― Patrick, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Omar, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen 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 (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
― matthew stevens, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Simon, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
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 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 (eighteen years ago) link
― 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
ned, i think you have the same problem as tom: it's a cultural
― fred from new jersey, Friday, 23 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen years ago) link
well, Bruce isn't *that* bad! ;)
― Omar, Saturday, 24 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen years ago) link
― Michael Daddino, Sunday, 25 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Mark Richardson, Sunday, 25 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen 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 (eighteen years ago) link
― Patrick, Monday, 26 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
I wish I wasn't misinterpreting.
― Otis Wheeler, Monday, 26 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Ally, Tuesday, 27 February 2001 01:00 (eighteen 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 (eighteen years ago) link
― Robin Carmody, Friday, 2 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Michael Bourke, Sunday, 4 March 2001 01:00 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen years ago) link
― the pinefox, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (eighteen 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 (seventeen years ago) link
― DeRayMi, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (seventeen years ago) link
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:18 (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
― mark s (mark s), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:22 (sixteen years ago) link
― Mark (MarkR), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:25 (sixteen years ago) link
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:29 (sixteen years ago) link
― Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 19 November 2002 23:31 (sixteen 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 (sixteen years ago) link
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:23 (sixteen years ago) link
― Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:24 (sixteen years ago) link
― sundar subramanian (sundar), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:24 (sixteen years ago) link
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:34 (sixteen years ago) link
― Ally (mlescaut), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 03:39 (sixteen years ago) link
― Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 05:21 (sixteen years ago) link
― alext (alext), Wednesday, 20 November 2002 11:58 (sixteen years ago) link
A figure in green haunted my dreamMaybe a man, maybe a ladyMy sister heard a siren screamGypsy said "that was your maybe"
Rhonda was stuck in betweenBlood in the mist out by the beachVanished behind a smokestack screenThe cops arrived, she was out of reach
― Saint Buffy (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:13 (six days ago) link
― Lily Dale, Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:17 (six days ago) link
AND THEN WE HAD SEX IN THE CAAAAAARRRR! <sax solo>
― Saint Buffy (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:19 (six days ago) link
SEX IN THE CAAAAAARRRR!SEX IN THE CAAAAAARRRR!SEX IN THE CAAAAAARRRR!SEX IN THE CAAAAAARRRR!SEX IN THE CAAAAAARRRR!SEX IN THE CAAAAAARRRR!
― Lily Dale, Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:22 (six days ago) link
Keep it rockin' boys!
― Saint Buffy (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:23 (six days ago) link
How are you all doing these without using the word "sir"?
― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:40 (six days ago) link
Sex In The Car, Sir
― a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:42 (six days ago) link
<Nils does a dance on a trampoline>
― a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:43 (six days ago) link
Out from under the shadows of the pulasky skywaySpeeding past the Sbarro sign at the Walt Whitman rest areaWe can ride this turnpike all night but the ride ain't freejust tell me what exit and I'll punch your ticket baby
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, October 10, 2019 12:42 PM (one hour ago) bookmarkflaglink
I feel like it should actually be "Burnin' past the Sbarro sign..."
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:47 (six days ago) link
Fair point, it's not really Springsteen unless something's on fire.
― Lily Dale, Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:54 (six days ago) link
or he gave away the g's
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:55 (six days ago) link
I put those g's in Sir Sbarro's sign, honey, and then I torched it
― maffew12, Thursday, 10 October 2019 18:56 (six days ago) link
And she said "Honey you should know by now that pizza's no good!"as she lit a cigarette and flicked the ashes on my hood
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 10 October 2019 19:01 (six days ago) link
Another American job lost to high tech outsourcing
― maffew12, Thursday, 10 October 2019 19:03 (six days ago) link
Saw her in the Sbarro's by the dynamoJust a-twirlin' that pizza dough
― Lily Dale, Thursday, 10 October 2019 19:40 (six days ago) link
The bar band there was hoppingI got lost in Rhonda's worldRedemption was the toppingAs the pizza slowly twirled
― Saint Buffy (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 10 October 2019 19:55 (six days ago) link
They closed down the Sbarro's 'cross the railroad trackRalph went out looking for pizza and never came back
― Lily Dale, Thursday, 10 October 2019 20:10 (six days ago) link
Everybody knows a hungry Ralph
― maffew12, Thursday, 10 October 2019 20:38 (six days ago) link
― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 10 October 2019 20:46 (six days ago) link
Meet me tonight at Panera Bread
― ... (Eazy), Thursday, 10 October 2019 20:56 (six days ago) link
no dude that's mark kozelek
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Thursday, 10 October 2019 21:03 (six days ago) link
his songs are even easier to parody because he pretty much writes them as parodies of their own style to begin with
I had to listen to "The Promise" earlier - Bruce's most self-referential song? That 2-disc lost album sort of thing they put out with the Darkness box is nice, but the 3 year gap (lawsuit-imposed?) between Born to Run and Darkness probably did him a lot of good in the long run.
