Friday, November 11, 2022

A Bruce Springsteen Retrospective: 1966-2022

Bruce Springsteen

A Retrospective: 1966-2022

A Brief History:

In conjunction with the release of his autobiography, Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen is also celebrated with a new collection of his work, this one spanning fifty years. Here’s a look at five different compilations (and variations of them) which have been released over the years. Collectively, the 50+ songs represented by these collections would make a very respectable career-spanning 4-disc box set.


The E Street Band:

  • Roy Bittan (keyboards: 1974-present)
  • Clarence Clemons (saxophone: 1972-2011). Died in 2011.
  • Jake Clemons (saxophone: 2012-present)
  • Danny Federici (keyboards: 1972-2008). Died in 2008.
  • Nils Lofgren (guitar: 1984-present)
  • Vini Lopez (drums: 1972-74)
  • David Sancious (keyboards: 1972-74)
  • Patti Scialfa (keyboards, guitars, backing vocals: 1984-)
  • Gary Tallent (bass: 1972-)
  • Steven Van Zandt (guitar: 1975-83, 1995-present)
  • Max Weinberg (drums: 1974-)


Links:

Awards:

(Click on award to learn more).

Compilations:

This page highlights the compilations below.



Live Albums:


The Studio Albums:

This page offers snapshots of all the studio albums below, noting those songs which appear on compilations with the codes noted above. Appearing after song titles are the songwriters in italicized parentheses, running times in brackets, and when relevant, the date the song was released as a single and its peaks on various charts. Click for codes to singles charts.

Hover over an album cover to see its title and year of release. Click on the album to go to its dedicated DMDB page.

Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.

Released: January 5, 1973


Peak: 60 US, 41 UK, -- CN, 71 AU, 13 DF


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, -- UK, 3.5 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: classic rock


Rating:

3.873 out of 5.00 (average of 22 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Blinded by the Light (2/73, --) E03,GE
  2. Growin’ Up L85,E15,V,B1,B2
  3. Mary Queen of Arkansas
  4. Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
  5. Lost in the Flood NY
  6. The Angel
  7. For You (5/73, --) E03
  8. Spirit in the Night (5/73, --) L85,E03,B2
  9. It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City L85

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

All Music Guide review by William Ruhlmann:

“Bruce Springsteen's debut album found him squarely in the tradition of Bob Dylan: folk-based tunes arranged for an electric band featuring piano and organ (plus, in Springsteen's case, 1950s-style rock & roll tenor saxophone breaks), topped by acoustic guitar and a husky voice singing lyrics full of elaborate, even exaggerated imagery. But where Dylan had taken a world-weary, cynical tone, Springsteen was exuberant. His street scenes could be haunted and tragic, as they were in Lost in the Flood, but they were still imbued with romanticism and a youthful energy. Asbury Park painted a portrait of teenagers cocksure of themselves yet bowled over by their discovery of the world. It was saved from pretentiousness (if not preciousness) by its sense of humor and by the careful eye for detail that kept even the most high-flown language rooted. Like the lyrics, the arrangements were busy, but the melodies were well developed and the rhythms, pushed by drummer Vincent Lopez, were breakneck.”

The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle

Released: September 11, 1973


Peak: 59 US, 33 UK, -- CN, 60 AU


Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, -- UK, 3.5 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: classic rock


Rating:

4.055 out of 5.00 (average of 22 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. The E Street Shuffle
  2. 4th of July (Sandy) (1974 single) L85,E03,E15,V,B2
  3. Kitty’s Back
  4. Wild Billy’s Circus Story
  5. Incident on 57th Street
  6. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) L85,E03,GA,GE,C,E15,B1,B2
  7. New York City Serenade

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

All Music Guide review by William Ruhlmann:

“Bruce Springsteen expanded the folk-rock approach of his debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., to strains of jazz, among other styles, on its ambitious follow-up, released only eight months later. His chief musical lieutenant was keyboard player David Sancious, who lived on the E Street that gave the album and Springsteen's backup group its name. With his help, Springsteen created a street-life mosaic of suburban society that owed much in its outlook to Van Morrison's romanticization of Belfast in Astral Weeks. Though Springsteen expressed endless affection and much nostalgia, his message was clear: this was a goodbye-to-all-that from a man who was moving on. The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle represented an astonishing advance even from the remarkable promise of Greetings; the unbanded three-song second side in particular was a flawless piece of music. Musically and lyrically, Springsteen had brought an unruly muse under control and used it to make a mature statement that synthesized popular musical styles into complicated, well-executed arrangements and absorbing suites; it evoked a world precisely even as that world seemed to disappear. Following the personnel changes in the E Street Band in 1974, there is a conventional wisdom that this album is marred by production lapses and performance problems, specifically the drumming of Vini Lopez. None of that is true. Lopez's busy Keith Moon style is appropriate to the arrangements in a way his replacement, Max Weinberg, never could have been. The production is fine. And the album's songs contain the best realization of Springsteen's poetic vision, which soon enough would be tarnished by disillusionment. He would later make different albums, but he never made a better one. The truth is, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle is one of the greatest albums in the history of rock & roll.”

Born to Run

Released: August 25, 1975


Peak: 3 US, 17 UK, 31 CN, 7 AU, 14 DF


Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 0.3 UK, 10.4 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: classic rock


Rating:

4.636 out of 5.00 (average of 29 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Thunder Road [4:49] (1 CL) L85,IC,95,E03,GA,GE,C,E15,B1,B2
  2. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out [3:10] (1/10/76, 83 US, 5 CL, 82 CN) L85,NY,E15,B2
  3. Night [3:00]
  4. Backstreets [6:30] (12 CL) L85
  5. Born to Run [4:30] (8/25/75, 23 US, 1 CL, 16 UK, 53 CN, 38 AU) L85,95,NY,E03,GA,GE,C,E15,V,B1,B2
  6. She’s the One [4:30] (12 CL)
  7. Meeting Across the River [3:18] (8/25/75, 21 CL)
  8. Jungleland [9:35] (4 CL) NY,E03

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

Darkness on the Edge of Town

Released: June 2, 1978


Peak: 5 US, 16 UK, 7 CN, 9 AU, 11 DF


Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.1 UK, 5.5 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: classic rock


Rating:

4.452 out of 5.00 (average of 26 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Badlands (8/78, 42 US, 52 CB, 44 CN) L85,95,NY,E03,GA,GE,C,E15,V,B1,B2
  2. Adam Raised a Cain L85
  3. Something in the Night
  4. Candy’s Room L85
  5. Racing in the Street L85
  6. The Promised Land (10/78, --) L85,E03,C,E15
  7. Factory
  8. Streets of Fire
  9. Prove It All Night (5/23/78, 33 US, 53 CB, 57 CN, 90 AU) NY,E15,B2
  10. Darkness on the Edge of Town IC,L85,E03,GA,GE

