Paolo's Circus Story

Random Thoughts + Discussion: Springsteen edition

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I just listened to Jackson Cage, Janey, and Spare Parts in that order.

I think the main character is the same woman. 

Where did she go next? 

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23 hours ago, Silvia said:

pubic hair getting stuck in the throat... :D

 

17 hours ago, Silvia said:

Or spit out... :D

These may help also. 

Image result for toothpick

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7 hours ago, Jimmy James said:

 

These may help also. 

Image result for toothpick

Now you are scaring me...

Somehow one single pubic hair doesn't seem to be that annoying anymore...:P

 

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8 hours ago, Silvia said:

I just listened to Jackson Cage, Janey, and Spare Parts in that order.

I think the main character is the same woman. 

Where did she go next? 

I'm not sure, but her son went to War and then came home to reckon with being Born In The USA. (At least, that's how I hear the Spare Parts / War / BITUSA sequence from the TOL tour playing out)

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14 minutes ago, Bosstralian said:

I'm not sure, but her son went to War and then came home to reckon with being Born In The USA. (At least, that's how I hear the Spare Parts / War / BITUSA sequence from the TOL tour playing out)

Based on this and the sequencing on Live 75-85, does that mean her son is the protagonist in 'The River"?

  • "Jackson Cage"
  • "Janey"
  • "Spare Parts"
  • *"The River"*
  • "War"
  • "Born in the U.S.A."
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1 hour ago, Paolo's Circus Story said:

Based on this and the sequencing on Live 75-85, does that mean her son is the protagonist in 'The River"?

...and did he end with his Brothers Under The Bridge?

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11 hours ago, Silvia said:

I just listened to Jackson Cage, Janey, and Spare Parts in that order.

I think the main character is the same woman. 

Where did she go next? 

To work as the bartender in “I’ll Work for Your Love”?

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so we are watching American pickers because i really love seeing the people they go visit

anyway the OH says

they never seem to have any Bruce shit do they 

 

i had to snap back that they were not in NJ

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I finally watched Springsteen & I - I spotted it on Netflix while signing up for Springsteen on Broadway.

My favourites were the fella who didn't like Bruce and the Danish lady in the woods :lol:

The woman with the blonde curly hair who was 'gently lifted up onto the stage during Jungleland' (or something like that) gave me the heebie-jeebies.  Sorry.

 

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I haven't listened to much Bruce this year, and over the past few nights, when I've been listening to him again, it's been focused mostly on the absolute EPICS like Incident on 57th Street. I listened pretty hard to NYCS a few months back, too.

 

But right now, I have OUT IN THE STREET going and -- oh man, it's so good it almost hurts or is giving me chills. Hearing the clear musical genius that goes into all his epics -- and then hearing it refined towards just creating fun, catchy ROCK that's still imbued with all that same care and talent...... awesome.

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I hereby dedicate my 1000TH post on this forum to.... "REAL MAN"!!!!

 

...Because when I was going to dedicate it to a great song I immediately couldn't decide between Incident and Jungleland and Devil's Arcade and Lost in the Flood and Kitty's Back and LOHADand knew I'd regret whichever one I picked, so I was going to dedicate it to one of the first ones I heard but my first thought there was IWBWY but technically I knew BitUSA first but that's such a cliche, so I was going to just dedicate it to a great deep cut but couldn't decide between IWBWY or Take 'Em As They Come or Iceman, or 30 Days Out or All The Way Home [...] -- so SCREW IT, I'll dedicate it to something terrible instead. This is a Real Man appreciation comment.

 

Thanks, "REAL MAN", for serving as a reliable punchline for years and years. You did your best, and hey, you genuinely aren't in my bottom 3 songs off that album.

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12 minutes ago, CrushOnOutlawPete said:

.

 

Thanks, "REAL MAN", for serving as a reliable punchline for years and years. You did your best, and hey, you genuinely aren't in my bottom 3 songs off that album.

Are you crazy? What is possibly worse? I mean, All Or Nothing At All is well short of having it all and Pony Dude is more "oh, my giddy aunt" than giddy up but c'mon.... Real Man is real bad.

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1 hour ago, Bosstralian said:

Are you crazy? What is possibly worse? I mean, All Or Nothing At All is well short of having it all and Pony Dude is more "oh, my giddy aunt" than giddy up but c'mon.... Real Man is real bad.

Ooh, this would make a fun guessing game. "Pony Boy" is one of the three, my third-least favorite off the album -- granted, it might be lower but I've never even bothered adding it to my iTunes library and generally pretend it doesn't exist because it's so utterly baffling as a thing. Like, Bruce is better at closing tracks than he is at almost anything else. SO many of his songs bring albums to a really resounding close thematically, musically, emotionally, or often a combination of the three, that ties the whole thing together and makes it even better. It's one of the things he's best at. So adding to that sea.... Pony Boy? Pony Boy? Giddy Up?? What the hell. No. What?

