Friday, March 14, 2008

Trouble in the heartland

Every once in a while, we here at TDS like to have arbitrary theme days. It's lots of fun.

I named today Bruce Springsteen Day, for no good reason other than my love for the Boss. And in the interest of sharing some Bruce-themed goodness with you (yes, all four of you), I've collected a few songs for your listening pleasure.

Follow the links to files--we don't have direct downloading capability, because we are cheap.

First we have my all-time favorite song: "Badlands." This one is best listened to in the car, turned up loud, singing along for all you're worth. You might also want to thump out the beat on your steering wheel. I do.

Next up, a bit of interesting comparison. "Thunder Road" is another favorite of mine, so I was thrilled when a friend posted this next song in another forum a few days ago: "Wings for Wheels," live from 1975, is an early version of what would eventually become "Thunder Road." Some of the elements are the same, but some are quite different, and I find myself loving this song almost as much as the classic it would become.

And of course, I have to give you my favorite cover of "Thunder Road," Tori Amos' abbreviated live version.

The Boss has undoubtedly had an influence on many musicians in the past 30+ years. Very recently, I've seen more than one review comparing current artists' work to his early sounds. One instance in which I think this is very apparent (and I mean that in a good way) is Josh Ritter, particularly the song "Wolves." He certainly has his own voice, his own imagery, his own stories to tell; the sound references Springsteen without ripping him off. Homage, I suppose you could call it.


NPR has a whole page of Bruce Springsteen related articles.

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