Friday, December 9, 2011

250. The River. Letting the Springsteen Flow.



Album: The River
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Genre: Rock
Year: 1980

Tracks

  1. The Ties That Bind
  2. Sherry Darling
  3. Jackson Cage
  4. Two Hearts
  5. Independence Day
  6. Hungry Heart
  7. Out in the Street
  8. Crush on You
  9. You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
  10. I Wanna Marry You
  11. The River
  12. Point Blank
  13. Cadillac Ranch
  14. I'm a Rocker
  15. Fade Away
  16. Stolen Car
  17. Ramrod
  18. The Price You Pay
  19. Drive All Night
  20. Wreck on the Highway

This album represents the halfway point of the countdown. The bottom half is out of the way and the top 50% is yet to come. But despite the fact that we've knocked off 250 albums we haven't yet heard half of what Springsteen has to offer the top 500. Bruce not only appears at number two hundred and Fifty he's got another 5 albums somewhere up there in the higher reaches for us to encounter at some point. If you're a fan of Bruce then there's a lot more of your favourite rocker to come. If you hate Springsteen then I'm sorry to say that a full 2% of the albums to come have been let loose by Bruce.

Personally I don't think BS is BS but he's never been someone I've especially warmed to either. The albums I've heard so far in the countdown haven't persuaded me that there's a lot to get excited about. At 250 I've got a double dose of Bruce to try and persuade me as I listen to The River, a double album that clocks in at over two hours. It's a lot of Bruce when I know there's a lot more to come. 

Like most double albums this release is tooooo damn long. As with every other album that's stretched across four sides of vinyl there's probably a great album in here trying to get out but it's obscured by a lot of padding. The songs start to get repetitive after a while and there's no doubt removing the least memorable half would make the rest shine a lot brighter. 

The song you're most likely to recognise is Hungry Heart. I'm not sure who's idea it was to take Bruce's deep and expressive voice and speed it up but whoever it was should put their hand up and admit to making a huge mistake. Why would you take the best thing about the album and ruin it? Bruce doesn't sound like Bruce he sounds like a thin and reedy Billy Joel impersonator. Where was the logic there? 

The good news is that I responded a lot more to The River than I did to previous Springsteen efforts. Hopefully future releases will impress me even more.

Highlight: Point Blank
Lowlight: Ramrod

Influenced by: Dylan
Influenced: New Jersy as a whole

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "This irritating, tinny, repetitive schlock soared on the hot air pumped out by Bruce's moonie-like fans."

-Ouch. Moonie like fans? Harsh.

So do you like to dip your toes in the River or would you damn it to hell? Let me know below.

1 comment:

  1. As you know big fella, I'm a huge Springsteen fan but I rarely play the River. And I concur re the vocal on Hungry Heart-I've got no idea who that sounds like. Independence Day is probably the best track imho.

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