 

Of course, omitting it from my library means that now the album DOES stop at "Real Man" for me :P -- but like, at least Real Man has some musical power to it. Now I'm not saying it has the power to move you, I'm not saying it has meaning or thematic power -- but like, at least when he sings it, it sounds like he means it and cares. And that leaves me wondering "Why does he mean it and care about such a mediocre song?" (at best; mostly I don't care enough to wonder haha) but at least it punctuates the album in SOME form. And at least it sounds like the rest of it.

 

All or Nothin' At All is not one of them. I have absolutely no problem with that song; it was actually an early favorite from the album for me, and remains one of the ones I listen to the most frequently. In fact, if I'm really gonna lose all credibility forever... since October 2015 (when I really started listening to A LOT of Springsteen), I've listened to All Or Nothin' At All 180 times. This ranks it as my #18 most-played Bruce song of the past three years, ahead of every single song off Darkness on the Edge of Town and Born to Run. :P (Not that it's nowhere near as good as them -- but dammit, it's fun and easy to listen to! I like it.)

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I believe Pony Boy was for Evan (or Sam? Whoever was born first). It's no worse than that thing that closes the Joad album :o I can't even think of the title!

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Haha, I was hoping someone would name Joad's closing track as an exception. Yeah, Pony Boy isn't the only non-great closing track in the Bruce canon -- but I do think the others are at worst fine and passable, and I'd put My Best Was Never Good Enough in that category. I don't really listen to that one or think it does too much, but it at least has something of a better purpose and to me comes off at worst "sure, fine" whereas Pony Boy is just this outright cringe of an entity that doesn't even need to exist.

 

...man. By the time MCOR hit, it had been a decade and a half since a great Bruce closing track. That's wild.

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3 hours ago, Bosstralian said:

Are you crazy? What is possibly worse? I mean, All Or Nothing At All is well short of having it all and Pony Dude is more "oh, my giddy aunt" than giddy up but c'mon.... Real Man is real bad.

I’m going to be 100% honest here - before I joined this forum I used to listen to Real Man a lot because I loved it - and I still do! What is wrong with me?! It’s horifically cheesy but I love it for that!:lol:

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2 hours ago, BobbyJames said:

I’m going to be 100% honest here - before I joined this forum I used to listen to Real Man a lot because I loved it - and I still do! What is wrong with me?! It’s horifically cheesy but I love it for that!:lol:

You know the advice they give a hostess who thinks her dinner didn't turn out quite the way she wanted: NEVER APOLOGIZE! As for you musical tastes in Springsteen: Never apologize. He put the things out, you are allowed to like them, no matter what others say!

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3 hours ago, berlintramp said:

You know the advice they give a hostess who thinks her dinner didn't turn out quite the way she wanted: NEVER APOLOGIZE! As for you musical tastes in Springsteen: Never apologize. He put the things out, you are allowed to like them, no matter what others say!

Not the reaction I was expecting - I thought I’d have my greasylake membership revoked - thanks!

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8 hours ago, janeymarywendy said:

I believe Pony Boy was for Evan (or Sam? Whoever was born first).

Of course it was.  It was Bruce giving us a glimpse into his private world, showing us his enjoyment of being a Dad. 
I am continually staggered when people treat this with such contempt.  I don't have children, but I do have the empathy to appreciate this. 
Bruce was sharing something very personal here.  Some people just don't deserve the privilege.

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I'm not a fan of "Real Man" in the sense that I don't really enjoy listening to it over many other Springsteen songs. However, because of its importance in my Uni Dissertation, it's one of the songs I appreciate Bruce writing the most. 

I think somebody mentioned this a while back, but the song does have some good contextual lyrics with the whole Rambo referencing and "I don't need no gun in my fist all I need is your sweet kiss". It's a nice callback to the perception of him as this Rambo-esque macho man people will have had from 1984/85 because of:

bruce-springsteen-1985-lg.jpg

And it's cool that Bruce addressed the idea of that persona and rebuked it. Though there can be an argument made that these lyrics and therefore "Real Man" as a whole were the major factor behind the mainstream popularity of Springsteen dwindling in the 90s. 

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10 hours ago, CrushOnOutlawPete said:

...man. By the time MCOR hit, it had been a decade and a half since a great Bruce closing track. That's wild.

My Beautiful Reward. That is 10 years, not a decade and a half.

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This ranking is determined by personal preference and has not been affected by The Greatest Springsteen Song Tournament. 

I'm also basing this completely off the studio version and am not taking into account live versions. Hell, I'm even gonna try to 'mimic' Pete and try to do some explanation for their placing in this ranking. There will most likely be controversy (addressed controversy albeit) in regards to Magic, WOAD and the absent Seeger Sessions.  

