Great Rock Albums of 1980: Bruce Springsteen- The River
These photos aren’t the cover of the 1980 album “The River” from Bruce Springsteen, they are of my little vacation in Torquay on the southwest coast of England. Being American, I like to show my holiday snaps to everyone, so I thought I would show mine here. Don’t worry, there are only two. I did find a pub that sometimes has metal bands playing there, but not on the night I went.
I didn’t go into that pub, but I loved the suit of armour so I snapped it. Well, holiday over, onto The Boss!
If it wasn’t for me hearing about this album while I was on sea duty during the last four months of 1980 and the first two of ’81, I would have delayed the album to 1981. I can’t remember who it was but one of my fellow marines had a copy of “The River” by Bruce Springsteen (cassette, always cassette in the military due to limited living space) and played it to which I have to say that I was duly impressed. The very first track, “The Ties That Bind” is all you could ask for with a traditional Springsteen album and sets the stage throughout this impressive double album.
What I really like about it too is that fact that it talks about the two sides of life. There are some fun happy tracks like “Sherry Darling” and “Crush On You” but it also talks about some of the more depressing things of that time, recession, unemployment and other aspects of life that aren’t all apple pie and smiles. The title track for me was the sign of the time for many people then and there was no getting away from that. The track “Drive All Night” has been used in not one but two films, “Copland” and “Reign Over Me.” However, no matter what the mood of any given song, there is that well known and loved straight ahead rock and roll sound that has made Springsteen famous for nearly forty years. As usual, he has the E Street Band backing him up and they as always, don’t disappoint.
1. The Ties That Bind
2. Sherry Darling
3. Jackson Cage
4. Two Hearts
5. Independence Day
6. Hungry Heart
7. Out In The Street
8. Crush On You
9. You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
10. I Want To Marry You
11. The River
12. Point Blank
13. Cadillac Ranch
14. I’m a Rocker
15. Fade Away
16. Stolen Car
18. The Price You Pay
19. Drive All Night
20. Wreck On The Highway
Bruce Springsteen- vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano
Roy Bittan- piano, organ, backing vocals
Clarence Clemmons- saxophone, percussion, backing vocals
Danny Federicci- organ, glockenspiel
Garry Talent- bass
Steve Van Zandt- acoustic and electric guitars, backing vocals
Max Weinberg- drums
Pick any song on this album, even the top ten single “Hungry Heart” and no doubt it will be a good one. “The River” is definitely Bruce Springsteen at his best and the songs on the album bear testimony to that. It has been considered among his best with “Born to Run” and “Born in the USA” and I can hear why.
Next post: Will probably come out next week because as already mentioned, I’m off to the Bloodstock Festival on Sunday. Unfortunately, I have to go to the in laws for the next three days after that so I’m afraid you won’t read my account of Sunday until then. But you will get the account.
To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html
Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London