Bruce Springsteen turns 70

“the writer has made one promise”

Bruce Springsteen
When Bruce Springsteen made the covers of the magazines TIME and Newsweek in the same week in 1975, I thought his career was pretty much doomed.

I became even more convinced when it took nearly three years between his third album, Born to Run, and Darkness on the Edge of Town.

Bruce put out a double album, The River, in 1980, which actually has a Top 10 single. So naturally, he follows it with the fine, if stark Nebraska, which did OK commercially.

Then the massive commercial and artistic album Born in the USA in 1984. Bruce had to tell Ronald Reagan’s people that the title track does not mean what they thought it meant. There were SIX Top 10 singles from that collection and regular play on MTV, when that was something.


Naturally, Springsteen followed that with a FIVE-ALBUM collection, maybe a tad excessive, but with another charting single. But it’s interesting that after that, he became less the guy with the hits, and more the album-driven artist.

If you exclude live albums and compilations, all of Springsteen’s albums released between 2002 and early 2014 went to #1 on the Billboard charts. That exception was We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions which “only” went to #3. I thought that album a bit too reverent. But the Live Dublin albums, with many of the same musicians and songs, that came out the next year, was loads of fun.

I’ve only seen him perform once. I say “only” because he’s been in the area regularly. His three-hour shows are legendary.

Bruce performed his one-man Broadway show that was well received. He wrote an autobiography, Born to Run. He says, “Writing about yourself is a funny business. But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.”

Now his new album, Western Stars, is going to be a movie. Bruce Springsteen IS The Boss.


born to run cover
Spirit in the Night, 1973
Rosalita, 1973
Born to Run, #23 in 1975
Jungleland, 1975

The Promised Land, 1978
Darkness on the Edge of Town, 1978
Hungry Heart, #5 in 1980
The River, 1980
Atlantic City, 1982

Pink Cadillac, 1984
Janey, Don’t You Lose Heart, 1985
We Are the World – USA for Africa, #1 for four weeks in 1985
Glory Days, #5 in 1985
My Hometown, #6 in 1986
War, #8 in 1986

Brilliant Disguise, #5 in 1987
57 Channels (And Nothin’ On), #68 in 1992
Better Days, B-side of Human Touch (#16), 1992
Streets of Philadelphia, #9 in 1994, and won an Oscar

My City of Ruins, 2002; WTC benefit
Old Dan Tucker, 2006
Radio Nowhere, #102 in 2007
Outlaw Pete, 2009

His YouTube channel
Coverville 1265: Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A., Covered, Track-By-Track

Bruce Springsteen turns 70 on September 23.

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