Who’s the Boss? – Live/1975–85: Disc 3

Who's The Boss? Welcome back, as we wrap up the series premier of the “Who’s the Boss?” – Live/1975–85. If you missed the previous posts, you can go back and check out Disc 1 and Disc 2. So far, this has been a pretty awesome album. Let’s see if it ends strong.

Most of the songs on this disc were played at stadiums – The LA Coliseum and Giants Stadium. The last three were from The Meadowlands Arena. These are some pretty big places. Let’s see if these are pretty big songs.

The River

Recorded September 30, 1985 at the LA Coliseum

Initial thought: This song is listed at over 11:00. But, Bruce is talking for the first 5 minutes about his relationship with his father. The song itself isn’t bad. I am aware of The River album. I was expecting the song to be better, but I could probably warm up to it after a few listens.

Upon further listening: As with previous songs on this album where Bruce did a lot of talking, it took me some getting used to. Although, even from my first listen, I knew he was telling a story to set up the song. I do appreciate it much more now. And I have warmed up to this song more. There are other songs on this album that I like a lot more. However, I feel that way because those other songs are incredible. “The River” is a very good storytelling song.

War

Recorded September 30, 1985 at the LA Coliseum

Initial thought: I love this song! It is a remake of the Edwin Starr classic.

Upon further listening: This is such a perfect song for Bruce. The theme is right in his wheelhouse, and his voice is perfect for this song.

Darlington County

Recorded September 30, 1985 at the LA Coliseum

Initial thought: This is a fun song. I like it a lot. Love “The Big Man” on sax!

Upon further listening: This song just makes you want to get up and dance. Well, in my case that means it makes me want to get up and move around. So, so good!!!

Working On the Highway

Recorded August 19, 1985 at Giants Stadium

Initial thought: This song feels like a throwback a little. It reminds me of “Summertime Blues.” I’m liking this one too.

Upon further listening: Another winner! I love these rockin’ songs!

The Promised Land

Recorded September 30, 1985 at the LA Coliseum

Initial thought: This isn’t bad. It’s not great either.

Upon further listening: I have no idea why I didn’t love this song the first time I heard it. It’s one of my favorites now. One sign of a great song is when you can’t get the song out of your head – and you don’t mind. This one really sticks with me. The lyrics are incredible, and the music is outstanding.

Cover Me


Recorded September 30, 1985 at the LA Coliseum

Initial thought: I kind of remember this song from the Born in the U.S.A. album. I think I prefer this live version. The band sounds awesome.

Upon further listening: I still like this song a lot. You can feel Bruce putting his all into this song.

I’m On Fire

Recorded August 19, 1985 at Giants Stadium

Initial thought: Unfortunately, I’m familiar with this song. I’m sorry, but when somebody says “I’m On Fire,” I expect to hear some screaming. At least this is not as boring as “Streets of Philadelphia,” so there’s that.

Upon further listening: I had never liked this song at all. But, as I said in a recent Top 40 Countdown which featured this song, I have warmed up to it. I have turned a corner on this song, and am liking it more and more.

Bobby Jean

Recorded August 21, 1985 at Giants Stadium

Initial thought: OK, I’m back on board now. I like this song. And it seems like this is one of those songs I would like more the more I listen to it.

Upon further listening: This has now changed to “OK, I’m still on board.” I do like this more and more. The lyrics are really good, and the music is great.

My Hometown

Recorded September 30, 1985 at the LA Coliseum

Initial thought: I love this song!

Upon further listening: Wow, that was an insightful initial thought! I love the music for this song, and once again, tells a great story.

Born to Run

Recorded August 19, 1985 at Giants Stadium

Initial thought: This is one of my all-time favorite Springsteen tunes.

Upon further listening: There’s really not much more I can say about this one. This has always been one of my favorite Springsteen songs. It sounds even better live than on the studio version I’m used to. The band really stands out in this live version.

Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

Recorded August 20, 1984 at Meadowlands Arena

Initial thought: I think this is my favorite song on this 3rd disc. I love the sax, horns and drums in this one.

Upon further listening: Well, I think “The Promised Land” took over the honors of favorite song on this disc. But, I still love this song. The E Street Band is awesome!!!

No Surrender

Recorded August 6, 1984 at Meadowlands Arena

Initial thought: This is kind of a somber tune. Not bad though.

Upon further listening: Somber means awesome storytelling song. I am loving this song more and more. The opening lyrics are so me:

We busted out of class had to get away from those fools
We learned more from a three minute record, baby, than we ever learned in school

Well, I didn’t really cut classes. But, I did mentally check out of school in those high school days, and did learn life lessons through music.

Jersey Girl

Recorded July 9, 1981 at Meadowlands Arena

Initial thought: Well, this concert album started off with a slow song, and now it’s ending with one. It doesn’t sound like a song he should go out on, but I do like it a lot.

Upon further listening: What a great way to wrap up my introduction to “The Boss”! While a lot of his other slower songs on this album could get dark, this is a nice tender love song. It was originally done by Tom Waits, but Bruce but his own twist on this version

Fun Facts

Fun Facts. Woo-ooo-ooo. Say it proud and Geek Out Loud, it’s fun facts

– The Edwin Starr version of “War” was the #1 hit in the country the day I was born.

– These days, Bruce never plays “Jersey Girl” outside of New Jersey area shows. When Kristin saw last saw him, in Philadelphia, he played this, and she died. Well, maybe not literally died, or she wouldn’t have been able to tell that story. Unless she did really die, and Bruce gave her mouth-to-mouth to revive her. It does sound like he would do anything for his fans, as you will find in this last fun fact…

– A fan met Bruce Springsteen in a cinema at a screening of Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories. The fan asked Bruce to prove that he does not disregard his fans by coming to meet his mom and have dinner. Bruce accepted the invitation and is said to still visit this particular fan’s mother. (Celebrity Fun Facts and I Fear Brooklyn)


Final Thoughts

When the idea to become a Springsteen fan appeared in my crazy mind, I had no idea how much fun this would be! A special thank you goes out to Kristin from Rock Out Loud for taking up this challenge, and guiding me through the steps of becoming a Springsteen fan. She made a perfect choice of an album to start with! We got him at his best, and got quite the variety of songs. Not to mention that this album is technically an ’80s album. I would never have imagined that this would be the album to start with. To say it was a pleasant surprise would be putting it mildly. The first time listening to this album is like trying to take a little sip of water from a fire hose. But, I was able to take it all in, and I enjoy it more and more with each listen. I already knew that the E Street Band was really good. After studying this album, I am truly impressed.
Am I a Springsteen fan yet? Well, one album does not make me an official fan. Besides, what fun would that be? We have plenty of more albums to cover!

Now it is time to move on to the next album. I won’t give away which one it will be yet. I am going to digest this next album, and you will hear all about it in another couple of weeks.

In the meantime, please check out the Rock Out Loud podcast, and show them some love. You will really enjoy Steve and Kristin. The latest episode was outstanding (and not just because they started it by talking some Return to the ’80s, and reading a couple of letters from one of your fellow Return to the ’80s readers)! It was about Women Who Rock, and there is plenty of ’80s rock talk on it, which I know you will love.

And if you like that podcast, you will also enjoy Steve’s other awesome podcasts – Disney Vault Talk (which Steve does with Teresa about Disney animated films, which we all grew up on), Mark Out Loud (a wrestling podcast that Steve does with Dave, and are covering some old school Wrestlemania’s this Wrestlemania season), as well as the flagship show, Geek Out Loud. Steve is such a great host and personality, that it doesn’t matter if he has a guest or is going solo. You will be very entertained, and enjoy this podcast.


I hope you enjoyed this inaugural series of “Who’s The Boss?”. Please leave me your feedback! And please let me know if you are joining me on this journey of learning about Bruce Springsteen.

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