Bruce Springsteen

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Cruyff14

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96) Stolen Car (The River)

Stolen Car is captivatingly simplistic. Vocal, piano, some gentle electric guitar and the slightest use of Max is all that’s needed.

The lyrics are exceptional and the conviction for the “and I travel in fear” really hammers that point home.

The “stolen car” may well be a metaphor and a cry for help, but it seems nobody attempts to help, or cares.

Gutting.



95) Streets of Philadelphia (Greatest Hits)

This is a beautiful melody that is definitely in the underplayed basket with 100 or so other songs. It captures the emotion perfectly and is undoubtedly poignant.

There are some deep lines in there that really tackle what people with AIDS faced before there was a cure.

That opening line gets me every time, too.

Stellar track.



94) Fire (Live 1975-1985)

Much like its title, Fire is hot. It’s steamy, it’s saucy and it really sets the tone.

That riff – albeit so simple – is incredibly catchy and it really drives the song along.

It’s also one of several songs to feature “Fire” in its title in the Springsteen songbook.



93) Mary’s Place (The Rising)


Mary’s Place is one of the ultimate feel good songs of the Springsteen catalogue. While its subject matter may be somewhat dark, it is hard not have a smile running from ear to ear when this is played.

Evidently, it appears to be about a wake, and the narrator trying to get through this time. And, the coping mechanism is getting lost in the music at Mary’s Place. I feel that’s almost metaphoric for a lot of us here. When we’re at a show, all the bullshit going on outside of that stadium is forgotten about for the three hours. You’re there, in that moment, absorbing everything around you, with every fibre of your being.

Its upbeat, joyous sound with the E-Street Band in full swing brings for great listening. The sax about halfway through elevates this and really sees the song close out strong.

I love – and I think we can all relate to the line – “your favourite record’s on the turntable, I drop the needle and pray, turn it up!” The slow build between Bruce, band, and audience is great and hearing everything explode at the summit of the build shows the party is really in full swing.

I really, really, recommend listening to this on headphones as loud as you can. It’s brilliant. And turn it up!



92) Blinded By The Light (Greetings From Asbury Park)

Blinded bombards you with a whirlwind of lyrics that barely allows you to catch your breath, even after the song is over.

Blinded has a lot going on, probably too much at points. What I will say though, is that it is a fun song. And definitely one of the more light-hearted tracks he has written. It’s definitely one way to announce yourself on your debut album!

The song also created some of the greatest names of characters in Springsteen songs. From Go-Kart Mozart, to Little Early-Pearly, hazard from Harvard,

It’s probably an unpopular opinion, but I think Manfred Mann’s version is far superior. It’s tighter, it’s significantly better musically, and everything seems much more fluid and cohesive. But, paradoxically, we’d never have it had Bruce not written it to begin with!

Blinded does have one of my all time favourite lines in it – from any song – “mama always told me not to look into the sun, but mama, that’s where the fun is!”

For me, this is the best version that Bruce is done;



91) Youngstown (The Ghost of Tom Joad)

Youngstown’s instrumentation is brilliant. Between the accordion, the organ, the electric guitar and everything else that is standard, it all meshes together so well to create what is the full band version of Youngstown.

Nils’ solo is outrageous, and something I’ll never tire of.

There are some pretty powerful images scattered throughout “them smokestacks reachin’ like the arms of God” and the closing lines in particular “I pray the Devil comes and takes me away to stand in the fiery furnaces of Hell”



90) Tucson Train (Western Stars)

The orchestral arrangement in Tucson Train is stunning, and the horns accompany them perfectly. I’m a sucker for strings and this really ticks so many boxes for me.

Tucson Train is one of those songs that sit in the less is more basket.

The sound created to close the song with the guitar is a neat little addition too.

 

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Cruyff14

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89) Be True (The River Outtakes)

The fact that Be True was canned completely from The River is a testament to Bruce’s ability as a songwriter. For me, it’s a classic and I could put this in place of about five songs that made the final cut.

The piano in the intro is great, and the melodies with Steve throughout are classic Springsteen.

