Archive for Born to Run

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Bruce Springsteen- Born in the USA

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2017 by 80smetalman

For a good many people, the “Born in the USA” album from Bruce Springsteen was the album of the year in 1984. No one can debate how successful this album was. Any album which sell 11 million copies certainly is that. For the Top 40 brigade, it produced seven singles and like U2, Bruce Springsteen was one of those artists who both metalheads and non metalheads could listen to and not feel they were being unfaithful to their chosen genre. Needless to say, 1984 was Bruce’s year and this album was the reason why.

Now, I’m not one to rain on anyone’s parade but I am going to make my opinion known as it was the same now as it was then. Like the rest of the world, I agree that this is a fine album. It was certainly four steps up from his previous album, the rather depressing, “Nebraska,” but I don’t rate this album as high as classics like “Born to Run” and “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and only slightly higher than “The River.” Still, unlike outgoing governor Chris Christie, Bruce Springsteen has always made me feel proud that I grew up in New Jersey.

Reflecting back, I think my main problem with “Born in the USA” was the fact that all of the singles got played to death on the radio at the time. That usually happens in any artist’s home ground so New Jersey radio stations did that. However, some of the singles got tiresome after hearing them played for the 957th time. “Glory Days” and “I’m On Fire” were examples of this and probably “Dancing in the Dark” as well. They were all good songs but got old after hearing them so many times. Saying that, “Cover Me” is the big exception here. I could hear that song 9050 times and wouldn’t get tired of it.

Fortunately, the great thing about the album was the tracks that weren’t singles. They’re all brilliant! There is some good traditional Springsteen rock to be had on all five of these. I’m talking about “Darlington County,” “Working on the Highway,” “Downbound Train,” “No Surrender” and “Bobby Jean.” For me, it is these tracks that have made “Born in the USA” so enjoyable for me.

While most people have raved about the songs on here, I think what often gets overlooked is the lyrics behind many of these songs. Personally, I can identify a tiny bit with the title track. I didn’t serve in Vietnam but Bruce highlights how badly those who served over there were treated. I had been out of the service about a year and by this time, I was beginning to wonder what had been the point of my serving due to the way I was being treated. Only the Vietnam Vets had it far worse than I ever did. The real eye opener was “My Home Town.” It was about his native town, Asbury Park and what was happening while he was growing up. It does make one stand up and think of how divided the nation really was back in the 1960s. Bruce let his feelings be known when he wrote these songs.

Track Listing:

  1. Born in the USA
  2. Cover Me
  3. Darlington County
  4. Working on the Highway
  5. Downbound Train
  6. I’m On Fire
  7. No Surrender
  8. Bobby Jean
  9. I’m Goin’ Down
  10. Glory Days
  11. Dancing in the Dark
  12. My Home Town

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen- lead vocals, guitars

Roy Bittan- piano, synthesizer, backing vocals

Clarence Clemmons- saxophone, percussion backing vocals

Danny Federici- organ, glockenspiel, piano

Gary Tallent- bass, backing vocals

Steven Van Zandt- acoustic guitar, mandolin, harmony vocals

Max Weinberg- drums, backing vocals

It is slightly amazing that in a year where heavy metal dominated, a great rock album like “Born in the USA” could do so astronomically well. It was considered by many Bruce Springsteen’s crowning achievement.

Next post: Planet P- Pink World

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Great Rock Albums of 1983: INXS- Shabooh Shoobah

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2016 by 80smetalman


Before I proceed into the post about my first experience of Australian new wave band INXS, I thought I would be like some of my fellow bloggers and mention a good bargain I picked up on an album. Last Saturday, I was in my local Morrison’s supermarket when I happened past the CD section. Normally, I might only take a sweeping glance at their CD display as most of it is chart stuff. However, something interesting caught my eye. There on the shelf was the classic Bruce Springsteen, “Born to Run” album for just £3 ($4.50). Since my previous cassette copy of this album fell victim to my car stereo in 1990, I naturally had to pick it up. Now, let’s go into the post.


My first experience of INXS came a couple of months after I left the marines in 1983 and came by the way of the single “Don’t Change.” It wasn’t metal, it wasn’t Southern Rock nor could I put it into any sort of category but new wave, all I know that I liked the song. I liked the hard guitar sound in the background and though I thought they could have been a bit more dominant, it still worked. The keyboards were played smartly and complimented the song very well. However, having been burnt not long before this, I hesitated in buying the album “Shabooh Shoobah” right away. It was via a working companion that I was finally treated to it.