― maffew12, Thursday, 10 October 2019 21:07 (six days ago) link
IS THERE SEX IN THE CAAAAAARRRR?YES THERE"S SEX IN THE CAAAAAARRRR!
― nickn, Thursday, 10 October 2019 21:16 (six days ago) link
That killed me because Bruce has never directly sang about sex, eh?
On Badlands: "Any given lyric in this song could be about overthrowing American capitalism or getting gloriously, generously rawed. Or both!"
― maffew12, Thursday, 10 October 2019 21:23 (six days ago) link
Because The Night Belongs To Fuckers
― a bevy of supermodels, musicians and Lena Dunham (C. Grisso/McCain), Thursday, 10 October 2019 21:32 (six days ago) link
that list of horny springsteen songs is glaringly missing "candy's room."
and the ILM springsteen song is glaringly missing a river. or lake. or some body of water.
― fact checking cuz, Thursday, 10 October 2019 21:34 (six days ago) link
We kiss, my heart's pumpin' to my brainAnd the blood rushes in my veins, the fire rushes towards the skiesI go driving, driving deep into the nightI go driving deep into the light, in Candy's eyes...
i'm gonna take a shower
― maffew12, Thursday, 10 October 2019 21:42 (six days ago) link
There's that song on "Devils & Dust" about a prostitute in Reno that's about as explicit as Bruce has ever gotten, or for that matter could be.
― Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 10 October 2019 23:08 (six days ago) link
― maffew12, Thursday, 10 October 2019 23:31 (six days ago) link
― Lily Dale, Thursday, 10 October 2019 23:49 (six days ago) link
It's also missing the part where he listens to the radio. We have so much work to do.
― Lily Dale, Thursday, 10 October 2019 23:55 (six days ago) link
The buildup and release in the beginning of “somewhere in the night” was my first big OH WOW Bruce moment (outside of “tunnel of love” and certain BitUSA singles). Now I love all the classic stuff
― brimstead, Friday, 11 October 2019 00:05 (five days ago) link
By the moonlit lake, there's a teenage punkJackin' off into a ball cap which is full of spunkMeanwhile a Chevy roars across the bridge over the riverAnd the old faded mine worker does some more damage to his liver
― Saint Buffy (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 11 October 2019 00:16 (five days ago) link
Willows weep and hangdogs creep like barflies crawling down the streetWhile the lights from the swamps glow bright with high pomp for the girls we're trying to meetThe wheels on the car spin fast to go far from the places we want to escapeBut the draw of the dump smells strong of gas pumps and we all pass out from the heat
― Josh in Chicago, Friday, 11 October 2019 00:27 (five days ago) link
― Saint Buffy (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 11 October 2019 00:32 (five days ago) link
"Pink Cadillac" also belongs on the list of horny songs. I love that Springsteen wrote a song about a black Cadillac and a song about a pink Cadillac, and the black Cadillac is a metaphor for death and the pink Cadillac is a metaphor for vaginas. That is some sophisticated symbolism right there.
― Lily Dale, Friday, 11 October 2019 01:01 (five days ago) link
I was thinking about adding a verse about driving Dow. To philly with a girl from basking ridge and stopping on the way to make it under the Trenton makes bridge.
― longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 11 October 2019 02:33 (five days ago) link
I don't know, that sounds a bit too happy. Better throw in a state trooper or two.
― Lily Dale, Friday, 11 October 2019 05:51 (five days ago) link
Red Headed Woman from the Not Unplugged album is pretty frisky:
Listen up stud, your life's been wastedtill ya got down on your knees and tasteda red headed woman, a red headed womanit takes a red headed woman to get a dirty job done
Tight skirt, strawberry hairtell me what you got baby waitin under therebig green eyes that look like, sonthey can see every cheap thing that you've ever done
Well I don't know how many girls you dated manbut you ain't lived till you had your tires rotatedby a red headed woman, a red headed womanit takes a red headed woman to get a dirty job done
― Cow_Art, Friday, 11 October 2019 09:41 (five days ago) link
That's one I always try to forget ever happened. Bruce in couch-jumping mode. I'm glad you enjoy going down on your wife, Bruce, but please stop writing songs about it.
"Secret Garden" is fairly explicit too - "she'll let you in her mouth/ if the words you say are right" - and I don't much like that one either. I feel like something happened to his way of writing about sex when he got married, where he's more explicit but also more self-conscious and awkward about it.
