Hi Everybody! We are back with a new album for “Who’s the Boss?” If you are new, or missed the previous “Who’s the Boss?” articles, you can go ahead and see what this is all about. The first assignment given to me by Kristin, from Rock Out Loud, was to listen to Live/1975–85. It turned out to be a 40 song project that had to be split up into three articles – Disc 1, Disc 2, and Disc 3. My next album is not as extensive as Live/1975–85, but it is just as awesome. We are talking about Bruce Springsteen’s big breakthrough album, Born to Run. Instead of a 40 song extravaganza, this album only has 9 songs. 9 awesome songs! For the last album, I gave my initial thoughts, and then gave my feelings about the songs after listening some more. For this album, I loved every song right from the beginning. So, my initial thoughts did not change for any of these songs, other than liking them more and more.
Born to Run was Bruce Springsteen’s third album, and was his big breakthrough. I had thought that this was his debut album, but Springsteen had released Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle. Born to Run was released on August 25, 1975, and was a critical and commercial success. As of 2000, 6 million copies were sold. It would reach all the way to #3 on the Billboard charts. Bruce Springsteen has pretty much been a household name since this album was released. So, let’s go check this out, and see what all the craze is about. As with the previous posts, you can click on the song title to listen to it and/or watch the video.
Whoa, I really like this one! They are firing on all cylinders in this song. Every instrument plays a big part, and this is another song where I love Bruce’s voice. I don’t know any details about playing music, but maybe it’s a lower key or range that he sings in some of these songs that I really enjoy.
Holy crap! What an epic song! It is story that could be made into a movie. And the music is incredible. And the awesome sax and piano in the middle of the song reminds me of Billy Joel’s “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant”, which is a great thing! This song is over 9 minutes, which would probably explain why there are only 8 songs on the album. But, it doesn’t feel like 9 minutes. So, so good!
– The title from “Thunder Road” comes from the Robert Mitchum film Thunder Road. Springsteen declared that he was somehow inspired by the movie despite not having seen it. As he says: “I never saw the movie, I only saw the poster in the lobby of the theater.”
– While recording “Jungleland” the closing act of Born to Run, it took 16 hours to properly set up and record Clarence Clemons solo act. When Bruce told him how long it had been, Clarence was surprised. He had believed that only about 5 hours had gone by.
– A line from the song “Night” on Born to Run goes “the circuit’s lined and jammed with chromed invaders.” The Circuit is a nickname for the drive around Kingsley Street and Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park.
– Ernest “Boom” Carter doesn’t have the same name recognition as some other E Streeters, but even if you’re only a casual Bruce fan, you’ve heard his work. Carter’s only performance with Springsteen was his drum track on “Born to Run.” Carter’s successor to the drum throne, Max Weinberg, has said that he could never reproduce Carter’s drum parts in concert and eventually stopped trying.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
– 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)
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.
Welcome back to this week’s Countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs yesterday, you can go ahead and check them out. Some of these songs bring back memories. At this time in 1985, I was in the second half of my freshman year of high school. I enjoyed making new friends in high school, but did not do too well in classes. While I was struggling with my studies, there were some awesome songs to lean back on and use as an escape. Let’s enjoy some of this music now, by Returning to the week ending March 9, and move on with the countdown.
How about we start the countdown today with a little funk?!? The Time, led by Morris Day, was a pop-funk band which was put together by Prince. You can definitely hear the influence in this song. Not long after this, Morris Day left, and went on to a solo career. They would reunite and break up several more times over the years. Currently, they are known as The Original 7ven.
Oh boy, I’m torn on this song now. Before I started the Springsteen project (a.k.a. “Who’s the Boss?”), I would have said that a song with the word “Fire” in the title needs to have screaming in it.
[Possible Spoiler Alert: This song may or may not be on the Live 1975-85 album I’m reviewing right now. And I may or may not express that sentiment as my initial reaction on said review]
But, as I become a Springsteen student, I am beginning to like this song more each time I listen to it. I may not be on fire about this song, but I am warming up to it. What can I say? I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!
With this song, the Commodores finally showed that it may be possible to move on without Lionel Richie. It was their first hit after Richie went solo. “Nightshift” was written by the lead singer at that time, Walter Orange, (along with with Dennis Lambert and Franne Golde). It was a tribute to soul/R&B singers Jackie Wilson and Marvin Gaye, who both died in 1984. The Commodores won a Grammy Award in 1985 for Best Vocal R&B Performance by a Duo/Group for this song.
The husband and wife songwriting-production team of Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson had their biggest hit, as performers, with this song. It would go on to peak at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
What a great rocking song! This was John Parr’s first hit in the U.S. In 1985, he and his band, The Business, toured with Toto. At the end of the tour, he was approached by super-producer David Foster, who requested Parr to record a song for the film “St. Elmo’s Fire“. And the rest is history.
This hit came off of one of my favorite albums of the ’80s – Vital Signs. This wasn’t my favorite song from the album though. I feel that this song did get overplayed. But, years removed, I do enjoy hearing this once in a while.