“Shabooh SHoobah” illustrates exactly where I was musically at this time in 1983. While my full conversion to heavy metal had already taken place, I wasn’t completely repulsed by what was being played on the radio at the time. When I listened to the album, I found it quite to my liking. While I wouldn’t exactly call it hard rock and there are no blistering guitar solos, there is sufficient guitar on it. Furthermore, I like Michael Hutchence’s vocals. He has that sinister sounding voice that gives a dark sounding tone to many of the songs. Track two, “Look at You” is prime evidence of this. Even with some of the more upbeat sounding songs like “Don’t Change” his voice doesn’t make the song some kind of happy pop song. Some more good examples are “Spy of Love,” “Here Comes” and “Golden Playpen.” I must also point out the saxophone playing of Kirk Pengilly on the album. I am always a bit skeptical when a band employs horns in rock but I have to say, Pengilly’s abilities are more than sufficient to pull it off here.

Track Listing:

  1. The One Thing
  2. To Look At You
  3. Spy of Love
  4. Soul Mistake
  5. Here Comes
  6. Black and White
  7. Golden Playpen
  8. Jan’s Song
  9. Old World New World
  10. Don’t Change


Garry Gary Beers- bass

Andrew Farriss- guitar, keyboards

John Farriss- drums, percussion

Tim Farriss- guitar

Michael Hutchence- vocals

Kirk Pengilly- guitar, saxophone, vocals

It has been questioned why a song by INXS, (not from this album), appears on the soundtrack to “Rock Star,” a film about a heavy metal band. Being in possession of said soundtrack, I don’t think that song is out of place on it. As the album “Shabooh Shoobah” shows, they had the potential to go in any direction. There is just enough of a rock vibe on this album to satisfy me along with some new wave creativity. On the downside, I can’t help thinking with their next album, they kind of went in the wrong direction.

Next post: The Night Before I Got Out of the Marines

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Great Rock Albums of 1980: Bruce Springsteen- The River

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 8, 2013 by 80smetalman

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.

A very nice view of Torquay Harbour

A very nice view of Torquay Harbour


I thought this looked cool

I thought this looked cool

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.

Track Listing:

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

17. Ramrod

18. The Price You Pay

19. Drive All Night

20. Wreck On The Highway

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen

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.

My Bloodstock Tickets

My Bloodstock Tickets

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.

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Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Bruce Springsteen- Born to Run

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2011 by 80smetalman

Growing up in New Jersey in the 70s, it would have been an act of betrayal if I didn’t include this classic from Bruce Springsteen. While “The Boss” was still making a name for himself throughout the rest of the world, he was loved as a local boy who was making it good. Therefore not many people living in my neck of the woods were surprised when “Born to Run” sprinboarded Springsteen to fame.

One thing I notice about a lot of metal bands who haven’t quite made the big time, (yes I know Bruce Springsteen isn’t heavy metal) is that they are hungry and that hunger is reflected in the music. I can say the exact same thing about the “Born to Run” album. There is a definite hunger reflected in the tracks of this album and it is why many Springsteen officianados say that it is his best of all time.

Track Listing:

1. Thunder Road

2. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out

3. Night

4. Backstreets

5. Born to Run

6. She’s th One

7. Meeting Across the River

8. Jungleland

The E-Street Band

Bruce Springsteen- lead vocals, guitars, harmonica and percussion

Roy Bittan- piano, backing vocals

Ernest “Boom” Carter- drums on “Born to Run”

Clarenece Clemmons- saxophone, tambourine, backing vocals

Danny Federici- organ

Suki Lahav- violin on “Jungleland”

David Sancious- piano, organ on “Born to Run”

Gary W. Tallent- bass

Steven Van Zandt- backing vocals, horn arrangement

Max Weinberg- drums

 “Born to Run” is one of those classics that even hardcore metal heads like me proudly say they love. Besides it can be said that the album did have an influence on heavy metal. Bruce Springsteen’s famous saxophonist, the late Clarence Clemmons, plays on the Twisted Sister song “Be Cruel to Your School,” which I will be looking at more in the distant future. I only wish I posessed hindsight so I could have made more of it in “Rock And Roll Children.”

 Next Post: Rush 2112

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