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.
- Growin’ Up (Greetings from Asbury Park) – The live version from Live/1975-1985 is breathtaking. Bruce is quite the story teller.
- Rosalita (The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle)
- Thunder Road (Born To Run) – Clearance Clemons steals the night away at the end.
- Badlands (Darkness on the Edge of Town) – Little Steven gives chills on his backup harmonies.
- Hungry Heart (The River) – A favorite of John Lennon’s and for obvious reasons. The xylophone is excellent and simply does it for me.
- 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.
- 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.
- Brilliant Disguise (Tunnel of Love)
- Mansion on the Hill (Nebraska)
- 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.