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 (nineteen 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 (nineteen 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 (nineteen 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 (nineteen 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 (nineteen 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 (nineteen years ago) link

So will I.

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

Meat Loaf almost makes me want to like him.

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

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

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

I didn't need to ask ;)

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

All is well. ;-)

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

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

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


immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Monday, 11 April 2022 19:54 (two months ago) link

Bruce-related writing prompt

what exactly are the roles of the two very good lead guitar players who've spent the better part of their lives in the backing band for a guy who's a pretty great lead guitarist on his own and seems to take most of the leads himself? how (and why) are parts divided among the three?

fact checking cuz, Monday, 11 April 2022 20:33 (two months ago) link

(my favorite non-bruce e street live lead: nils on "because the night")

fact checking cuz, Monday, 11 April 2022 20:34 (two months ago) link

fact checking cuz, you've neatly located the area of Springsteen's work that I have zero idea how to talk about, but I'd love to know the answer if anyone has it.

tbh, I really don't like the guitar solo on "Because the Night." Not the solo itself, exactly, more the fact that it exists. Every time Bruce writes one of his "please have sex with me because I am sad" songs, he slaps a big old showboating guitar solo on it to remind you that he's still a dude, and sometimes that works for me but in "Because the Night" it always takes me out of the song. There he is, undercutting traditional gender roles and ideas about working-class masculinity, showing us a blue-collar worker who is stressed and vulnerable and in need of refuge, and then he takes a three-minute break in the middle of the song for a guitar solo that is none of those things. I don't like it, even when it's Nils doing the playing. It feels like a cop-out.

Lily Dale, Monday, 11 April 2022 20:58 (two months ago) link

Because the Night is both my least favorite Bruce song AND my least favorite Patti song. It isn't quite my least favorite Natalie Merchant/10K Maniacs song, but that's only because I haven't thought enough about them to decide on a least favorite.

My philosophy is that sex is a metaphor for connection. So a song about longing for sex is a song about longing for connection, which means that a song that explicitly asks for sex is fundamentally about loneliness.

The relationship songs that reach the most profundity are the ones where the relationship is already established, and the participants are trying to work out how to manage it or process its meaning. Hence "One Step Up," "Brilliant Disguise," plus some verses of "My Home Town," "Thunder Road," "The Rising."

So's your imam (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 12 April 2022 02:31 (two months ago) link

i am going to need a minute

i feel winded

the solo on “because the night” is fucking great

like you cannot go from that huge chorus into some lowkey noodly feelingsy type shit it HAS to go to that type of solo because regardless of gender roles & whatever garnish he’s putting over in the lyrics the bottom line (dare i spell it out) is that he is ~horny~ & this is a ~rock song~ and they are gonna ~do it~
that’s what the solo is for!!
sorry but thats just facts

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 12 April 2022 02:54 (two months ago) link

That song’s BS, anyway…. we all know the night belongs to Michelob.

begrudgingly bound by duty of candor (morrisp), Tuesday, 12 April 2022 04:24 (two months ago) link

the solo on “because the night” is fucking great

haha yes i obviously agree. it sounds especially free to me when they do it live. like it could go off the rails at any moment in a way that bruce/e st solos rarely do.

tbh, I really don't like the guitar solo on "Because the Night"

but i'm intrigued by lily's take, which is from an angle i've never thought about! it would be far from alone in the bruce oeuvre as a song where the words and music are in some sort of conflict with each other, but usually that's a conscious choice, the one providing an emotional counterpoint to the other. i never noticed that conflict in "because the night." i've always had the same basic reading as vg -- horny song, horny solo, voila! but could there be two mismatched impulses here? an unintended, revealing conflict? and/or maybe the gtr solo *is* the refuge you're referring to, lily? i don't know. i kind of feel i want to sit with this idea for a minute.

fact checking cuz, Tuesday, 12 April 2022 06:56 (two months ago) link

I love 'one step up', so much.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 12 April 2022 10:13 (two months ago) link

That song’s BS, anyway…. we all know the night belongs to Michelob.

I thought it was Weekends were made for Michelob, but tonight, tonight…let it be Löwenbräu.

Anita Quatloos (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 12 April 2022 10:47 (two months ago) link

New compilation coming from Ace Records in the UK:

Part of the inspiration for this compilation came from me going to see the all-female Bruce tribute act the She Street Band at the Clapham Grand in 2019 and experiencing how these songs, which I had known all my life, took on another perspective when seen through the filter of a female protagonist.