The sax taking the song out is a nice little addition too.

The premise that this song holds for me is simple “be true to me and I’ll be true to you.” If only all relationships were that simple.



88) The Fuse (The Rising)

The Fuse conflicts me deeply. I really wanted to place it higher, but I found it hard to justify placing it higher than this given that I don’t listen to it too often.

It is definitely – for me – one of the great forgotten Springsteen songs. When it was done live, we get a double kicker and the not often sighted 12 string guitar. It’s not been played since The Rising tour (17 years ago now), and sadly, we’ll probably never this at a show again.

I love the distorted guitar which sounds almost hidden in the mix. The constant of the bass drum throughout is what drives this song for me. I really like Patti’s backing vocals here too, they harmonise very well together. I also feel her vocal add some more tension to the song.

Oh, and that breakdown towards the end of the final verse is quality.



87) Adam Raised A Cain (Darkness On The Edge Of Town)

Without a doubt, for me, Adam Raised A Cain is the angriest song Bruce has written. From its opening, you can hear the ferocity and intensity pouring out of each note. Bruce is raging war with his guitar and the omnipotence generated hits you like freight train, leaving no room for mercy to anyone. The vocal performance is vicious and leaves nothing to the imagination. And nothing lets up for the entirety of the track.

The bassline is also brilliant. It really carries the song from start to finish. Garry Talent does an amazing job, and is not praised often enough. I love the support it provides during that fiery intro, its happy to sit back and let the electric take the spotlight, but you know it’s there.

The solo has to be one of his best and you can feel the anger and fury with each passing note. The intensity is hard to match, and there are maybe a handful of tracks that come close, and perhaps only one that surpasses Adam’s power and intensity combined.

In some songs, other band members’ talents are highlighted, but not in Adam. This is all Bruce, and rightly so. It’s really hard to find a fault with this track.



86) Bobby Jean (Born In The USA)

From its opening sequence, you can hear the melancholy right away.

Bobby Jean’s lyrics have that feeling of regret, loss and wanting to be able to do more. But it appears it’s too late, though, it won’t stop our protagonist wishing whoever this may be good luck as he says goodbye.

The sax taking the song out really has that feeling of longing and regret about it and makes you feel for the character.

All Bruce has ever said was that it was a “youthful song about friendship”, and that’s probably all we’ll ever get. And rightfully so.



85) The Promise (The Promise)

Whatever version you listen to of The Promise, it’s an outstanding song.

Life isn’t fair, and The Promise highlights that. You can do the right thing, and life can beat you up and kick you repeatedly when you’re down.

This whole verse here is exceptionally powerful;

The promise is broken, you go on living
It steals something from down in your soul
When the truth is spoken, it don't make no difference
Something in your heart goes cold

I’m sure we’ve all been there.

 

revo333

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What ones? I won't reveal if they do or not (should you reply).
The fuse was one.

I thought it wasn't a chance of making it after you had already mentioned lonesome day and marys place.

It never gets talked about so I just assumed I might of been the only person that ever liked it, my favourite part is the breakdown which you mentioned.
 

Cruyff14

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The fuse was one.

I thought it wasn't a chance of making it after you had already mentioned lonesome day and marys place.

It never gets talked about so I just assumed I might of been the only person that ever liked it, my favourite part is the breakdown which you mentioned.
It's a shame it's been neglected since The Rising tour.

I do really love the haunting feel the track provides.
 

Cruyff14

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84) Jackson Cage (The River)

I love the conviction we get in the chorus in Jackson Cage, you can feel – and hear – him really going for it.

Jackson Cage’s best bits for me are the various piano runs throughout and the drumming.

That halfway point through the third verse you can really feel the tension increase, things seem like they tighten and you hear him going for it.

Jackson Cage is a song I am definitely more attracted to because of its music, rather than its lyrics. Its message is definitely confusing to me.



