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JLE SASK

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  1. Anyone else listen to this? It ranks Bruce's top 70 songs as of when he turned 70 years old. I am not finished yet but have listened to a few episodes. I don't care much about the ranking (more on that later), but the stories surrounding the songs are interesting. There is a guest on each episode with some inside knowledge re Bruce and the music industry. That makes for some enjoyable listening. As for the rankings, it's always so subjective of course. It serves as a reminder of the diversity of Bruce's musical career. Like all truly great artists and bands, he is never looking to repeat himself. If you like folky music, you've got it with Greetings, Tom Joad, Devils and Dust, etc. If you like arena rock, BITUSA is your ticket. If you like pop, maybe WOAD is your guilty pleasure. Anyway, so much to choose from and Bruce has never stood still. One of the guests, when asked for his favorite Bruce song, said Growin' Up easily. I laughed because I think if I did rankings they would change daily, although I'm not sure anything can replace Jungleland as my personal #1 (has everything IMO). At heart I am a rock music fan, so I chafed at some of the rankings but then just reminded myself of the above. The comments that have rankled so far include BITUSA being overproduced and relying too heavy on synthesizer and that Cadillac Ranch and Ramrod should have been left off The River in favor of a couple of outtakes that didn't make the cut. Honestly, had to laugh a bit when Mary Queen of Arkansas made the top 50 (with apologies to fans of the song). Yes, BITUSA used synth but in the hands of Roy Bittan it was used judiciously and mostly to create an atmosphere for the songs. Bruce's overuse (IMO) of electronics came later. Cadillac Ranch is a great song. If you don't think so, have a listen to the lifeless Nitty Gritty Dirt Band cover (again with apologies to NGDB fans). Ramrod is a nice departure from most of Bruce's stuff, so excluding that would have been a mistake IMO. The host said he much prefers Human Touch to Lucky Town, and I couldn't disagree more. Living Proof would likely be in my personal top 10 or 15 songs. But to each their own. The host also calls BTR the "quintessential" ESB sound. Since Bruce has always changed things up from album to album, I'm not sure such a sound exists. BTR is the quintessential ESB piano sound maybe. Anyway some interesting stories on there and I enjoy hearing a different take on the music, even if I don't always agree. Just wondering if anyone else has listened and has thoughts on the podcast or the subject matter in general.
  2. I view it as a good but not great album. We Take Care of Our Own could have been a great song but is overproduced IMO. I like lot of the songs, but the only classic to me is Jack of All Trades. Prefer the live version of Wrecking Ball. In the minority, it seems, as not a fan of Rocky Ground. I don't mind LOHAD, although I agree that the LINYC version is superior. The studio version of LOHAD is better than the awful American Skin that appears on High Hopes. I would give it 3.5 stars. Prefer both LTY and WS. In that order.
  3. It's always interesting to hear the different viewpoints on the songs. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder! Personally, I love the "old" songs. The obvious care and expertise in the way they've been recorded, I don't know they sound just amazing to me. Maybe having all this time to "work them up" has helped. They are on a different level from the rest of the album IMO (not that I don't enjoy the rest). I don't care when they were written, makes no difference to me. I would rank Letter to You behind only Magic as far as albums made during the second incarnation of the band.
  4. I am similar to a few others in that BITUSA was actually my introduction to Bruce Springsteen at around the age of 12 or so. I loved it then and I love it now. It's a brilliant record. I don't know what else to say.
  5. Bruce talks about this when discussing I'll Work For Your Love in The Stories Behind the Songs. As is his way, Bruce ran away from the band's signature keyboard sound. IWFYL is a wonderful throwback to that. Roy is a brilliant pianist and many of the band's classic tracks are built around his playing.
  6. BITUSA and BTR are the two albums that just make me shake my head and ask myself "how did he do this?" BITUSA is so catchy and just sounds effortless. He and the band truly in the zone.
  7. I'm on Fire No Surrender Bobby Jean I'm Goin Down Glory Days This exercise just reaffirms Bruce's greatness.
  8. Worlds Apart. Somehow sandwiched between The Promised Land and Badlands. Yuck
  9. Birdcage liner. "No one understood Born in the USA"? I guess he means those that couldn't be bothered to listen to the lyrics or read the lyrics sheet.
  10. Glory Days House of a Thousand Guitars One Step Up Promised Land Dancing in the Dark
  11. Something in the Night (Live at The Paramount Theatre, 2009) Gives me chills. What an underrated song!
  12. What an unbelievably difficult choice. Came down to Clarence, Steve, and Roy for me. I ended up voting for Steve.
  13. Got the Hiatt book for Christmas but haven't had much of a chance to look at it yet. Will be a fun read I think.
  14. I agree that Bruce was not at his best. Two things: 1. He is 71 years old. 2. He is rusty. Agree 100% with that sentiment. Above said, it was fantastic to see the joy they took in their performance. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Ghosts will be a firecracker live, once they get it down. Dreams was very good.
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