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

The Promise

Recorded: 1977-78, 2010

Released: November 16, 2010


Peak: 16 US, 7 UK, 27 CN, 22 AU, 14 DF


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.1 UK, 0.85 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: classic rock


Rating:

3.733 out of 5.00 (average of 18 ratings)

Tracks, Disc 1:

  1. Racing in the Street (’78)
  2. Gotta Get That Feeling
  3. Outside Looking In
  4. Someday We’ll Be Together
  5. One Way Street
  6. Because the Night (live – recorded 12/28/80, charted 12/6/86, 22 AR) L85,GE
  7. Wrong Side of the Street
  8. The Brokenhearted
  9. Rendezvous
  10. Candy’s Boy
Tracks, Disc 2:
  1. Save My Love
  2. Ain’t Good Enough for You
  3. Fire (live – recorded 12/16/78, charted 11/22/86, 46 US, 14 AR, 54 UK, 42 CN, 82 AU) L85,GE
  4. Spanish Eyes
  5. It’s a Shame
  6. Come On (Let’s Go Tonight)
  7. Talk to Me
  8. The Little Things My Baby Does
  9. Breakaway
  10. The Promise
  11. City of Night
  12. The Way

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Fire” and “Because the Night” were recorded in 1978, but not released until The Promise in 2010. Live versions of the songs were on Live 1975/1985.

Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

The River

Released: October 10, 1980


Peak: 14 US, 2 UK, 13 CN, 8 AU


Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 0.3 UK, 10.0 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: classic rock


Rating:

4.241 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)

Tracks, Disc 1:

  1. The Ties That Bind E15
  2. Sherry Darling
  3. Jackson Cage
  4. Two Hearts L85,NY
  5. Independence Day (5/81, --) L85
  6. Hungry Heart (10/21/80, 5 US, 6 CB, 28 UK, 5 CN, 33 AU) L85,95,E03,GA,GE,C,E15,B1,B2
  7. Out in the Street NY,E15
  8. Crush on You
  9. You Can Look But You Better Not Touch L85
  10. I Wanna Marry You
  11. The River (6/13/81, 35 UK) L85,95,NY,E03,GE,E15,V,B2
Tracks, Disc 2:
  1. Point Blank (4/4/81, 20 AR)
  2. Cadillac Ranch (3/28/81, 48 AR) L85
  3. I’m a Rocker (3/21/81, 42 AR)
  4. Fade Away (1/22/81, 20 BB, 14 AR, 19 CN)
  5. Stolen Car
  6. Ramrod (4/11/81, 30 AR) NY
  7. The Price You Pay
  8. Drive All Night
  9. Wreck on the Highway

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

Nebraska

Released: September 20, 1982


Peak: 3 US, 3 UK, 3 CN, 8 AU


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.6 UK, 4.5 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: folk rock


Rating:

4.110 out of 5.00 (average of 24 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Nebraska L85,E03
  2. Atlantic City (10/9/82, 10 AR, 49 CN) IC,95,NY,E03,C,E15,B1,B2
  3. Mansion on the Hill NY
  4. Johnny 99 (10/9/82, 50 AR) L85,E15
  5. Highway Patroman
  6. State Trooper
  7. Used Cars
  8. Open All Night (10/9/22, 22 AR)
  9. My Father’s House V
  10. Reason to Believe L85

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

All Music Guide review by William Ruhlmann:

“There is an adage in the record business that a recording artist's demos of new songs often come off better than the more polished versions later worked up in a studio. But Bruce Springsteen was the first person to act on that theory, when he opted to release the demo versions of his latest songs, recorded with only acoustic or electric guitar, harmonica, and vocals, as his sixth album, Nebraska. It was really the content that dictated the approach, however. Nebraska's ten songs marked a departure for Springsteen, even as they took him farther down a road he had been traveling previously. Gradually, his songs had become darker and more pessimistic, and those on Nebraska marked a new low. They also found him branching out into better developed stories. The title track was a first-person account of the killing spree of mass murderer Charlie Starkweather. (It can't have been coincidental that the same story was told in director Terrence Malick's 1973 film Badlands, also used as a Springsteen song title.) That song set the tone for a series of portraits of small-time criminals, desperate people, and those who loved them. Just as the recordings were unpolished, the songs themselves didn't seem quite finished; sometimes the same line turned up in two songs. But that only served to unify the album. Within the difficult times, however, there was hope, especially as the album went on. Open All Night was a Chuck Berry-style rocker, and the album closed with Reason to Believe, a song whose hard-luck verses were belied by the chorus — even if the singer couldn't understand what it was, "people find some reason to believe." Still, Nebraska was one of the most challenging albums ever released by a major star on a major record label.”

Born in the U.S.A.

Released: June 4, 1984


Peak: 17 US, 15 UK, 113 CN, 18 AU, 18 DF


Sales (in millions): 15.0 US, 0.9 UK, 30.0 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: classic rock


Rating:

4.595 out of 5.00 (average of 29 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Born in the U.S.A. [4:39] (6/23/84, 9 US, 8 AR, 5 UK, 11 CN, 2 AU, gold single) L85,95,NY,E03,GA,GE,C,E15,V,B1,B2
  2. Cover Me [3:26] (6/23/84, 7 US, 2 AR, 16 UK, 12 CN, 17 AU, gold single) L85
  3. Darlington County [4:48] L85
  4. Working on the Highway [3:11] L85
  5. Downbound Train [3:35]
  6. I’m on Fire [2:36] (2/16/85, 5a US, 4 AR, 6 AC, 5 UK, 12 CN, 12 AU) L85,GE
  7. No Surrender [4:00] (6/16/84, 29 AR) L85
  8. Bobby Jean [3:46] (6/23/84, 36 AR) L85
  9. I’m Goin’ Down [3:29] (9/7/85, 9 US, 9 AR, 23 CN, 41 AU)
  10. Glory Days [4:15] (5/25/85, 4a US, 3 AR, 17 UK, 17 CN, 29 AU) 95,E03,GA,GE,E15,B2
  11. Dancing in the Dark [4:01] (5/3/84, 2 US, 1 AR, 4 UK, 3 CN, 5 AU, platinum single) 95,E03,GA,GE,C,E15,B1,B2
  12. My Hometown [4:33] (12/7/85, 6 US, 6 AR, 1 AC, 9 UK, 16 CN, 47 AU, gold single) L85,95,NY