What the tracks on this collection do is allow the singer to own the essence of the song and claim it as theirs. Anna Calvi is the driver of the car in ‘Fire’, it’s Moa Holmsten’s hand that slips up the woman’s skirt on ‘Highway 29’, and Emmylou Harris totally owns the dreamscape anxiety of ‘My Father’s House’.

birdistheword, Thursday, 14 April 2022 15:38 (two months ago) link

Here's to good friends
The night is kind of special

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Thursday, 14 April 2022 15:40 (two months ago) link

The beer we pour
Must say something more

Anita Quatloos (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 14 April 2022 16:02 (two months ago) link


immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Thursday, 14 April 2022 16:26 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

Low key obsessed with the Hammersmith Odeon version of his Detroit Medley. Better than coffee

that's not my post, Sunday, 22 May 2022 04:38 (one month ago) link

How has no-one else posted about THIS

joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Friday, 27 May 2022 15:03 (one month ago) link

Oh yeah European tour

curmudgeon, Monday, 30 May 2022 03:59 (one month ago) link

part of me is like
YESSS us tour next year wahoo

the other part of me is like

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 30 May 2022 05:02 (one month ago) link

Tempted to try to buy a ticket to see him in Hamburg as I haven't been to Europe in five years and have friends I'd like to visit. Feels like a risky plan to make this far in advance, though - who knows what things will be like next summer?

Lily Dale, Monday, 30 May 2022 14:29 (one month ago) link

you can always unload the show ticket(s).. just book the travel and stuff a lot closer to the date

when do the North American dates come out?

maf you one two (maffew12), Monday, 30 May 2022 14:31 (one month ago) link

They said US dates will begin in February, iirc, and then resume after the European dates (which I think have already been expanded a little beyond the ones listed). Might try to see him with a friend in Sweden. All I know is that the last tour, back in 2016, was the first time he seemed a little older and slower to me, and of course it's been six years since then. I have no idea how he (and his voice!) will hold up, but I'm hoping for the best. Then again, he sounded pretty good at that Steve Earle benefit a few months ago, and of course he sounds great on "Letter to Me."

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 30 May 2022 15:20 (one month ago) link

oh come on

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 7 June 2022 02:03 (three weeks ago) link

I know, right?

Lily Dale, Tuesday, 7 June 2022 02:09 (three weeks ago) link

noooooo theyre putting their boring stink all over him right before a tour!?

also kinetic floors & bicycles oh please kindly fuck off

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 7 June 2022 02:24 (three weeks ago) link

LMAO. My partner is a big, big Coldplay, so it was inevitable that we’d go to a show. THIS was the show so it was a pretty damn welcome surprise. (McCartney’s got a show coming up in the same place, the last of the North American leg of the tour - bet Bruce pops in for that.)

I can’t dump on the band but I will say in the lead up to the show, I started thinking how bewildering and fascinating everyone from Jay-Z and Beyoncé (who were at the show) to Frank Ocean to U2 and R.E.M. are Coldplay fans. The one time everything comes together for me is “Yellow” which I wouldn’t call atypical (probably quintessential if anything) but it’s the one time where their stuff lights up for me and it was actually pretty memorable to witness it at the show.

They kind of remind me of the nicest, most straight-laced upperclassmen I went to school with, guys who got elected to student council, won track meets and went to good schools, probably good jobs as well and a family raised in a posh suburb. I kind of feel like that’s reflected in their work, if you know what I mean - I can’t say it translates into the things I personally find interesting or compelling in art, but my partner gets an immense amount of enjoyment in it.

Beyond music, the environmental friendly aspects of their tour is great - who else powers a stadium tour with completely renewable energy? That should be the case for everyone, to the point where it’s nothing anyone brags about. And there were a bunch of moments, while looking around at the lighting arrangement they devised for the show, where I thought “if you were into acid, NOW would be an perfect time to drop.”

So that’s all the nice things I have to say about them.

birdistheword, Tuesday, 7 June 2022 11:03 (three weeks ago) link

I have been to a couple shows where the artist indicated that the tour was carbon-neutral - by which I gather they meant offsets. (You buy a ticket, someone plants a tree in Norway or something.) Can't remember who. A 90s indie songstress of some sort. KT Tunstall, Eliza Carthy, Michelle Shocked?

They did not mean that their amps were solar-powered, or that the lights in the venue were run by windmills, or that their tour bus was electric. Not sure what Coldplay is doing but yeah, that's something every artist should be doing.

Nutellanor Roosevelt (Ye Mad Puffin), Tuesday, 7 June 2022 11:50 (three weeks ago) link

They had a detailed description of what they were doing on the screens before the show actually started. I was very impressed - power came from a variety of sources, enough to charge up everything before each show. And in terms of environmental impact, even the plastic wrist lights they handed out (which you return in bins before leaving the venue) were made from renewable materials, I'm guessing plant-based resin instead of common petroleum-based plastics.

Even though they're roughly middle-aged, it was kind of like a boy-band pop show. I've only been to one other show at MetLife - the Stones. They were singing about sex and murder with projections of Mick et al looking like they were consumed by hellfire - the highlight, "Midnight Rambler," was like a ghost train barreling straight through hell. (This was three years ago, before I went to any shows with my partner.) Coldplay's show was aesthetically the complete opposite in every possible way.

birdistheword, Tuesday, 7 June 2022 14:36 (three weeks ago) link

Even though they're roughly middle-aged, it was kind of like a boy-band pop show.