83) For You (Greetings From Asbury Park)

For me, For You is one of the saddest songs I’ll hear in my life, I think. It’s devastatingly heartbreaking,

The solo version should have been on Greetings. People often talk about how a different arrangement can completely transform the meaning of a song, and with just the piano, the song is completely transformed. The upbeat melody is gone, and we’re left with a song that is full of despair.

The lyrics are some of his finest and again, it’s hard to believe how something so unbelievably deep was written by a man in his early 20s. There is heartbreak, despair, sorrow all bundled up into his voice and you can really feel it.



82) 4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy) (Greetings From Asbury Park)

Sandy has to be one of the most beautiful songs in his songbook.

It is a testament to his song writing ability that he was able to write this in his early to mid 20s.

Its imagery paints wonderful, vivid pictures of what life was like along the Jersey Shore at the time of writing.

The accordion is a beautiful touch.

Definitely one of the most beautiful songs I’ve seen live. It was hard not to be just whisked away in the world that’s described in the song.

Big props for the line “love me tonight, and I promise I’ll love you forever”. Beautiful, youthful naivety at its best.



81) Stones (Western Stars)

Stones is exceptionally well written despite its vagueness. The Stones appear to be lies he’s been told, but we don’t find out what these lies are. There is no closure, no clarity, no reasoning. The narrator gains nothing positive from this song.

The strings – as always – are beautiful, and that marching like beat the snare produces adds a deeper element. An incredibly moving and powerful track.

Patti’s vocals are outstanding.


80) Candy’s Room (Darkness On The Edge Of Town)

How can you not enjoy the intensity, power and fury created in Candy’s Room?

That opening with Max running on the hi-hat is a great start. In fact, Max is the star of this track. His drum roll is excellent and drives the pace of the song. Candy’s Room is unrelenting from start to finish and it won’t let you catch your breath.

From the frenetic intro, to the drum roll that follows, the wild guitar solo, the pounding toms, then the drum rolls again, Candy’s Room is like a one way rollercoaster ride, but then it suddenly comes to crashing halt.

The song really surges to its peak when the band is involved and everything is happening



79) Frankie Fell In Love (High Hopes)

This is the shining light that came off High Hopes – which I don’t think is a terrible album, for the record.

Frankie Fell In Love is by far and away the best track on there. It’s a shame it turned out to be such a disaster live (though I think it’s because Steve was off filming Lilyhammer and had no time to rehearse properly).

It’s a fun little track that’s got some incredibly catchy and has some funny lyrics. I mean, who knew it was possible to work Shakespeare and Einstein into one song?

And of course, it spurned 1 and 1 makes 3.



78) We Take Care of Our Own (Wrecking Ball)


The opening track of the Wrecking Ball album certainly knew how to grab people’s attention after a three year break between albums.

It’s a great stadium rocker and you can’t help but get caught up in the chorus and want to shout the chorus as loud as you can at the top of your lungs.


77) The River (The River)

That opening on the harmonica is enough to send chills down your spine. It grabs you right away and commands your attention, and with the assistance of the 12 string guitar, they form a great duo. What also can’t be forgotten in The River is the falsetto. It’s utterly exceptional.

I love the increase in tension we hear in the bridge in both the key change and the vocal.

I’ve always loved the line “is a dream a lie if it don’t come true”, which can be applied so often in every day life. Not only that, but it’s incredibly powerful and really makes you question and reflect back on that statement.

The harmonica wins first, second and third prize on this track though.

 

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Cruyff14

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Next batch, sorry I've been slack gents!

76) I’m On Fire (Born In The USA)

There is a lot to like about I’m On Fire. The soothing synth riff, the beautiful vocal and equally beautiful falsetto, or even the soothing rim shots throughout.

I’m On Fire may be a short song but it’s the perfect example of less is in fact, much, much more. It shows you don’t need to be flash all the time, or a solo to grab people’s attention. It sits, front and centre, and commands your attention, without having any of that.

It’s almost inconceivable this was almost ready to be abandoned. Or is it?



75) Reason To Believe (Nebraska)

I yearn for the day we get a full electric version of Nebraska. I feel it’d set my ears on fire listening to it.

