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Bruce Springsteen



Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born September 23, 1949 in New Jersey, USA.  Now 69 years old. Inspired by Elvis Presley, Bruce bought his first guitar for $18 when he was 13 years old. These days I expect that’s a bit late to be taking up an instrument that will carry you to the pinnacle of Rock and Roll stardom, but a lot of hard work and practice got him his first record deal with Columbia in 1972. Now a multi-instrumentalist playing piano, electric piano, pump organ, autoharp, ukulele, banjo, electric guitar, and stomping board, as well as acoustic guitar and harmonica the man provides a live performance like no other as I can attest through personal experience.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, he is a Kennedy Center Honouree and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, has a Tony Award, an Academy Award, 20 Grammy Awards and his own Broadway Play. Yet he remains I think a humble man. Not a one blog pony this guy so I will move chronologically and see how far I get for part one. Steve buddy, this one is for you.


Blinded by the Lightwritten and performed by Bruce Springsteen from his first album Greetings From Asbury Park, released January 5, 1973. In the early days Bruce thought he needed to rhyme his lines as evidenced here when he used a dictionary for this song. Nevertheless a great tune.  

Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann's Earth Band in 1976, it peaked at #1 in the US and Canada in February of 1977. This is an edited version of the song which is almost 7 minutes long. Not the first and only cover of a song from Bruce’s first album, they also did “Spirit in the Night” (1975), “For You” (1980).

This song is one of many sources of misheard song lyrics know as a Mondegreen. In particular the line "Revved up like a deuce".


4th of July, AsburyPark (Sandy) written and performed by Bruce Springsteen from his second Album ‘The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle’ in July of 1973. Bruce being a fixture at one time on the New Jersey Boardwalk mentions the real ‘Madam Marie’ fortune teller in this song. Showing his brilliant storytelling, at five and a half minutes this is not your average top 40 love song, more’s the pity I say.

4th of July, AsburyPark (Sandy)  by The Hollies in 1975. This song resonated with New Zealanders where it reached #8!



Also from the same album, Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" written and performed by Bruce Springsteen, not particularly well covered but a favorite for sure as it gained popularity a few years after its release. One of five songs from Bruce named on the list of the ‘500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll’ from the R&R Hall of Fame.

Next, we come to a true R&R masterpiece. The album ‘Born to Run’ released August 25, 1975. According to the very reputable website www.acclaimedmusic.net which is an aggregate of critics lists worldwide, this album ranks #1 for 1975, #6 for the decade and #17 of all time. Worthy of a Blog on its own there are eight amazing tracks on this album, most recognizable being the title track. Writing this song was Bruce’s last crack at being a success in R&R as his first two albums did not do well commercially (at the time). Well we now know, he nailed it. The album itself peaked at #3 on Billboard's top 200 list and sold six million copies in the US and over nine million worldwide.

Born to Run written and performed by Bruce Springsteen. People have come late to the party on this one as the single only hit #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 but has always received extensive airplay on FM radio in the US and Canada.

I recall quite distinctly the first time I heard this song, alone in my basement bedroom in the home I grew up in, listening to the old family Marconi Radio/Record Console. My naïve 15-year-old brain was still infected I guess with ‘Partridge Family’ music residue and I could not quite understand this song. It made me nervous, truly I needed Steve (who introduced me to more mature music like Bob Dylan) to explain it to me and this was not until some months later, and let’s say my hungry R&R heart grew three sizes that day 💗😊. As you listen to the song now it’s quite innocent, but hey this was 1975! OK poor excuse I know- when I made my confession Steve laughed at me then and as he reads this he and my other pals will once again. Join the party!
Born to Run by Allan Clarke from the Hollies (released Oct. 1975). This was actually the first recording of the song, held back until after Springsteen’s release.

Born to Run Melissa Etheridge -(Kennedy Center Honors)
Born to Runby Amy MacDonald.

This Scottish singer-songwriter has quite the repertoire and worth checking out. She has also covered I’m on Fire” 

Another song from this album is also one of the greatest Rock songs ever written, once again I turn to acclaim.net to see it’s ranked #3 for 1975 and #95 best all time. Rolling Stone ranks it at #86 in the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."  People eventually started to really appreciate this next song as it did not perform that well on any of the Charts. A concert favourite.
Thunder Road written and performed by Bruce Springsteen. The title was inspired by a Robert Mitchum movie of the same name, Bruce says he never saw the movie but he liked the poster. One more time he paints a vivid picture with this classic R&R love song. My favorite Bruce song.
Thunder Roadby Mary Lou Lord (2002)

Thunder Roadby Renato Russo (2003)

Thunder Roadby the Cowboy Junkies (2004) one of the best covers of a Springsteen song.


The other great tracks from this album are; Backstreets, Jungleland, Meeting Across the River, Night, She’s the One and Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out. Click here for a playlist of the full Album.


More on Bruce and the E-Street Band to come.
Thanks to my little sis Lisa's homage to Bruce.
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Comments

  1. Bruce is known as a "class act" in all he does. Here is a link to a story about Bruce and Dave Edmunds.

    https://bestclassicbands.com/dave-edmunds-bruce-springsteen-6-22-17/

    ReplyDelete

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