Key Live Performance:
Just a few quick thoughts before I begin. Born In The USA is my favorite Bruce album. It's not even close. Besides Guns N' Roses' Appetite For Destruction, it's probably my favorite album of all time. It's what introduced me to Bruce, and laid the ground work for my fanaticism today.
So it's ironic, for my first foray into Born In The USA month, I will be tackling my least favorite song on the album, and one of my least favorite Springsteen songs ever, "Cover Me". The song is not played too terribly often, but not completely unheard of for Bruce to put it on a setlist. Live videos on YouTube were easy enough to find, but there was not too much variety. I went with this video, because it was professionally shot in HD, and I didn't want to use the 1985 Paris edition because I will be going to that concert a lot in future posts this month. The crowd reaction seems to be exactly what mine would be if I was there, "Awesome, Bruce is playing a song he doesn't play that often! Crap, it's 'Cover Me'."
"This whole world is out there looking to score,
I've seen enough, I don't want to see anymore."
I never really noticed how repetitive the lyrics were in this song. The song isn't terribly complex, it's just about Bruce looking for an ideal girl. For some reason this girl needs to offer constant protection and Bruce just repeatedly asks for someone to cover him. I mean what girl wouldn't be turned on by that proposition? I do somewhat like the above lyrics, and think it would work better in another song. There seems to be a sincerity in that line, that the rest of the song lacks. He's not just trying to act like a victim to attract a girl to his bad boy persona. He's not in it just for a cheap thrill or a one night stand. He really needs to be covered. For what? I have no idea. But consider this line the one silver lining, in a rather abysmal song.
One of the seven Top-10 hit singles from Born In The USA, "Cover Me" peaked at #7 on the charts in the summer of 1984. Shockingly, there is no music video for this song, which is pretty insane for a Top-10 hit in 1984. Music videos were essential to popularity, and the fact that Bruce had a Top-10 hit without the aid of music video really speaks volumes about how huge Bruce really was in the summer of 1984.
I guess what I hate the most about this song, is that it sounds like with minimal tweaking this could easily have been a disco song. I HATE DISCO! It wasn't until researching this song for this post, that I realized Bruce wrote the song for Donna Summer. So the disco-esque beats are somewhat understandable. Springsteen's manager, Jon Landau, convinced him the song was a hit and he should hold on to it. It's hard to argue with Landau considering the song was a big hit, but I really wish Springsteen would have followed his instinct and just let Summer have the song. There's so many great songs from this writing era that I would have rather seen on this album, including "Cynthia", "Shut Out The Light" and my personal favorite unreleased Sprinsteen song, "Unsatisfied Heart". There are plenty of others too, but you get the point. I promise the rest of my posts for this month will be much, MUCH more positive.