Spending Time with The Boss

Springsteen and the E Street Band
Born in the USA Bruce Springsteen

After years of hearing respected musicians and music-loving friends laud Bruce Springsteen, I've finally resolved to give him a chance.

My previous experience with Springsteen is limited at best.  I know most of the hits, his rendition of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" actually stops me from flipping past the Christmas radio station, I own a well-worn vinyl copy of Nebraska, and I had a brief, but intense love of Born In the USA during elementary school (although mostly just the song, "Dancing in the Dark").

In response, I've decided to immerse myself in his catalog in a quest to see what I'm missing or whether my indifference to most of his music is justified. Originally I planned to call it "My September of Springsteen," but I'm getting a late start. Using our Freegal service [Update: Freegal is no longer available as of 1/31/12] and amazing CD collection, I'm starting with 1973's Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ and will work my way chronologically to 2009's Working On a Dream.  It might also be helpful to watch a few of his DVDs, but catching up on almost three decades of albums seems like a lot of work already.

Maybe the recently passed Clarence Clemons will be able to overcome my hatred of saxophones in rock music?  Maybe I'll glean some fashion advice from the hipster-worthy album photos from the 70s & 80s (excluding Tunnel of Love...yikes)?  I'm excited to find out.

Any advice for this endeavor?  Favorite albums or Springsteen memories?

What legendary musician would you choose for a similar project?

Comments

I too failed to see the appeal of Bruce for a long time...it was the song "I'm On Fire" that caught my attention and made me a fan. I am absolutely in love with Born To Run, but I love saxophones in rock music, so you may want to think twice before listening to me.
 

I've been listening to Born to Run for a few days now in the car.  I like about 50% of it.  Backstreets has surprisingly become one of my favorite tracks.  Meeting Across the River, however, comes off as cheesy and dramatic and almost ruins the album for me.

I like 'Meeting Across the River' for the characters portrayed in their desperate times(similar to what we have in our economy). But I also like about the song is that it is a precursor to a great song, 'Jungleland.'

If you are still delving into Springsteen material in November, I would highly recommend the Born to Run boxset(available from DPL). Watch the making of the album and then watch the Hammersmith show from London in 1975. I think after that show you would know whether you like Springsteen or not between the energy and showmanship that he brings to the show. Here was a young band being compared to the Beatles(which they the E Street band hated) with tremendous pressure from the press and skeptical fans. With that pressure, they give an AWESOME performance.

Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska" + a rainy fall evening = probably the best way to experience the boss ever.

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