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Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:51 am
by Steven

I haven't seen the "Storytellers" DVD, but it sounds interesting. Glad you know
what I meant and thanks for counting the beats. They aren't imitative of
what would be heard via a stethoscope, but they carry a subliminal
suggestion of it. As to it being "against the thrust of the song," now that
you mentioned this, I'm reminded of him similarly doing this with the
slow, drawn out way he performed "Fire" on a concert video. The tension
on "Devils and Dust" is there in the dissonance, yes, and comes across as
an internal sense of unease. Maybe the polarities of "Darkness"
are meant to coexist -- preserving the wanter/struggler/dreamer in the
quest and in terms of preservation of self and soul. And maybe this
shows a wisdom beyond years in Springsteen having recognized the importance of
being being mindful of what needs to be tuned or retuned to keep
him going, especially when going full throttle ("with everything I've got.").
Oh, oh, thought I may have gotten out of the Top 10 list creation thing.
Maybe I can come up with something, and, if so, it'll be subject to change.
And "that blood it never burned in her veins" -- might have subconsciously
come into play with regards to heartbeats, really. Got to wonder if Bruce
was consciously aware of suggesting actual heartbeats, though. I'd guess probably not,
though I'd not be surprised if he'd recognize them there now. Thanks for
your reply.

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:57 pm
by Steven
Hi Diane and Kush,

Here is a Top 10 Favorites list, as feels right to me, at this moment. The nature
of classics is that they aren't the same when you revisit them (or something is
wrong). Tomorrow, or later today, the choices and/or order would likely be
different (if everything is alright).

1. Born To Run
2. Jungleland
3. Backstreets
4. Darkness On the Edge Of Town
5. Rosalita
6. The Promised Land
7. Badlands
8. Streets of Fire
9. Prove It All Night
10. Candy's Room

Damn, ran out of numbers, so couldn't include Mansion On The Hill, Meeting Across The
River, etc. Funny, to me, that Born To Run is on the top of the list, as it wouldn't
be a song I'd most like to hear now. Maybe it's there to honor/recognize it
more than out of current likability. Kush and Diane, nobody else in this whole world could
have gotten me to compile this list, but thanks for having done so.

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:04 am
by Diane
Hi Steven. Nice list! Clearly the songs of your young days:-) Nothing on there that doesn't fly. I know it's painful, writing it. It's almost like Sophie's choice. You omitted the reasons. I'm not sure that's within the rules.
Steven wrote:Maybe the polarities of "Darkness"
are meant to coexist -- preserving the wanter/struggler/dreamer in the
quest and in terms of preservation of self and soul. And maybe this
shows a wisdom beyond years in Springsteen having recognized the importance of
being being mindful of what needs to be tuned or retuned to keep
him going, especially when going full throttle ("with everything I've got.").

I think people like Bruce who go full throttle, people who are "mad to live", are naturally spiritually inclined, cos the more stillness you require, the faster you have to run, to create that polarity.
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn. - Jack Kerouac

Just noticed new song The Wrestler on youtube, soundtrack to new Mickey Rourke film:

I'll be taking a cyber-break for a few days. Merry Christmas!

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:49 am
by Steven
Hi Diane,

And Springsteen's young days, too. :) Will post the reasons, if you like. Just say so
when you get back from the cyber-break. Didn't want to delay posting the list once
it was completed, otherwise there'd be neverending revisions. Enjoy the cyber-break.
Merry Christmas.

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:57 pm
by Kush
A very Happy New Year to Diane, Steven and everyone else:

well I cheated a little and my Springsteen top 10 actually has 12 songs. And I have not picked any song released in the new millenium (except as a live version of older songs). That is because I cannot really make a judgment on the recent albums until much later I think. They are not classics for me yet. Many other worthy songs were left out and there could be an alternative top 10 containing them. But if we had a top 20, these 12 songs would definitely be there.

10. Highway Patrolman – the protagonist, a cop, looks the other way while his brother commits a crime and runs from justice.

