Bruce Springsteen - Classic or Dud ?

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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 (14 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 (14 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 (14 years ago) Permalink

Anyway: classic, though not a personal favorite.

DeRayMi, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (14 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

i agree with ally about Rosalita

H (Heruy), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 12:02 (13 years ago) Permalink

Come on everybody: get with the magnificent TUNNEL OF LOVE

the ponefix, Wednesday, 20 November 2002 13:33 (13 years ago) Permalink

I like his synth-pop. "Born In The U.S.A.," "I'm On Fire," "Dancing In The Dark," "Brilliant Disguise," "Streets Of Philadelphia" stuff like that. He tends to lay off the anus-clenched fifteen-syllables-in-room-for-ten horrid "rock poetry" on those numbers. That said, the lyrics on "The Rising" are categorically his worst ever. His fame peaked with Born In The U.S.A because that's his best album.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 16:26 (13 years ago) Permalink

Nebraska is perfect, obviously. My favorite Bruce songs otherwise: Rosalita, Racing in the Street, I'm On Fire, Tenth Avenue Freeze Out and Hungry Heart.

Yancey (ystrickler), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 16:47 (13 years ago) Permalink

what's 'faron young ' all about then tom ?

piscesboy, Wednesday, 20 November 2002 16:51 (13 years ago) Permalink

The supposed false emotions and promises of country music radio - every other sentiment an antique"; "you offer infra-red instead of sun". He's looking for solace on the dial and not getting it. It's a marvellous but wrong song. Talking about it to the NME later he admitted he loved country now and that he'd been wrong about Faron.

Tom (Groke), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 17:05 (13 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, new album is weak. Basically just an excuse for the live shows, though, which according to what I've heard remain wonderful.

Found this at the near start of the thread, dunno if Ned can be bothered to talk about it now:

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.

Odd, because Springsteen's own views are the exact opposite- he was always far less interested in The Beatles and The Rolling Stones than he was in Phil Spector and James Brown.

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 20:17 (13 years ago) Permalink

I really like "Dancing in the Dark"

Kris (aqueduct), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 20:23 (13 years ago) Permalink

Oh man, I forgot about I'm On Fire. That's an incredible song. Also, Daniel_Rf is OTM in terms of Bruce's influences; just listen to the production on Born to Run, Ned.

Though he always does look really tense and "real rock" when he performs.

It used to be such that every time I got drunk, the evening would end with me and a gentleman companion in the group deciding to put on Dancing in the Dark and imitating the Boss & Courteney Cox dance. This has thankfully not occured in a long time now.

Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 20:57 (13 years ago) Permalink

Odd, because Springsteen's own views are the exact opposite- he was always far less interested in The Beatles and The Rolling Stones than he was in Phil Spector and James Brown.

Ah, to explain my sense further -- there I wasn't referring to exact sound (I hope) so much as the role he seems to be in. I don't like universal idolatry, but personal, and so much around Bruce is "my god, the genius is among us all again! DO YOU SEE!" insistence that just makes me hate him even more. Like I said above in that quote, I don't get the sense that he believes that garbage (if he takes Dave Marsh at all seriously, though, that's a pisser).

And as for the music itself, a lot of people love Phil Spector and James Brown. In my mind, that doesn't give them a free pass for their own efforts. ;-)

My only realization about Bruce recently has been when I finally heard Bat Out of Hell and realized I loved that a hell of a lot more than any Springsteen I've heard.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 21:29 (13 years ago) Permalink

"Go" works. 15+ remixes = zesty.

Curtis Stephens, Wednesday, 20 November 2002 21:49 (13 years ago) Permalink

fuck, how did I get in this topic? I was in the dance singles thread!!! ah well, just ignore my post...

Curtis Stephens, Wednesday, 20 November 2002 21:50 (13 years ago) Permalink

This was my favorite comment on Springsteen :

"One of the things I was trying to convey in my rant was my displeasure with this reeky new trend that found rocknroll stars gill-netting for thematic blue-collar chub in the dank ol' eddies of crummy shit-jobs they'd left behind YEARS ago? if indeed ever. Great musicians didn't necessarily suck, but it might've helped if they had. Anything would've been better than listening to these poachers waft work odes from play stations.

