Top 10 Favorite Bruce Springsteen Songs

I was 7. I had saved up my allowance of 25 cents a week for weeks. I went to the mall with my mother. We went to Waxie Maxie’s. It was a few weeks after Born in the U.S.A. had come out which makes that summer of 1984. I was ready, with my changed in quarters for dollars. I handed the man my 4 dollars and slid the long plastic box that enclosed the cassette over the counter. In that order. The rest is history and thus the birth of my record collection.

There was something brutally honest about Bruce and his E Street Band. They spoke for something and that something was real. There was no pretense. No BS. It was straight up rock, for everyone. I guess for a 7 year old who grew up in the ‘burbs, somehow it spoke to me. Now in retrospect, I see The Boss as more of an updated Bob Dylan with the flavor of Van Morrison. A man speaking the good word to the people.

  1. Growin’ Up (Greetings from Asbury Park) – The live version from Live/1975-1985 is breathtaking. Bruce is quite the story teller.
  2. Rosalita (The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle)
  3. Thunder Road (Born To Run) – Clearance Clemons steals the night away at the end.
  4. Badlands (Darkness on the Edge of Town) – Little Steven gives chills on his backup harmonies.
  5. Hungry Heart (The River) – A favorite of John Lennon’s and for obvious reasons. The xylophone is excellent and simply does it for me.
  6. Johnny 99 (Nebraska) – Definitely my favorite Bruce record. It’s stripped of everything. Just a guy, a guitar and a 4 track. Music at it’s purest. I always recommend this record to people who think the Boss only wrote Born in the USA and can’t get past that.
  7. I’m On Fire (Born In The USA) – I sometimes think this song was better suited for Tori Amos. But it’s a song that sticks out on his rather pop sounding record.
  8. Brilliant Disguise (Tunnel of Love)
  9. Mansion on the Hill (Nebraska)
  10. 10th Avenue Freeze Out (Born To Run) – Again, this live version is a force to be reckoned with but the studio version is no exception. It’s amazing how long these guys play for. They give the Dead a run for their money and without supplemental requirements.

13 Responses to “Top 10 Favorite Bruce Springsteen Songs”


  • Yay for “Brilliant Disguise”!!!

  • Atlantic City is a great one, too. 🙂

  • I am SO glad that Born to Run didn’t make the cut. All those direct mods in the bridge make me CRINGE. Also: no Atlantic City?

  • I dunno, I’m happy to stump for Born to Run. I’d put in on here.
    Interestingly, I hated Springsteen UNTIL I moved to Jersey, at which point I suddenly acquired most of his albums. I don’t remember buying them, but there they are on the CD shelf. Maybe it’s something in the water.

    I’d also throw in Because the Night, but like Prince, when you put out lots and lots of tracks, it’s tough to pick 10.

  • David R: Atlantic City is a great song. But I couldn’t include ALL of Nebraska! 😉 Prolly #11. Good call on Born To Run… maybe that’s what always drove me crazy.

    John A: “Because the Night” is a great cut, but it was not included on the final cut “Darkness” – So theoretically, I couldn’t include it on this list (I guess I didn’t mention it was for officially released songs.) But yeah, it’s a tremendous song. I happen to think Patti Smith’s interpretation is more convincing than Bruce’s. But the bottom line is it’s stellar either way. Wild about not liking the Boss until living in NJ. Glad you appreciate his works now.

  • Rosalita
    Thunder Road
    Jungleland
    Born to Run
    Backstreets
    Badlands
    Tenth Avenue
    Racing in the Streets
    Spirit in the Night
    Hungry Heart

  • I do agree that it is hard to do a top ten of Bruce songs….but I am gonna take a shot here….here are mine for whoever is interested.

    1) Jungleland
    2) Backstreets
    3) Racing in the Street
    4) The River
    5) Something in the Night
    6) Sandy
    7) The Promised Land
    8) My Hometown
    9) My City of Ruins
    10) If I Should Fall Behind

    Yes…I know. Mostly old stuff here, but there are the ones that really do it for me. In Nashville on November 18th, I will be there to hear ‘Jungleland’ live and in person since Feb 13, 1981. It is my favorite Bruce song, and my favorite song of all time.

    🙂 ken

  • My Top 10 Springsteen favorites.
    *Johnny 99 (Live 75-85)
    *Jungleland
    *Badlands
    *Candy’s Room
    *I wish I were blind
    *Youngstown
    *Simaloa Cowboys
    *Nebraska (Live 75-85)
    *The River
    *Thunder Road

  • the rising

  • I LOVE MURDER INCOPERATED!

  • I LOVE MURDER INCORPERATED!

  • My top 10 favorites:

    For You
    Incident on 57th Street
    Badlands
    Fade Away
    Rosalita
    The Ties That Bind
    You’re Missing
    Born to Run
    Nebraska
    The River (No Nukes Concert Movie)

  • The first 5 are extremely close

    1) The River
    2) Thunder Road (Live at the Hammersmith Odeon 1975)
    3) Spirit in the Night
    4) I’m on Fire
    5) Racing in the Street
    6) Jungleland
    7) Born to Run
    8) My City of Ruins
    9) State Trooper
    10) Atlantic City

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