Didn't they work with Max Martin on their most recent records? They know what they need to do to keep filling arenas.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 7 June 2022 15:32 (three weeks ago) link

Bruce and SVZ just showed up at McCartney's show and played "Glory Days" (perfect choice - Paul turns 80 in a few days) and "I Wanna Be Your Man"!

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 02:51 (two weeks ago) link

Actually Van Zandt didn't join (though he was at the show).

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 03:18 (two weeks ago) link

And he came back out for "The End"

Paul McCartney e Bruce Springsteen tocando “The End” no MetLife Stadium, em East Rutherford (16/06) #PaulMcCartneyGotBack
📸: edkeller66

— The Beatles BR 🍏 (@TheBeatleBR) June 17, 2022

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 03:39 (two weeks ago) link

(Apologies, the Twitter link actually misses all but one of Springsteen's turns at a guitar solo.)

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 03:45 (two weeks ago) link

I'm biased, but it's kinda amazing how he can just command the stage next to Paul friggin McCartney. Also, that they are both really old, too. Octogenarian Macca making me more hopeful for the Bruce tour.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 17 June 2022 12:10 (two weeks ago) link

If I had to pick between Bruce and the Beatles, it would have to be the Beatles, but I absolutely agree, it's impressive how Springsteen completely takes the show when they launch into "Glory Days." Some credit goes to McCartney - I want to say being in the Beatles gave him a natural inclination to cede the spotlight and make room for someone else when he knows he's backing them up - but the song actually makes Springsteen look like the greater songwriter. It's a cliché that McCartney's songwriting is pretty lopsided, where he's unmatched as a melodist and arranger but frustratingly uneven as a lyricist. While both of them can come up with immensely catchy ear worms that can seem corny in the wrong context, Springsteen's usually has a lot more going under the surface, and that's exactly what I get from "Glory Days." Musically, it starts off like a lot of McCartney's poppier hits, but with every line and every verse, there are nuances and a level of detail in the storytelling that's typically absent in McCartney's post-Beatles output. McCartney's pop hits can feel like nothing songs in comparison.

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 14:44 (two weeks ago) link

"Glory Days" has gradually become the Springsteen song I look forward to hearing the most in the wild. Sure, I'm now maybe 10 years older than he was when he wrote it, but I also credit the disciplined economy of his writing.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 17 June 2022 14:47 (two weeks ago) link

It really feels like a perfect song written for the future. I know there's a lot of darkness to it, but in true Springsteen fashion, he manages to find a lot of humor in the same subject as well, and last night that last verse was especially hilarious, especially with McCartney repeating the same exact stories over and over again at every show in every tour since at least 2002.

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 15:10 (two weeks ago) link

(Though to be fair, they're not really boring stories - the first time I saw him and heard them, it was cool af.)

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 15:11 (two weeks ago) link

Where was that funny twitter thing about all the talking heads (Dave Grohl, Lars, Elton etc) talking about Ringo a little while back?

Jimmy Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne Mary-Anne (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 17 June 2022 15:20 (two weeks ago) link

Oh, this, sorry for the derail:

"Ringo, man, he was like a drum machine, you gotta remember this was -before- the invention of the drum machine"

— Jesse Hawken (@jessehawken) November 30, 2021

Jimmy Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne Mary-Anne (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 17 June 2022 15:21 (two weeks ago) link

Not actually a derail since The Boss is in there. Not the very start of the thread either but I will leave that be.

Jimmy Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne Mary-Anne (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 17 June 2022 15:24 (two weeks ago) link

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 17 June 2022 15:44 (two weeks ago) link

Who's that guy with Joe Walsh's brother-in-law?

Jimmy Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne Mary-Anne (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 17 June 2022 17:07 (two weeks ago) link

If I'm Garry Tallent and I'm watching that "Glory Days" clip, my mind is blown because I'm thinking, "When I was a teenager I played Paul's bass lines...and now HE'S playing one of MY bass lines."

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 17 June 2022 17:12 (two weeks ago) link

good point!

Jimmy Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne Mary-Anne (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 17 June 2022 17:20 (two weeks ago) link

I thought this was weirdly amusing:

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 17 June 2022 17:20 (two weeks ago) link

Reminds me of an old Conan sketch:

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 18:13 (two weeks ago) link


Jimmy Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne Mary-Anne (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 17 June 2022 18:35 (two weeks ago) link

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 17 June 2022 18:38 (two weeks ago) link

Lol! Bonus points for Percussion Poobah Joe Levy JudgeCam content.

Jimmy Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne Mary-Anne (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 17 June 2022 18:59 (two weeks ago) link

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