Bruce Springsteen. Of course!
The turn of my all-time favourite this week. The man whose music has been the soundtrack to my life since I was 15, whose live shows are the best I have seen, whose songs can make me feel practically every emotion going! As a borderline obsessed fan, I find myself unable to limit Bruce’s music to a mere five songs, so I have made selections in a few sub-categories to try and do justice to his near 40 year career. So here goes…
(1) Born To Run – Simply, my favourite song of all time. Has been since the mid-80s when I first heard it. Contains everything that is great about Bruce and the E Street Band, and about rock music in general.
(2) Jungleland – An epic song from “Born To Run”, highlights the brilliance of Bruce and every member of his band better than any other. To hear this played live is one of the highlights of my music-listening life. Special mention today must go to the monumental sax solo by “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons, who sadly passed away over the weekend.
(3) The Promised Land – A song I have liked for over 20 years, it has moved into my top few Bruce songs in recent years, as I have got older and faced up to some of the tough feelings the lyrics deal with.
(4) Incident on 57th Street – Another of Bruce’s epic early songs, this has always been one of my favourites. Original album version is brilliant, Bruce singing it solo at a piano during a show is even better.
(5) No Surrender – Great song from the “Born In The USA” album (the first Springsteen record I ever possessed, although only as a tape copy), celebrating the importance of friendships and how things change as we get older. Makes this list partly because it is two songs in one – the rock song of the album and modern concerts, and the beautiful acoustic arrangement on “Live 75-85”, which is incredible.
(1) Badlands – Probably the ultimate anthem for most Springsteen fans, the one that is guaranteed to get an entire stadium on its feet, leaping around and waving arms in the air.
(2) Darkness On The Edge of Town – Title track from one of Bruce’s greatest albums, with superb playing by the band and great lyrics.
(3) Thunder Road – Opening track to my favourite ever album, and would probably make the “all time top 5” list of many Springsteen fans. Love the way the song builds up to a fantastic crescendo.
(4) Mary’s Place – One of the best songs of Bruce’s recent career, a huge live favourite, and a song that is guaranteed to make you feel good. The essence of rock and roll!
(5) Dancing In The Dark – Bruce’s biggest single, demonstrating a very modern mid-80s sound, yet still with that distinctly Springsteen feel and some great lyrics too.
Part two to follow later this evening…