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

Live 1975/1985

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band


Recorded: October 18, 1975 to September 30, 1985


Released: November 10, 1986

Peak: 17 US, 4 UK, 17 CN, 3 AU, 14 DF


Sales (in millions): 12.0 US, 0.1 UK, 13.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock


Rating:

4.304 out of 5.00 (average of 24 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

Tracks, Disc 1: (1) Thunder Road (2) Adam Raised a Cain (3) Spirit in the Night (4) 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (5) Paradise by the “C” (6) Fire (7) Growin’ Up (8) It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City (9) Backstreets (10) Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (11) Raise Your Hand (12) Hungry Heart (13) Two Hearts

Tracks, Disc 2: (1) Cadillac Ranch (2) You Can Look But You Better Not Touch (3) Independence Day (4) Badlands (5) Because the Night (6) Candy’s Room (7) Darkness on the Edge of Town (8) Racing in the Street (9) This Land Is Your Land (10) Nebraska (11) Johnny 99 (12) Reason to Believe (13) Born in the U.S.A. (14) Seeds

Tracks, Disc 3: (1) The River (2) War (3) Darlington County (4) Working on the Highway (5) The Promised Land (6) Cover Me (7) I’m on Fire (8) Bobby Jean (9) My Hometown (10) Born to Run (11) No Surrender (12) Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (13) Jersey Girl


Total Running Time: 216:13


Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Paradise by the “C” (live 7/7/78)
  • Raise Your Hand (live 7/7/78, charted 12/10/86, 44 AR)
  • This Land Is Your Land (live 12/28/80)
  • Jersey Girl (live 7/9/81)
  • War (live 9/30/85, released 11/10/86, 8 BB, 4 AR, 18 UK, 11 CN, 38 AU, 1 DF)
  • Seeds (live 9/30/85)


About the Album:

Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

Tunnel of Love

Released: October 9, 1987


Peak: 11 US, 11 UK, 11 CN, 5 AU, 12 DF


Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.3 UK, 8.5 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: classic rock


Rating:

4.102 out of 5.00 (average of 22 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Ain’t Got You [2:11]
  2. Tougher Than the Rest [4:35] (6/18/88, 13 UK, 35 AU) E15,B2
  3. All That Heaven Will Allow [2:39] (2/27/88, 5 AR)
  4. Spare Parts [3:44] (10/17/87, 28 AR, 32 UK, 57 AU)
  5. Cautious Man [3:58]
  6. Walk Like a Man [3:45]
  7. Tunnel of Love [5:12] (10/17/87, 9 US, 12 CB, 13 RR, 13 AC, 1 AR, 45 UK, 17 CN, 41 AU) E03
  8. Two Faces [3:03]
  9. Brilliant Disguise [4:17] (9/25/87, 5 US, 4 CB, 5 RR, 5 AC, 1 AR, 20 UK, 9 CN, 17 AU) 95,E03,C,E15,V,B1,B2
  10. One Step Up [4:22] (12/12/87, 13 US, 17 CB, 15 RR, 3 AC, 2 AR, 23 CN, 67 AU) E15
  11. When You’re Alone [3:24]
  12. Valentine’s Day [5:10]

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

Human Touch

Released: March 31, 1992


Peak: 2 US, 11 UK, 2 CN, 3 AU, 11 DF


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.1 UK, 4.5 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: veteran classic rock


Rating:

3.257 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Human Touch [6:32] (3/13/92, 14 US, 13 CB, 8 AC, 13 AR, 11 UK, 2 CN, 17 AU) IC,95,E03,C,E15,B1,B2
  2. Soul Driver [4:39]
  3. 57 Channels and Nothin’ On [2:28] (4/11/92, 68 BB, 6 AR, 32 UK, 25 CN)
  4. Cross My Heart (Springsteen/Williamson) [3:51]
  5. Gloria’s Eyes [3:46]
  6. With Every Wish [4:39]
  7. Roll of the Dice (Bittan/Springsteen) [4:17] (4/25/92, 6 AR)
  8. Real World (Bittan/Springsteen) [5:26]
  9. All or Nothin’ at All [3:23] (4/11/92, 47 AR)
  10. Man’s Job [4:37] IC
  11. I Wish I Were Blind [4:48] IC
  12. The Long Goodbye [3:30]
  13. Real Man [4:33]
  14. Pony Boy (Springsteen/traditional) [2:14]

Songs by Bruce Springsteen unless noted otherwise.

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

All Music Guide review by William Ruhlmann:

“Bruce Springsteen has always been steeped in mainstream pop/rock music, using it as a vocabulary for what he wanted to say about weightier matters. He has always written generic pop as well, but Human Touch was the first album to consist entirely of this kind of minor genre material, which he seems capable of turning out endlessly and effortlessly. Having largely jettisoned the E Street Band, Springsteen enlisted some sturdy minor talent to play and sing, among them ace studio drummer Jeff Porcaro, Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, and Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers. It's pleasant enough stuff, and easy to listen to, but it is not the kind of record Springsteen had conditioned his audience to expect, and its release brought considerable disappointment. Though at nearly 59 minutes it was the longest single-disc album of his career, and though it contained several songs that could have been big hits — the ‘Tunnel of Love’ soundalike title track, which actually made the Top 40, Roll of the Dice, an AOR radio favorite, and Man's JobHuman Touch was an uninspired Springsteen album, his first that didn’t at least aspire to greatness.”

Lucky Town

Released: March 31, 1992


Peak: 3 US, 2 UK, 3 CN, 6 AU, 6 DF


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 4.0 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: veteran classic rock


Rating:

3.558 out of 5.00 (average of 21 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Better Days [4:08] (3/21/92, 16 US, 2 AR, 34 UK, 75 AU) IC,95,E15
  2. Lucky Town [3:27] (4/10/93, 48 UK) IC,E03
  3. Local Hero [4:04]
  4. If I Should Fall Behind [2:57] (2/2/94) IC,NY,E15,B2
  5. Leap of Faith [3:27] (8/29/92, 28 AR, 46 UK, 48 CN)
  6. The Big Muddy [4:06]
  7. Living Proof [4:19] IC,E03,V,B2
  8. Book of Dreams [4:24]
  9. Souls of the Departed [4:18]
  10. My Beautiful Reward [3:55] IC


All Music Guide review by William Ruhlmann:

“Reportedly, Bruce Springsteen recorded most of Human Touch in 1990, but left it unreleased. He returned to work in the fall of 1991, intending to add a song, but ended up recording a whole new album, Lucky Town, and then decided to release both records at the same time in the spring of 1992. He might have been better off pulling a couple of the stronger songs from the earlier album, adding them to the later one (which runs less than 40 minutes), and shelving the rest. While Human Touch was a disappointing album of second-rate material, Lucky Town is an ambitious collection addressing many of Springsteen’s major concerns and moving them forward. Here was the rage and the humor, the sense of compassion, the loyalty and commitment that had been the stuff of Springsteen's best music from the beginning. Songs like Better Days and Local Hero commented on and deflated the commercial success with which Springsteen clearly felt uncomfortable; If I Should Fall Behind and Book of Dreams expressed romantic fidelity and generosity; Souls of the Departed contained scathing social commentary; and My Beautiful Reward was a meditative epilogue. The lyrics were better, the arrangements tighter, the performances more powerful than those on the companion release. If Lucky Town, like Tunnel of Love and Human Touch before it, sounded a little under-produced, it nevertheless had the mark of the major artist Springsteen is, and if he had released it alone, it might have had a more significant impact.”

