Bruce Springsteen came out of New Jersey in the early 1970s sounding like a cross between Bob Dylan and early Tom Waits, backed by the rambunctious E Street Band. After toughening up his sound, Springsteen created his 1975 masterpiece, BORN TO RUN, which garnered critical acclaim for its blend of Spectorian grandeur and street poetry. Nine years later, BORN IN THE U.S.A. made him a worldwide superstar with its beefed-up stadium-rock sound. Along the way, he's produced such low-key acoustic-based milestones as NEBRASKA and THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD, never losing the blue-collar ethos that is central to his vision. His 2002 album, THE RISING, is considered one of the finest artistic responses to the 9/11tragedy produced in the event's immediate aftermath.
Track listing 1. Born in the U.S.A. 2. Cover Me 3. Darlington County 4. Working on the Highway 5. Downbound Train 6. I''m on Fire 7. No Surrender 8. Bobby Jean 9. I''m Goin'' Down 10. Glory Days 11. Dancing in the Dark 12. My Hometown Details Playing time: 46 min. Distributor: Sony Music Distribution Recording type: Studio Recording mode: Stereo
Born in the U.S.A. is an album painted in big, broad strokes. But it was still too subtle for some--namely politicians who tried to tap the title track as a jingoistic anthem when it is in fact a bitter diatribe by a Vietnam War vet whose country forgot him. The rest of the album is a glorious grab bag of radio-ready populist anthems--his best display of pure pop songwriting ever--including "No Surrender," "Dancing in the Dark," "Bobby Jean," and "Glory Days" alongside more circumspect numbers such as "My Hometown" and "I'm On Fire." It's not true that there's no arguing with success, but in this case Springsteen's widespread acclaim was warranted. With Born in the U.S.A., all those predictions from a decade earlier--that Springsteen was the future of rock--had come true. --Daniel Durchholz
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