Reason To Believe – the full band version – is out of this world good. The bluesy guitar, the harmonica, the conviction in the vocal, the organ sitting back in the mix, the conviction in the vocal, all of it is just so damn good.

The song is very dark if you really look into it and there is no positivity in it. A dead dog, a man leaving his partner, death, and a groom standing alone. It’s utterly grim on all fronts.

Steve’s guitar work is the hero of the track though for me.

Brian Hyatt even wrote “it’s a road map to depression”. Not hard to see why either.



74) You’re Missing (The Rising)

This has to be one of the most poignant and hearfelt songs Bruce has written. The piano gently tugs out your heartstrings, and the vocal definitely hits you right in the heart, too. The violin which also is prominent throughout also amplifies the feeling of loss.

You’re Missing doesn’t try to hide anything, or shy away from the fact about that a widow is missing their significant other.

The lyrics are powerful and you can almost feel a sense of mourning growing over you as the song continues. The breakdown in that last verse is a killer and the emotion of the song finally erupts in that final sequence.

The organ on the studio is exceptional and is some of Phantom Dan’s best work.

Below however, we’re treated to a harmonica outro which is stunning in its own right and I find it adds an entirely new element to the song.



73) My Hometown (Born In The USA)

I always thought Downbound Train was the best song on Born In The USA, and without taking anything away from it, I can say that I think I got that one wrong.

My Hometown is now the holder of that title in my eyes, and I think deservedly so.

The synth evokes something, and it can take you to the places in this song. The imagery used in My Hometown is quality and I believe it’s hard not to think about your own town growing up when you hear the chorus.

The song tracks from our narrator being a boy at the beginning, to racial tensions as he’d got older, and his town ultimately in a bit of a dark place, and then a loss of jobs, and the song closing about how he is now a father, and sitting with his boy, just like his dad did with him.

If you’ve not had the privilege of singing this back in the songs closing, I can’t really describe how special it sounds, especially when it’s in your own hometown.



72) I’m A Rocker (The River)

It is impossible to listen to I’m A Rocker without getting swept away in its fun. The organ has you urging for more, and that drumming by Max is outstanding. It is unapologetically fun and while the lyrics may have you wondering how he has written some of the tracks he has, suddenly it doesn’t matter, because I’m A Rocker doesn’t need to be taken seriously.

Enjoy the fun ride it takes you on and you won’t be without a smile on your face after about the first five seconds.



71) My City of Ruins (The Rising)

Whichever way you cut My City Of Ruins, it’s a powerful song. It gives you a sense of fighting hope and wants to pick you up when you’re down, drag you back onto that horse.

You can hear the anguish and pain in the vocal early on, but toward the end, you can feel the sense of hope and fight urging you on with the music matching it.

I love the breakdown we get in the most recent live shows where the roll call happens. It’s incredibly moving and it plays on emotion to create a poignant feeling before the band build back up collectively and come crashing in with purpose and conviction, helping us rise up through these tough times.

Whether it be organ, the horns, or the piano, all at various points which both can drag you down and lift you up, they’re all great at what they do in their own way.



70) Two Hearts (The River)

Two Hearts fills with the world with energy, fun and enthusiasm immediately from its opening bars. That surging piano from the beginning really urges the song on and I can’t help but be swept away in the driving sound of it. The organ working quietly in the background is another great addition to this track.

This song contains one of the best simplistic lines he’s ever written ‘I believe in the end two hearts are better than one’. It’s a beautiful sentiment, and for those that have a significant other, or anyone that they’re exceptionally close with, it is undoubtedly true.

The duel vocal between Bruce and Stevie is a great touch and does well to reemphasize the lyrics.

Two Hears gonna get the job done.

 

Ford Fairlane

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I love top 100s because I look at the first batch and think That should be higher, and that should be higher. Then the next batch comes and I start again.

Then I figure I think so many should be higher and they can't all be ... besides I haven't seen the higher songs yet.

The I give up and enjoy the ride, check out some again I didn't rate that highly ;)

Looking forward to see if Sherry darling and Outlaw Pete make it, and how high Western Star songs get.

