Thin Lizzy - "The Boys Are Back In Town" (Springsteen - "Kitty's Back")
This one doesn't seem that blatant to me, but I've have seen it cited as a rip-off on numerous Springsteen forums, so I'll toss it in here just to be thorough. While "Kitty's Back" is a sprawling epic, it has a dramatic build-and-release leading to Kitty being back in town (4:55 to 5:18). This small section seems to have influenced the good folks of Thin Lizzy, as they were able to transform it into the hook of their their signature song.
Pink Floyd - "Lost For Words" (Springsteen - "Independence Day")
While I think the prior entry is a bit of a stretch, this is a slam dunk. This song is from Floyd's The Division Bell, and the band was pretty long in the tooth, so I'm not going to hold this against them. After producing 30+ years of progressive and experimental music, who can fault them for looking to Bruce for some inspiration?
Best Coast - "Boyfriend" (Springsteen - "Badlands")
OK, here we're just talking about two seconds of the drum opening. I always feel duped every time "Boyfriend" comes up on my iPod. But when I first noticed this, it did make me sit up and take notice of how great that opening two seconds of "Badlands" is - perhaps being the second most iconic Springsteen drum opening of all time (behind "Born To Run", obviously).
Now, this article isn't to knock any artists - I believe the three listed above are great musicians, and don't think any of them purposefully set out to "steal" from Springsteen. We're here to appreciate Springsteen, as well as the (direct or incidental) influence he's made on others. So, have you noticed any other songs similar to Springsteen songs (or vice versa)? Any other Springsteen drum intros you love? Let us know in the comments!