Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bruce's local library

For me, the local library is more suburban than a Costco, TB...but then like gf I've only ever seen the huge hangar-monsters. Springsteen used to say that the first book he ever read was Ron Kovic's Born on the Fourth of July, but I don't think that's true...or where did the language come from?

Shoey says he never 'got' Bruce, and why don't I do a list. So I have, and I'll post the first 7 and then, after a decent interval, the other 8.

1 For You: Bruce was not the only person who got the 'new Dylan' label - here's an example of the baroque outpouring of words and images that characterised his first album, Greetings From Asbury Park NJ. It was as if people said "ooh, baroque outpouring of words and images - this must be the new Dylan!"
2 Wild Billy's Circus Story: by the second album the language was more comprehensible, and this song is full of weird, wonderful and sinister characters. Plus, show me a person with a song about the circus who DOESN'T put circus music in it.
3 Rosalita: for its joy, its exuberance, and the line "your poppa certainly knows that I don't have any money"...if only he'd known...
4 Meeting Across the River: Springsteen here distils the tension, the relationships and the backstory into a few simple lines - so different from his earliest work. The words are matched by the spareness of the music.
5 Racing in the Street has it all, for me - you've got the subtlety of the relationships, the understanding of people's lives, the clinging on to the one thing that gives their lives meaning, because everything else is too awful to think about. And the 'ching' of the tambourine that evokes a music that's already in the past. Sigh. I love this song.
6 Sherry Darling is also about someone making the best of his lot...but this is much more cheerful.
7 Reason to Believe (not the Rod Stewart song) is from the first acoustic album, Nebraska, and it's like a folk song, a series of little vignettes making a pattern. And again, saying some very profound things about life in a very simple way.

Lyrics here.



Anonymous said...

In reading "For You," at first it's hard to believe that one performer could possibly have touched this many people this deeply — lifted them from depression, kept them from suicide, helped them through divorce or the death of a parent, or worse, a child. But story after story reveals just how much Springsteen's music and his almost superhuman presence on the concert stage have penetrated people's lives and, in as much as it is possible for music to do so, made them whole.

steenbeck said...

Haha! I saw the picture and thought, how strange, they have a Freehold in Scotland as well. Then I got it.

Good choice of songs, so far, TFD.

Japanther said...

Timely post TFD, and i like the way you've avoided the obvious ones - nice playlist.
I say timely because i've been consolidating my Boss collection recently, I finally bought Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ at the weekend (for the princely sum of 100 yen - about 50p!!) , so I now have all albums up to and including Born In The USA (which I love) but not one single album after it. I heard the middle years were a bit duff, so, any real stinkers I should defitely avoid?

If not, I'll just keep extending chronologically until i'm finally up to date!

treefrogdemon said...

A lot of people don't like Tunnel of Love, Human Touch and Lucky Town, Japanther (but I do...); I didn't like the new one, Magic, very much when it came out as it sounds over-produced to me - but now I've heard him do some of it live, I'm warming to it. Have you joined us on (I can't tell, cos some people's names are different on there.) You can listen to Bruce till the cows come home and long afterwards too.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ tfd - thanks for posting this. Like shoey, I've never really connected with Bruce. A bit like Bob Dylan, in that I know he's an important and influential artist but I just can't see it myself.

Of course, I may be wrong...