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 (twenty-one 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-one 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-one 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-one 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-one 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-one 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-one 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-one 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-one 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-one 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-one 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-one 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-one 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-one 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-one 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-one years ago) link

"Nevermind he has out Dylan-ed Dylan"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway: classic, though not a personal favorite.

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

So will I.

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

Meat Loaf almost makes me want to like him.

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

I didn't need to ask ;)

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

All is well. ;-)

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

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

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

I'd be interested in hearing him talk about the troubles he's had with his drinking but otherwise zzz

calstars, Wednesday, 16 November 2022 16:04 (three weeks ago) link

Love me some Tyrone Davis, afraid to listen to that.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 16 November 2022 16:54 (three weeks ago) link

xpost lol Didn't we do this already? There is no indication at all that Bruce has ever had a drinking problem.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 16 November 2022 17:28 (three weeks ago) link

Born to (D)Run(k)

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 16 November 2022 22:37 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah, the only anecdote we have is when he was offered shots by some fans while riding around in that park one winter.

It would be tough to hide. Like George Harrison and Bob Dylan come to mind as two people who obviously had drinking problems that were easy to notice, from numerous anecdotes to the way it crept into interviews, etc.

birdistheword, Wednesday, 16 November 2022 22:47 (three weeks ago) link

Mister state trooper

Please don't breathalyze me

iliac crestfallen (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 16 November 2022 23:30 (three weeks ago) link

Where can I read about George and bob’s drinking ?

calstars, Thursday, 17 November 2022 00:22 (three weeks ago) link

I don't know if there are any articles focusing on it, but it just comes up a lot. George even joked in an interview "I needed the hepatitis to quit drinking." (Rolling Stone, December 1976)

Dylan drank heavily for a good part of the '80s and the beginning of the '90s, his road manager at the time Victor Maymudes has gone on record about that, adding that Dylan "just stopped on a dime" and got sober in 1994. (IIRC he was supposedly seen drinking a lot when he toured with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers in the '80s.)

birdistheword, Thursday, 17 November 2022 00:31 (three weeks ago) link

haven't read her memoir myself but Psychology Today blog asserted :

Pattie Boyd's memoir, "Wonderful Tonight," describes Boyd's leaving her marriage with Beatle George Harrison after he became morose and uncommunicative, alternating between compulsive chanting and meditation followed by drug and alcohol blasts, to take up with Eric Clapton.

curmudgeon, Thursday, 17 November 2022 00:39 (three weeks ago) link

Bruce did “Nightshift” for his 3rd night on Fallon show

curmudgeon, Thursday, 17 November 2022 19:14 (three weeks ago) link

I'm sure that's better than the recorded version, but I'm not going to bother. Here's a reminder of what Bruce is like doing a soul cover with his band:

And that's ignoring the medleys and epics he did earlier in his career.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 17 November 2022 20:25 (three weeks ago) link

wtf there are like seventeen people there on stage (re: the Fallon show)

File under "ok but why?"

iliac crestfallen (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 17 November 2022 20:37 (three weeks ago) link

Bruce by committee.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 17 November 2022 20:45 (three weeks ago) link

The shock and awe approach.

Just a reminder that at the undeniable peak of their power the E Street Band numbered ... 7 people.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 17 November 2022 20:49 (three weeks ago) link

A lucky number in lucky town.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 17 November 2022 20:52 (three weeks ago) link

-I’ve got to ask you about the ticket on-sale.


-It caused a bit of an uproar in the fan community because some of the tickets used dynamic prices, and some tickets hit $5,000. Did you know in advance about those price points and dynamic pricing, and do you have any regrets about that?

What I do is a very simple thing. I tell my guys, “Go out and see what everybody else is doing. Let’s charge a little less.” That’s generally the directions. They go out and set it up. For the past 49 years or however long we’ve been playing, we’ve pretty much been out there under market value. I’ve enjoyed that. It’s been great for the fans.

