Bruce Springsteen - Classic or Dud ?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

"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 (twenty-three years ago) link


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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link


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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

"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 (twenty-three years ago) link

"Nevermind he has out Dylan-ed Dylan"

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

Omar, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

The Automobile as Stationary Listening Environment. How revolutionary.

I wish I wasn't misinterpreting.

Otis Wheeler, Monday, 26 February 2001 01:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

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

Patrick, Monday, 26 February 2001 01:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

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

Ally, Tuesday, 27 February 2001 01:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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

Robin Carmody, Friday, 2 March 2001 01:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

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 (twenty-three years ago) link

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).


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 (twenty-two years ago) link

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 (twenty-two years ago) link

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 (twenty-two years ago) link

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 (twenty-two years ago) link

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 (twenty-two years ago) link

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 (twenty-two years ago) link

Anyway: classic, though not a personal favorite.

DeRayMi, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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 (twenty-one years ago) link

"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 (twenty-one years ago) link

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

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:31 (twenty-one years ago) link

"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 (twenty-one years ago) link

So will I.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:23 (twenty-one years ago) link

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

Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:24 (twenty-one years ago) link

Meat Loaf almost makes me want to like him.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:24 (twenty-one years ago) link

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

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:34 (twenty-one years ago) link

I didn't need to ask ;)

Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:39 (twenty-one years ago) link

All is well. ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 05:21 (twenty-one years ago) link

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

alext (alext), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 11:58 (twenty-one years ago) link

this seems like a great idea
100% will watch

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 14 January 2024 22:13 (one month ago) link

I hope you're right! I can imagine a version of a Nebraska doc that I would love. I'm just not sure if we'll get it from current Bruce, but I hope we do.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 14 January 2024 22:40 (one month ago) link

What could be so compelling that would warrant an hour plus doc? I thought he just wrote those songs in his kitchen or something and recorded them simply

calstars, Sunday, 14 January 2024 22:51 (one month ago) link

I can see an interesting doc for diehards that would accompany a box set, but hard to imagine what this would look like that would play in a cinema.

Cow_Art, Sunday, 14 January 2024 23:23 (one month ago) link

Maybe we'll get Unsolved Mysteries-style dramatic enactments of the songs?


I really need to get into this C5X 40558… I inherited it from my dad:

Wooly Bully (2005 Remaster) (morrisp), Monday, 15 January 2024 00:39 (one month ago) link

(he’s still alive, for avoidance of doubt)

Wooly Bully (2005 Remaster) (morrisp), Monday, 15 January 2024 00:40 (one month ago) link

Box set glory days

calstars, Monday, 15 January 2024 00:41 (one month ago) link

Nebraska remains the high-water mark for four-track cassette Portastudio recordings.

CthulhuLululemon (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 15 January 2024 02:30 (one month ago) link

I would happily watch at least 45 minutes of someone interviewing Chuck Plotkin about Nebraska. He was my favorite part of the Darkness doc.

Lily Dale, Monday, 15 January 2024 03:14 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

birdistheword, Thursday, 1 February 2024 21:10 (one month ago) link


fact checking cuz, Thursday, 1 February 2024 21:13 (one month ago) link

RIP mrs springsteen <3

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 1 February 2024 21:28 (one month ago) link


Josh in Chicago, Friday, 2 February 2024 03:56 (one month ago) link

One thing I'll always remember from his Broadway show:

My mother loves to dance. She grew up in the ‘40s … with the big bands and the swing bands, and that was a time when dancing was an existential act. She’s 10 years into Alzheimer’s and that’s taken a lot away from us. But the need to dance hasn’t left her. She can’t speak. She can’t stand. She can’t feed herself. But when she sees me, there is always a smile. Still a smile. And there’s still a kiss. And there’s a sound which she makes when she sees me. It’s just the sound, but I know it means ‘I love you.’ And when I put on Glen Miller and she starts moving in her chair … she starts reaching out for me, to take her in my arms once more and to dance with her across the floor.

It's probably the only truly positive thing I can think of when dealing with someone lost to Alzheimer's, like the one thing it can't take away.

birdistheword, Saturday, 3 February 2024 02:18 (one month ago) link

I should say "when coping with someone lost to Alzheimer's"

birdistheword, Saturday, 3 February 2024 02:19 (one month ago) link

The Tracy Chapman/ Luke Combs duet is reminding me of how much I love this video: the warmth, the mutual respect and friendship, the brilliant and subversive choice of verses for Chapman to sing, and the way Bruce turns away from the audience to sing the last "This is your hometown" directly to her.

