Loyal readers, I have some bad news to share with you. I hope you are sitting down. Ready? OK, here goes:
Some people don't listen to Bruce Springsteen.
You still with me? Shocking, I know. It is especially true amongst the millennial generation. The burden is on us, the loyal Bruce die-hards, to keep the legacy alive. Now, I don't recommend strapping non-Bruce fans down Clockwork Orange-style and forcing them to listen to his discography continuously for a month (although I don't speak for all the editors of this blog). The best solution would be to create a simple playlist to give help newcomers ease into the Boss's vast catalog. I recently created one for my girlfriend, and I think I did a fairly good job of it if I do say so myself. I decided to use one song from pretty much all Bruce musical eras. The playlist ended up looking like this:
This song is captures Bruce's early career perfectly. The lyrics are all over the place, as it shows the youthful ambition of Bruce, trying to cram a little too many ideas into one song.
As mentioned in High Fidelity, the second song on any compilation has to kick it up a notch from the first song. Duly noted, Mr. Hornby. I think "Rosalita" fulfills the notch-kicking requirement.
One of my all-time favorites from the early Bruce years. As Bruce said when introducing this song at a concert I saw him at several years ago, "This used to be our show-stopper when there was nobody there to stop the show."
I know it is fun to impress people with some obscure or underrated songs, but sometimes, you've just got to stick with the classics. One of the first full Bruce albums my girlfriend downloaded after listening to this playlist was Born To Run. I approve.
Darkness is my favorite Springsteen album, and this track was one of the first Bruce songs I fell in love with back in high school.
I couldn't help myself from putting two Darkness songs on here. This song has a soft spot in my heart for the ridiculous pantomiming I do during it.
Is this a taste of new Bruce, or a taste of old Bruce? This song is very tough to categorize. Either way, are we all in agreement that The Promise disc two is superior to disc one? Perhaps a topic for another blog post.
The River doesn't have a lot of my favorite tunes, but, like the previous song, this is a quick, catchy ditty that shows that, around this time, Bruce was an automatic. He could crank out three-minute hits in his sleep.
Not The River version, but the "Beautiful Bruce" version from Tracks. At this point in the mix, I'm bringing it down a little. They can't all be hand-clappers and boot-stompers!
Whenever somebody asks me my all-time favorite Bruce song, I can never give them a straight answer. At one point, it was "Rosalita". At another point, it was "Thunder Road". The one thing I can say is that "Atlantic City" has always been in my top five. I've never been burnt out on this song.
This is one of the most accessible songs for new Bruce fans, as it is one that sounds the most modern. I hear a lot of current bands basing their style off of this Bruce hit. This song became my girlfriend's favorite Bruce song after listening to this mix.
Probably not the best song to put on a CD for your girlfriend, but whatever. I couldn't do slower songs forever. It's fun as hell and a damn great song. Sorry for swearing like a hell damn ass king, but this song gets me pumped ever time I hear it.
Here I was, trying to be all-romantic-like. Feel free to insert your favorite song from Tunnel of Love, Human Touch, or Lucky Town in this spot.
The Rising, in general, is a great album to start a new Bruce fan off with. It was extremely influential to all three of your Legends of Springsteen editors. This is my favorite track off the album.
I wanted to represent Devils & Dust on this CD, but at this point, I didn't want anything too slow or depressing. Plus, you get to hear Bruce say "Fuck!" What a bad-ass.
This is a fun track from an album that has grown on me more and more over the last six years. Plus, it is important for the new Bruce fans to see Bruce's influences.
Magic was stunning to me when it was released. I couldn't believe an artist, so late into his career, could write an album this good. "Livin' In The Future" is a fantastic track that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Bruce's greatest hits.
And....that's all from me. Stay tuned as both Steve and OB weigh in with their choices for beginning Bruce fans.