Friday, April 27, 2012

Bruce Going Acoustic!


Have I ever mentioned how much I love E Street Radio on SiriusXM?  One of the infinite reasons I do is because of their daily Bruce concerts.  One way Bruce has always been able to stay fresh is by constantly staying fresh and reinventing himself.  You can really see the evolution of Bruce as a performer when you listen to him.  And I really love when E Street Radio play shows from the Devils & Dust tour, as well as The Ghost Of Tom Joad tour, which opened my ears to so many acoustic versions of Springsteen songs that I’ve come to know and love.  This week I will be taking a look at my favorite songs that Bruce has redone acoustically. either by guitar or piano.  My only rule to make this list is that the songs must be Springsteen originals, no covers.  So without any further delay, my top 5:

Honorable mention goes to: Promised Land and Spirit In The Night .  They’re good but just missed the cut.  Definitely give them a chance though when you get a chance!



5.  Adam Raised A Cain-
I’m not really a fan of the original version.  I don’t hate it, but I usually skip it when it comes on my iPod.  But this version though is a lot more gritty, down and dirty.  I can totally get into it.  Bruce performed this on both The Ghost of Tom Joad and Devils & Dust tours.  Unfortunately that’s been the limit, and Bruce performs the regular electric version with The E Street Band today.  I wish he would switch it up and play this version instead.



4.  Born to Run -
Bruce performed this version pretty regularly on the Tunnel of Love tour, but I don‘t believe on either of the acoustic tours.  I absolutely prefer the full electric version, but there’s something special about this version.  Instead of being the loud anthem of escape and rebellion that we have all known it to be, this slower version makes the character in the song sound much less optimistic about the opportunities.  He still wants to get out and be on his own, but he’s not so sure it will be all that much better then his current situation.



3.  Darkness on the Edge of Town-
How do you take one of Bruce’s most powerful and passionate songs and make it even more so?   Strip away everything else, and leave Bruce alone with just a guitar.  Again, it’s not as good as the original but it’s just something different and  takes the song to a different place.  The climax of this song (“Cause tonight, I’ll be on that hill…”) just comes of so full of energy that I absolutely love.  Bruce played it regularly on both acoustic tours, and has occasionally busted it out at other performances.  “Darkness” is one of my favorite Bruce songs and I would love to hear any version of it when I see Bruce in concert.



2.  Be True-
I heard this song while listening to this concert was on E Street Radio and was floored.  I always thought “Be True” was a good song, but nothing great.  But this version was just beautiful.  I was so happy to see that YouTube had this as well.  To my knowledge, this is the only time Bruce performed “Be True” on a piano.  A few years ago, this song would have been heard only by those lucky enough to be at this concert and maybe a few others who were able to make copies of this recording.  Then it would have been lost forever.  Now through the magic of the internet anyone can listen to it anytime they want.  Thanks YouTube.



1.  Incident on 57th Street-
Are you surprised?  Well you shouldn’t be.  I’ve stated in previous posts that this is my favorite Springsteen song and this stripped down piano version was played a few times on The Rising tour, and only then, as far as I know.  The song seems so much more romantic and passionate played on the piano that I think I might prefer it to the original version.  But that can change at the drop of a hat.  You can’t go wrong with either one.

Well that’s it for this week  Join me next week when I will be counting down my favorite acoustic songs that Bruce has performed with the E Street Band!  Also, if you know of any great acoustic versions of Bruce songs please let us know!