A first for me: a guest blogger. Reader JMQ from New Jersey (surprise!) sent not just a suggestion, but a fully written entry about Bruce Springsteen. I’ve been a big fan for years, and Bruce would definitely have found his place here. So thanks, JMQ, for this excellent submission.
In many ways, Bruce Springsteen is the embodiment of rock & roll. Combining strains of blues, rockabilly, and especially R&B, his work epitomizes rock’s deepest values: desire; the need for freedom; and the search to find yourself. He’s got his feet planted on either side of that great divide between rebellion and redemption.
All through his songs there is a generosity and a willingness to portray even the simplest aspects of our lives in a dramatic and committed way. His music has an almost cinematic quality to it, and has always had enormous range in terms of subject and emotion, as well as volume. His quietest stuff is as introspective as anyone’s, but at its loudest, it is the best house party or cruisin’ with the windows down/singing at the top of your lungs music there is.
But he also is one of the few songwriters who understands the sense of music as a healing power, embodied by The Rising album. Released in response to 9/11, it salutes the innocence of the victims, the courage of the responders, and holds out a hand to those who mourn them, who seek the comfort of an explanation for the inexplicable.
His concerts with his E Street Band are legendary for their epic length and a commitment to his audience to bring it every night – “it” being the ability to induce goose bumps and crowd pleasing rave ups. For the uninitiated, just multiply his Super Bowl appearance by 100 and you get an idea of what a typical show is like.
37 years, 16 albums, and 19 Grammy Awards later, his most resonant works stand as milestones in the lives of millions of fans. Long live The Boss.