After a few days in New York City it seems rather appropriate to make the Monza addition to the #Crofty’s100 a tribute to Bruce Springsteen. I know he’s from New Jersey not New York but the simple fact is, I’m a massive fan and if I can’t put five Bruce tracks on my playlist for the hell of it, what can I do?
So here Ladies and Gentlemen, are five Bruce Springsteen tracks that I couldn’t live without, there are many many more but for now five will have to do. And they’re all live too, which is the best way to listen to the Boss.
1. Thunder Road
Okay, let’s face facts here. There are some songs I can live without, and there are some songs which never stray far from a listen. And then there’s Thunder Road. Which I consider to be the greatest song ever written, full Stop, end of argument. A song of dreams, for romantics everywhere. For those who know that one day, if you dream hard enough and never stop wishing, what you want, what you desire and what you deserve, will come your way. From the vision of Mary on her porch stepping into the unknown as the narrator urges her to join him on life’s big adventure, to the rally cry that ‘it’s a town full of losers and I’m pulling out of here to win’ which signals not the end, but in the narrators mind the beginning, it’s a joy that fills your ears and mind with hope, without which boys and girls, we have nothing.
2. Racing In The Street
Because sometimes the hope, dreams and optimism all come to nothing and the stark reality is that life has dealt you a bad hand. This track from ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ is as downbeat as Thunder Road is hopeful and for that you can’t have one track without the other. Sadly it just wouldn’t be right. With the live versions you get Roy Bittan’s piano coda at the end. I’m not exaggerating here, but it could go on for days and I’d still feel it would end too soon, just delightful.
3. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
The story of a young man’s fight to get his girl to come out and party, and convince her parents he’s the sort of man she should party with. One of the greatest driving songs ever, seriously, turn it up, hit the highway and smile all the way to your destination, what a tune!
4. Lost In The Flood
Long before Born In The USA, Springsteen was writing songs with an anti Vietnam War message. This track from ‘Greetings From Asbury Park’ tells of a veteran returning home to find his America suffering a social and economic war, with violence on every street corner. It’s dark, moody and packed with images from the depths of the darkest ghetto. So many of Springsteen’s song romanticise the tales of the city streets and the characters that lurk in the shadows. This is the total opposite.
5. If I Should Fall Behind
It’s a love song and a reminder to couples everywhere that life is very simple and much more enjoyable, if you just walk through it together with the one you love. Mrs C and I were mooching through New York, we love a mooch, it’s amazing what you find if you don’t have a plan sometimes. But we were mooching and we stopped, in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. We sat on a bench, random bench in the park, could have been any bench, but without looking I sat down on this one. And inscribed on a plaque was this… “If as we’re walking, a hand should slip free. I’ll wait for you and if I should fall behind, wait for me.” Of all the benches in all the world, I pick the one with the Springsteen lyric. Some things are just meant to be right.