But this wasn't even the true intent of my harangue. Those jabs at rock stars were just quills strewn along the spine of a much larger message. It had very little to do with Bob Seger or John Mellenfarm or Springsteen per se and everything to do with the lethargic concessions being made by workin' stiffs of my own ilk who wouldn't refuse deliverance on out-sourced interpretations of their own workaday milieu. As I suggested at the time, why entrust surrogates to serenade us on how tedious and deprived our lives were? Good GRIEF, couldn't we handle that ourselves?

My sentiments exactly. I grew up in an armpit very much like New Jersey. The last thing I wanted to hear when growing up was how I'm gonna die there just like my daddy or whatever. Plus, I think you could probably dance to Mellencamp, at least.

Kerry (dymaxia), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 22:49 (13 years ago) Permalink


man, Wednesday, 20 November 2002 22:52 (13 years ago) Permalink

Hey Tom -- I saw "Thunder Road" on your Top 10 & I was wondering if you've heard the live version that starts off the 1975-1986 box set? Might not work if you're really in love w/ the bombast of the original, but Springsteeen does a solo reading at piano that I find very touching (Clarance adds some glockenspiel, if memory serves).

Mark (MarkR), Tuesday, 3 December 2002 12:14 (13 years ago) Permalink

Oh and Tom, maybe explain how Andrew WK got you into Springsteen.

Mark (MarkR), Tuesday, 3 December 2002 12:15 (13 years ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...
I am reviving this thread in honour of Darkness On The Edge Of Town. And Silvio!

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Tuesday, 17 December 2002 22:46 (13 years ago) Permalink

I still find it interesting that someone who is supposedly down with the working class is nicknamed "The Boss". Mostly dud for me because I could never quite figure out what the big deal was. For me, he's interchangable with Bob Seger, the J. Geils Band, etc. - well-produced generic rock for midwest arenas. I was in high school when The River was released and I simply couldn't figure out why anyone would listen to it when they could listen to X's Los Angeles which accomplished more in one-third the time.

Yeah, Nebraska is a pretty OK album, but I recall at the time that it was more noteworthy as an advertisement for Tascam's portastudio than as any kind of artistic breakthrough.

Even so, I'll give him a "Get Out Of Dud Free" card for this, which I think is pretty goddamn cool.

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Tuesday, 17 December 2002 23:13 (13 years ago) Permalink

Why do people who otherwise dislike Springsteen give "Nebraska" a pass?

Amateurist (amateurist), Tuesday, 17 December 2002 23:48 (13 years ago) Permalink

11 months pass...
I am listening to 'Born to Run' on the radio. It's such a good song. Except for the part where he describes himself as having 'velvet ribs' and 'engines'. Apart from that it's good. I like it how he says, 'Together Wendy we'll live through the madness', etc. Isn't it all too true? I just think that people who don't like Bruce Springsteen have never 'been there', you know.

maryann (maryann), Saturday, 22 November 2003 08:55 (12 years ago) Permalink

this thread only serves to prove that ned raggett is __________.

RJG (RJG), Saturday, 22 November 2003 10:55 (12 years ago) Permalink

dave marsh?

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Saturday, 22 November 2003 11:26 (12 years ago) Permalink


sucka (sucka), Saturday, 22 November 2003 13:15 (12 years ago) Permalink

Hey Maryann it's "velvet rims" which probably makes even less sense.

Mark (MarkR), Saturday, 22 November 2003 13:56 (12 years ago) Permalink

I can't even believe this thread ever existed.

He could have quite after Born to Run and still be classic classic classic. That album is one of the great moments in pop music history, and a cultural icon (in the States at least).

Even if you don't like his music, he's still classic.

Debito (Debito), Saturday, 22 November 2003 16:18 (12 years ago) Permalink

I'd say he is mostly classic. He has had his dud moments (I have never been keen on his accoustic work), but he has several great albums behind him.

And it is about time people start liking "Born In The USA" again. Just because the album sold zillions doesn't make it a bad album.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Saturday, 22 November 2003 18:15 (12 years ago) Permalink

Velvet rims is kind of worse and better, - it sounds even cornier but at least it's not like he suddenly goes from bewailing his alienation to boasting about his physique! Or actually, maybe he does.

maryann (maryann), Saturday, 22 November 2003 21:46 (12 years ago) Permalink

I think Californians should look at it this way - Springsteen is the I-95 corridor/Eastern industrial states' Los Lobos. Don't begrudge us our tinge (though I like Los Lobos better myself).

Of course the adulation is typically overboard. But what do you expect for someone who has had, at least at moments, near-Madonna-level pop smarts and still gets content, even poetry, into his lyrics?

