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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen years ago) link

"Nevermind he has out Dylan-ed Dylan"

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

Omar, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen years ago) link

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

Patrick, Monday, 26 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

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

Ally, Tuesday, 27 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen 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 (eighteen years ago) link

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

Robin Carmody, Friday, 2 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen years ago) link

Anyway: classic, though not a personal favorite.

DeRayMi, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen years ago) link

So will I.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:23 (sixteen 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 (sixteen years ago) link

Meat Loaf almost makes me want to like him.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:24 (sixteen years ago) link

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

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:34 (sixteen years ago) link

I didn't need to ask ;)

Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:39 (sixteen years ago) link

All is well. ;-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 05:21 (sixteen years ago) link

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

alext (alext), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 11:58 (sixteen years ago) link

Best vocal on an "Everybody's Talkin'" (even if it's the worst arrangement):

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 29 April 2019 15:13 (three months ago) link


Theory of Every Zing (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 29 April 2019 15:19 (three months ago) link

You know I always liked my walking shoes
But you can get a little too fond of the blues
You walk too far, you walk away

Good cop, Babcock (Chinaski), Monday, 29 April 2019 15:46 (three months ago) link

I kind of think Lana Del Rey took the same SoCal influences, went in a different direction and ended up with Mariners Apt Complex

that's not my post, Tuesday, 30 April 2019 04:50 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

not so sure about "there goes my miracle." on first listen, it's exactly what i feared this album would be. not sure he has the voice for these arrangements. i'd kinda like to hear scott walker singing this, though.

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 16 May 2019 16:48 (three months ago) link

(also, i'm secretly hoping it's about miracle the horse from mel brooks' "history of the world part 1.")

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 16 May 2019 16:49 (three months ago) link

(and still completely enthralled by "hello sunshine.")

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 16 May 2019 16:50 (three months ago) link

This new one is kind of a misfire, though it's interesting to hear him try something so different. Docked several points for super-generic drum machine cameo and distracting production poo, which undoes whatever good the strings do.

Sounds like a Morrissey song.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 16 May 2019 17:05 (three months ago) link

Lol, indeed it does. The high notes on the chorus sound a little auto tuned maybe

Careless Love Battery (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 17 May 2019 22:13 (three months ago) link

Another new one:

Kinda ... "Lucky Town" (the album) vibes? It's not bad, pretty slight, but the video implies he may tour with a different band again. Also ... no Tele! I think he's playing a Gretsch Country Gentleman? Maybe that will be this cycle's bolo tie.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 30 May 2019 12:41 (two months ago) link

Speaking of Springsteen, I'm a little surprised there's been no word of a BitUSA boxed set. It's the 35th anniversary this year, and fans have been speculating on a dual BitUSA/Nebraska box, though I think it would make more sense to split them up. Nebraska could easily be a 2-disc set, esp. if they unearth the legendary electric sessions. But BitUSA ... there's a ton of leftover stuff, some of it already released on other comps and collections, but I think Springsteen would rather keep things simple and collect any leftovers into collections that flow like albums (like he did with Darkness and the River) rather than just dump a bunch of stuff out there.

One of the my faves:

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 1 June 2019 21:14 (two months ago) link

I forgot that the second volume of remasters came out. I'm listening to the cleaned up Tunnel of Love right now, and no joke, it sounds great, I'm hearing things I've never heard before!

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 8 June 2019 19:53 (two months ago) link

I wonder if the BitUSA stuff will happen next year. I saw somewhere that there's be an E-Street tour in 2020, so maybe that'll tie-in to the reissue.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 8 June 2019 20:14 (two months ago) link

This album doesn't really sound like anything else he's ever done. While I don't like some of the choices he made - production (as usual), arrangements (a little gloppy) - I respect the effort to do something different.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 14 June 2019 12:22 (two months ago) link

Would have been both apt and very funny if it ended with Happy Trails, like Diver Down.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 14 June 2019 15:14 (two months ago) link

I'm enjoying this but it remains to be seen if I'll come back to it. And yeah, I appreciate hes trying something different. "Hello Sunshine" is his best single since "Radio Nowhere" (even if reminds me a bit too much of "Everybodys Talkin'")

. (Michael B), Friday, 14 June 2019 16:34 (two months ago) link

if theres not an old town road cover on this im not interested

johnny crunch, Friday, 14 June 2019 21:00 (two months ago) link

the other night i watched the video for "Dancing in the Dark" and i had forgotten how fucking handsome he was back in the day. i would have done anything he wanted me to.

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Friday, 14 June 2019 21:07 (two months ago) link


Muswell Hillbilly Elegy (President Keyes), Friday, 14 June 2019 21:07 (two months ago) link

xp otm he was a smokeshow back then no question.

i still heart him with all my heart

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 15 June 2019 16:31 (two months ago) link

Lol I got pushed a very Onion-y Slate headline, 'Rolling Stone SLAMS Bruce Springsteen with rare four star review."

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 15 June 2019 17:25 (two months ago) link


TS The Students vs. The Regents (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 15 June 2019 17:40 (two months ago) link

The album is... pleasant? And the production isn’t as jarringly plastic as his recent records. But nothing’s grabbing me. It’s sort of Devils & Dust pt. 2, of all things. He’s still in great voice, but the nothingness of the material makes that bittersweet.

Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 15 June 2019 20:12 (two months ago) link

On the one hand, I appreciate the economy of the songs and songwriting. On the other hand, his full embrace of lyrical cliches to an extent he never quite has before really undercuts his character portraits. On the third hand, sometimes those cliches work in his favor, like when he veers from a cliche into something fresher and it makes the distinction that much more apparent and effective.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 15 June 2019 20:19 (two months ago) link

I wish it had more of the Hello Sunshine feel/sound esp his singing voice but it is pleasant “lazing on an afternoon” music

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 15 June 2019 20:44 (two months ago) link

I’m inclined to look this sort of thing but am also not sure if much of it is going to stick.

