I don’t have a lot to say here. I was 13 when it came out, 14 when I bought it. I’ve said this here before but it really helped lay the groundwork for my political positioning.
In terms of storytelling, I think it’s Bruce's best album by far. I also don’t get the criticism about the musicality of it because I think it fits perfectly the themes and words. Even the way the harmonica cuts through the rest on the title track seems to serve a purpose here.
Apart from My Best... all the other songs have been my favourite at one time or another. More than 25 years later, they all stand the test of time better than probably any other Bruce record since Nebraska. That’s why I don’t understand the band treatments of TGOTJ and Youngstown. Youngstown is ok-ish, I guess when played by the E Street Band but it loses all nuance, all the subtlety and, somehow, it even loses its real anger. The band reinvention of TGOTJ is, I think an abomination of nature that should never have seen the light of day. I’m yet to see a Bruce song made better by Morello.
I’m not one to convince people to like albums or songs. You like what you like and this one is very near perfect in my opinion. A better closing song would make it flawless. When I start thinking about standout songs I always end up making a list of all of them.
Music is about emotion and I have a very deep emotional connection with TGOTJ. Even if I’ve never visited any of those places. I think it kick started my journey into adulthood.
Turns our I did have quite a lot to say! I just feel like I’ve been saying a lot on this board lately and some others have said pretty much the same thing better than me on this thread.