It’s hard to believe that with the four discs of Tracks, the two discs of The Promise, and countless B-Sides, there are still songs that Bruce has yet to release. And they’re great songs too! I came across this gem on Sirius XM’s E Street Radio the other day, and haven‘t been able to get it out of my head. An outtake from Born In The USA, “Unsatisfied Heart” is Bruce at his best. Unfortunately the quality of the recording isn’t the best so I’ve included the lyrics as well (http://www.springsteenlyrics.com/lyrics/u/unsatisfiedheart.php).
If you were to ask me what my favorite aspect of Bruce’s music is the answer would undoubtedly be his ability to tell a story. “Unsatisfied Heart” does this masterfully: A man who seemingly has an ideal life, but apparently has done something in his past. What that something is, the audience is never told. But whatever it is, when a stranger arrives in town and threatens to bring this to light it causes the song’s main character, George, to lay awake at night and wonder how to make his problem go away. He then comes to the painful decision that the only way to possibly do that is go away himself. And the song’s chorus repeats George’s woeful lament over and over as he questions the audience if they’d be able to do what he’s done.
While Bruce certainly has some great upbeat songs, “Mary’s Place” comes to mind as a personal favorite, I think his legacy is best cemented in incredible narratives that show the hard struggles faced by the working class. Some of the best examples of that are “Downbound Train”, “Stolen Car”(in particular the version found on Tracks), and now I would absolutely include “Unsatisfied Heart”.
With the 30th anniversary of Born In The USA coming up in a few years, I really hope this song can be re-mastered and released so it can get the recognition it deserves. To my knowledge Bruce has never played this song live, and that’s just a shame. I know “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” but this song is just too good to not be more well-known.
Are there any unreleased Bruce songs that you wish more people knew about? Let us know in the comments!