TS The Students vs. The Regents (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 16 June 2019 00:42 (two months ago) link

Anthony Scaramucci tried to pick a Twitter fight with Nils Lofgren. Guess who it didn’t go well for?

I’m not the one still trying to get a job on a sinking ship. And that word scramble on #huckabee was something to behold. @MSNBC really must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel. Self esteem, right now about 100. Thanks mooch

— Nils Lofgren (@nilslofgren) June 15, 2019

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 16 June 2019 02:12 (two months ago) link

<3 u nils

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 16 June 2019 02:56 (two months ago) link

this album is very very glen campbell. and sometimes that sort of mellow good vibe friendliness is exactly what i need. would be even better with a few songs equivalent to the weirdo vibe that Jimmy Webb gave to Glen, but there you go.

Hmmmmm (jamiesummerz), Sunday, 16 June 2019 10:50 (two months ago) link

lol I was just reading that htread:

I can hardly believe I’m responding to this but Jesus, what a world where this talentless piece of shit even summons the balls to talk smack about anyone Neil Young picked to play on “Tonight’s the Night.”

— Roy Edroso (@edroso) June 16, 2019

recriminations from the nitpicking woke (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 16 June 2019 11:07 (two months ago) link

I'm liking this a whole lot so far, though I fear Trump may have ruined "Sleepy Joe's Cafe" because when I heard it all I could think of was Biden.

Evans on Hammond (evol j), Monday, 17 June 2019 17:56 (two months ago) link

the new record is excellent. best since magic but also probably way better than magic

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 17 June 2019 20:02 (two months ago) link

Hmm. I think Wrecking Ball was pretty strong. But other than that tbf, two albums since Magic - Working on a Dream and High Hopes - are down there with the worst of his records (so ... Human Touch?). Anyway, I'm a huge fan, and the album seemed fine, but I can't see putting this on that often.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 17 June 2019 20:23 (two months ago) link

songwriting-wise it feels very close to devils and dust and the arrangements are awesome

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 17 June 2019 20:36 (two months ago) link

It’s sort of Devils & Dust pt. 2, of all things

yeah! huge plus for me, i love that record, "long time comin'" is my favorite springsteen song

american bradass (BradNelson), Monday, 17 June 2019 20:37 (two months ago) link

yeah it feels better than Magic - more even & more of a consistent mood

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 17 June 2019 20:46 (two months ago) link

I fear Trump may have ruined "Sleepy Joe's Cafe"

i fear the arrangement might have ruined that one. it sounds like it's on the wrong album. the river, maybe? the eddie & the cruisers soundtrack?

fact checking cuz, Monday, 17 June 2019 21:33 (two months ago) link

man I love this album, to my ears his best full album since Born in the USA.

akm, Sunday, 23 June 2019 15:09 (one month ago) link

That's crazy to me, but I'm glad you're enjoying it.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 23 June 2019 15:28 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

He sat in with Southside Johnny this weekend and played or played on maybe 6 songs, like "Talk to Me," "Kitty's Back" and "The Fever," which is the most he's played live in some time, let alone in electric mode. Implies he's gearing up for maybe a band tour.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 7 July 2019 18:10 (one month ago) link

He said something recently about him and the E-Street Band going out next year.

frustration and wonky passion (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 7 July 2019 18:14 (one month ago) link

He's hinted at it, but he's also said (I think) that he has enough material for an E Street album, so one presumes they have to record a new album first. Next year is still pretty far away, though, especially for old guys.

BTW I have a friend who has interviewed most of these dudes before, and it's amazing how NDA-level cagey they are about plans, album or otherwise.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 7 July 2019 18:20 (one month ago) link

Next year is still pretty far away, though, especially for old guys

no, wait, that's not how it works for old guys. for old guys, next year is like three hours from now.

fact checking cuz, Sunday, 7 July 2019 19:19 (one month ago) link

A three-hour concert from now...

frustration and wonky passion (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 7 July 2019 19:23 (one month ago) link

Also: This revive led me to pull Darkness... from the stacks to spin this afternoon.

Thank You Thread!

frustration and wonky passion (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 7 July 2019 19:24 (one month ago) link

Lol at this last bunch of posts

Vini C. Riley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 7 July 2019 19:54 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

A bit late to this, but just wanted to say that I think the title track on the new album is genuinely very, very good. Not sold on the rest of the album though I like a few of the songs. But "Western Stars," the song, is glorious.

Love the way the strings get more and more dramatic as the speaker drinks himself into maudlin nostalgic fantasy, and the way the word "friend" addressed to the anonymous stranger who's buying him drinks gets more emotionally needy and more sadly ironic at the same time, and the way it all builds to this glorious drunken vision of the riders on Sunset, until his fantasy world finally collapses and we're back where we began, at the start of another empty day. It actually reminds me of "Thunder Road" in the way it builds and builds and then drops down to a final line, except that here there's no time left and nowhere for the speaker to go, except further into his own mind.

Lily Dale, Thursday, 8 August 2019 17:25 (one week ago) link

I've gotten totally obsessed with Springsteen in the last few months. Before I was just kind of a casual fan, then I listened to "Nebraska" all the way through and now I can't stop. It's a sickness.

The other day I found myself having Deep Thoughts about the meaning of the song "I'm a Rocker," and I was like, "shit, this has gone too far."

If I ever have a kid I will name it Terry and raise it gender-neutral as a token of my love for Bruce.

Lily Dale, Monday, 12 August 2019 18:32 (one week ago) link

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