Monday, September 29, 2008

Top ten Bruce Springsteen songs

7. Thunder Road
Taken from the album "Born to Run" (Columbia, 1975)



Well, what can you say. This is one of the best album-openers there ever was. The piano and harmonica duet at the start. (The piano isn't a piano, but a glockenspiel.) Springsteen wrote a lot of the Born to Run album on the piano, but played little to nothing on the recording. Because of the use of piano in the writing the album has a lot of recurring themes and nuances that wouldn't have been there if it had been written on a guitar. You just don't go the same way from one chord to another on the two instruments.

"Thunder Road" is a whole movie in under five minutes. The scene is set in the intro, the characters are introduced and the story is ploted out. Our hero wants to take his girlfriend away from the small town and out on the open road where the possibilities are endless. Lyrically it's one of my absolute favourites. Who can write better lines than these:

"We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back, heaven's waiting on down the tracks
Oh, come take my hand
We're riding out tonight to case the promised land.."

A cinematic song that gives everyone that hear it some faith that there is something better out there for us all, you just got to take a chance and don't be afraid to make a change.

The thing that does it for me with this song is Roy Bittan's amazing playing throughout the song, simply perfection.

"It's a town full of losers
And I'm pulling out of here to win"



listen:

Bruce Springsteen - 106 - Thunder Road


Found at skreemr.com


A cool and very different cover by Tortoise & Bonnie Prince Billy:

Tortoise and Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Thunder Road


Found at skreemr.com

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Top ten Bruce Springsteen songs

8. Badlands
Taken from the album "Darkness on the Edge of Town" (Columbia, 1978)



Now we're talking, huh? It's anthem time. Springsteen's last album, Born to Run (1975), took it's toll. The album was followed by both success and lawsuits. The optimism we saw it that album's characters was all gone by the recording of Darkness on the Edge of Town. "Badlands", being the album opener sat the mood right from the start. Our hero is angry. You can hear it both in the lyrics and in the breakneck speed that the song is played. The song grabs you by the throat at Max Weinberg's first movement of his drumsticks and it doesn't let go until the song is over.

The lyrics are simply stunning. The story of an underdog who wants to break out and break free. Springsteen is just spitting out the words. Fantastic.

He's had enough.

"Lights out tonight
trouble in the heartland
Got a head-on collision
smashin' in my guts, man
I'm caught in a cross fire
that I don't understand
But there's one thing I know for sure girl
I don't give a damn.."

This is what he's had enough of.

"You better get it straight darling
Poor man wanna be rich,
rich man wanna be king
And a king ain't satisfied
till he rules everything.."

What he believes in.

"Well I believe in the love that you gave me
I believe in the faith that could save me
I believe in the hope.."

And at last som hope, and release of the tension. You can raise your fist now.

"For the ones who had a notion,
a notion deep inside
That it ain't no sin
to be glad you're alive
I wanna find one face
that ain't looking through me
I wanna find one place,
I wanna spit in the face of these badlands"



listen:
Bruce Springsteen - Badlands


Found at skreemr.com

Friday, September 26, 2008

Top ten Bruce Springsteen songs

9. Tougher Than The Rest
Taken from the album "Tunnel of Love" (Columbia, 1987)


This one also could be seen as a weird choice, maybe I'm a weird person. Well, the album Tunnel of Love was the first Springsteen album I heard. It was the only one my mom had when I was little. She even says that she didn't like it all that much. So I grew up thinking that this Springsteen fellow wasn't worth spending time on. Later on, when I was in high school, one of our teacher suddenly came in to the classroom demanding to be called "The Boss" and whatnot. He even quoted Springsteen on the blackboard when he introduced himself to us.

"It ain't no secret I've been around a time or two
I don't know baby maybe you've been around too
There's another dance all you gotta do is say yes
And if you're rough and ready and ready for love
Honey, I'm tougher than the rest.."

Well, he didn't write that whole thing, I guess he focused on the tougher than the rest part. As well as he had been around a time or two, in the meaning that we wouldn't scare or fool him. Kind of a cool teacher. I didn't see it then, but he had a lot of influence on me.

Back to the song then. The lyrics are kind of corny but still manages to take a hold of you. You get that this guy is a blue-collar who has been burned in the past, but now is ready for love. A dependable guy. At least that's what I think. He understands that the girl/woman is hurt, and because he also has been hurt he don't want her to feel that way again - and she won't because he is, well, tougher than the rest. Springsteen himself was going through a divorce before making Tunnel of Love.

Musically you got eighties production and the "L.A. Law"- keyboardsound (sounds a bit like wind-chimes or something) which I just love. Yeah, I'm a weird guy.

"The road is dark and it's a thin thin line
But I want you to know I'll walk it for you anytime.."

Listen:
Bruce Springsteen - Tougher Than The Rest


Found at skreemr.com

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Top ten Bruce Springsteen songs

10. New York City Serenade
Taken from the album "The Wild, The Innocent & The E-Street Shuffle" (Columbia, 1973)



A strange song to have in a countdown of Bruce Springsteen's ten best songs you might think, and even say, but what the heck. It's my list after all. The secret behind this list is that it's not something that I've come up with now. This lists actually dates back a couple of years, so they reflect which songs I thought was best at that exact period in my life. That said, I still think these songs that I will be writing about in this countdown may be the ten best Springsteen songs.

"New York City Serenade" is an outsider of a song really. It is still one of Springsteen's longest and most epic songs, at least musically. It is the perfect closer for the eclectic second album The Wild, The Innocent & The E-Street Shuffle. An album who as it's predecessor was critically acclaimed but failed commercially. I see the song as a sign of what to come. It is largely built around a theme played on a piano. Which is what comes out in full bloom on the next album, 1975's breakthrough album Born to Run.

It's hard to explain what it is about "New York City Serenade" that's so appealing to me, it just takes me away to a whole other place - and it must be the music who does it because lyrically it isn't all that. It just has that New York City feeling. A tale of three different New York characters and if you wanna do something in that city you've got to be tough. So get lost in the music and the picture underneath.

"It's midnight in Manhattan, this is no time to get cute
It's a mad dog's promenade
So walk tall, baby, or don't walk at all"



now listen:

Bruce Springsteen - New York City Serenade


Found at skreemr.com

Friday, September 5, 2008

I'm upset..

Just watched CNN's coverage of the Republican Convention in St.Paul, Minnesota and they had Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" over the speakers at the Convention center. The nerve of those people. Man, I'm angry now..