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.
I really love this album. I did not buy it in 1982 I got it a few years later, I listened to it at the record store when it was released, but it didn’t impress me. I couldn’t connect to it musically or lyrically. It is not an album that imidiately catches your attention, it needs to be listened to, properly.
When I did that I became very impressed!
Some facts (from Wikipedia):
September 30, 1982
Mostly January 3, 1982 at Springsteen’s Colts Neck, New Jersey bedroom
Americana, folk rock, folk
Nebraska is the sixth studio album by Bruce Springsteen, released in 1982 on Columbia Records.
“I love Bruce like a brother. He’s a powerful performer, unlike anybody. I care about him deeply.”
– Bob Dylan
“The first time that I heard Bob Dylan I was in the car with my mother, and we were listening to, I think, maybe WMCA, and on came that snare shot that sounded like somebody kicked open the door to your mind, from ‘Like a Rolling Stone.'”
– Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen was once called the “New Dylan” back in the early 1970’s. Springsteen escaped that tag to become a major rock star in his own right. Bob Dylan has been a major influence (among several others) and Springsteen has sung many of his songs. I have picked some of them for this post.
Bruce Springsteen inducts Bob Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 1988 Hall of Fame Inductions.