― Patrick, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
― Omar, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
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
― Tom, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (twenty 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 years ago) link
― matthew stevens, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
― Simon, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
And yes, Tom, he's got a very good ear for a line.
― Ally, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
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.
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 years ago) link
― Sterling Clover, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (twenty 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
ned, i think you have the same problem as tom: it's a cultural
― fred from new jersey, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
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 years ago) link
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 years ago) link
Nevermind that Born in the USA was my first record not meant to
be played on the Fisher Price record player (with the STEEL
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
Nevermind Time and Newsweek
Nevermind The cover of Jersey Girl
Nevermind the MTV Unplugged set where he scrapped the entire
notion of an acoustic show and just plugged in and tore down
Nevermind everyone on this list who called him a dud.
― JM, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
well, Bruce isn't *that* bad! ;)
― Omar, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
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 years ago) link
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
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 years ago) link
― Michael Daddino, Sunday, 25 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
― Mark Richardson, Sunday, 25 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
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 years ago) link
― Patrick, Monday, 26 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
I wish I wasn't misinterpreting.
― Otis Wheeler, Monday, 26 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
― Ally, Tuesday, 27 February 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
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 years ago) link
― Robin Carmody, Friday, 2 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
― Michael Bourke, Sunday, 4 March 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link
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 years ago) link
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 (twenty years ago) link
― the pinefox, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link
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.
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 (nineteen years ago) link
― DeRayMi, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:18 (eighteen 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
― mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:22 (eighteen years ago) link
― Mark (MarkR), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:25 (eighteen years ago) link
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:29 (eighteen years ago) link
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:31 (eighteen years ago) link
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 (eighteen years ago) link
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:23 (eighteen years ago) link
― Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:24 (eighteen years ago) link
― sundar subramanian (sundar), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:24 (eighteen years ago) link
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:34 (eighteen years ago) link
― Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:39 (eighteen years ago) link
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 05:21 (eighteen years ago) link
― alext (alext), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 11:58 (eighteen years ago) link
Curious now to see the Jewel piece :)
― The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Saturday, 11 September 2021 16:41 (two weeks ago) link
At the house, I strip the guest bed of its myriad pillows and leave Jewel alone to talk with her mother in the kitchen. As I lie under the covers flipping, through a glossy color picture book of Alaska, Jewel walks in wearing a green zipper sweatshirt and either sweat pants or cotton pants, I can’t remember which, and gets under the covers with me. She lies on her left side, I on my right. Between our heads is a large pillow, which blocks part of her face. We keep pushing the pillow down as we talk so we can see each other completely and feel more intimate. But we know the pillow can never be removed completely: That would be too intimate.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 11 September 2021 16:52 (two weeks ago) link
― The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Saturday, 11 September 2021 16:59 (two weeks ago) link
JEWEL: HOT, READY, AND ALASKAN!
― Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 11 September 2021 17:03 (two weeks ago) link
Hahahaha, omg that is so ridiculousC’mon Neil, were they cotton pants or sweatpants — I demand every detail of this rockcrit fantasy!
― tumblin’ dice outro (morrisp), Saturday, 11 September 2021 17:38 (two weeks ago) link
She's always crazy like that
― maf you one two (maffew12), Saturday, 11 September 2021 17:47 (two weeks ago) link
“Dear Wenner Forum: I always thought the letters you print were made up, and never believed anything like that would happen to me. Now I’m sure a believer! Last week started out like any other week in my unremarkable job as an interviewer of rock stars and other celebrities…”
― tumblin’ dice outro (morrisp), Saturday, 11 September 2021 17:51 (two weeks ago) link
C’mon Neil, were they cotton pants or sweatpants — I demand every detail of this rockcrit fantasy!
― tumblin’ dice outro (morrisp),
Yeah, that made me laugh too
― The 25 Best Songs Ever Ranked In Order (Deflatormouse), Saturday, 11 September 2021 17:59 (two weeks ago) link
that's absurd. but what a great Springsteen interview. I hadn't read that one before. that "other people's fingerprints" thing is amazing, what a phrase.
The funny thing is that Nebraska has fingerprints all over it. Not quite the kind of fingerprints he's talking about here, but Springsteen wears his influences so much on the surface, you can easily listen to it and go "oh, here's Flannery O'Connor, here's Hank Williams, here's Suicide." And yet it doesn't keep the record from sounding like something totally original and distinctive. Of course that's a combo of influences you wouldn't find anywhere else.
― Lily Dale, Saturday, 11 September 2021 18:27 (two weeks ago) link
I think I've mentioned it before, but I once audited a lecture/class taught by Steve Earle that, over the course of a week, tracked the progression of Hank Williams to Woody Guthrie to Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen and, ultimately, to Earle himself.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 11 September 2021 18:33 (two weeks ago) link
That's awesome! Where was this?
