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The Best Of Bruce Springsteen

The Best Of Bruce Springsteen This week's installment of Staff Picks comes courtesy of Camille Alston from the Marketing Department, who explains her deep rooted love for the legendary Bruce Springsteen...

I’m from New Jersey and I love Bruce Springsteen. Now, I’d like to think that even if I weren’t from Jersey I would still love The Boss, but there’s really no way for me to even try to imagine that. My grandfather was a mailman in Asbury Park for over 30 years. I spent my Sundays with him sitting on the beach across from the Stone Pony, wandering through the almost abandoned boardwalk and casino, and stuffing my 5 year old face with salt water taffy from the few shop owners still in business that he had befriended. They all could have been scenes from the postcard cover of Bruce’s Greetings from Asbury Park. So yes, I might be a little partial to Mr. Springsteen and his roots, but there’s a reason his catalog has continued to grow for the last 40 years and spread well beyond the borders of New Jersey and the United States. His career provides a model for any aspiring musician and for me represents a music industry gold standard, yet he remains arguably one of the most relatable artists of all time. How could you not love a guy that has achieved his level of success but can still be found wandering a Jersey inlet on his own or picking up a guitar and crushing “Mustang Sally” in a local dive. It’s quite a task for me to attempt to pare down my favorites to just five songs, but I’ll give it my best shot.

“I’m on Fire” – Born in the U.S.A.
One of the few mellow tracks on Bruce’s monstrous foray into the full-on eighties affair that was Born in the U.S.A. It’s a simple song, but that doesn’t make it any less charming.
LISTEN

“Rosalita” – The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle
This was the one Bruce song I always wanted to hear live and was lucky enough to experience it a couple of years ago in Philadelphia. It’s simply an epic story of unbridled youth. He has more than a few songs in this vein, like “Born to Run” & “Zero and Blind Terry”, but “Rosalita” always stuck with me the most.
LISTEN

“Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” – Born To Run
Of course, Bruce is the man, but lest we forget he has one of the most talented bands in the world backing him up. For me, in some of these earlier recordings, the heart-stopping, pants-dropping, house-rocking, earth-shaking, booty-quaking, Viagra-taking, love-making - Le-gen-dary E - Street - Band is just as important, if not more than the Boss himself. This is one of them.
LISTEN

“Spirit in the Night” – Greetings from Asbury Park
For me, this song is the perfect construction of everything I enjoy about Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band. The soul, the lyrics, the band, and in the way he performs it live. It’s all there.
LISTEN

“Atlantic City” –  Nebraska
I think this takes the crown for my favorite Springsteen track ever. The story is utterly desolate, but there’s a hint of resiliency that has always been very inspiring to me. Among the countless covers of this song, one of my favorites is by Justin Townes Earle. Before strumming on an acoustic guitar Justin describes his affinity for the tune, “He has such a way with stark imagery and making you feel like you could possibly be from New Jersey. And that’s the song I think does that best, next to ‘Thunder Road’.” Between those words and some of my favorite lyrics of all time, that about says it all.
Down here it's just winners and losers and don't get caught on the wrong side of that line. Well I'm tired of comin' out on the losin' end. So honey last night I met this guy and I'm gonna do a little favor for him. Well I guess everything dies baby that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back. Put your hair up nice and set up pretty. And meet me tonight in Atlantic City.”
LISTEN

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