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The Boss -- On Repeat
Earlier this week, Bruce Springsteen celebrated his 63rd birthday. The Boss is still on the road supporting his new record Wrecking Ball, and has been performing his typical stellar marathon concerts with the E Street Band.
To honor both his longevity and birthday, we’ve been blasting The Boss on repeat all week in the office – here’s our weekly playlist of the Springsteen songs reverberating throughout our halls:
Born to Run
One of Bruce’s biggest and earliest singles, Born to Run just has that feeling. Hope, determination, dreams, and overcoming obstacles are among his favorite musical themes, and Born to Run boasts one of the strongest narratives of his career. You just can’t deny this song.
A pleasant-sounding tune that takes a dark look at the ‘American Dream’ and the fate faced by millions of citizens, the instrumentation of Glory Days is lively, catchy, and bluesy. Far more often than not, our lives turn out differently than we expect them to, and few songs have captured that phenomenon quite like this tune.
Darkness on the Edge of Town
More strong, evocative commentary on average middle-class life delivered in a way only Bruce could. He’s a master.
Born in the USA
Yes, this song might have become a celebratory ballad over the years, but who cares? The song’s poignant, serious meaning has been famously lost on some audiences, but isn’t that the power of true art? Bruce may wear his heart on his sleeve, but sometimes you have to dig a bit deeper to experience the true power of emotive wordplay.
Long considered one of Bruce’s best live songs, Badlands chronicles the disparity between the rich and poor from the perspective of a man bitter at the world. Musically, it exemplifies Bruce’s love of the Animals – at his great 2012 SXSW keynote address, he played both this and the Animals’ Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood and exclaimed “Listen up youngsters! This is how successful theft is accomplished!”
Notable for the iconic saxophone solo from the great Clarence Clemons, this almost ten-minute song packs quite an emotional punch. Gang violence is the setting for this story of difficult love, told in a sprawling, drawn-out story of tumult and resilience.
Sometimes, music is its most resonant when it does away with conventional song structure. That’s the case here, as the majestic Thunder Road allows Bruce to weave his way through another story of redemption and perseverance.
Nebraska is one of Springsteen’s most affecting records, due to its stripped-down, tender acoustic approach. One of its strongest songs is Atlantic City, the backdrop Bruce uses to tell another story of fate and the inevitable flow of life.
The Ghost of Tom Joad
Just as Nebraska struck a chord with listeners due to its somber approach, the same can be said for this song, from his 1995 album, Atlantic City. A tale of social activism and standing up for the put-upon, the song remains one of Bruce’s most haunting compositions.
Spirit in the Night
The second single from his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ, Spirit in the Night slides along with a smooth groove, flittering saxophone work from Clemons and a lazy drawl from Bruce that makes it one of his most suitable songs for relaxing and letting the music (and its rhythmic pulse) take control.
This list was hard to hammer down – such is the draw of The Boss’ music. We know there are tons more to add so help us out, what are some of your top Springsteen tracks?Want more Bruce? Check out what items we have up for grabs in the Marketplace