Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bruce Springsteen's Top 10 has absolutely nothing to do with the debt ceiling

For some reason, my mind is in New Jersey today, which is, by the way, a very beautiful, though sometimes maligned, state. I grew up in New York on the Jersey border, and sometimes made it down to the Jersey Shore, so I guess I'm allowed.

Partly, I just can't think about the debt ceiling for another second without driving myself crazy, so I'm surfing today.

While looking for something entirely different, I came across a website that purports to be able to rank Bruce Springsteen's top 10 hits. The site is called ...ology. They appear to cover off a lot of topics, so their sports page is called "sportsology," and the music page "musicology," etc. You get it.

If for some reason you didn't know that Springsteen was from New Jersey, I should make that clear. Hey, I guess some people wouldn't know.

I like Springsteen, though I'm not a huge fan only because I never really turned my attention to him in any systematic way. It's great rock 'n' roll, make no mistake.

But any website that not only has an opinion on his top 10 but goes to the trouble of posting a YouTube clip for every last one gets my attention.

If you have nothing better to do with your time, as we try to outlast this nasty hot summer, and want to enjoy some great videos, the link is here.

Here's their list:

1. Jungleland
2. Thunder Road
3. Born to Run
4. Hungry Heart
5. Dancing in the Dark
6. Atlantic City
7. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
8. Racing in the Street
9. The Rising
10. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

Final note: I have no skin in this game of ranking hits by The Boss. If you do, by all means, tell us how the folks at ...ology got it wrong (or right).

And not a word about the debt ceiling, please.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)



Not a word about the debt ceiling here. Of course you're welcome to comment on our many debt ceiling posts.

(But it's good to take a break from it! Political paralysis and possible economic catastrophe -- not so fun.)

Now, I actually lived in New Jersey for several years as a teenager, graduating from West Morris Mendham High School before heading up to Tufts for college. The state has a reputation for being "the armpit of the nation," but that's really only true of parts of the state, the industrial parts across the river from NYC. It's an ugly, smelly part of the country, but probably no worse than many other parts. And much of the rest of the state, including Mendham, in Morris County, in the north-central part of the state, is extremely beautiful, far removed from the reputation.

I lived there but wasn't of there. It's not that I didn't like my time there -- I really did -- but I have more of an affinity for Boston than I do for New Jersey. (Not Boston's sports teams, mind you, just the whole Boston area, a fantastic place to spend four collegiate years.) I don't like Bon Jovi, for example, and don't you have to to be an honest-to-goodness New Jerseyan/Jerseyite? And you probably have to love The Sopranos as well. Me? I never watched it.

As for Springsteen, well, sure, fine. "Born to Run," "Jersey Girl" -- these are songs you just can't avoid there. They are New Jersey. If you're from there, they're part of you. I'd call myself a casual fan. I respect him and admire him as an artist, and he's done a lot that I like, but I can't say I've ever made a point of seeking out his music, beyond a few songs here and there.

Well, okay, I do have the 3-CD Live/1975-85 album with the E Street Band. So maybe I'm more of a fan than I think I am.

For what it's worth, my picks... my Top 20:

1. Streets of Philadelphia
2. Tunnel of Love
3. Secret Garden
4. Brilliant Disguise
5. Human Touch
6. Born in the U.S.A.
7. My Hometown
8. The Rising
9. Born to Run
10. I'm on Fire
11. Atlantic City
12. Devils & Dust
13. Darkness on the Edge of Town
14. Thunder Road
15. Jungleland
16. The River
17. Racing in the Street
18. Dancing in the Dark
19. Badlands
20. Glory Days (a song I occasionally loathe, I admit, but I should tack it on here at the end)

No huge surprises there, I'm sure.

Purists, or rather fans of the more raw Boss of the early years, might object to "Streets of Philadelphia" and "Secret Garden" being so high, or listed at all, but they're wonderful songs. And I suppose I like his 1984-92 period more than the older classics, which is why songs like "Tunnel of Love," "Human Touch," and "Brilliant Disguise" are higher than, say, "Born to Run." And while I have a few more recent songs on here, like "Devils & Dust" and "The Rising," I'm not as familiar with his recent work as I am with the songs I grew up with.

How ironic, though, that in my opinion his best song is about Philadelphia, which, while right across the river from New Jersey, isn't New Jersey. But, then, his art, not to mention his appeal, extends well beyond The Garden State, as much a part of it as he remains.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home