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.
AFTER “THAT” ALBUM
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.
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.
Bruce Springsteen turns 70 on September 23.