In Concert/MTV Plugged

Bruce Springsteen


Recorded: September 22, 1992


Released: April 12, 1993

Peak: 189 US, 4 UK, -- CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.1 UK, 1.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: veteran classic rock


Rating:

3.620 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)

Tracks: (1) Red Headed Woman (2) Better Days (3) Atlantic City (4) Darkness on the Edge of Town (5) Man’s Job (6) Human Touch (7) Lucky Town (8) I Wish I Were Blind (9) Thunder Road (10) Light of Day (11) If I Should Fall Behind (12) Living Proof (13) My Beautiful Reward


Total Running Time: 71:38


Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Red Headed Woman IC
  • Light of Day IC


About the Album:

When MTV tapped Bruce Springsteen for an Unplugged appearance, he broke from the traditional acoustic-based format and used amplified instruments on all but the lead track, “Red Headed Woman.” That cut was previously unreleased. This album also marked the first appearance of Springsteen doing “Light of Day,” a song he wrote for the 1987 movie of the same name.

Greatest Hits (1995)

Bruce Springsteen


Released: February 28, 1995


Recorded: 1975-1995


Peak: 12 US, 12 UK, 15 CN, 11 AU


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.6 UK, 15.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: rock


Tracks: (1) Born to Run (2) Thunder Road (3) Badlands (4) The River (5) Hungry Heart (6) Atlantic City (7) Dancing in the Dark (8) Born in the U.S.A. (9) My Hometown (10) Glory Days (11) Brilliant Disguise (12) Human Touch (13) Better Days (14) Streets of Philadelphia (15) Secret Garden (16) Murder Incorporated (17) Blood Brothers (18) This Hard Land


Total Running Time: 76:35

Rating:

4.178 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About Greatest Hits (1995):

The first compilation from “The Boss” covered his then more-than-twenty-year career in the span of 18 songs. Included are top ten hits Hungry Heart, Dancing in the Dark, Born in the U.S.A., Glory Days, My Hometown, Brilliant Disguse, and Streets of Philadelphia as well as the quintessential Born to Run.

However, there are other top ten hits (“Cover Me,” “I’m on Fire,” “I’m Goin’ Down,” “War”) omitted from this collection in favor of album cuts like Thunder Road and The River. Bruce’s first two albums aren’t represented at all. Instead, there are four new songs, “the best of which is an outtake from the Born in the U.S.A. sessions (Murder Incorporated).” 95-A The other new songs “follow the synth-laden adult contemporary direction Springsteen began pursuing with ‘Streets of Philadelphia,’ only without the lyricism or melody.” 95-A In the end, “it’s a mixed bag, drawing an incomplete portrait of one of the prime rockers of the ‘70s and ‘80s.” 95-A


Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Murder Incorporated (recorded 1982, charted 3/4/95, 14 AR, 5 CN) 95,NY,E15
  • This Hard Land (recorded 5/11/82) NY,95
  • Streets of Philadelphia (2/2/94, 9 US, 6 CB, 3 AC, 25 AR, 2 UK, 1CN, 4 AU) 95,E03,C,E15,B1,B2
  • Secret Garden (4/11/95, 19 US, 66 CB, 5 AC, 12 A40, 17 UK, 7 CN, 9 AU) 95,B1,B2
  • Blood Brothers 95

The Ghost of Tom Joad

Released: November 21, 1995


Peak: 11 US, 16 UK, 15 CN, 27 AU, 12 DF


Sales (in millions): 0.54 US, 0.1 UK, 3.0 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: folk rock


Rating:

3.297 out of 5.00 (average of 21 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. The Ghost of Tom Joad [4:23] (11/21/95, 26 UK, 34 CN) E03,C,E15,V,B1,B2
  2. Straight Time [3:25]
  3. Highway 29 [3:39]
  4. Youngstown [3:52] NY
  5. Sinaloa Cowboys [3:51]
  6. The Line [5:14]
  7. Balboa Park [3:19]
  8. Dry Lightning [3:30]
  9. The New Timer [5:45]
  10. Across the Border [5:24]
  11. Galveston Bay [5:04]
  12. My Best Was Never Good Enough [2:00]

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

All Music Guide review by Mark Deming:

“In 1982, with Ronald Reagan in the White House and much of America torn between a newly fierce patriotism and the dispassionate conservatism of the dawning ‘Greed Is Good’ era, a number of roots-oriented rock musicians began examining the State of the Union in song, and one of the most powerful albums to come out of this movement was Bruce Springsteen's stark, home-recorded masterpiece Nebraska. In 1995, Bill Clinton was president, America was congratulating itself for a new era of high-tech peace and prosperity, and Springsteen returned to the themes and approach of Nebraska with The Ghost of Tom Joad, an album that suggested little had changed in the past thirteen years – except Americans had gotten better at ignoring the increasingly sharp divide between the rich and the poor, and that illegal aliens who had come to America looking for the fabled land of Milk and Honey were being forced to shoulder a heavy and dangerous burden in America's underground economy. With several of its songs drawn directly from news stories, The Ghost of Tom Joad is more explicitly political than Nebraska (more so than anything in Springsteen's catalog, for that matter), and while the arrangements are more full-bodied than those on Nebraska (five cuts feature a full band), the production and the overall tone is, if anything, even starker and more low-key, with the lyrics all the more powerful for their spare backdrops. While there's an undertow of bitterness in this album's tales of an America that has turned its back on the working class and the foreign-born, there's also a tremendous compassion in songs like The Line, Sinaloa Cowboys, Balboa Park, and the title cut, which lend their subjects a dignity fate failed to give them. Individually, these songs, either angry or plaintive, are clean and expertly drawn tales of life along this nation's margins, and their cumulative effect is nothing short of heart-breaking; anyone who pegged Springsteen as a zealously patriotic conservative in the wake of the widely misunderstood Born in the U.S.A. needs to hear this disc. The Ghost of Tom Joad failed to find the same audience (or the same wealth of media attention) that embraced Nebraska, but on it's own terms it's a striking and powerful album, and certainly one of Springsteen's most deeply personal works.”