This time I told them, “Hey, we’re 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers.” So that’s what happened. That’s what they did (laughs).

But ticket buying has gotten very confusing, not just for the fans, but for the artists also. And the bottom line is that most of our tickets are totally affordable. They’re in that affordable range. We have those tickets that are going to go for that (higher) price somewhere anyway. The ticket broker or someone is going to be taking that money. I’m going, “Hey, why shouldn’t that money go to the guys that are going to be up there sweating three hours a night for it?”

It created an opportunity for that to occur. And so at that point, we went for it. I know it was unpopular with some fans. But if there’s any complaints on the way out, you can have your money back.

-As you said, the fans were pretty upset. Backstreets said it caused them to suffer a “crisis of faith.” They wrote an op-ed where they said that dynamic pricing “violates an implicit contract between Bruce Springsteen and his fans.” How did you feel about all that blowback against you?

Well, I’m old. I take a lot of things in stride (laughs). You don’t like to be criticized. You certainly don’t like to be the poster boy for high ticket prices. It’s the last thing you prefer to be. But that’s how it went. You have to own the decisions you have made and go out and just continue to do your best. And that was my take on it. I think if folks come to the show, they’re going to have a good time.

_Do you think in the future you’ll avoid using dynamic pricing, where the prices change in front of your eyes during the initial on-sale?

I don’t know. I think in the future, we’ll be talking about it, of course (laughs). It changes from tour to tour. We will be coming back. I’m sure we’ll be playing outside somewhat. That’ll be a whole other discussion when that comes around. I don’t want to say anything now, but we’ll see what happens.

A bunch of other nuggets in here, like no plan for a "BitUSA" box, but maybe a "Nebraska" box, and also this:

I have a box set of five unreleased albums that are basically post-1988. People have always wondered…People look at my work in the Nineties and they go, “The Nineties wasn’t a great decade for Bruce. He was kind of doing this and he wasn’t in the E Street Band…” I actually made a lot of music during that period of time. I actually made albums. For one reason or another, the timing wasn’t right or whatever, I didn’t put them out.

They’ve kind of gathered. I spent time over one of the past winters completely cleaning out the vault. I have a series of Tracks albums that eventually we’ll release. Some of it is older stuff that the band plays on, and some of it is newer stuff where I was conceptualizing during that period of time. It’ll give people a chance to reassess what I was doing during that time period. Also, a lot of the stuff is really weird. There’s going to be people that really…I can’t wait to see the response to some of it (laughs).

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 18 November 2022 18:58 (three weeks ago) link

ARGH! Well so much for's weird because it's clearly in his contract with Sony (the one that leaked from that infamous hack) that he's supposed to deliver album box sets, but I guess the other things he's talking about fulfills that.

birdistheword, Friday, 18 November 2022 20:38 (three weeks ago) link

I think he basically says in the interview he would if he could, but all the good Born in the USA stuff ended up on Tracks, and they really don't have much left over except for lots of alternate takes, of which he is not a fan. Plus he says there is virtually no good footage of the tour, though he wishes there were.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 18 November 2022 21:06 (three weeks ago) link

There's actually quite a bit out there on bootlegs, but tbf they're not something that would've made the final album.

Just off the top of my head: Protection (given to Donna Summer), Follow that Dream, Klansman, Don't Back Down, Sugarland, Unsatisfied Heart, Seven Tears, One Love, Delivery Man, Betty Jean, maybe studio versions of Seeds and Light of Day if they exist...

Ah well, it probably just means the boots we have cover all that's left.

birdistheword, Friday, 18 November 2022 21:22 (three weeks ago) link

Also History Is Made at Night (at one time the album's working title) would've been a great title for the box set had it happened.

birdistheword, Friday, 18 November 2022 21:23 (three weeks ago) link

People have always wondered…People look at my work in the Nineties and they go, “The Nineties wasn’t a great decade for Bruce. He was kind of doing this and he wasn’t in the E Street Band…” I actually made a lot of music during that period of time.