Yea we're laughin' and drinkin' nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"
I catch him when he's strayin', teach him how to walk that line
Man turns his back on his family he ain't no friend of mine

9. Born in the USA (live in NY version): The original rocker set the world alight but it was the reinvented later version that really caught my ears. An incredibly soulful blues rendering accompanied only by a slide guitar that sounds like the Indian sitar makes it a multicultural masterpiece. And this version is also one his most powerful vocal performances

8. Racin’ in the Streets: Townes Van Zandt called it “one of the most beautiful songs ever written” so who am I to argue?

Some guys they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up
And go racin' in the street

For all the shut down strangers and hot rod angels
Rumbling through this promised land
Tonight my baby and me we're gonna ride to the sea
And wash these sins off our hands

7. This Hard Land: There is something about the open country and the American West in this song that is irresistibly attractive. Plus Springsteen thinks it has his best song ending…

Hey, Frank, won't you pack your bags
And meet me tonight down at Liberty Hall
Just one kiss from you, my brother
And we'll ride until we fall
Well sleep in the fields
We'll sleep by the rivers
And in the morning we'll make a plan
And if you can't make it
Stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive if you can
And meet me in a dream of this hard land

6. The New Timer: The Ghost of Tom Joad I think is amongst his finest albums. There is intensity and focus along with experimentation in the deceptively many layers of musicianship in this album. Almost all the songs here are equally worthy but The New Timer is the most powerful vocal performance in my opinion.

5. The Promise (live in NY): The standout track from 18 Tracks. There is an air of mystery in this song that is so appealing. That which is left unsaid.

4. Jungleland: We come to the heavy hitters now. Even if he never played a single note in his life, the early Springsteen street poetry would in my opinion have made him famous and perhaps more respected amongst the literary types. Plus this has Clarence Clemons amazing sax solo.

The midnight gang's assembled and picked a rendezvous for the night
They'll meet 'neath that giant Exxon sign that brings this fair city light
Man there's an opera out on the Turnpike
There's a ballet being fought out in the alley
Until the local cops, Cherry Tops, rips this holy night
The street's alive as secret debts are paid
Contacts made, they vanished unseen
Kids flash guitars just like switch-blades hustling for the record machine
The hungry and the hunted explode into rock'n'roll bands
That face off against each other out in the street down in Jungleland

4. Lost in the Flood (live in NY version): same as above without the sax solo.

That pure American brother, dull-eyed and empty-faced
races Sundays in Jersey in a Chevy stock super eight
He rides 'er low on the hip, on the side he's got Bound For Glory in red, white and blue flash paint
He leans on the hood telling racing stories, the kids call him Jimmy The Saint
Well the blaze and noise boy, he's gunnin' that bitch loaded to blastin' point
He rides head first into a hurricane and disappears into a point
And there's nothin' left but some blood where the body fell
That is, nothin' left that you could sell
just junk all across the horizon, a real highwayman's farewell
And he said "Hey kid, you think that's oil? Man, that ain't oil that's blood"
I wonder what he was thinking when he hit that storm
Or was he just lost in the flood?


And some kid comes blastin' round the corner but a cop puts him right away
He lays on the street holding his leg screaming something in Spanish
Still breathing when I walked away
And somebody said "Hey man did you see that? His body hit the street with such a beautiful thud"
I wonder what the dude was sayin' or was he just lost in the flood?
Hey man, did you see that, those poor cats are sure messed up
I wonder what they were gettin' into, or were they just lost in the flood?

3. 4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy): The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle is really a jazz-rock fusion album and in no other studio album of his has the music itself been so integral to the product. This may well be his finest. In my opinion Springsteen reached his musical peak in 1973 and its been downhill all the way after that (very very relatively speaking of course). Also the gifted David Sancious left the band to pursue a solo jazz career after this album, although he still appears in one song in the following album (Thunder Road).
This song has Danny Federici’s signature on the band.

