Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Boss Man Cometh

Today was Bruce Springsteen day on my CD player at work.  Have to admit I didn’t much care for "The Boss" at first—I was highly resistant to his stuff in the late ‘70s mostly because the critics went apeshit over him, and at that time I was leery of anyone that Rolling Stone, Creem, et al, went apeshit over.  This was also the period when the Royals played the Yankees in the playoffs every year, and even though Bruce is from Jersey, I pretty much despised anything or anyone even remotely connected to New York City (except for Kiss and "Saturday Night Live"), so I childishly ignored Springsteen for a long time.  I finally made peace with him during the ‘80s and grew to respect him, although I still think he’s a tad overrated ("Streets Of Philadelphia", for instance) at times.

One of these fine days, I’m going to finally sit down and write my book What Were They Smoking When They Wrote That?, and when I do, I plan to devote an entire chapter to "Blinded By The Light"—ol’ Brucie had to be on something when he wrote that song!  As for the rest of his music, I made it a point to "rediscover" his CD catalog about five years ago, and found some pretty good music there.  Overall, I’m more partial to his ‘80s stuff as opposed to his ‘70s albums, apart from the classic Born To RunThe River is a much better record than I originally gave Bruce credit for, both the Tunnel of Love and Human Touch albums have their moments, and of course Born In The USA is mighty fine.  Judging by the old video footage I’ve seen, Bruce and the E Street Band were something to behold live in concert back in the day and they gave people their money’s worth too, often playing for three hours or more.

My All-Time Bruce Springsteen Top 10:
10) [Tie] "Born In The USA" (1984)/"Pink Cadillac" (1984)  Bruce’s 2nd-best songs with "Born" or "Cadillac" in their title, respectively.
9) "Working On The Highway" (1984)  One of the few off Born In The USA that wasn’t a big hit, but I always liked it.  Nice irony of "The Boss" to always side with the working man, too.
8) "Born To Run" (1975)  Mighty hard to leave this one off the list, being it’s Bruce’s signature song.
7) "War" (1985)  Excellent remake of the 1970 Edwin Starr classic.  Now might be a good time to remake it again…
6) "Rosalita" (Live-1978)  Love the live concert video of this one that they show on VH-1 Classic all the time.  Bruce’s band introductions were almost as entertaining as the song itself.
5) "From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)" (Dave Edmunds) (1982)  Bruce wrote this one specifically for Dave and never actually recorded it himself, but it counts all the same—great song, too.
4) "Glory Days" (1984)  Love the hook melody during the choruses.  Great song, but lame video.
3) "Cadillac Ranch" (1980)  Car songs never go out of style...
2) "Tunnel Of Love" (1987)  Very ‘80s-sounding, and I love the guitar solo here by Nils Lofgren that Bruce yodels over.
1) "Human Touch" (1992)  Song that had some very special meaning to me during a 1999 weekend trip to Colorado.

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