Also looking forward to your thoughts on Ghost of Tom Joad. Tom Morello supercharged that song for me.

Keep them coming!
 

Cruyff14

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Some more lads.

Picks 67 & 65 are bloody fantastic.

69) Murder Incorporated (Greatest Hits)

Murder Incorporated leaves no one standing, right from the off. It hits you with a hurricane of force and blows you away with its power, and everything in its path.

That killer guitar intro, with the organs and the heavy pounding on the snare sets up a song that is a real knockout.

Evidently, it appears to be a song about a guy on the run from the mob, constantly checking over his shoulder, and thinking everyone and everything is against him.

The backing vocals on this track are really underrated I believe. It’s easy to miss them with everything else going on, but I feel they add a great element. And if you’re not a fan of the three different steaming guitar solos that take the song out, there is probably something wrong with you.

One of the angriest tracks in his collection, and there are probably only a handful of songs where he has more conviction in the vocal.



68) American Skin (41 Shots) (High Hopes)

You can almost grab the tension with your own two hands in American Skin. With each passing second, you can feel the tension increase and the intensity becomes even more palpable. Things slowly build, only for everything to be cut back down, though the feeling remains the same.

Come the solo though, the songs bursts at its seams and an explosion of the aforementioned tension and intensity blow up before us.

If I were picking songs based on tension, this would be right near the top.

An outstanding track which really highlights that life can be taken as quickly as it is given, even if you’re doing nothing wrong.

The breakdown where it is just Bruce on vocal shouting “you get killed just for living…” undoubtedly adds an incredibly powerful layer to a song already full of anger.



67) Iceman (Tracks)

If Iceman isn’t the most haunting song Bruce Springsteen has written then I would gladly die in ignorance if I haven’t heard others that eclipse it.

It’s an outstanding piece of music that only cements how great a songwriter he is considering this track was literally forgotten about until Tracks was being put together.

Piano, vocal, bass, and some simple cymbal work is all this track needs to create an unmatched hauntingly dark track.

The piano is so creepy it’s almost unnerving when it’s paired with the vocal. The composition is excellent and is a brilliant example of yet again less being so much more.

The low, backing vocals to create a church-like hum is an excellent addition and only adds to the creepiness the song holds.

I’m also not sure we’ve seen a darker line than this either:

Once they tried to steal my heart, beat it right outta my head
But baby they didn't know that I was born dead


Listen to this on headphones. It’ll blow your mind, and maybe even freak you out.


66) Drive All Night (The River)

Drive All Night is one of the all time great love songs, without any shadow of a doubt.

This guy is willing to quite literally, drive all night, for this girl. I think in today’s day and age, the message doesn’t quite have the same meaning. You can pick up the phone, send a text message, video chat, or whatever. The romanticism of the 70s and 80s is gone, and the pursuit of love is on an entirely different road. But, at the time of writing this, Springsteen was clearly leading the convoy, because he’s lost that girl.

The soothing piano and the soft drumming are perfect companions throughout, and the sax halfway through catapults the emotion into the next stratosphere. The last verse raises the emotion, the conviction, the lengths he’s willing to go to, and if the sax solo halfway through shoots the song into the stratosphere, the one to bring the song home catapult it light years ahead.

According Stories Behind The Songs, this was done in one take. Incredibly when you think about the song overall, the quality, the length, the composition. Exceptional.

It seems almost criminal to have this song this low after reading that back, but life needs to have some surprises to keep it interesting.



65) Loose Ends (Tracks)

Had a lot of the outtakes from The River actually made it onto the final cut as opposed to some of the songs which did, it’d be an infinitely better album in my eyes.

It is outrageous that a song like Loose Ends did not make the final cut. The fact that a song this good can be completely omitted from a double album is mind-boggling.

Loose Ends comes crashing in at you, with The E-Street Band driving at you full force. It’s a breakup song and won’t have you jumping for joy after listening to it, more so leaving you wondering at the despair of what’s gone wrong with the characters relationship in this song. If we look at the chorus, it seems as if they were waiting for each other to stop the torment.