3. New York City Serenade: Same as above. The music creates an ambience that lives and breathes New York City. Plus the way sings “Fish lady, oh fish lady, oh fish lady” is branded in my brain.

2. Badlands: The ultimate danceable rock and roll song with catchy hook and rhythm Plus it has real meaningful lyrics. In 25 years I have never tired of listening to this song and every time it makes me want to dance.

Badlands, you gotta live it everyday
Let the broken hearts stand
As the price you've gotta pay
We'll keep pushin' till it's understood
and these badlands start treating us good

1. Backstreets: The first song of his that really tuned me to the power of his street poetry. Nuff said.

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:45 pm
by Steven
Hi Kush,

Thank you Kush for the New Year greeting. I wish the same to you, Diane and everyone
else. I logged on with the expectation that your list would appear here at this time,
as you promised. Happily, you were true to your word with the list and thoughtful
comments accompanying it.

I'll probably respond further at a later time, but didn't want to delay my thanks to
you and Diane for participating as you have. So, thank you.

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:42 pm
by Steven
Hi Kush,

What stands out about the choices given by us, is that the songs reflect
a really full spectrum of emotions that Springsteen conveyed (and conveys) so
well as an artist.

"Sandy" has long been one of my favorites. It reminds me, a bit, of "Under The Boardwalk,"
by The Drifters, and I'd not be surprised if Springsteen, consciously or not, took some inspiration from it.

I'd not have argued with Townes Van Zandt about good songs, either. Have you ever
heard Emmylou Harris' recording of Van Zandt's "If I Needed You"? -- It is, i.m.o.,
absolutely beautiful.

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:52 am
by Diane
That's an ace post, Kush. Led to some very nice listening earlier - disc two of live in NYC. Real good to see you. Happy New Year 2009 to you and to Steven and to all. Too late to write but back soon.

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:03 pm
by Kush
Hi Steven (& Diane),

I had to check out Under the Boardwalk on youtube - yes you could say something of the spirit of the song runs through the whole album of The Wild .... but I didnt see it specifically in 4th of July...Sandy. Maybe if I'd heard it before I would have.
You are right about our choices capturing a range of emotions.....I really wanted to have Wild Billy's Circus Story (the joker in the pack) but finally couldnt put 3 songs from The Wild The Innocent...

There were so many songs I had to leave out - Thunder Road, Born to Run, Human Touch, Blood Brothers, Darkness at the Edge....

well....stay hard, stay hungry and stay alive if you can..... :)

p.s. here is Suzanne by Springsteen in 1967 interesting garage-rock version.

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:42 pm
by Kush
It just occurred to me that this 1967 version by a teenaged Springsteen may be one of the earliest covers ever of an LC song. I think only Judy Collins has covered LC in 1966.

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:38 am
by Steven
Hi Kush,

I had to check the lyrics for 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) at the Springsteen site after
reading your post about checking Youtube re. The Drifters "Under The Boardwalk."
And I've got a confession to make. I discovered something there and at the risk
of sounding like an idiot, I'll admit to it. I NEVER heard the word "aurora" or
"aurora's" in the song, but ALWAYS thought them to be "aroma" and "aroma's."
In fact, I've sung the song (in the shower), incorrectly with the olfactory words many times, as I didn't catch the planetary, proper words. Talk about hearing something wrong. :shock:
So, that's why the two songs sounded more similarly "boardwalky" to me. I confused
"Sandy the aurora's rising behind us" with "Sandy the aroma's rising behind us."
That confusion made for a stronger similarity to "Under The Boardwalk" lyrics:
"you can almost taste the hot-dogs and french fries they sell."

I'm going to have to listen to the Youtube links at the library because my computer
still won't allow Youtube to play. Of course, I'd very much like to hear the
Springsteen cover of "Suzanne." Btw, New Year's eve., I rented a concert footage/
documentary DVD of/about Johnny Cash. It was great to see a nice cover by Cash
of "Bird On The Wire" on it. Take care.