I'm not sure why I keep reading this in Trump voice.

There's tons of good BITUSA stuff that's been leaked but never released. All the stuff birdistheword mentioned plus Child Bride, Richfield Whistle, Drop on Down, Fugitive's Dream, the Nebraska version of Pink Cadillac... And I don't think the Nebraska version of I'm on Fire has ever been released even as a bootleg, but it must exist.

Lily Dale, Saturday, 19 November 2022 03:00 (two weeks ago) link

Official upload of the original:

birdistheword, Sunday, 20 November 2022 05:00 (two weeks ago) link

Thanks… kind of funny thing, these dudes arguing over who “discovered” this song, but I it’s cool one of them did.

"Mick Wall at Kerrang!" (morrisp), Sunday, 20 November 2022 05:06 (two weeks ago) link

Dudes, Welcome To Northern Soul, where there's hundreds of those stories.

Kind of feeling cool rn, because I first heard and danced to it at (now sadly long defunct) local Soul Nights 4-7 years ago.

I kind of want to ask my friend Mr. Fine Wine about this but feel like he will only get annoyed.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 November 2022 06:00 (two weeks ago) link

Meh, I forgot, he already weighed in.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 20 November 2022 06:15 (two weeks ago) link

Caryn Rose otm:

_Do you remember that 90’s movie, The Commitments? It was a bunch of Irish kids who form a soul band. (Glen Hansard was in it!) Anyway, the soundtrack was super-popular, but when I made a tape of the originals for people who adored the movie, they didn’t like it and they didn’t care. They liked the versions of the songs they heard in the movie. Only The Strong Survive is for those people, and there are more of them than there are of people like me. _🕸

Heh, I just noticed that if one wants to do a YouTube-based karaoke (#onethread) of “The Dark End of the Street” the only versions available seem to be as done by The Commitments.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 04:20 (two weeks ago) link

i read that review & it annoyed me bc it’s not the Commitnents fault that you have dumb friends, even my own fuckin ~family~ knew & appreciated the original songs & that was ~why~ they liked the movie/soundtrack ie do not come for the commitments please and thank you

i don’t feel any kind of way about these bruce covers. dude just wanted to do something he hadnt done before & he seemed to enjoy doing it. i mean maybe it’s an old age cash grab, it’s fine
not everything is going to be a bullseye, i just can’t get worked up about it

i mean rod stewart labored over those motown songs & no one wanted that

all these millionaire dudes do it eventually

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 05:23 (two weeks ago) link

Across the spectrum of good-to-bad Motown covers, I think the majority are probably bunched into the "bad" end.

But I think Springsteen's "Do I Love You" is more towards the good end, and he already had a solid one in "War," especially with the intro taken into account: "in 1985, blind faith in your leaders will get you killed"

And Rod actually did one of the greatest Motown covers ever - "I Know I'm Losing You" is amazing! (Faces actually backed him on that even though it's on a solo album.) And "This Old Heart of Mine" was fine both times he recorded it, if not on the same level.

birdistheword, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 06:29 (two weeks ago) link

Springsteen's "War," like the best of his covers, is the perfect pairing of performer and material. See also: "Jersey Girl," "Trapped," "Summertime Blues," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," pretty much all the covers he did live before he started doing a ton of covers. So, I saw him do "Take It Easy" the night Glenn Frey died, and it was boring. I don't like Springsteen's Prince cover, or his AC/DC. Imo his INXS and Bee Gees covers were inspired and transcendent. "Dream, Baby, Dream," too. But I saw him at the Harley-Davidson 105th anniversary show up in Milwaukee, and he and the band spontaneously busted out "Wooly Bully" and it ruled.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 13:26 (two weeks ago) link

Springsteen isn't in the same class of R&B singer as Rod Stewart, not even close

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 15:46 (two weeks ago) link

Ha, hard disagree. But I'm not much of a Rod guy.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 15:51 (two weeks ago) link

Springsteen is an okay singer not a great one by any stretch, the end of the day he is who he is because he's a songwriter but not a great interpreter of material as proven by this mediocre record.