Lily Dale, Monday, 5 February 2024 03:42 (one month ago) link

I heard "Brilliant Disguise" in the supermarket this morning and almost just stood there to listen.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 6 February 2024 18:40 (four weeks ago) link

Kind of crazy that the original Wailers (i.e. Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Livingston) did their first shows in the U.S. opening for SPRINGSTEEN in 1973 (sadly, the only tour they'd do before Tosh and Livingston split). Springsteen doesn't mention them at all in his book, but I was wondering, has he ever talked about them or at least say whether he caught their opening shows?

birdistheword, Wednesday, 7 February 2024 03:09 (three weeks ago) link

is it you baby
or 20% off chicken thighs


maf you one two (maffew12), Wednesday, 7 February 2024 03:36 (three weeks ago) link

xp That's funny, I just saw an "Upstairs at Max's Kansas City – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and THE WAILERS" ad posted on social media earlier

atmospheric river phoenix (morrisp), Wednesday, 7 February 2024 05:03 (three weeks ago) link

No Woman No Sex In A Car

an icon of a worried-looking, long-haired, bespectacled man (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 7 February 2024 06:16 (three weeks ago) link

Inspired by snagging two tickets to see Jon Brion here next week, did I ever post this recording of Brion and pals improvising a Springsteen show on New Year's Eve here some long time ago?

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 7 February 2024 22:04 (three weeks ago) link

hey Springsteen thread, this is a really dumb + annoying question, but if anyone wants to team up with me to pitch a 33 1/3 book, let me know? They've already done one on Born in the USA, which kind of included Nebraska, but that's it as far as I know. I would be most interested in The River or The Wild, the Innocent and the E. Street Shuffle.

I have nothing to offer the team in terms of writing cred or musical knowledge, so I would not be a very sensible choice of co-writer, but just throwing this out there.

(also if anyone wants to write about the Vulgar Boatmen, lmk)

Lily Dale, Friday, 9 February 2024 03:36 (three weeks ago) link

Springsteen is being sued for "negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment" due to the use of a 1968 Pontiac GTO on the cover of Only the Strong Survive. The car's owner, Louis A. Billotti (who later died of COVID):

was asked to bring his classic car, which is registered with the state as a historic vehicle, to Colts Neck, New Jersey, for a photo shoot on Oct. 18, 2021, the complaint said. He did not know who would be involved in the session, but Springsteen arrived, posed with the car and spent some time talking with Billotti about vintage cars.

At the end of the photo shoot, the photographer gave Billotti a check for $450, the court papers said. The words "car prop" were written in the memo field of the check.

Billotti was told by someone "acting with authority" that if the photos with his Pontiac were chosen for the album cover, he would receive a contract offering him terms of compensation, the amended complaint said.

atmospheric river phoenix (morrisp), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 01:07 (two weeks ago) link

A plaintive note: From the time of the photo shoot and through his hospitalization, the GTO owner "often spoke of the October photo shoot to several witnesses to nearly the day he passed and asked his son about whether the contract had come in the mail," the complaint said.

atmospheric river phoenix (morrisp), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 01:08 (two weeks ago) link

He should be rolling in dough 'cuz that GTO really sells the cover.

birdistheword, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 03:12 (two weeks ago) link

They totes could have gotten away with a LeMans or Tempest.

an icon of a worried-looking, long-haired, bespectacled man (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 03:27 (two weeks ago) link

Li'l Springsteen cameo in the new Curb Your Enthusiasm season, identical delivery to his High Fidelity cameo. It's as if he says "I'll do it, if I can tape it at home and send it to you, just gimme the lines."

paisley got boring (Eazy), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 04:35 (two weeks ago) link

xpost Funny, because this comes about a year after this:

Max Weinberg, the longtime drummer for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, has filed a lawsuit in Palm Beach County court against a classic car restoration company alleging that its owners defrauded him of $125,000 while promising to restore a 1957 Mercedes-Benz to mint condition.

Classic cars, man, what you gonna do?