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:57 am
by Diane
I think I like the Suzanne interpretation, although I'm not certain. I hadn't been aware until now of BS and LC ever referencing each other in any way - other than when, in his speech at the rock n roll hall of fame indictment, Leonard jokingly referred to the time Jon Landau said he'd "seen the future of rock n roll, and it wasn't Leonard Cohen".

Kush I noticed this new-to-youtube part of a bbc docu has parts of Bruce singing Born in the USA in the NYC Live style and talking about the song, plus other snippets:

Steven said re Sandy:
I NEVER heard the word "aurora" or
"aurora's" in the song, but ALWAYS thought them to be "aroma" and "aroma's."
Steven that it sacrilegious:-) ! My worst misinterpretation of lyrics was The Moody Blues' Nights in White Satin. I can't have been the only person to hear it as Knights in White Satin. I was disappointed to discover it was not about knights on white horses, in gothic plate armour, with white satin trailing behind in the wind :roll: .

By all means post your reasons, but only if it be your will. Talking too much about these things is also sacrilegious. At the beginning of the Storytellers dvd Bruce says, "Talking about music is like talking about sex. Can you describe it? Are you supposed to?" Btw I recommend that dvd - he tells the stories of some of his songs with a lot of humour and candour. The talk about The Rising (the song) was particularly moving. Something funny I remember is that when explaining Waiting on a Sunny Day, he says that 'he likes writing "pop" songs like that cos they free his mind from the interminable bullshit he puts himself through the rest of the time'! He always manages to not take himself tooo seriously.

I found it hard not to take myself too seriously on the top ten thing (even though I may have slightly cheated, also). I didn't like leaving out Rosalita, Darkness, Thunder Road, Jungleland, Streets of Fire, Something in the Night, Lost in the Flood, Human Touch, If I Should Fall Behind, Brilliant Disguise, Eyes on the Prize, My Hometown, Drive all Night, and etc. I really wanted to include Sherry Darling, but thought it way too lightweight.

We might have jointly voted Backstreets as overall number one:
What is there to say, after that?!

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:46 am
by Steven
Hi Diane,

I think I joined you in hearing the Moody Blues song as referencing "Knights" not
"Nights." I was pre-pubescent when the song came out in 1967 (or thereabouts)
and wasn't thinking about satin sheets and lovey type stuff, then. For a number of
years, that song had such massive overexposure on the local radio stations, that I usually turned to another station when it was on and didn't give the words much thought. But,
not trying to make a pun, a moodiness is conveyed by the song, even when heard
as background, without attention to the lyrics.

Post my reasons, "if it be your will" -- Diane, talk about sacriligious, as those words
arise in the holy, "If It Be Your Will." ;-) (What a great & humble
song, not an oxymoron in connection with L.C.'s beautiful lyrics and rendition.)
I may post some reasons, though there is something to be said about the sacrilige
of too much talk about these things. But, there is a certain redemptive quality
to some communion, also. (Not to mention fun, which "ain't no sin," in this
regard.) :)

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:19 am
by Steven
Hi (readers),

Bringing up boardwalks and their sensory elements might have been geocentric.
Atlantic (U.S.) boardwalks near large population centers tend to have all
kinds of sounds (amusement rides included), and scents (foods from
vendors, suntan lotion on people in "Season," the creosote from older
boards, the salty surf air, etc.). Not everyone reading the thread has
been to those kinds of boardwalks. "Sandy," particularly, speaks of
"boardwalk life." It was a life that Springsteen was no stranger to.
There are some places that Springsteen writes about, that I've not
been to and others would be more clued into the sense of place that
he sings/speaks of. If this includes you, please feel free to speak to
it, even if you aren't among the usual suspects that participate in this
and other Springsteen threads. :) And I'd probably enjoy your
informed take on it.

Re: Bruce Springsteen new albúm !

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:11 pm
by Kevin
I recently heard Born in the USA from the Nebraska demo - what a treat.