Closers:

  1. "Jungleland"
    While you'd think otherwise, I pondered momentarily whether this should be #1 in favour of the three below. Quite simply it's top because in my opinion it's the greatest Springsteen song ever, it closes the best Springsteen album and does contribute to the thematic integrity (does that even make sense?) of the album. 
  2. "Darkness on the Edge of Town"
    Is Darkness the best structured Springsteen album? If you think no, then fair enough. Darkness concludes the turning point in Springsteen's growth into maturity and is really benefited by some fucking sublime moments of ESSENCE. 
  3. "Wreck on the Highway"
    This one. Oooo. A part of me really wanted to put it top of the ranking because it's another instance where the thematic placing of the song is perfect*. The River is Springsteen's party album! The one made to resemble a live show, and as we all know a live show really should send the crowd home happy. That's what makes "Wreck" so damn perfect. It stops you, literally, in your tracks and makes you think about those things Bruce spoke about in 2016. "The River was about time. The time you get to live your life, to do your work, to raise your family, and to try and do something good". You never know when it's gonna end and "Wreck on the Highway" is the emphasis of that. 
  4. "Reason to Believe"
    *See above. Isn't it class how the party album ended with one to get you down and the stark realisation of life album ended with one to rise you up? And this happened two years apart. Sorry to sell you guys short with this one but I kinda don't know what to say other than that. Think about how I was gonna put this top, that says it all. 
  5. "My City of Ruins"
    Context context context. The greatest influence to any piece of literature or art. I fucking love the melody and message of this song and can still recall hearing it for the first time to a instinctive reaction of *check iPod and find out what this is right now*. At this point this ranking will probably become focused on my opinions of the songs rather than what they symbolise as album closers.
  6. "Devil's Arcade
    Right, so should I have included "Terry's Song" instead? I wasn't sure about bonus tracks, because in doing that I'd have had to include "Swallowed Up" over "We Are Alive" and that would've been shit. "Devil's Arcade" is mint for me purely on the name alone. War is the Devil's playground/game, Bruce played a blinder in the titling of this one. It took me longer than it should have to love this song, but I'm glad the moment eventually came. Everything about it is stunning, with the intro and that fucking build up around 3 and a half minutes being the songs highlights. 
  7. "My Hometown
    I know BITUSA is an album focusing on society and roles/lives of people in America, but even with the closing connection to "Born in the U.S.A." as the opener, "My Hometown" has always seemed out of place after "I'm Goin' Down", "Glory Days" and "Dancing in the Dark", and not in a way like "Wreck" comes after a selection of songs that contrast its themes on The River. "My Hometown" is a great song, but something's always been off for me in this regard.  
  8. "We Are Alive"
    For me, the unofficial tribute song for Clarence Clemons. "Let your mind rest easy, sleep well my friend, it’s only our bodies that betray us in the end" has been Bruce singing to C in my mind since the very first time I heard it. You'll probably all disagree with it being ranked above the next four, but it's personal preference, Wrecking Ball was my first album released as a fan and this has been important to me. 
  9. "New York City Serenade"
    I love "NYCS" ending WIESS, but the fact that it took a good few years to stop hating it really devalues it's place on my list. Like I said (over 30 minutes ago at this point, Jesus wept) I'm not including live versions so this one loses a lot of what makes it great in 2018 if we ponder what made it in what it was in 1973. I suppose there's a nice New York/New Jersey theme going through the album, but nothing like what came two later. 
  10. "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City"
    The first album closer. It's good, but quite simply it's not as good as the nine above. It's that straightforward. 
  11. "Valentine's Day"
    I don't know what it is with "Valentine's Day", but I always loved tracks 6 - 11 and then this seemed to me to be a random change in tone - and not like on The River and Nebraska. I expect after listening to it again the other night (And right now actually) it'd be higher up if I did this ranking in about 6 months time. Maybe it's that I actually haven't listened to it and taken it in that much over the years. Hm, stay tuned with this one. Oh, and saying what I've said, I do really like the "a friend of mine became a father last night" lyric written for Mr Landau, a very nice touch. 
  12. "The Last Carnival"
    So in what I lost in not writing about bonus tracks was the chance of writing about "The Wrestler", no worries though because "The Last Carnival" is a lovely song and an incredibly nice callback, for me, to WIESS. Maybe because of "Wild Billy's Circus Story" (And "Kitty's Back" for some reason) I've associated the word 'carnival' with The E Street Band circa. 1973, and with that it mainly resolutes with Danny. I'm aware I'm chatting absolute shit here so I apologise. Anyway, a really nice song on an album filled with some really nice songs, but at the same time they're just songs without any major connection, and that loses something for me. 
  13. "My Beautiful Reward"
    This one was written about Jessica, right? I've always thought so and because of that it's always made the song one of worth. That being said, not one I listen to a lot as I tend to make it four songs into Lucky Town and call it a day because what follows leading to this one is a bit of a downgrade. 
  14. "Dream Baby Dream"
    Honestly, after "Down in the Hole" it's my least favourite song on the album, but I prefer it to the ones listed below. 
  15. "Matamoras Banks"
    Placed here quite simply because my interest in the Devils and Dust album despite many listens - including live shows - remains minimal. It does nothing for me.
  16. "My Best Was Never Good Enough"
    Springsteen sings the cliches in a song I remember most for listening to when I was certain I was gonna fail an exam the next day. (Ya boy done passed though B))
  17. "Pony Boy"
    It's lucky to be included in the same list as tracks 1-15. It's harmless and it's good for a laugh, but has no significance in the Springsteen songbook. 
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