― birdistheword, Saturday, 11 September 2021 20:09 (two weeks ago) link
Old Town School of Folk Music here.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 11 September 2021 20:26 (two weeks ago) link
Man, I miss that place. I used to live in Lincoln Square, my last home in Chicago before I left Illinois.
― birdistheword, Saturday, 11 September 2021 22:03 (two weeks ago) link
Ha, I used to live in Lincoln Square, too. I recently saw a Google Maps photo of the Old Town School of Folk Music location, which is now…an empty lot. But then, the 400-square-foot “rear cottage” I used to live in is now a multi-story condo complex, so I shouldn’t be surprised.
― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 11 September 2021 22:50 (two weeks ago) link
It still exists! But now it's a big multi-space complex.
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 11 September 2021 23:21 (two weeks ago) link
― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 13:25 (six days ago) link
I keep thinking some Christmas season I should write "Bruce Springsteen song or It's a Wonderful Life?" and send it to McSweeney's.
― Lily Dale, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 13:37 (six days ago) link
"Bruce Springsteen song or Sandwich."
1. Born to Run2. BLT3. Turkey Club4. Thunder Road5. Grilled Cheese6. Atlantic City7. PBJ8. The Price You Pay9. The Promised Land10. Reuben11. Rosalita12. Muffaletta
― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 13:49 (six days ago) link
13. Torta of Love
― Richard Marxist (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 13:56 (six days ago) link
14. I'm on Rye
― Richard Marxist (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 13:59 (six days ago) link
That Stephen King one is actually pretty clever - see the key on the bottom, they are all real references (if often vague enough to be easy to generate)
― Lavator Shemmelpennick, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 14:12 (six days ago) link
Ha, didn’t have time to study it or even get to the key but yeah.
― I, the Jukebox Jury (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 14:14 (six days ago) link
― maf you one two (maffew12), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 14:21 (six days ago) link
16. Devils and Crust
― Richard Marxist (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 14:23 (six days ago) link
17. Land of Hope and Pretzels
― maf you one two (maffew12), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 14:25 (six days ago) link
― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 14:31 (six days ago) link
20. Adam Raisin au Pain
― Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 22 September 2021 14:34 (six days ago) link
21. Used Carbs
― Richard Marxist (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 14:44 (six days ago) link
incident on foccacia
― maf you one two (maffew12), Thursday, 23 September 2021 00:27 (five days ago) link
It's a Wonderful Life or a Bruce Springsteen song, here you go:
1.As a child, you watched your father being humiliated by someone richer and more powerful than him and swore that would never happen to you.
2.You feel a lifelong compulsion to help out your baby brother, even though he never does anything for you.
3.Your brother went off to war. You stayed home.
4.You feel trapped in this miserable little town and you’re going to get out, do great things, and take Mary with you.
5.You and Mary got married too young, and let’s face it, you’re not all that happy anymore.
6.You got Mary pregnant, and man, that was all she wrote.
7.You’re basically an honest guy, but when someone close to you commits a crime, you automatically cover for them.
8.The slow death of all your dreams has turned you into a seething mass of barely-controlled rage.
9.Overcome by the general crappiness of your life, you decide to drown yourself. You’re contemplating the water temperature when Clarence shows up and saves your life.*
*Technically this last one is a "Growin' Up" story rather than a song, but close enough.
― Lily Dale, Thursday, 23 September 2021 00:38 (five days ago) link
the answer is...yes?
― maf you one two (maffew12), Thursday, 23 September 2021 00:39 (five days ago) link
i love this
as far as I can tell, the answer to every McSweeney's "x or y" list is yes
― Lily Dale, Thursday, 23 September 2021 00:40 (five days ago) link
i see now the conceit
― maf you one two (maffew12), Thursday, 23 September 2021 00:41 (five days ago) link
I told my students that Bruce is my favorite singer and showed them a picture of him, bc I thought we'd bond more if they had something to make fun of me about. Mentioned offhand that today is his birthday (I was speaking French and birthday is a word they know) and for some reason they got all excited about that and crowded around one student's computer to look up this info and verify it. Middle schoolers are funny.
― Lily Dale, Thursday, 23 September 2021 23:06 (five days ago) link
Now that I think about it, I don't think I knew any of my teachers' musical tastes up to middle school with the exception of the music teachers: IIRC, they were fans of Lionel Richie and Bobby McFerrin. May help explain why I never got excited about music classes.