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 06:51 (two weeks ago) link

I am not a lawyer but I cannot imagine the legal basis of suing someone for *taking a photograph of a thing that exists*.

Like, that describes almost every photograph

And it sounds like this person agreed to having the car photographed, and was in fact paid. Just... not enough, after finding out who would be leaning on it?

Sane clown posse (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 12:03 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah the car doesnt get residuals

Its big ball chunky time (Jimmy The Mod Awaits The Return Of His Beloved), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 14:22 (two weeks ago) link

Someone should have informed the car that this town rips the bones from you back. I am given to understand this it is, in fact a death trap. One might even suggest that it is a suicide rap.

I have hear that the best remedy is to be (1) chrome-wheeled, (2) fuel injected, and (3) to be willing to step out over the line.

Sane clown posse (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 15:25 (two weeks ago) link

* your, * heard, sorry

Sane clown posse (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 15:26 (two weeks ago) link

I don't know, that sounds like it's a set-up for liability.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 15:31 (two weeks ago) link

"The court will now hear the case of Classic Car Vs. This Town, all rise."

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 14 February 2024 15:32 (two weeks ago) link

There does seem to be some nuance, in that Team Boss apparently thought that payment was sufficient, but did not follow through with contractual paperwork.

Personally I think $450 and talking to His Bossness would be pretty cool. I would take that and walk, knowing I would have a good story. But clearly the heirs and estate have a different agenda. I can sorta understand that too.

Sane clown posse (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 14 February 2024 15:39 (two weeks ago) link

two weeks pass...

Springsteen is doing another Greatest Hits album, this one spanning his whole career.

Now obviously this is all pointless in the era of streaming when this exact playlist probably already exists on Spotify, but I am curious: given that he seems to be trying to include about two songs per album, give or take, what would you all change about this list?

Lily Dale, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 03:57 (four hours ago) link

"Racing in the Street" instead of "Prove It All Night," "I'm on Fire" or "My Hometown" instead of "Glory Days."

Feels more like a “Greatest Hits” (in fact the selections are fairly similar to that 1995 comp) than a “Best Of” (which to me implies more interesting selections).

Hippie Ernie (morrisp), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 04:49 (four hours ago) link

(To gesture toward answering the question – "Walk Like a Man" instead of “Tougher Than the Rest”)

Hippie Ernie (morrisp), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 04:51 (four hours ago) link

What’s interesting is that the CD and 2x LP versions up for pre-order both only seem to have 18 tracks. So is the 31-track version just basically going to be a playlist?

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 05:24 (three hours ago) link

I mean, I’m not sure what “digital edition” would mean? I’m assuming streaming and those who pay for FLACs I guess?

Maxmillion D. Boosted (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 5 March 2024 05:25 (three hours ago) link

xp Same as tipsy mothra except "Darkness on the Edge of Town" instead of "Prove it All Night."

Agree that it feels more Greatest Hits than Best of. If it's genuinely Best of, then I'd like to add in one more each from The River and Nebraska - maybe "Wreck on the Highway" and "Open All Night." I get that he's trying for something that genuinely spans his career, but I think he can still go a little heavier on his classic period. We don't need fully half of the songs to be post-BITUSA, it could be 2/3 early, 1/3 late and people would still get the idea.

I think after "Human Touch" is where my idea of Springsteen's Best of really diverges from his. I'd probably do something like this:

Human Touch
Local Hero
Streets of Philadelphia
Highway 29
The Rising
Living in the Future
Wrecking Ball
Western Stars
Hello Sunshine (or Stones, which I actually like better)
Ghosts (or Rainmaker, or Burnin' Train)
One Minute You're Here

Lily Dale, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 05:38 (three hours ago) link

did yall already post that amazing story he told on graham norton's show about his relationship with this family in st louis
really made me happy

Swen, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 06:00 (two hours ago) link

I love how Bruce gives absolutely no explanation of why he did this, because to him it's clearly just "eh, why not?" And meanwhile everyone else is going "OMG this is the craziest thing we've ever heard!"

Lily Dale, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 06:21 (two hours ago) link


Swen, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 06:25 (two hours ago) link

Local news story on that story where they interview the family:

birdistheword, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 06:40 (two hours ago) link

*news report on that story

birdistheword, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 06:40 (two hours ago) link


Swen, Tuesday, 5 March 2024 07:14 (one hour ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.