The organs in this are fantastic, as are the keys. The sax solo screams sadness and regret and does a lot of things other instruments couldn’t in its place.

 

Cruyff14

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Here is today's installment.

Bloody love Don't Look Back, it burns me I didn't put it higher. Pick 63 is also a real barnstormer.

64) Don’t Look Back (Tracks)

There is something about Don’t Look Back that reels me in every time I listen to it and I love it just as much each time.

Thematically, it’d fit right in on Born To Run, with our guy ready to launch off into the sunset with his girl Angel, and npt worrying about what they’re leaving behind.

There is nothing jaw dropping about Don’t Look Back. The lyrics aren’t special, there is no standout solo, but not every song needs that, and Don’t Look Back proves that.

It’s a simple rock song, and sometimes that’s all you need. It’s straight forward, and there is no mucking around. It takes you straight from A to B with no fuss.

What I will say is, this song is all Max. His commandeering of his drum kit to navigate the song is great.



63) Gypsy Biker (Magic)

Gypsy Biker is fierce, intense and angry.

There is plenty to like about this track from Magic. The acoustic guitar in the intro provides a sense of urgency, and that harmonica paired with it is a fantastic partner. I really love the power the various electric guitars all give off here – with Bruce, Steven and Nils all on the electrics at one point or another.

The solos are all searing and rightly encapsulate the anger the song gives off.

“To the dead it don’t matter much who is wrong or right” is one of those lines that is timeless and, again, goes to show the quality of his song writing did not drop off in the 21st century.

Another song that will sadly probably remain in the vault never to be seen again.


62) Lucky Town (Lucky Town)

One of a handful of good things to come from the disbanding of The E-Street Band is this song. It has plenty of attitude about it, and the growl it’s sung with is a nice addition.

The guitar in the intro sounds tight and it kicks hard enough without hurting. He’s employed this country twang when playing, and you can really hear it in the solo, and it sounds so damn good.

There is plenty of self depreciation in Lucky Town – especially in the bridge.


61) Into The Fire (The Rising)

Into The Fire’s imagery is incredibly powerful, and perhaps up there with some of the best he has created.

Much like The Rising, it tells us the story of a fireman, rescuing the injured from the Twin Towers. Its first verse is heartbreaking, and a lot of the song follows that same lead. The firefighter in this song is painted in this extraordinary image of a hero, and rightly so. "I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher", the latter part of that line is exceptional and highlights that even after 30 years in the business, Bruce had not lost his lyrical deftness.

Into The Fire speaks of incredible loss, hardship, death and selflessness. And that selflessness is reflected in that third verse “You lay your hand on me, as you walk into the darkness of your smoky grave.” I mean, read that line back, that is incredibly stark and raw. Not to mention the sheer power of the imagery created with that line.

Another song where yet again Patti’s vocals are outstanding and an entirely new element to an already great song.


60) Rendezvous (Tracks)

Rendezvous is a fun little number that again would have been right at home on The River.

The keys are fun, the organ is great, the guitar is great and it’s easy to enjoy the song.

I’ve always loved the line “we’ve been riding on the power and livin’ on the promise”

The line “I had a dream tonight my dream comes true”. It sounds so simplistic but at the same time there is a depth to that line that lies beneath the surface.
 

Triple E

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I've noticed that all the songs that you've listed that I like have been described as 'angry' 😂😂 - Gypsy Biker; Murder Incorporated and Adam Raised a Cain. Not sure what that says about me
 

revo333

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74) You’re Missing (The Rising)

This has to be one of the most poignant and hearfelt songs Bruce has written. The piano gently tugs out your heartstrings, and the vocal definitely hits you right in the heart, too. The violin which also is prominent throughout also amplifies the feeling of loss.
'God's drifting in heaven, devil's in the mailbox
I got dust on my shoes, nothing but teardrops'

Some lyrics stick on your brain forever...
 

Cruyff14

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59) Trapped (Live 1975-1985)

While he may not have written it, Bruce Springsteen has ironically freed this song from the unknowns.

