If I Should Fall Behind

 

Broooooooooooooss

Broooooooooooooss

The wondrous Spotify continues to enthrall me, particularly at work, where it’s an able hindrance to other distraction. Currently I’m on a Bruce Springsteen marathon (Brooooooooooss!), working through his albums in methodical chronology, which is great because it gives me an opportunity to appreciate just how consistent the quality of the Boss’ releases are. I’m currently on Human Touch, the first of his records to be panned – or at least be generally recognised as a big disappointment. I’m too early in to give it a proper think, although at this stage it’s very early nineties, which is rarely a good thing.

 

It’s mostly pop, pretty much. I don’t know what you think of when the name Springsteen is mentioned: for me it was always earnest left-wing politics and fist-pumping car-themed anthems. But really, more than anything, more than rock or country or anything, they’re pop songs. Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ was 1973 if you’ll believe it, and even then Blinded By The Light was supremely catchy. The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle followed with more catchy, Dylan-ish motifs, then a spectacular run started with Born To Run, then Darkness On The Edge Of Town, The River, Nebraska and Born In The USA. With hardly a duff track between them, the live album summed up the best bits with an epic three-disc show. 

I was worried when I hit Tunnel of Love. That’s a very 1987 cover there, but it turns out great. Not for Springsteen the Neil Young slump (Young was sued around this time for not making records that sound Neil Young enough), or the general 80’s malaise of other artists. But malaise it came eventually, in the form of a couple of the worst album covers you’ll ever see, Lucky Town and Human Touch. The 90’s were unfriendly to many, and the Boss was amongst them. But, all was not lost as I know for a fact that 1995’s The Ghost of Tom Joad is bona fide good – after this we’ll see. 

Bruce Springsteen ranks up there with the longest lasting and most consistent artists 0ut there – and you know what, he’s still singing about girls and cars, he’s still singing about the poor and downtrodden, he’s still a Democrat groupie, he’s still a dude, if a bit grizzlier than when Wendy knew him in 1975.

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