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 15:54 (two weeks ago) link

Ha, I'm not defending this boring record from a way past his prime 73 year old that I'm not going to listen to. I just love his covers he used to do. Dunno if that makes him a great interpreter or not, but on that front imo he's definitely on par with, say, John Fogerty.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 15:58 (two weeks ago) link

I am with Josh here. Rod's reedy rasp has never appealed to me and there is not much foundation underneath it - Bruce has more bottom and body. And he appears to know his limits and stay within them.

ooh I wanna take ya to Topeka (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 15:59 (two weeks ago) link

Did you guys see Springsteen & Fogerty do "Great Balls of Fire" at the R&RHOF induction show?

"Mick Wall at Kerrang!" (morrisp), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 16:29 (two weeks ago) link

as a white male this might be the only time i get to experience gaslighting

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 16:30 (two weeks ago) link

I saw them together at a Vote for Change show in Cleveland, it ruled.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 16:31 (two weeks ago) link

And it's no surprise that Bruce is so sympatico with Fogerty:

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 16:33 (two weeks ago) link

Btw, it was Mellencamp with Bruce at the RRHOF (not Fogerty)! Mixing up my grouchy white dudes

"Mick Wall at Kerrang!" (morrisp), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 17:15 (two weeks ago) link

i love Rod Stewart, next to Elvis imo there’s no one better at covers of other artists and Bruce is NOT in that rarefied air
he just isn’t

i shouldn’t have brought Stewart up because i think it undermined my point

I just found and still find Rod’s late 80’s motown stuff embarrassing even though he clearly meant it from the heart. it just sounded kinda bad to me

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 19:25 (two weeks ago) link

The least loved BITUSA single is the most fun to karaoke:

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 19:30 (two weeks ago) link

I just found and still find Rod’s late 80’s motown stuff embarrassing even though he clearly meant it from the heart. it just sounded kinda bad to me

― werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl),

"The Motown Song" is an embarrassment for which he should've been tarred and feathered.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 19:30 (two weeks ago) link

XP Ya boi Ezra knows what's up

an icon of a worried-looking, long-haired, bespectacled man (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 19:35 (two weeks ago) link

Trying to watch this Howard Stern Interview on HBO and ugh. Cringey public-access-cable level banter. Stern is so dumb that he somehow drags Bruce downward into banality.

All the pointless chuckling over stale anecdotes, then more shared chuckling, then a question that would embarrass a high school journalist: so, do you, uh, write in like a notepad, or what? So, uh, do you write lyrics first, or music first? Did you ever have music lessons?

All three laugh. Uh, heh heh heh.

Bruce ought to be pretty skilled at this kind of thing, but what could potentially be an interesting talk drags quite a lot. I guess this underscores the fact that his Storytellers and Broadway things were carefully scripted and rehearsed.

Godley and Creamsicle (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 30 November 2022 03:14 (one week ago) link

The least loved BITUSA single is the most fun to karaoke:

Totally planning to do this tune one of these days.

The Dark End of the Tweet (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 November 2022 03:21 (one week ago) link

Vampire Weekend version was grebt, thanks. RFI where is that video somebody once posted of Bruce singing it preceded by a very long monologue contextualizing it about “…when the moon is full…why does that always happen?”

The Dark End of the Tweet (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 November 2022 03:36 (one week ago) link

Different album obv. but I am intrigued that “The River” seems to be available for karaoke purposes. Might be fun, although I am not sure what kind of crowd would dig it.

The Dark End of the Tweet (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 November 2022 03:37 (one week ago) link

The least loved BITUSA single is the most fun to karaoke

The bassist in a band I was in wanted us to play "I'm Goin' Down", the only way I could stomach it was to increase the tempo to "as fast as possible".

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 30 November 2022 17:05 (one week ago) link

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