Live in New York City

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band


Recorded: June 29 – July 1, 2000


Released: March 21, 2001


Peak: 5 US, 12 UK, 19 CN, 30 AU, 13 DF


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.06 UK, 1.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: rock


Tracks, Disc 1: (1) My Love Will Not Let You Down (2) Prove It All Night (3) Two Hearts (4) Atlantic City (5) Mansion on the Hill (6) The River (7) Youngstown (8) Murder Incorporated (9) Badlands (10) Out in the Street (11) Born to Run

Tracks, Disc 2: (1) Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (2) Land of Hope and Dreams (3) American Skin (41 Shots) (4) Lost in the Flood (5) Born in the U.S.A. (6) Don’t Look Back (7) Jungeland (8) Ramrod (9) If I Should Fall Behind (10) My Hometown (11) This Hard Land


Total Running Time: 143:57

Rating:

4.199 out of 5.00 (average of 12 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About Live in New York City:

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band did a reunion tour in 1999-2000, marking their first time working together in 11 years. The stops in New York City on June 29 and July 1 were filmed for HBO and later released as a DVD and CD. These were the last two shows of the group’s ten-show ending run at Madison Square Garden.


Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Don’t Look Back (recorded 7/2/77, released 11/10/98 on Tracks box set) NY
  • My Love Will Not Let You Down (recorded 5/5/1982, released 11/10/98 on Tracks box set) NY
  • Land of Hope and Dreams (7/16/02, --) NY,E03
  • American Skin (41 Shots) NY,E03

The Rising

Released: July 30, 2002


Peak: 12 US, 11 UK, 11 CN, 4 AU, 14 DF


Sales (in millions): 2.1 US, 0.1 UK, 5.0 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: veteran classic rock


Rating:

4.270 out of 5.00 (average of 39 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Lonesome Day [4:08] (10/6/02, 36 A40, 3 AA, 39 UK) E03,GA,GE,E15
  2. Into the Fire [5:04]
  3. Waitin’ on a Sunny Day [4:18] (4/7/03, --)
  4. Nothing Man [4:23]
  5. Countin’ on a Miracle [4:44]
  6. Empty Sky [3:34]
  7. Worlds Apart [6:07]
  8. Let’s Be Friends (Skin to Skin) [4:21]
  9. Further on Up the Road [3:52]
  10. The Fuse [5:37]
  11. Mary’s Place [6:03] E03
  12. You’re Missing [5:10]
  13. The Rising [4:50] (7/13/02, 52 US, 26 AC, 16 A40, 13 AA, 24 AR, 94 UK) E03,GA,GE,C,E15,V,B1,B2
  14. Paradise [5:39]
  15. My City of Ruins [5:00]

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

The Essential (2003)

Bruce Springsteen


Released: November 11, 2003


Recorded: 1973-2002


Peak: 14 US, 28 UK, -- CN, 43 AU


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 2.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: rock


Tracks, Disc 1: (1) Blinded by the Light (2) For You (3) Spirit in the Night (4) 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (5) Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (6) Thunder Road (7) Born to Run (8) Jungleland (9) Badlands (10) Darkness on the Edge of Town (11) The Promised Land (12) The River (13) Hungry Heart (14) Nebraska (15) Atlantic City

Tracks, Disc 2: (1) Born in the U.S.A. (2) Glory Days (3) Dancing in the Dark (4) Tunnel of Love (5) Brilliant Disguise (6) Human Touch (7) Living Proof (8) Lucky Town (9) Streets of Philadelphia (10) The Ghost of Tom Joad (11) The Rising (12) Mary’s Place (13) Lonesome Day (14) American Skin (41 Shots) (15) Land of Hope and Dreams

Tracks, Disc 3: (1) From Small Things Big Things One Day Come (2) The Big Payback (3) Held Up without a Gun (4) Trapped (5) None But the Brave (6) Missing (7) Lift Me Up (8) Viva Las Vegas (9) County Fair (10) Code of Silence (11) Dead Man Walkin’ (120 Countin’ on a Miracle


Total Running Time: 3:21:04

Rating:

4.440 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About The Essential (2003):

2003 saw a much-needed double-disc (three if you count the disc of rarities) treatment of Springsteen’s career. For better or worse, this isn’t just an expansion of 1995’s Greatest Hits. Unlike that collection, Essentials covers all of Springsteen’s studio albums, which means welcome additions like Blinded by the Light, Rosalita, and 4th of July (Sandy) which failed to make the cut for the Greatest Hits.

However, there also unnecessary album cuts like Nebraska, Living Proof, and Mary’s Place. None of these are bad songs, but are hardly as essential as the top ten hits also neglected by Greatest Hits. In addition, this collection jettisons “My Hometown” and “Better Days” and the four songs which premiered on Greatest Hits. We do, however, also get some fantastic post-Greatest Hits songs like The Rising, Land of Hope and Dreams, and American Skin (41 Shots).


Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • From Small Things Big Things One Day Come (1980, outtake from The River) E03
  • Held Up without a Gun (live 12/31/1980, B-side of “Hungry Heart”) E03
  • The Big Payback (1982, B-side to “Open All Night”) E03
  • Trapped (live 8/6/1984, released on We Are the World) E03
  • None But the Brave (1984, outtake from Born in the U.S.A.) E03
  • County Fair (1984, outtake from Born in the U.S.A.) E03
  • Viva Las Vegas (1990, The Last Temptation of Elvis) E03
  • Missing (1995, The Crossing Guard soundtrack) E03
  • Dead Man Walkin’ (1996, Dead Man Walking soundtrack) E03
  • Lift Me Up (1999, Limbo soundtrack) E03
  • Code of Silence (live 6/29/2000 during Reunion Tour) E03
  • Countin’ on a Miracle (2002, acoustic version of song from The Rising) E03

Devils & Dust

Released: April 26, 2005


Peak: 11 US, 11 UK, 2 CN, 10 AU, 12 DF


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.1 UK, 2.0 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: folk rock


Rating:

3.619 out of 5.00 (average of 31 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Devils + Dust [4:58] (3/28/05, 72 US, 5 AA) E15
  2. All the Way Home [3:38]
  3. Reno [4:08]
  4. Long Time Comin’ [4:17] E15,V,B2
  5. Black Cowboys [4:08]
  6. Maria’s Bed [5:35]
  7. Silver Palomino [3:22]
  8. Jesus Was an Only Son [2:54]
  9. Leah [3:31]
  10. The Hitter [5:53]
  11. All I’m Thinkin’ About [4:22]
  12. Matamoros Banks [4:00]

All songs written by Bruce Springsteen.