― Lily Dale, Friday, 11 October 2019 15:33 (five days ago) link
Speaking of horny Bruce, this performance of the e.street shuffle was a bit startling.
― Lily Dale, Friday, 11 October 2019 20:58 (five days ago) link
He's on Graham Norton, along with Robert DeNiro.
That's a chat show lineup!
― Mark G, Friday, 11 October 2019 22:28 (five days ago) link
Latest official live archive release is 10/23/99, in Los Angeles, a show that changed up a lot of the reunion set (for example, nothing from BitUSA!). I saw a chunk of reunion tours, and each time I remember telling the person I was with, man, he is so incredible it's hard to believe that in '98/'99 he was about 20 years past his '78 peak as a performer, when he was even better. And of course we are now another 20 years past him being 20 years past his peak ... and he was still pretty good on the 2016 tour!
― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 13 October 2019 19:32 (three days ago) link
Josh in Chicago, can you explain something to me? Why is it, exactly, that '78 is generally agreed to be his peak? I have only videos to go on, and I think his '78 performances are amazing, but I can't quite see what makes them so much better than the River tour or the Born in the USA tour.
― Lily Dale, Monday, 14 October 2019 06:48 (two days ago) link
― van dyke parks generator (anagram), Monday, 14 October 2019 06:50 (two days ago) link
It's a good question. Keeping in mind that he's really never been *bad*, and just about every show I've ever heard from, say, '74 to the Tunnel of Love Express tour (and beyond, tbh) has been pretty great, I'd say a few factors were at work. Yeah, smaller venues for sure, but Bruce also still had something to prove, at least to some degree. Born to Run made him a critic's darling, and the covers of Time and Newsweek introduced him to a wider audience, so expectations were pretty high. The tour also followed the infamous lawsuit that kept him out of the studio for a few years, time Bruce and the band (still probably breaking in new additions Max and Roy and, post-BtR, Steve) largely spent touring and woodshedding. When the suit was finally settled Bruce was at last free to record Darkness, whose sessions were fraught but whose material was A+, and also marked a shift to a more-direct sound, away from BtR's cinematic fanfares. Not only did all the live versions of songs like "Badlands" and "Prove It All Night" absolutely top their recorded counterparts, Bruce also had a pile of live-only sure-fires like "Fire" and "Because the Night" and even "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" that he busted out, plus the occasional early appearance of "River" songs like "Independence Day" and "Point Blank." And yet his well of songs was not yet so deep that you were still more or less guaranteed to hear many of your old favorites, and his shows were punctuated with some great storytelling, too, which he later had less room for.
So there's all that, imo. Then there was also the still somewhat novel proliferation of bootlegs, and shows like the Roxy, Passaic/Capital Theater and Winterland not only made the rounds, but Roxy and Winterland were so revered (and well recorded) they even made up a chunk of his official Live 1975-85 set (albeit sometimes in edited form). So between the live recordings official and otherwise, many of the shows on the '78 tour were essentially canonized as part of his catalog.
― Josh in Chicago, Monday, 14 October 2019 13:32 (two days ago) link
That show in the Darkness box is phenomenal. Love that recording of "The Ties That Bind," even though the intro is a little rocky. Did Bruce play much 12-string electric onstage other than that song/show?
― Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 14 October 2019 13:53 (two days ago) link
There's not much footage of Bruce playing anything but a Tele on stage (as far as electrics go). There might be something I'm forgetting, but from memory the only other 12-string stuff from that "River" era is from some versions of "The Price You Pay" and the outtake "Loose Ends." Maybe he thought 12-string was a little on the nose?
In recent years it's usually Steve who gets the Rickenbacker or White Falcon or mandolin or whatever. Even Nils I want to say largely sticks with one guitar, his Jazzmaster, though he occasionally gets in some Dobro or lap steel.
― Josh in Chicago, Monday, 14 October 2019 14:43 (two days ago) link
Ok, thanks, that makes sense. It sounds like it's as much about the venues and the songs, and, like, the whole context of the tour as it is about the performances.
If someone showed up in a time machine today and offered me a ride to the Springsteen tour of my choice, I think I'd be pretty torn. I do love all the interplay with the audience in the '78 shows, and how the energy is so high but it all feels a little rough around the edges still. And it's great to see him all young and lithe, before he decided to encase himself in muscle. But so many of my favorite songs came a little later. Darkness is actually pretty low on my list of favorite Bruce albums, though I do think almost everything on it sounds better live.
― Lily Dale, Tuesday, 15 October 2019 03:26 (yesterday) link