One of the differences between him and "heartland rock" - r&b. A greater proportion of it, at least. Who else (besides the aforementioned Californians) has had such a sound during the same period at remotely similar levels of popularity?

gabbneb (gabbneb), Saturday, 22 November 2003 22:23 (12 years ago) Permalink

Even so, I'll give him a "Get Out Of Dud Free" card for this, which I think is pretty goddamn cool.

but he loses that card for this, the final page of the aforementioned document, in which mr. springsteen proves he can't spell "asbury park."

fact checking cuz, Sunday, 23 November 2003 16:48 (12 years ago) Permalink

ballboy's cover of 'born in the usa' is an eye-opener, who knew the lyrics were so touching and mournful i always had the image of his bulging veins in my head but ballboy's tender version reveals the beauty of the song.

keith m (keithmcl), Sunday, 23 November 2003 16:53 (12 years ago) Permalink

Why do people who otherwise dislike Springsteen give "Nebraska" a pass?

i otherwise kinda like springsteen, so perhaps i'm not the best to answer this, but i'd say his career mathematically boils down to this:

1. great singer
2. damn good songwriter (despite a huge drop-off in the '90s)
3. fair-to-average, overrated bar-band backing (playing mostly hackneyed arrangements)
4. poor production (i like "born to run" just fine, but after that it's just so completely lacking in punch and warmth i can't believe he's ever been lauded for it)

"nebraska" discards with (3) and (4), leaving him playing entirely to his strengths. and as it happens his songwriting hit a peak at the same time. i'd say it's far and away his best.

fact checking cuz, Sunday, 23 November 2003 17:16 (12 years ago) Permalink

I love how he's playing 10+ songs on top of doing The River in its entirety.

Got tickets for the Wembley gig this morning, although I really need to familiarise myself with the second half of The River.

Matt DC, Thursday, 25 February 2016 14:37 (3 months ago) Permalink

The River is fantastic, but there are a few duds on the 2nd half. Drive All Night was always my least-favorite Bruce song until Waitin' On a Sunny Day emerged.

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 25 February 2016 16:19 (3 months ago) Permalink

Paris show announced finally today, can't bear to look at ticket prices bc I want to go so badly

droit au butt (Euler), Thursday, 25 February 2016 16:38 (3 months ago) Permalink

Drive All Night is interminable. But Stolen Car and Wreck on the Highway are as good as anything on Nebraska, Point Blank a neat dramatic experiment (could be an Elvis Costello song), The Price You Pay kind of a somber rewriting of some Darkness stuff, and Ramrod and Cadillac Ranch two of his most fun barnstormers.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 25 February 2016 18:54 (3 months ago) Permalink

Stolen Car was great the other night, and Point Blank prefigures 41 Shots in an interesting way.

Loved the 4-way guitar/fiddle interplay on Cadillac Ranch with solos from Bruce, Steve, Nils and Patty.

T.L.O.P.son (Phil D.), Thursday, 25 February 2016 19:51 (3 months ago) Permalink

Still think Nils in the E Street Band is a bit like Darryl Jones in the Stones. It probably takes Nils more effort not to play really well than to play really well.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 25 February 2016 23:35 (3 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

Now I Know How Joan of Arcadia Felt (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 15 March 2016 19:52 (2 months ago) Permalink

Funny, I don't feel tardy ...

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 21 March 2016 15:04 (2 months ago) Permalink


Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 21 March 2016 21:47 (2 months ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 8 April 2016 20:26 (1 month ago) Permalink

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 8 April 2016 20:27 (1 month ago) Permalink

That is very cool. I'm sure it's not inexpensive to cancel a concert 2 days before. He continues to be, well, Bruce Springsteen.

kornrulez6969, Friday, 8 April 2016 21:36 (1 month ago) Permalink


Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 April 2016 21:38 (1 month ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

"Purple Rain" cover from last night.

PiL Communication (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 24 April 2016 13:14 (1 month ago) Permalink

PiL Communication (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 24 April 2016 13:14 (1 month ago) Permalink

That's great. Prince was the cat who kept Bruce was his biggest shot at a number 1, but even he's conceded "Dancing in the Dark" to "When Doves Cry."

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 24 April 2016 13:52 (1 month ago) Permalink

They shared the stage once, in LA, in 1985.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 24 April 2016 13:57 (1 month ago) Permalink

Nice tribute version

curmudgeon, Sunday, 24 April 2016 15:31 (1 month ago) Permalink

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