Route 66, written by the late Bobby Troup, gets the album [their first album] off to a rousing start, Keith Richards playing an excellent guitar with a tight clap-back track rhythm by Bill Wyman & Charlie Watts. It soon became a popular stage number.
-Martin Elliott (The Rolling Stones: Complete Recording Sessions 1962–2012)
“Days Like This” was a delight, Van´s best album in years. Perhaps reflecting his romantic hook-up with Irish beauty-queen Michelle Rocca (his companion walking the dogs in the cover photo). Van sounded happier here than he´d been for decade..
-Andy Gill (The Ultimate Music Guide – Van Morrison)
Imperceptible though the movement has been to many sensitive young people, Springsteen has evolved. In fact, this apparent retrenchment is his most rhythmically propulsive, vocally incisive, lyrically balanced, and commercially undeniable album. Even his compulsive studio habits work for him: the aural vibrancy of the thing reminds me like nothing in years that what teenagers loved about rock and roll wasn’t that it was catchy or even vibrant but that it just plain sounded good.
-Robert Christgau (robertchristgau.com)
But more than anything else, Born in the U.S.A. marked the first time that Springsteen’s characters really seemed to relish the fight and to have something to fight for. They were not defeated (“No Surrender”), and they had friendship (“Bobby Jean”) and family (“My Hometown”) to defend. The restless hero of “Dancing in the Dark” even pledged himself in the face of futility, and for Springsteen, that was a step. The “romantic young boys” of his first two albums, chastened by “the working life” encountered on his third, fourth, and fifth albums and having faced the despair of his sixth, were still alive on this, his seventh, with their sense of humor and their determination intact. Born in the U.S.A.was their apotheosis, the place where they renewed their commitment and where Springsteen remembered that he was a rock & roll star, which is how a vastly increased public was happy to treat him.
-William Ruhlmann (allmusic.com)
Born down in a dead mans town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
End up like a dog that’s been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up
Born in the U.S.A., I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A., born in the U.S.A.
“I’m a bluesman moving through a blues-soaked America, a blues-soaked world, a planet where catastrophe and celebration- joy and pain sit side by side. The blues started off in some field, some plantation, in some mind, in some imagination, in some heart. The blues blew over to the next plantation, and then the next state. The blues went south to north, got electrified and even sanctified. The blues got mixed up with jazz and gospel and rock and roll.”
― Cornel West, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir
If you don’t know the blues… there’s no point in picking up the guitar and playing rock and roll or any other form of popular music.
The blues are the roots and the other musics are the fruits. It’s better keeping the roots alive, because it means better fruits from now on. The blues are the roots of all American music. As long as American music survives, so will the blues.
Here´s a list with 10 GREAT old acoustic blues songs. I´ve added youtube “videos” & a spotify playlist.
Blind Willie Johnson – Dark was the night, cold was the ground (1927/29)
When my favorite Norwegian music magazine – BEAT – died for the 5th time back in 1997, the journalists were asked to create a playlist (or rather a C60 tape back then) containing the best music ever.. in their opinion. The time limit was 60min (C60 tape).
Some of the lists are really great and I will share them in a series of posts.