On August 25, 1975, the album Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen was released. I didn’t discover the genius of Bruce Springsteen until a few years later. Actually it was 1980 when The River was released that I discovered Bruce. Born To Run was the third album his band released. After I found The River, I went backwards and started buying his albums and listening to his music.
In 1980 when I discovered The River I was a sophomore in high school. That’s a time when you hate everyone and just want to be left alone. I can remember laying on the floor in my bedroom with those huge headphones on my ears blasting Bruce Springsteen. I listened to The River so much that I knew all the words to all the songs and it was a double album! From there I went on to listen to Born To Run over and over and over. I really liked the title track and Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out. I eventually bought his first two albums and listened to them a lot too. However, they were not my favorite albums. Through the rest of high school I listened to his first five albums. Then I went to collage.
In the fall of 1982 I was a freshman in college. Bruce released Nebraska shortly after I started college. It was not one of my favorite albums. The songs were dark and depressing. I still listened to it and eventually became a fan of Mansion On The Hill and State Trooper. At the time I listened to it enough to know the words to almost all the songs. Unlike today where you can select the songs you hear on your iPod, back then on vinyl it was linear and you listened to them in the order they were on the album. Because of that and being lazy and not moving the needle, I listened to the whole album straight through each time I listened to it. I think that’s how I learned all the words to the songs whether they were my favorites or not.
Then in 1984 he released the blockbuster Born In The USA. This was a very popular album. It was one that probably got the most airplay on the radio. The songs were upbeat and patriotic. It was also a time when videos were happening on MTV and the title track had a great video and you could even dance to it. This album quickly became my favorite. I knew every word to every song on both sides. I loved it. I became a bigger fan. I can specifically remember walking through the campus on September 23, 1984, (Bruce’s birthday) and hearing Born In The USA blasting from a dorm room window. Whoever it was playing the song also had a sign in their window saying, “Happy Birthday, Bruce!” I was just starting my junior year and had moved off campus. I had a small efficiency apartment with a nice set of speakers to my stereo. I used to blast his music pretty loud while I lived there. For the rest of my college career Bruce didn’t release any more albums. I guess he was enjoying the success of Born In The USA.
At the beginning of my second year of teaching Bruce released Tunnel Of Love. Of course I bought it. It was the last of his albums I bought on vinyl. Actually at that point I had all of his albums on vinyl and cassette tape. Yet again, like the others, I fell in love with this album. I listened to it all the time but now it was more convenient to listen to in my care. I quickly learned all the words to all the songs. I had lots of favorites on this album. I really liked the title track, Tunnel of Love as well as Ain’t Got You, Two Faces, One Step Up, and Brilliant Disguise. Many of these songs also had videos to go with them. I loved the videos as much as the music.
At this point in my Bruce history things slowed down. I was listening to lots of other music and changing my likes and dislikes. I still listened but not as much. It wasn’t until 1992 that he produced more music. He released Human Touch and Lucky Town at the same time. I bought them on cassette. I remember they were bundled together. While I enjoyed the albums as a whole, there weren’t as many songs that became my favorites. Human Touch and 57 Channels from the Human Touch album and Better Days, and Lucky Town from the Lucky Town album were my favorites. I did not listen to these over and over nor did I learn all the words to all the songs. Times were changing and I was listening to other things.
Then my love with Bruce Springsteen music really took a dive. The next few albums just didn’t appeal to me. I haven’t bought any of this albums since those last two in 1992. Over the years I thought about returning to Bruce and checking out what he had out but just never jumped in. I’m not sure when but when iTunes started releasing his albums I decided to update my collection. I had long gotten rid of the albums and the cassettes so I purchased all the albums I loved on iTunes. I now have a Bruce Springsteen playlist on my iPhone and iPod with my favorite songs. When I hear those songs now they take me back to when I was much younger and would listen to them over and over again. People connect to music all the time and I can say I connected to Bruce’s early albums completely. Maybe I should check out some of his new stuff and see what its like. What music or artist have you connected to over the years?