In the late 1960s, a young singer from New Jersey was trying to find his place in a swarm of bands. He was heavily influenced by Bob Dylan and performed folk-rock tunes. In 1972 he was signed to Columbia Records by the legendary Clive Davis, and the rest is history.
Popularly known as The Boss, Bruce Springsteen celebrated his 72nd birthday this week. It was an illustrious career, with 20 studio albums and an equal number of Grammy Awards. He has been described as a pioneer of “heartland rock”, which mixes American roots music with lyrics that speak to the everyday lives of Americans. His concerts, often accompanied by the E Street Band, have drawn sold-out venues for years.
Many listeners are obviously familiar with Springsteen’s most popular songs, including “Born To Run”, “Born In The USA”, “Dancing In The Dark”, “Badlands” and “Streets Of Philadelphia”. However, there are many other compositions which are symbols of his style. The list below only mentions 10, and many fans might have other favorites as well.
All of these songs were written by him – so we ruled out his brilliant 2006 album. We will overcome: the Seeger sessions, containing songs popularized by folk legend Pete Seeger. Here are 10 archetypal Springsteen songs from the past 48 years, in chronological order.
“Blinded by the light “- Greetings from Ashbury Park, NJ (1973)
The opening song from Springsteen’s debut album Greetings from Ashbury Park, NJ, he actually rose to fame with a cover of Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. Still, Springsteen’s original is a good representation of his old style, mixing vaudeville, folk, and an obvious Bob Dylan influence. The song got a revival after the 2018 release of Gurinder Chadha’s film Blinded by the light, about an Anglo-Pakistani fan.
“Road of thunder” – Born to run (1975)
Considered by connoisseurs to be one of Springsteen’s best songs, it’s about a woman Mary, her boyfriend, and their latest attempt to make things work. Starting with the harmonica and a piano background, the song builds up, using classic lines like “Well I have this guitar and I learned to make it talk” and “I know you are. alone for the words that I did not pronounce ”. This is the opening track of the album Born to run.
“Darkness on the Edge of Town” – Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
The title track is the final track from the 1978 album, which begins with fan favorite “Badlands”. The song is about a less fortunate person who refuses to give up, with Springsteen singing, “Some people are born into a good life, and some get it anyway, anyway; Well I lost my money and I lost my wife, these things don’t seem to matter much to me now. »This album was released three years later Born to run and we feel a change in the texture of Springsteen’s voice.
“Hungry heart “- River (1980)
An uptempo song with glorious saxophone backing by Clarence Clemons, it was written by Springsteen at the behest of Joey Ramone of the Ramones. The slogan “Everyone Has A Hungry Heart”, inspired by Alfred’s poem Lord Tennyson “Ulysses”, has become a song favorite. The song was also used in numerous movie soundtracks, including the movie Tom Cruise. Risky business.
“Nebraska” – Nebraska (1982)
One of Springsteen’s most haunting songs, it is based on the story of teenage serial killer Charlie Starkweather and his girlfriend Carill Ann Fugate who murdered 11 people in eight days in 1958. Their intentions are reflected in the phrase: “I can’t say I’m sorry for the things we did, at least for a little while sir, me and her had a blast. The moody harmonica adds to the impact of the song.
“Day of glory” – Born in the United States (1984)
Although the Born in the United States is known for its title song and “Dancing In The Dark”, this song has become more and more popular over the years. The simple reason is that he was talking about aging, nostalgia and the passage of time with phrases like “The glory days, they will pass you by, glory days in the twinkling of an eye.” Steven Van Zandt’s guitar and his appearance in the official video are highlights.
“Lonely day” – The climb (2002)
Springsteen was less prolific in the 1990s, releasing only three albums. The 2002 album The climb, who came seven years later The ghost of Tom Joad, was written the day after the September 11 attacks. The opening track ‘Lonesome Day’ sets the tone with its mid-tempo rock vibe and lines that speak of loneliness after the loss of a loved one. The lyrics “Let the kingdom come, I will find my way through this lonely day” is about fighting against all odds. The album’s title track and ‘Paradise’ are also top notch.
“We take care of our own” – wrecking ball (2012)
The song’s claim to fame is that it was used in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and Joe Biden’s victory speech. And while the chorus (“Wherever this flag flies / We take care of ours”) is upbeat, the song is often seen as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the tendency of many Americans not to help each other. The room is filled with guitar rock energy, although the use of a large string section adds a unique touch.
“Hello Sunshine – Western stars (2019)
Sweet ballad, this song is about a person who “fell in love with loneliness”. The melancholy violins, steel pedal guitar, and sultry beat give this song a country-rock feel, as Springsteen sings it: hello sun, aren’t you staying? The album is inspired by American artists Glenn Campbell and Burt Bacharach.
“House of a Thousand Guitars” – Letter to you (2020)
One of the highlights of the latest version of Springsteen Letter to you, “House Of A Thousand Guitars” has been described by fans as an “instant classic” because the melody hits you immediately. The song is said to have used music and “a thousand guitars” as metaphors to describe how people can come together to achieve a common goal. “So wake up and shake your troubles my friend, we’ll go where the music never stops, stadiums and little bars, we’ll light up the house of a thousand guitars,” sings Springsteen.
Springsteen’s songs are known for their intense lyrics, which speak of hope, everyday life, relationships, despair, and even real incidents. They are the type to leave listeners ecstatic and sad, or relaxed and thoughtful at the same time. Besides the songs listed above, numbers like “Jungleland”, “Racing In The Street”. “The Ghost Of Tom Joad”, “I’m On Fire”, “Paradise”, “Land Of Hope And Glory”, “The Wayfarer” and “Western Stars” are examples of great compositions. And although some take a long time to develop, the impact is long lasting.