― birdistheword, Thursday, 23 September 2021 23:31 (five days ago) link
ooh la la, la chef
― maf you one two (maffew12), Friday, 24 September 2021 01:24 (four days ago) link
le chef. dammit. i only have the compulsory Canadian 4 years, I'm sorry
― maf you one two (maffew12), Friday, 24 September 2021 01:26 (four days ago) link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDc5j0gpG3IThought the thread might enjoy this clip. I caught this on Twitter and started watching the show. It's ok. They could use the capoiera fighting alpaca a bit more.
― maf you one two (maffew12), Saturday, 25 September 2021 13:40 (three days ago) link
very belated xp: omg I just had a business idea so good it probably already exists. Local Hero, a Jersey-based sandwich shop using all ingredients sourced from local farms, including Bruce's.
― Lily Dale, Saturday, 25 September 2021 17:36 (three days ago) link
― Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 25 September 2021 18:14 (three days ago) link
Do you think if we got Jon Landau's blessing on the name Bruce would show up at our grand opening and pose like that with our signature sandwich?
― Lily Dale, Saturday, 25 September 2021 18:18 (three days ago) link
if we survive the signature sandwich debate
― maf you one two (maffew12), Saturday, 25 September 2021 18:33 (three days ago) link
70 year old man eats hot dog: details at 11
― calstars, Saturday, 25 September 2021 18:39 (three days ago) link
― Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 25 September 2021 18:49 (three days ago) link
We go down to the WC
― calstars, Saturday, 25 September 2021 18:51 (three days ago) link
Blew up the men’s room at Subway last night
― ... (Eazy), Saturday, 25 September 2021 23:10 (three days ago) link
― calstars, Saturday, 25 September 2021 23:15 (three days ago) link
So despite my Springsteen obsession there are still quite a few of his middle/late albums that I haven't listened to all the way through because the idea of them depresses me. But I listened to the Late Era podcast about Human Touch/Lucky Town - which I really enjoyed - and it inspired me to finally listen to both of them. I knew people thought of Lucky Town as much better than Human Touch, and I think I was sort of dubious about that because I figured they were probably both bad. But yeah, I agree. Human Touch is pretty much trash imo. 57 Channels isn't that bad for what it is, and "Cross My Heart" is listenable, but yeah, this album sucks.
Lucky Town, on the other hand - it's a much better album, but if Bruce had suppressed HT and only released this one, and I had been around to buy it at the time, I think I would still have been intensely disappointed. Because this strikes me as a decent album by the Springsteen that we have now, the artist who's still talented, still works hard, but is just a much lesser artist than the guy who put out the first eight albums. If Springsteen put out an album like Lucky Town right now, it would get nice reviews and everyone would be pretty happy with it, because we don't expect BitUSA from him anymore. Following Tunnel of Love, though? It would have been a huge shock to the system even without Human Touch dragging it down.
Local Hero is my favorite song from Lucky Town by a lot. The tone is tricky but I think he gets it just right; it doesn't strike me as self-involved or self-pitying, just as an honest assessment of the pull of fame and the costs of it.
I wish Bruce would stop writing songs that sound exactly like Book of Dreams; it wasn't good the first time.
I know Tracks so much better than this album that I've come to think of the Tracks songs as the "real" versions; it's weird to hear lines from "Gave it a Name" in "The Big Muddy" and realize that at some point Bruce decided "The Big Muddy" was better and more deserving of being on an album than "Gave it a Name."
I probably have more thoughts but I've had a migraine all day and I should go to bed. Migraines muddy my thinking so anything else I wrote would come out garbled anyway.
― Lily Dale, Tuesday, 28 September 2021 04:59 (six hours ago) link
I like Lucky Town too - it's a good album. I'm a little reluctant to combine it with Human Touch for a variety of reasons, but I think Jimmy Guterman had a pretty solid proposal, which was to add the title track "Human Touch" while dropping "Leap of Faith" (my least favorite cut). Some re-sequencing may be needed to make it work - maybe open with "Human Touch" and open side B with "Better Days"? - but I think it works.
I actually like "Book of Dreams" - I love how it fits into that flow of songs, it shores up the album thematically for me.
I have nothing against "The Big Muddy," but I do love "Gave It a Name"...I was surprised by this though:
While working on the box set, Bruce was unable to locate the master tape for GAVE IT A NAME, so he re-recorded the song with Roy Bittan on 24 Aug 1998 at Thrill Hill Recording (Springsteen's home studio) in Colts Neck, NJ, and hence, the song was the only track recorded from scratch specially for Tracks. The original recording probably took place in Dec 1990 or Jan 1991.
I'm not sure how different the original outtake would be, but the re-recording is a gem on its own.
― birdistheword, Tuesday, 28 September 2021 05:11 (six hours ago) link