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Monday, October 7, 2013

It's Boss Time - The Mansion on the Hill

Editor's Note: This Blog is generally about life on Trinity Hill. Imagine my excitement when Trinitonian writer Mason Walker wrote a tribute piece to rock icon Bruce Springsteen. Thank you, Mason, for opening the door for me to comment on the Promised Land.

In Mason Walker's recent Trinitonian article about the Boss, Bruce Springsteen, he talks about some of his favorite selections from Born in the USA, in particular. (He even picks an obscure number from Devil's and Dust, too, which marks him as a credible critic.) He is young though (Mason, not Bruce), so I will forgive him for identifying Born in the USA as Bruce's top rock hit. He's close. The one number Bruce can never leave out of his stadium shows is his first major hit and the rock anthem Born to Run. It is often the concert closer before the encore, or played early in the extra set.

If you are a college student wondering what makes the likes of Mason and Cade Bradshaw (an equally bright Springsteen officiondo) such fans, consider some other numbers, aside from Born to Run, that I would identify as must-haves in putting together any Bruce starter set.

1. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) - 1973
There's a little cafe, on the south side of the border...

2. Badlands - 1978
From the first Bruce album I ever bought, Darkness on the Edge of Town features several other awesome revved up rockers.

3. The Rising - 2002
This post 9/11 album of the same title  is one of his best modern albums from start to finish.

4. Thundercrack live - released in 1998
The tracks four-disc set is a treasure of rarities and studio out-takes. This track is a revived favorite on tour.

5. Land of Hope and Dreams - 2002
This live version actually pre-dates the studio version from the most recent Wrecking Ball CD.

There are so many more from his VAST catalog. Which of your favorites did I miss?

Bonus Track: Wings for Wheels


Mason Walker said...

Dean Tuttle---

Thanks ever so much for the compliment! I didn't even know you were a Boss fan. I must confess that you're right about Born to Run--I hear he actually plays through that entire album live, though I've never had the privilege of actually seeing the guy in concert. I hope to rectify that soon. I quite like the five songs you picked. Especially "The Rising". That's one of the most moving sounds he's recorded in his whole career, I think. For funsies, I'd add these five:

Just for funsies, I'll go ahead and add five more:

1) Thunder Road--It starts with that iconic harmonica intro and that famous line "show a little faith, there's magic in the night/you ain't a beauty, but hey/you're alright", and then revs up into rock euphoria. What an opener!

2) The River--This is really a short story set to music. Those lyrics ("I got a union card and a wedding coat...") are nigh unforgettable.

3) Atlantic City--I felt the need to include something from one of Springsteen's three (I think?) acoustic albums. The word "haunting" exists to describe this song.

4) Darlington County--This is an excellent introduction to Bruce's trademark "E Street sound"--complete with a wonderful solo by the late, great Clarence Clemons on the sax.

5) Rocky Ground--This track samples an old Souther Baptist sermon, featured a muffled electronic beat, and brings in a guest rapper for the bridge. A reminder of just how musically ambitious recent-day Springsteen really is.

I'd also include "Wrecking Ball" and "I'm on Fire", my two favorite Springsteen songs.

Long live the Boss, and long live his fans!

David said...

Well, I love Because the Night too. Almost included this little rarity, which is a precursor to Thunder Road, called Wings for Wheels:

David said...

Putting the link in my original post for you Mason as a bonus track.

little doctor said...

There is a wonderful book called The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen. My daughter Emily, class of 2016, gave it to me for Christmas. You both would enjoy it.