We wrap up the countdown today with an interesting song. “Save a Prayer” was released in the U.K. in August of 1982 from the album, Rio. It had not been released in the U.S. as a single. The video did get play on MTV, though. Then in 1985, a special U.S. version of the song was cut with the live version from the Arena album on the flip side. This live version hit the charts, and climbed all the way up to #16.
Well, that’s the end of the countdown for today. I hope you’re enjoying this week’s songs so far. They are just going to keep on getting better! So, please come back tomorrow as we continue the countdown.
Hi Everybody, welcome to the first album of the “Who’s the Boss?” series. On my quest to become a Springsteen fan, as I mentioned in the introductory article, Rock Out Loud’s Kristin suggested that I begin with the album Live/1975–85. There were several reasons for this. Among them are the fact that Bruce Springsteen has a reputation for putting on incredible live shows. Also, this album is a collection of tunes from several of his earlier albums. So, we get a little taste of everything. It also works out in that this album was released in the ’80s. We will be delving into pre and post ’80s albums. But this is a great place to start.
Since Live/1975–85 consists of 3 discs, this premiere album will be split up into 3 parts. So, let’s begin.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band released the 40-track box set Live 1975/85on November 10th, 1986. The set either consisted of 5 records (ahhh, vinyl), 3 cassettes, or 3 cd’s. This album is not from one particular concert. These tracks span through several concerts. For each song, I will list the date and venue from which it came. Live 1975/85 became the first album since Stevie Wonder‘s 1976 set Songs In The Key Of Life to debut at Number One. This album is the second-best-selling live album in U.S. history, going 13x platinum. It only trails Garth Brooks’ Double Live, which is 21x platinum.
I can’t remember what I did 5 minutes ago. But, I do remember seeing this album in the store for the first time. It was the first box set I had ever seen. I didn’t have a job yet, so I didn’t have the money to buy a box set like that. But now, with the click of a button, this album is mine!
Now let’s play this thing! You can click on the song title if you want to listen to the song on YouTube.
Recorded October 18, 1975 at The Roxy Theatre Initial thought: I knew the title, but not the song. Usually, a concert starts out rocking. This is more intimate. It’s a different approach, and I like it! I like the song too. Good start!
Upon further listening: I already liked this song right from the start. I like it more and more with each listen. This Springsteen dude might make it big someday!
Initial thought: Another Rock ‘n’ Blues song. While the last song was more guitar heavy, this one is more keyboards and sax heavy. I like this one too. I’m not sure if there is a studio version of this song, but it seems like this would be a much better live song than a studio song.
Upon further listening: This one didn’t get any better, or any worse for me. I still think this is a cool live song.
Initial thought: OK, I have a new favorite Bruce Springsteen song, and this is it! At the beginning of the song, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. But by the time he hit the first chorus, I was hooked!
Upon further listening: Still love it!!! It is in regular rotation on my iPod.
Recorded December 16, 1978 at the Winterland. The short spoken intro is from July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre
Initial thought: It might take me a few more listens to like this song. It’s not bad. But, if you’re doing something else while it’s on, you forget that it’s playing.
Upon further listening: I totally forgot that this was a Pointer Sisters song. I love the Pointers, and their version of this song is on my iPod. Now this is coming back to me. I do like this song a lot more now too. This is another one that just keeps getting better and better.
Initial thought: Nice recovery. I like this song a lot. Clarence Clemons rocks! Wait a minute. Where did the music go, and what is this yapping?! Oh my God, shut up already!! Can’t Clarence jump back in? OK, after four long painful minutes this song is finally rocking again. I would have absolutely loved this song if the four minutes in the middle were cut out.
Upon further listening: This is one of the first things that Kristin schooled me on. Apparently, Bruce is known for talking in his shows. It is all part of his storytelling. That helps a little. It seems like this would be better to see live than just listening on my headphones. That’s no a knock. Seeing him do this in person would make it feel like he’s connecting to his audience on a more personal level. I appreciate this more now, thanks to Kristin. If there is a studio version of this song, I’m sure I will love it.
Initial thought: This is a good bar song. I think I would rather listen to “Raise Your Hands” from Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet. This isn’t bad though. Oh dear God! There is just over 2 minutes left in the song and he’s yapping again! I liked the song. That was a fun one.
Upon further listening: This is another winner. I really like this one too. The part of the song where he is talking, he is getting the crowd into the song even more.
– Now I have an idea to why I took an instant liking to “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy).” Long time readers may know that Kiss Unmasked was one of the first albums I ever owned. There was a ballad called “Shandi” on that album. Well, according to KISS: Behind the Mask: The Official Authorized Biography, “Shandi” was inspired by the Hollies cover of “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”
And special thanks to Kristin for providing the rest of these fun facts:
– Last week, one of the fun facts was that the first song Bruce learned to play on guitar is “Twist and Shout.” In relation to that, the night John Lennon was murdered (December 8, 1980), Springsteen was playing in nearby Philadelphia. He also played another show in the same place the next night, and addressed the tragedy – “It’s a hard night to come out and play, but there’s just nothing else you can do.”
– Bruce won’t have an opening band because he was actually booed (not BRUUUUUUCED) as an opening act, and he said he never wanted to put another band in a position like that.