.

Autotune the Sky (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 25 September 2016 15:55 (two days ago) Permalink

Reason to Believe

Ari (whenuweremine), Sunday, 25 September 2016 15:58 (two days ago) Permalink

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 September 2016 16:05 (two days ago) Permalink

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 September 2016 16:08 (two days ago) Permalink

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 September 2016 16:09 (two days ago) Permalink

I do like the bit in the doc where Bruce concedes he still doesn't know what a "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" is. Love this on wiki:

The song tells the story of the formation of the E Street Band. However, when asked, most Springsteen fans cannot answer the question, "What is a Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out?" The meaning of the phrase is still a mystery. Even Springsteen himself says, laughing, in the Born to Run documentary Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run: "I still have no idea what it means. But it's important."

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 September 2016 16:10 (two days ago) Permalink

perhaps he was familiar with the Visions of Johanna working title "Freeze Out"?

niels, Sunday, 25 September 2016 16:14 (two days ago) Permalink

I was excited to hear the news that he was writing this until I realized I have no interest in learning more about him

calstars, Sunday, 25 September 2016 16:54 (two days ago) Permalink

I am doing the opposite approach, going to try to read this thing right away before I know too much from interviews and reviews.

Reason to Believe

Guess I knew about the movie title borrowings before but stuff like this I hadn't thought about. Also: "High Hopes."

perhaps he was familiar with the Visions of Johanna working title "Freeze Out"?

― niels, Sunday, September 25, 2016 4:14 PM (one hour ago)


Good call. Might be. Wonder if he was aware that the working title of Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? was "Look At Barry Run" before he wrote his most famous song?

Autotune the Sky (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 25 September 2016 17:45 (two days ago) Permalink

There are also lots of reoccurring images and phrases in his lyrics. "Killing floor," "darkness on the edge of town/other things," "promised land," "debts no honest man can pay,"(used twice on Nebraska), "Got on a dead man suit and smilin' skull ring. Lucky graveyard boots and a song to sing.," etc. The "Darkness" outtake "Spanish Eyes" begins "Hey, little girl, is your daddy home?" Lots of repetition I imagine is due to his rewriting songs and lyrics over and over again, finding the right place for the right phrase in the right song. In the case of "Nebraska," it's no doubt because the songs were more or less demos to begin with.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 September 2016 18:45 (two days ago) Permalink

Not that I think it's this, but as the song talks about the early days of the band, I always think Tenth Avenue Freeze Out means not being able to crossover from NJ to NY, as 10th avenue is one of the western most streets in the city.

dan selzer, Sunday, 25 September 2016 21:20 (two days ago) Permalink

i was listening to his new years 1980 show where he played songs with similar titles in suites and i thought that was hilarious and smart

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Sunday, 25 September 2016 21:25 (two days ago) Permalink

I was excited to hear the news that he was writing this until I realized I have no interest in learning more about him

― calstars, Sunday, September 25, 2016 12:54 PM (four hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

same, i probably wouldn't have read Peter Ames Carlin's (very good) five hundred page bio if i'd known Bruce had his own thick tome on the way so soon after

Best Beloved Trump-Pence (some dude), Sunday, 25 September 2016 21:28 (two days ago) Permalink

Carlin's book was great, I have a feeling the Bruce book will be pretty different. Maybe almost like a collection of chapter-long essays.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 September 2016 21:42 (two days ago) Permalink

yeah you're prob right, i just won't personally have won't have the appetite to read 1000 pages about Bruce in the space of like 3 years.

Best Beloved Trump-Pence (some dude), Sunday, 25 September 2016 22:19 (two days ago) Permalink

Seems like Carlin had a lot of access for that book as well so perhaps not so much left to be revealed. B-b-but The Boss's unique storyteller's voice!

Berberian Begins at Home (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 25 September 2016 22:23 (two days ago) Permalink

yeah...the occasional times BS has penned an essay or whatever he's seemed pretty capable as a writer

Best Beloved Trump-Pence (some dude), Sunday, 25 September 2016 22:28 (two days ago) Permalink

this is the most excited i have been about a memoir in recent memory

i love his writing & i think he's a v good storyteller, just keen to see what sorta visual tapestry he weaves idk

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 25 September 2016 23:19 (two days ago) Permalink

Spoiler-free takeaway on that point from the Richard Ford review:

It helps that Springsteen can write — not just life-­imprinting song lyrics but good, solid prose that travels all the way to the right margin. I mean, you’d think a guy who wrote “Spanish Johnny drove in from the underworld last night / With bruised arms and broken rhythm and a beat-up old Buick . . .” could navigate his way around a complete and creditable American sentence. And you’d be right. Oh, there are a few gassy bits here and there, a jot too much couch-inspired hooey about the “terrain inside my own head.” A tad more rock ’n’ roll highfalutin than this reader really needs — though the Bruce enthusiasts down in Sea-Clift won’t agree with me. No way. But nothing in “Born to Run” rings to me as unmeant or punch-pulling. If anything, Springsteen wants credit for telling it the way it really is and was. And like a fabled Springsteen concert — always notable for its deck-clearing thoroughness — “Born to Run” achieves the sensation that all the relevant questions have been answered by the time the lights are turned out. He delivers the story of Bruce — in digestibly short chapters — via an informally steadfast Jersey plainspeak that’s worked and deftly detailed and intimate with its readers — cleareyed enough to say what it means when it has hard stories to tell, yet supple enough to rise to occasions requiring eloquence — sometimes rather pleasingly subsiding into the syntax and rhythms of a Bruce Springsteen song.

I liked in the Colbert interview how he described his songs as the blues during the verses and gospel during the chorus, and I thought that was a brilliant way of getting at why his music can be so anthemic. Hard times in the verses, transcendence, redemption, hope and escape in the choruses. "The Promised Land" is possibly the best example of this. In one verse he declares "take a knife and cut this pain from my heart" (one of the best lines of Bruce or any writer, ever), but by the chorus he still believes in a promised land.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 25 September 2016 23:29 (two days ago) Permalink

Interesting. Must have missed that part of the Colbert interview.

Berberian Begins at Home (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 25 September 2016 23:50 (two days ago) Permalink

Noticed recently that he tends to "borrow" song titles: "Party Lights," "Mansion on the Hill, "All Or Nothin' At All" to name three that come to mind, don't know how many more there are

half his catalog. quite possibly literally half his catalog. it's one of his basic songwriting tools.

fact checking cuz, Monday, 26 September 2016 04:18 (yesterday) Permalink

I always think Tenth Avenue Freeze Out means not being able to crossover from NJ to NY, as 10th avenue is one of the western most streets in the city.

more likely, it's where the band used to rehearse in the early days: corner of 10th avenue and -- drum roll -- e street in belmar, new jersey.

fact checking cuz, Monday, 26 September 2016 04:20 (yesterday) Permalink

I always like to sing it as "Tenth Avenue Freak Out" and imagine the song is about the E Street Band having a bad acid trip.

Al Moon Faced Poon (Moodles), Monday, 26 September 2016 04:41 (yesterday) Permalink

I figured it was about his favorite ice cream vendor.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 26 September 2016 04:53 (yesterday) Permalink


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