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

All Music Guide review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine:

“Every decade or so, Bruce Springsteen releases a somber album of narrative songs, character sketches, and folk tunes – records that play not like rock & roll, but rather as a collection of short stories. Nebraska, released in the fall of 1982 during the rise of Reagan’s America, was the first of these, with the brooding The Ghost of Tom Joad following in 1995, in the thick of the Clinton administration but before the heady boom days of the late ‘90s.”

“At the midpoint of George W. Bush's administration, Springsteen released Devils & Dust, another collection of story songs that would seem on the surface to be a companion to Nebraska and Ghost, but in actuality is quite a different record than either. While the characters that roam through Devils & Dust are similarly heartbroken, desperate, and downtrodden, they're far removed from the criminals and renegades of Nebraska, and the album doesn’t have the political immediacy of Ghost's latter-day Woody Guthrie-styled tales – themes that tied together those two albums.”

“Here, the songs and stories are loosely connected. Several are set in the West, some are despairing, some have signs of hope, a couple are even sweet and light. Springsteen's writing is similarly varied, occasionally hearkening back to the spare, dusty prose of Nebraska, but often it's densely composed, assured, and evocative, written as if the songs were meant to be read aloud, not sung.”

“The music is as vivid and varied as the words. Unlike the meditative, monochromatic The Ghost of Tom Joad, this has different shades of color, so somber epics like The Hitter or the sad, lonely Reno are balanced by the lighter Long Time Comin', Maria's Bed, and All I'm Thinkin' About, while the moodier Black Cowboys and Devils & Dust are enhanced by subtly cinematic productions. It results in a record that's far removed in feel from the stark, haunting Nebraska, but on a song-for-song level, it's nearly as strong, since its stories linger in the imagination as long as the ones from that 1982 masterpiece (and they stick around longer than those from Ghost as well).”

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

Released: April 25, 2006


Peak: 3 US, 3 UK, 3 CN, 21 AU, 13 DF


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 2.37 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: folk rock


Rating:

3.851 out of 5.00 (average of 35 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Old Dan Tucker
  2. Jesse James
  3. Mrs. McGrath
  4. Mary Don’t You Weep
  5. John Henry
  6. Erie Canal
  7. Jacob’s Ladder
  8. My Oklahoma Home
  9. Eyes on the Prize
  10. Shenandoah
  11. Pay Me My Money Down
  12. We Shall Overcome
  13. Froggie Went A-Courtin’

    Bonus Tracks:

  14. Buffalo Gals
  15. How Can I Keep from Singing?
  16. How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
  17. Bring ‘Em Home
  18. American Land

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Nearly 35 years into his career, Springsteen tackled his first album of covers. These are songs popularized by Pete Seeger, musician and activist. The seed was planted when Springsteen recorded “We Shall Overcome” in 1997 for a Pete Seeger tribute album. Springsteen ended up exploring more of Seeger’s music and eventually assembled a group of musicians from New Jersey and New York City to record informally at his farm. The album won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album.

Magic

Released: October 2, 2007


Peak: 12 US, 11 UK, 11 CN, 2 AU, 13 DF


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 2.85 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: veteran classic rock


Rating:

3.995 out of 5.00 (average of 26 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Radio Nowhere (8/28/07, 2 AA, 96 UK, 55 CN) GA,GE,C,E15
  2. You’ll Be Comin’ Down
  3. Livin’ in the Future
  4. Your Own Worst Enemy
  5. Gypsy Biker
  6. Girls in Their Summer Clothes (12/2/07, 95 BB, 8 AA, 31 DF) B1,B2
  7. I’ll Work for Your Love
  8. Magic
  9. Last to Die
  10. Long Walk Home (9/25/07) GE
  11. Devil’s Arcade
  12. Terry’s Song

All songs written by Bruce Springsteen.

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

Excerpts from the All Music Guide review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine:

“Hailed as Bruce Springsteen’s return to rock upon its release in fall 2007, Magic isn’t quite as straightforward as that…True, this does mark another reunion with the E Street Band, only his second studio album with the group since 1984’s Born in the U.S.A., giving this a rock & roll heft missing from his two previous albums – the dusty, literary Devils & Dust and the raucous We Shall Overcome: The Pete Seeger Sessions.”

The differences are that “unlike The Rising, the first E Street Band album of the new millennium, there is no overarching theme here.” In aiddition, “Springsteen didn’t write a lot of flat-out rock songs, and with his producer Brendan O’Brien, he didn’t make an album that sounds much like a rock & roll album, either…This an E Street Band that was recorded piecemeal in the studio, pasted together track by track as the group fit sessions into their busy schedules.”

“There’s a quiet melancholy underpinning this album. It’s evident even on the hard-driving Radio Nowhere, whose charging guitars mask a sense of desperation, or the deceptively breezy Girls in Their Summer Clothes, which grows more wistful with each passing chorus.” While the latter “offers reminders of their classic sound: like ‘Born to Run’… but the band doesn’t absorb the Wall of Sound; they evoke it.”

From a mood standpoint, “the joy and the sadness are fused, skewing such otherwise lively numbers as Livin’ in the Future.” “ Springsteen also targets war and politics…either through metaphors (the title track, where the audience is suckered by a con man) or blunt declarations (Last to Die).” “All this toil and tension doesn’t make for a very fun album, but 2007 isn’t a very fun time, so it’s an appropriate reflection of the time.”

“The album draws to a close with Terry’s Song, a quickly written and recorded tribute to Terry Magovern, Springsteen’s longtime friend and assistant…This simple tune is a bit ragged, but it’s soulful, moving, and indelible, immediate where the rest of the album is a shade distant. After hearing it, it’s hard not to wish that Bruce would record this way all the time.”