Trapped tells the story of a man stuck in a relationship he can’t – or won’t – leave at this point in time.

Trapped reaches its summit at each chorus when everyone is involved. It is an excellent example of how great the E-Street Band is when everyone is on. I love that with each chorus the drums build and set as a lead of when the others to follow. The sax – as always – is great and really has that yearning for an escape.

You can hear the wanting to escape in the vocal, but our guy knows he’s gonna get out of this, and when he does, he’ll be the winner.



58) Sundown (Western Stars)

Sundown is so refreshingly calming. It effortlessly takes you away with its relaxing strings and soothing vocal. You can close your eyes and feel yourself being whisked away to a world where things don’t matter – even if it us just for a few minutes.

The trumpet that sits in the mix is a neat little addition too. The backing vocals here deserve a good wrap here too.

The big note at the end where you hear him go high is great.



57) Leah (Devil’s & Dust)

If there were a handful of songs that I could choose people to appreciate more, Leah would be among the bunch. I’ve often overlooked it myself, but I’ve always known it’s there, and whenever I come back to it, I’m always pleasantly surprised at how well it stands up.

Leah has such a warming and gentle feel to it. The vocal is tender, the acoustic guitar is the perfect foil.

Leah’s lyrics detail the story of a man who wants to find a world with love, with Leah. He’s been waiting, and he’s been ready for this, and he’s finally ready to pounce.

The essential lyric though, as said by the man himself is the below

I walk this road, with a hammer and a fiery lantern
With this hand I've built, and with this I've burned


As described in the beginning of the video “We carry with us the seeds of our destruction. A part of the human package are one of the seeds that bring life and good things into the world. But it is a very big tug of war all the time. It’s very hard to come down on uh…. We have a hand that builds and a hand that burns. This song is about a man who just figures out how to come down on the side hopefully, the hand that builds.”



56) Real World (Human Touch)

The rendition from the Christic Shows of Real World is, in my opinion, his best vocal performance. This is also the version that should have been on the album.

The lyrics are strong, and you can still see some pain from the Tunnel of Love era there, but the cracks appear to be healing and the pain lessening.

The love is there, with this woman, and our protagonist – most likely Bruce – has successfully navigated through the troubles that walked beside him a few years prior.

“It's just me and you and the love we're bringing
Into the real world”




55) Thundercrack (Tracks)

Another brilliant outtake, this one from the Greetings era.

Thundercrack is a song that bleeds fun and joy from its opening bars. It’s a perfect song for summertime and one that is even better when it’s played loud.

Lots of instrumental breaks, and the two guitars with the violin to break the song up is great fun (especially when it’s backed by multiple horns!)



54) Wrecking Ball (Wrecking Ball)

Wrecking Ball is exactly as the object in its title is in real life – powerful and unforgiving.

All the cogs in the E-Street Band work together perfectly to form the track from the album of the same name from 2012.

Wrecking Ball is triumphant in its quest for feelings of liberation, resilience and hope.

The song might have been written about a football stadium, but the meaning of the below lines can be seamless drawn with comparisons of real life;

And your game has been decided, and you're burning the clock down
And all our little victories and glories, have turned into parking lots
When your best hopes and desires, are scattered through the wind




53) The E-Street Shuffle (The Wild, The Innocent And The E-Street Shuffle)

The E-Street Shuffle is an explosion of chaotic fun right from the very beginning. There’s an eruption of brass, and before you know it, it’s all happening. Come the chorus, there is a hell of a lot going on, and it is definitely not to the song’s detriment.

The E-Street Shuffle also holds host to hands down, one of the greatest character names in the Springsteen songbook; Power Thirteen. Blink and you’ll miss it.

And one of the great catch cries was also spurned here – “everybody form a line!”

The live arrangement is something else, especially with all the horns, the duel between Everett and Max the real highlight, before everything completely dropping off for a bar or two, and then an eruption of noise comes crashing down and you’re swept up in the ecstasy of it all over again.

The below is well worth the watch. I won’t say why, but just wait, and you’ll see.

 

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