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When you're alone


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I love it. When I left to go away to college at 22 years old (took sometime to work and go to community college) with a suitcase and a case of assorted liquor I told my family to “Have a nice life.” It was 1/2 kidding, 1/2 serious. Alas, I can crawling back 9 months later to figure life out some more. I love this song.

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I will add that the Tunnel of Love album is one reason I continue to come back to Western Stars to see if I’ve missed something. TOL did absolutely nothing for me until ‘98, ten years after it was released. When it hit me, it hit me hard. Now, my dislike for TOL was never to the level of WS but there was nothing on that album for me until all the sudden one day when there was.

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Not a huge fan, but even if it sounds almost cheerful, it's maybe the least sympathetic song on the album. It's possible to hear it as that. Even though he says that it isn't hard feelings or nothin' that makes him sing the song, I'm not entirely sure that's the truth. The chorus repeats that when you're alone, you're alone (I don't think he's talking about himself, either - but it's somewhat ambiguous, too; sort of like Stones on WS.) and in each subsequent chorus more and more people chime in and hammer the point home; he's not alone, but she sure is. Don't know how significant Clarence's sole contribution on the album is, but one sure can assume (and over-analyze).

That's just one way of hearing it, I just heard it from that angle a few years ago. But if you base your hearing of the song on that, this song can be heard as the most bitter, the meanest and least sympathetic song in Bruce's catalogue.

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42 minutes ago, Dr. Zoom said:

That's just one way of hearing it, 

And a very interesting way. Maybe not true, but very interesting indeed -with maybe some 'over-analyze' as you say.

....then this could be followed by: 'but the different possible interpretations just add to the greatness of the song'....except that it is not a great song.

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3 hours ago, Jimmy James said:

OK Birthday girl, I mean Gus, is there a song you don't care for besides Harry's Place? :D

Haha!  

Well... It’s true that the vast, VAST majority are either in the ‘Can’t live without; love, love, love; really love; or really like a lot’ category; and some are in the ‘it’s ok’ or  ‘take or leave’ category; But yes, my friend... although there aren’t many AT ALL, there are a few I don’t care for.  

What can I tell ya?  For me, (although there are many, MANY musicians and bands I absolutely adore) there’s Bruce, and then there’s everybody else.  

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I think the song captures that one and usually abrupt moment of realization when it hits you that you no longer love the person you should.

I hear freedom, a touch of sarcasm, and one very brilliant line:

It's just nobody knows baby where love goes
But when it goes it's gone gone...

So true.

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13 hours ago, rosiejaneymary said:

Yes.  Great song.  

its a great compliment to both you and dear Gus,  to be called Gus :)

12 hours ago, Jimmy James said:

OK Birthday girl, I mean Gus, is there a song you don't care for besides Harry's Place? :D

a really long kitty i beleave :(

;)

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It's one of my favourite Bruce songs.  When his marriage went south, I thought of this line in the song,

"That pretty form that you've got baby will make sure you get along, but you're gonna find out someday honey, when you're alone, you're alone"

With Julianne being a model and an actress I wondered if he sang it straight at her.

Interestingly (to me) he revisited that theme in You'll Be Coming Down.  "You'll be fine as long as your pretty face holds out, then it's gonna get pretty cold out"

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12 minutes ago, Promise61 said:

It's one of my favourite Bruce songs.  When his marriage went south, I thought of this line in the song,

"That pretty form that you've got baby will make sure you get along, but you're gonna find out someday honey, when you're alone, you're alone"

With Julianne being a model and an actress I wondered if he sang it straight at her.

Interestingly (to me) he revisited that theme in You'll Be Coming Down.  "You'll be fine as long as your pretty face holds out, then it's gonna get pretty cold out"

Thought just about the same thing when I heard You'll Be Comin' Down.

Not significant in any way (maybe just interesting - to some), but Magic was released almost exactly 20 years after Tunnel.

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1 hour ago, Promise61 said:

I

Interestingly (to me) he revisited that theme in You'll Be Coming Down.  "You'll be fine as long as your pretty face holds out, then it's gonna get pretty cold out"

 

57 minutes ago, Dr. Zoom said:

Thought just about the same thing when I heard You'll Be Comin' Down.

Was You'll Be Comin' Down not about Bruce's extra-marital affair?

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20 hours ago, stillilllife said:

This thread is for a song that I feel doesn't get talked about that much at all. For me it's no doubt in the top 5 of the album it's on.
Any more fans of this beautiful song?

Yes, it's been my signature quote on this forum for a while now for personal reasons haha. I love the song and I also find it incredibly underrated for its simplicity and placement on an amazing album. 

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1 minute ago, 1651997 said:

Although I find it a shame Bruce decided not to play this song on the Tunnel Of Love tour, that is the best version of the song I've ever heard.

For me it's the best officially released live version for sure. And it's not kicking about on YouTube anymore, but there is circulating audio of "When You're Alone" being played in the soundcheck from 1988. 

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Just now, Paolo's Circus Story said:

For me it's the best officially released live version for sure. And it's not kicking about on YouTube anymore, but there is circulating audio of "When You're Alone" being played in the soundcheck from 1988. 

Yes! The audio is great and despite the flub on the bridge it's just so beautiful that one really wonders why they didn't give it a try. Not to mention Valentine's Day...

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8 hours ago, Eileen said:

The first time I played this at home my (then) husband shouted through from another room, 'I wonder what that one's called?'

Slightly repetitive. But ok.

Shut out the light is another song that's repetitive, but I feel that both songs just benefit from it with their mantra-like qualities that make me lose myself in them.

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4 hours ago, 1651997 said:

Yes, it's been my signature quote on this forum for a while now for personal reasons haha. I love the song and I also find it incredibly underrated for its simplicity and placement on an amazing album. 

Everything from walk like a man on is just sequenced perfectly. You can really feel the story of Bruce’s marriage to Julianne. I’m rarely in the mood to listen to TOL but whenever I do I’m always blown away. I appreciate it more with age.

Its not surprisingly that most of these songs were rarely played after 88, other than on the devils and dust tour. The TOL songs are better suited for smaller venue shows rather than stadiums, although they sounded great with the horns.

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1 minute ago, Promise61 said:

Q magazine once said of TOL,  that the darkness on the edge of town had seeped into the master bedroom.  I thought that was pretty good.

This is a magnificent description. 

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