October 17: Bruce Springsteen released The River in 1980
But I remember us riding in my brother’s car
Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir
At night on them banks I’d lie awake
And pull her close just to feel each breath she’d take
Now those memories come back to haunt me
They haunt me like a curse Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true Or is it something worse?
~Bruce Springsteen “The River”
Put on your best dress baby
And darlin’, fix your hair up right
Cause there’s a party, honey
Way down beneath the neon lights
~Bruce Springsteen “Out In The Street”
“On his right hand Billy tattooed the word love and on his left hand was the word fear. And in which hand he held his fate was never clear”
I think Darkness on the edge of town is Springsteen’s best album, but I think Tunnel of Love is his most overlooked record. This is a quiet, often acoustic country-tinged album that has become more important to me the older I get.
It might sound less than Springsteen than his earlier albums, and he really goes a long way towards country music, but that’s ok, I really like it. He released it while still touring with the E Street Band, but its sound signified a marked departure from the driving rock of his earlier albums.
“God have mercy on the man who doubts what he’s sure of.”
It’s a mix of Nebraska and Darkness with strong melodies and more melancholy. The Songs are about lost opportunities, misplaced love and regrets. It is a very sad album, maybe that is why Springsteen rarely play these songs in concert. He should play them, they are among his best.
The sleeve notes to the record Springsteen writes “Thanks Julie”.
Bruce Springsteen comes off as a tired man, is it his break-up record, his divorce album? It certainly sound like it. Great art sometimes comes from pain, and this album contains great art.
They call him the Boss. Well that’s a bunch of crap. He’s not the boss. He works FOR us. More than a boss, he’s the owner, because more than anyone else, Bruce Springsteen owns America’s heart.
~Bono (induction speech for at the 1999 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
PG: Recently here, Bruce Springsteen’s gone down very well. Do you like him?
Bob Dylan: Yeah, Bruce is a very, very talented guy.
PG: Did you know that Bruce has included This Land Is Your Land in his concert program?
Bob Dylan: Oh he has? That’s amazing! That’s good. Well maybe he’ll start doing Blowin’ In The Wind! Maybe he’ll do an album with Bob Dylan songs!
– Paul Gambaccini Interview (June 1981)
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who is both a solo artist and the leader of the E Street Band. He received critical acclaim for his early 1970s albums and attained worldwide fame upon the release of Born to Run in 1975. During a career that has spanned five decades, Springsteen has become known for his poetic and socially conscious lyrics and lengthy, energetic stage performances, earning the nickname “The Boss”. He has recorded both rock albums and folk-oriented works, and his lyrics often address the experiences and struggles of working-class Americans.
The wait is finally over. Passaic 9/19/78 arrives in its glorious entirety, newly remixed by Jon Altschiler from multi-track, Plangent Processed master tapes. It offers a fresh take on the familiar broadcast version, crackling with energy and putting Bruce and the band so close you might reach out and try to touch the Big Man’s sax. It’s not a first-row seat; it is a first-row seat directly in front of the PA speakers.
-Erik Flannigan (nugs.net)
The September 19th 1978 concert at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, in Bruce’s home state of New Jersey, is arguably Bruce Springsteen’s single greatest live performance. I’ve listened to quite a lot classic Springsteen bootleg concerts over the years.. this remains my favourite. Now it has finally been released on live.brucespringsteen.net and the b&w footage on youtube with OK/good sound is being replaced (by fans) with new the new stellar sound.