Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Songs?

Such an interesting list of The Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Songs from the indefatigable Classic Rock site. Seriously flawed, but then, any list—including one made by us—is going to be. I think they pay alternately too much and too little attention to context. I mean, "Prove It All Night" is a wonderful song, but good Lord a-goshen, it's not even Top 50, much less Top 10, and their rationale for including it seems to be, at least in part, that it provides a moment of relative lightness on the Darkness on the Edge of Town LP—which it does...but that's not a good reason to include it on this list.

The same goes for "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out." Great, great, great song...but not that great. And nearly half of the entire Top 10 list is culled from just one of Springsteen's 17 studio albums? That would seem to indicate that the list's author was of a certain age when Born to Run came out and is consequently being weighted a bit more heavily than even such a masterpiece deserves.

Listen, none of this is meant to be a knock on either song, of course, both of which are amongst our all-time favorites from any artist ever, but rather a sign of just how incredible Springsteen's oeuvre is, that even songs as fantastic as those don't come close to cracking the Top 10. Not to mention how difficult making a list like this can be, if you take it seriously.

Which brings us to the perennial question of song v recording, and here I think they're conflating the two, to the mistaken inclusion of (the wonderful, spine-tinglingly gorgeous) "Jungleland."

But then they've got "Land of Hope and Dreams" and "Point Blank" on the list, proving that they know what they're talking about and aren't just going for the easy and obvious, even if they're, well, wrong about certain things. (He said completely objectively.) Such as the inclusion of "Point Blank," for instance.

Of course, when all's said and done, all this is subjective. Having said that, any list of Springsteen songs that doesn't including "Racking in the Street" is inherently invalid.

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