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Henchman of Santa
Aug 21, 2010

One of the most beloved icons of American music has a new album out as of two days ago and I found that somehow, he does not have his own thread on a forum that has maintained active threads on like, The Electric Six. I'm going to try to add more to this OP tonight, including pictures and some more about the E Street Band, but I figure a discussion can start before all that. Let me know if you have anything you'd like to add to the thread, either by posting here or by PMing me.

This thread shall be the new home of all things related to The Boss, the king of heartland rock, the god of New Jersey, the hero of sportswriters everywhere, etc.

A brief guide to Bruce's studio albums:

Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)
Bruce's debut is his attempt to be the next Bob Dylan, but sounds more like Van Morrison. There are hints of the artist to come in his storytelling and prose style, and the songs are mostly solid, but it doesn't have the fire of peak E Street.
Songs a newbie may know: Blinded by the Light (more famously covered by Manfred Mann's Earth Band), Spirit in the Night

The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle (1973)
Released eight months after Greetings, this album unleashes the full power of the E Street Band, with long compositions that veer off into jam territory. Probably the most loose and fun album in his discography.
Songs a newbie may know: Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

Born to Run (1975)
The album that vaulted Springsteen to superstardom. He famously appeared on the covers of both Time and Newsweek simultaneously after this came out. Contains several of the greatest rock songs of all time. At least five of the eight tracks here are in regular rotation on classic rock radio.
Songs a newbie may know: Born to Run, Thunder Road, Jungleland, Tenth Avenue Freeze Out, Backstreets

Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
The long-awaited follow-up to Born to Run sheds the relentless enthusiasm of its predecessor in favor of a slightly darker tone. I would wager that this is the "fan favorite" and easily among his best works.
Songs a newbie may know: Badlands, Prove It All Night, The Promised Land

The River (1980)
This double album is very well regarded but feels like the forgotten album of Bruce's peak. As with most double albums, it's a mixed bag, containing some beautiful tracks as well as some real clunkers. I wouldn't recommend starting with this record, but it's great overall.
Songs a newbie may know: Hungry Heart, The River

Nebraska (1982)
Demo quality acoustic recordings that defied expectations to become one of his most beloved albums. This is Springsteen at his darkest and rawest. Unsurprisingly this is very popular among people who don't like Bruce generally.

Born in the USA (1984)
A gargantuan selling album that earned Springsteen a new audience and had the unfortunate side effect of turning off a lot of people that are unfamiliar with his past work. There are many enduring hits on this album but it also has extremely mid-80s production that dates it. Perhaps his most divisive work.
Songs a newbie may know: Born in the USA, Dancing in the Dark, Glory Days

Tunnel of Love (1987)
After the massive success of Born in the USA, Bruce got divorced and dropped the E Street Band, changing his sound massively. This is a brooding, synth-heavy album that is extremely appealing to a certain type of fan.

Human Touch and Lucky Town (1992)
These albums suck rear end.

The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995)
Bruce recovered from his pair of duds with another melancholy folk album that explores the decimation of the American working class. There's a reason Rage Against the Machine covered the title track. One of his better post-peak albums in my opinion.

The Rising (2002)
A super long record that remains his most beloved 21st century album. This is the feeling of post-9/11 liberal America in a nutshell. Also the first album with the E Street Band in almost 20 years.
Songs a newbie may know: The Rising

Devils & Dust (2005)
Another solid, folky singer/songwriter offering.

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006)
Bruce and a collection of roots and folk musicians play the songs of legendary protest singer Pete Seeger. Highly critically acclaimed.

Magic (2007)
The E Street Band returns once again for a series of really solid songs as Bruce is in elder statesman mode. For my money, this is his best of the 21st century.

Working on a Dream (2009)
Like Magic but not as good and with a stupid cover.

Wrecking Ball (2012)
A slight return to form with a political focus and some interesting experimentation.

High Hopes (2014)
I have not listened to this but from what I understand it's a bunch of previously unreleased tracks and also Tom Morello is here.

Western Stars (2019)
A cinematic and very aged album with a bit of a Western theme and lots of orchestral arrangements. Sounds kind of like Bruce was tapped to soundtrack a Disney movie about cowboys.


Henchman of Santa
Aug 21, 2010

howe_sam posted:

The only thing I'd add is that Springsteen and the E Street Band still routinely perform sets that put bands forty years younger to shame. I last saw them on The River Tour in 2016 and they played for just a touch over three hours. Even if you're not a die hard fan it's worth it to see them play live at least once to say you've had the experience.

The second leg of that tour was my first and so far only live experience with them. Eagerly awaiting 2020 dates.

Henchman of Santa
Aug 21, 2010

If anyone has anything about the archival stuff like Tracks and The Promise I can add it to the OP.

Henchman of Santa
Aug 21, 2010

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