Greatest Hits (2009)

Bruce Springsteen


Released: January 13, 2009


Covers: 1973-2007


Peak: 43 US, 3 UK, 21 CN, 17 AU


Sales (in millions): 0.37 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: rock


Tracks (American Version): (1) Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (2) Born to Run (3) Thunder Road (4) Darkness on the Edge of Town (5) Badlands (6) Hungry Heart (7) Glory Days (8) Dancing in the Dark (9) Born in the U.S.A. (10) The Rising (11) Lonesome Day (12) Radio Nowhere

Tracks (European Version): (1) Blinded by the Light (2) Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (3) Born to Run (4) Thunder Road (5) Badlands (6) Darkness on the Edge of Town (7) Hungry Heart (8) The River (9) Born in the U.S.A. (10) I’m on Fire (11) Glory Days (12) Dancing in the Dark (13) The Rising (14) Lonesome Day (15) Radio Nowhere (16) Long Walk Home (17) Because the Night (live) (18) Fire (live)


Total Running Time: 53:08 (American version), 79:03 (European version)

Rating:

4.255 out of 5.00 (average of 10 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About Greatest Hits (2009):

Would it be too hard to call this The Best of to avoid confusion with the 1995 collection? The earlier set was billed solely to Bruce Springsteen while this one also credits the E Street Band, but that surely hasn’t stopped a few confused shoppers from buying one and thinking they were getting the other.

This collection is pretty unnecessary. At a dozen songs, the U.S. version is pretty skimpy in the CD era and offers nothing we haven’t had in previous Springsteen compilations. Eight of these songs appeared on the 1995 Greatest Hits and all but Radio Nowhere (released in 2007) were on the 2003 Essentials.

The European edition is much stronger at 18 cuts, including three songs not on any other Bruce compilations: the top ten hit I’m on Fire, Fire, and Because the Night; the latter two are from the Live 1975/1985 box set.

Working on a Dream

Released: January 27, 2009


Peak: 11 US, 11 UK, 12 CN, 3 AU, 14 DF


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.12 UK, 1.67 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: veteran classic rock


Rating:

3.733 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Outlaw Pete
  2. My Lucky Day (11/28/08, 18 AA) E15
  3. Working on a Dream (11/21/08, 95 US, 2 AA, 91 CN) C,E15
  4. Queen of the Supermarket
  5. What Love Can Do (4/18/09, --)
  6. This Life
  7. Good Eye
  8. Tomorrow Never Knows
  9. Life Itself (12/28/08, --)
  10. Kingdom of Days
  11. Surprise, Surprise
  12. The Last Carnival
  13. The Wrestler (8/08, 93 UK, 63 CN) E15,B2

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

Wrecking Ball

Released: March 5, 2012


Peak: 11 US, 11 UK, 3 CN, 2 AU, 16 DF


Sales (in millions): 0.2 US, 0.07 UK, 1.60 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: veteran classic rock


Rating:

3.837 out of 5.00 (average of 24 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. We Take Care of Our Own (1/19/12, 11 AA) C,E15,B2
  2. Easy Money
  3. Shackled and Drawn
  4. Jack of All Trades
  5. Death to My Hometown (5/12, --)
  6. This Depression
  7. Wrecking Ball C,V
  8. You’ve Got It
  9. Rocky Ground (4/21/12, --)
  10. Land of Hope and Dreams
  11. We Are Alive

    Bonus Tracks:

  12. Swallowed Up (In the Belly of the Whale)
  13. American Land

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

The Collection (2012)

Bruce Springsteen


Released: March 8, 2013


Covers: 1973-2012


Peak: -- US, 35 UK, -- CN, 6 AU


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: rock


Tracks: (1) Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (2) Thunder Road (3) Born to Run (4) Badlands (5) The Promised Land (6) Hungry Heart (7) Atlantic City (8) Born in the U.S.A. (9) Dancing in the Dark (10) Brilliant Disguise (11) Human Touch (12) Streets of Philadelphia (13) The Ghost of Tom Joad (14) The Rising (15) Radio Nowhere (16) Working on a Dream (17) We Take Care of Our Own (18) Wrecking Ball

Rating:

4.245 out of 5.00 (average of 10 ratings)

About The Collection:

Six of the songs here are make their fourth appearance on a Bruce Springsteen compilation: “Born to Run,” “Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Hungry Heart,” “Dancing in the Dark,” and “Born in the U.S.A.” Most of the others are repeats as well. New to the mix are Working on a Dream, We Take Care of Our Own, and Wrecking Ball. The former two would also appear on the 2015 reissue of The Essential.

High Hopes

Released: January 14, 2014


Peak: 11 US, 11 UK, 11 CN, 11 AU, 13 DF


Sales (in millions): 0.2 US, 0.06 UK, 0.52 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: veteran classic rock


Rating:

3.619 out of 5.00 (average of 22 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. High Hopes (Tim Scott McConnell) [4:57] (11/19/96, 15 AA)
  2. Harry’s Place
  3. American Skin (41 Shots)
  4. Just Like Fire Would
  5. Down in the Hole
  6. Heaven’s Wall
  7. Frankie Fell in Love
  8. This Is Your Sword
  9. Hunter of Invisible Game [4:52] (7/9/14, --) E15
  10. The Ghost of Tom Joad
  11. The Wall
  12. Dream Baby Dream (Martin Rev, Alan Vega) (9/13, --)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

This is a collection of covers, outtakes, and re-recordings. Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

The Essential (2015)

Bruce Springsteen


Released: October 2015


Recorded: 1973-2014


Peak: -- US, 15 UK, -- CN, 41 AU


Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)


Genre: rock


Tracks, Disc 1: (1) Growin’ Up (2) Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (3) 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (4) Thunder Road (5) Born to Run (6) Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (7) Badlands (8) The Promised Land (9) Prove It All Night (10) The River (11) Hungry Heart (12) The Ties That Bind (13) Out in the Street (14) Atlantic City (15) Johnny 99 (16) Glory Days (17) Born in the U.S.A. (18) Dancing in the Dark

Tracks, Disc 2: (1) Tougher Than the Rest (2) Brilliant Disguise (3) One Step Up (4) Human Touch (5) Better Days (6) If I Should Fall Behind (7) Streets of Philadelphia (8) Murder Incorporated (9) The Ghost of Tom Joad (10) The Rising (11) Lonesome Day (12) Devils & Dust (13) Long Time Comin’ (14) Radio Nowhere (15) Working on a Dream (16) My Lucky Day (17) The Wrester (18) We Take Care of Our Own (19) Hunter of Invisible Game


Total Running Time: 2:36:22

Rating:

4.178 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)

About The Essential (2015):

Someone really needs to learn how to give Springsteen compilations better names. While billed as a reissue of the 2003 set of the same name, this is vastly different. Combined, the two versions cover 49 tracks, but with only 18 songs in common, a dozen of which also appear on 1995’s Greatest Hits. Gone from the 2015 version are “Blinded by the Light,” “Jungleland,” and “Tunnel of Love,” all of which seem more essential than new additions Out in the Street, The Ties That Bind, and Johnny 99.

