Doing the E Street Shuffle

not bruce's best picture

To celebrate the fact that it looks like I’m going to the MoveOn Springsteen/REM concert tomorrow night, I’ve decided to name my favorite song off each of Bruce’s albums (not including his greatest hits/live stuff). By the way, Rolling Stone has a short interview with Bruce about the MoveOn concerts. On to the songs:

Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)
Best Song: Lost In the Flood
Hey kid, you think that's oil? Man, that ain't oil that's blood.
Tough call on one of my three favorite Springsteen albums (along with Darkness on the Edge of Town and Nebraska). On an album full of vivid stories, Lost in the Flood’s the best.
Runner Up: For You

The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle (1973)
Best Song: Rosalita
My machine she's a dud, I'm stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of Jersey.
I know Rosalita is the song that is played most from this album, but it’s also the one I end up screaming along with every time. Sandy is the song I end up whispering along with, and screaming wins out every time.
Runner-Up: 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

Born to Run (1975)
Best Song: Thunder Road
As the radio plays Roy Orbison singing for the lonely, Hey that's me and I want you only.
Another tough call. This is the album that introduced me to Springsteen when I was just 6 years old. I doubt Thunder Road was my favorite back then (Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out probably was, with its tenth-tenth-tenth-tenth) but listening to Thunder Road you feel like you’re there with Bruce and Mary and all those boys she sent away.
Runner-Up: Jungleland.

Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
Best Song: The Promised Land
Mister I ain't a boy, no I'm a man.
Another favorite, an album full of anthems and none are stronger than the Promised Land. Bruce sticking it to the man. Makes me want to tell my boss off, and I like my boss!
Runner-Up: Badlands

The River (1980)
Best Song: The River
For my nineteenth birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat.
Listening to this recently, I was surprised how poorly it has held up. Most of this double album is done in almost a retro-fifties style. The song the River deals with what happens when the young optimism of Bruce's early albums meets middle-aged reality. Cadillac Ranch is a joke song, but I’ve loved it since I first heard it. In 1980 everyone loved “Burt Reynolds in that black Trans-Am.”
Runner-Up: Cadillac Ranch

Nebraska (1982)
Best Song: Highway Patrolman
I got a brother named Franky and Franky ain't no good.
The third of my three favorite albums of Bruce’s. Definitely not one I loved when it came out. Have to be in the right mood to listen to it (surprisingly good to take on runs), but I love it every time. Highway Patrolman squeaks by Atlantic City (with its great opening line: Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night) because it’s such a cool story.
Runner-Up: Atlantic City

Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
Best Song: Glory Days
I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it, but I probably will.
What can I say about Born In the USA? Still the only album of his I don’t have on CD. Even if I did love this album there’s no need to own it, half the songs are hopelessly stuck in my head. Bruce’s grand stab at the Billboard chart. Loved it when it came out, and then got sick of hearing it. Glory Days and Darlington County seem like the most authentic (least calculated) songs on the album. They sound like Bruce and the band having fun.
Runner-Up: Darlington County

Tunnel of Love (1987)
Best Song: All That Heaven Will Allow
Say hey there mister bouncer now all I wanna do is dance, But I swear I left my wallet back home in my workin' pants.
The most under-appreciated of his albums (at least by me). A lot of very good songs, but I still hardly ever listen to it.
Runner-Up: One Step Up

Human Touch/Lucky Town (1992)
Best Song: Pony Boy
Sky of dreams up above, my pony boy.
What it the wide wide world o’ sports was Bruce thinking on these two? Drop the E Street Band for session musicians? Ugh. I group them together because they came out the same day and because it’s easier to forget about them that way. Pony Boy is the best of them because it doesn’t sound like the rest.
Runner-Up: Better Days

The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995)
Best Song: Jonestown
Once I made you rich enough, rich enough to forget my name.
As much as I like Nebraska you would think I would love this one, but it has never connected with me. The stories aren’t as strong and there seems to be absolutely no hope on this one, where Nebraska at least ended with Reason to Believe.
Runner-Up: Straight Time

The Rising (2002)
Best Song: Lonesome Day
A little revenge and this too shall pass.

An album with a purpose. I wouldn’t doubt someone wants to take it to Broadway. An okay album, but most of the strength of it comes from the fact that the characters and stories are based on real events. So my two favorite songs off it are the ones that deal most with the pain of personal loss after 9/11.
Runner-Up: Empty Sky


At 3:11 PM, Blogger Dee said...

WOW! I really hope that we ARE going!!!

At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorites Bruce song list by album would be as follows. I'm not going to give a mini review or even say why I like most of them, I just do. Most just remind me of past times and people and simple sing-along-ability is probably a common thread through my list.

Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ...Growing Up

The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle...Rosalita

Born to Run....Born to Run (my favorite "in the car" song) and Meeting Across the River

Darkness on the Edge of Town...Badlands

The River...Sherry Darling (always makes me laugh) and Out in the Street

Nebraska...Atlantic City

Born in The USA...Bobby Jean and My Hometown (a Riverside-ish song if there ever was one)

Live 1975-85...Jersey Girl

Tunnel of Love....Brilliant Disguise

The Rising...The Rising

Donna (Bruce Fan since Mark was 6 years old)


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