Friday, June 29, 2012

Counting with Bruce Springsteen


As this blog continues its quest to cover all Springsteen minutiae, we'll turn now to the particular way Bruce starts his songs.  Take a listen to this:



Did you notice it?  It begins with Bruce's classic count-off to four.  While it is rare that his count-offs make it onto a studio track, like in "Bobby Jean", it is a staple of Bruce's concerts.  A quick burst of syllables that sound like numbers, and you know you are in for an epic song.  While it didn't make it on to a studio cut, I'll always believe "Badlands" starts with a resounding "ONE TWO!"



Bruce is not just a one trick pony with his counting.  He will sometimes use this trick to bring it down a little, as seen in more somber songs like "The Wrestler" and "All I'm Thinking About Is You":



It may seem like we're digging a little too deep here, but Bruce's countdowns have been noticed in other segments of pop-culture.  For example, Bruce was a fan of the 70s punk rock band called The Dictators.  In 1978, as Bruce's popularity was rising, he took time to make a guest appearance, providing his classic countdown for the opening track of their album Bloodbrothers:



And finally, this post wouldn't be complete without another nod to the inspiration for this blog.  A true fan knew from the beginning how we'd be ending this post.  Ladies and gentlemen, here is "Counting With Bruce Springsteen":