Part of the discrepancy owes to the extra decade of material the latter collection drew from. The 2015 version includes worthy additions like “Radio Nowhere,” “Working on a Dream,” and “We Take Care of Our Own” (all featured on The Collection) and Devils & Dust, My Lucky Day, and The Wrestler, making their debuts on a Springsteen compilation. None were major hits, but are vital songs in Springsteen’s later repertoire.

Chapter and Verse

Bruce Springsteen


Released: September 23, 2016


Covers: 1966-2012


Peak: 5 US, 2 UK, 21 CN, 2 AU


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: rock


Tracks: (1) Baby I (2) You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover (3) He’s Guilty (The Judge Song) (4) The Ballad of Jesse James (5) Henry Boy (6) Growin’ Up (7) 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (8) Born to Run (9) Badlands (10) The River (11) My Father’s House (12) Born in the U.S.A. (13) Brilliant Disguise (14) Living Proof (15) The Ghost of Tom Joad (16) The Rising (17) Long Time Comin’ (18) Wrecking Ball


Total Running Time: 1:17:51

Rating:

4.309 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)

About Chapter and Verse:

At this point, another Springsteen anthology seems like absurd overkill, but this one did have the twist that the songs were handpicked by Springsteen as a companion piece to his autobiography, Born to Run. That means there are five previously unreleased songs (Baby I, You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover, He’s Guilty (The Judge Song, Ballad of Jesse James, and Henry Boy) here from before Springsteen was signed by Columbia in 1972. None are vital, but they give new perspective on Springsteen’s 50-year career.


Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Baby I (The Castles, recorded 5/2/66) V
  • You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover (The Castles, recorded 9/16/67) V
  • He’s Guilty (The Judge Song) (Steel Mill, recorded 2/22/70) V
  • Ballad of Jesse James (recorded 3/14/72) V
  • Henry Boy (recorded 6/30/72) V

Western Stars

Released: June 14, 2019


Peak: 2 US, 11 UK, 4 CN, 11 AU, 15 DF


Sales (in millions): 0.07 US, 0.10 UK, 0.39 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: veteran classic rock


Rating:

3.976 out of 5.00 (average of 21 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Hitch Hikin’
  2. The Wayfarer
  3. Tucson Train (5/30/19, --)
  4. Western Stars (6/14/19, --)
  5. Sleepy Joe’s CafĂ©
  6. Drive Fast (The Stuntman)
  7. Chasin’ Wild Horses
  8. Sundown
  9. Somewhere North of Nashville
  10. Stones
  11. There Goes My Miracle (5/17/19, --)
  12. Hello Sunshine (4/26/19, 23 AA, 1 DF) B1,B2
  13. Moonlight Motel

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

Letter to You

Released: October 23, 2020


Peak: 2 US, 11 UK, 2 CN, 11 AU, 14 DF


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.1 UK, 0.35 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: veteran classic rock


Rating:

4.052 out of 5.00 (average of 28 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. One Minute You’re Here
  2. Letter to You (9/10/20, 1 AA, 1 DF) B1,B2
  3. Burnin’ Train
  4. Janey Needs a Shooter
  5. Last Man Standing
  6. The Power of Prayer (11/23/20, --)
  7. House of a Thousand Guitars
  8. Rainmaker
  9. If I Was the Priest
  10. Ghosts (9/24/20, 12 AA) B2
  11. Song for Orphans
  12. I’ll See You in My Dreams (3/3/21, --)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Read more on the DMDB page for this album.

Best of

Bruce Springsteen


Released: April 19, 2024


Covers: 1973-2020


Peak: --


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: rock


Tracks (LP/CD Edition): B1 (1) Growin’ Up (2) Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (3) Born to Run (4) Thunder Road (5) Badlands (6) Hungry Heart (7) Atlantic City (8) Dancing in the Dark (9) Born in the U.S.A. (10) Brilliant Disguise (11) Human Touch (12) Streets of Philadelphia (13) The Ghost of Tom Joad (14) Secret Garden (15) The Rising (16) Girls In Their Summer Clothes (17) Hello Sunshine (18) Letter to You

Tracks (Digital Deluxe Edition): B2 (1) Growin’ Up (2) Spirit in the Night (3) Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)Born to Run (6) Tenth Avenue Freeze Out (7) Thunder Road (8) Badlands (9) Prove It All Night (10) The River (11) Hungry Heart (12) Atlantic City (13) Glory Days (14) Dancing in the Dark (15) Born in the U.S.A. (16) Brilliant Disguise (17) Tougher Than the Rest (18) Human Touch (19) If I Should Fall Behind (20) Living Proof (21) Streets of Philadelphia (22) The Ghost of Tom Joad (23) Secret Garden (24) The Rising (25) Long Time Comin’ (26) Girls in Their Summer Clothes (27) The Wrestler (28) We Take Care of Our Own (29) Hello Sunshine (30) Ghosts (31) Letter to You

About Best of:

There is a place for greatest-hits collections. They serve as a one-stop shop for casual fans who want the highlights without buying all the albums. Still, when an artist has been around 50 years, maybe it’s time to stop pushing career retrospectives and break up the compilations to cover different eras. This one offers nothing new – it simply tacks on a few tracks from the last couple of albums that hadn’t been represented since the last compilation.

Only the Strong Survive

Released: November 11, 2022


Peak: 8 US, 2 UK, 8 CN, 3 AU, 15 DF


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.06 UK, 0.15 world (includes US + UK)


Genre: veteran classic rock


Rating:

3.087 out of 5.00 (average of 13 ratings)

Tracks:

  1. Only the Strong Survive (Jerry Butler cover)
  2. Soul Days (with Sam Moore) (Dobie Gray cover)
  3. Night Shift (Commodores cover) (10/14/22, --)
  4. Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) (Frank Wilson cover) (9/29/22, --)
  5. The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore (Frankie Valli cover)
  6. Turn Back the Hands of Time (Tyrone Davis cover)
  7. When She Was My Girl (Four Tops cover)
  8. Hey, Western Union Man (Jerry Butler cover)
  9. I Wish It Would Rain (Temptations cover)
  10. Don’t Play That Song (Ben E. King cover) (10/28/22, --)
  11. Any Other Way (William Bell cover)
  12. I Forgot to Be Your Lover (with Sam Moore) (William Bell cover)
  13. 7 Rooms of Gloom (Four Tops cover)
  14. What Becomes of the Brokenhearted (Jimmy Ruffin cover)
  15. Someday We’ll Be Together (Supremes cover)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Springsteen’s second collection of cover songs (the first was 2006’s We Shall Overcome. This time the focus on R&B classics and some obscurities from the ‘60s and ‘70s. While not a bad collection overall, it mostly makes you want to hear the originals.

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 6/19/2019; last updated 3/2/2024.

No comments:

Post a Comment