greetings from asbury park NJ

Ragamuffin Gunners

Song: Lost in the Flood
Album: Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ
Year: 1973

I'm starting to get the impression that Bruce isn't so into this whole "war" thing. Another rambley song, but this one gets a little dash of organ about halfway through, which makes me feel fondly towards it in the end. I'm hoping that he gets into rhyming and more populist song structure on the next album but who knows. Lyrically, I feel like someone just took all the words from the first four songs and rearranged things. It's kind of like how Mexican food is really just made of like five different ingredients rearranged in a variety of configurations. Tortillas wrapped around beans and cheese transforms into bean-and-cheese-topped tortillas; disenfranchised men playing guitar become disenfranchised men running away from the Army. But also like Mexican food, this song is satisfying overall and even more enjoyable while drunk.

Rating: 5 war veterans who have been abandoned by their country out of 10.

This makes me feel: like everything is kind of dusty.

Bruce fact: He got out of being drafted for Vietnam by pretending to be crazy. Great problem solving, B!

It's Not Too Early for Dreamin'

Song: Mary Queen of Arkansas
Album: Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ
Year: 1973

I hated this song so much I couldn't even finish listening to it a second time. Is he just making it up as he goes along? It seems crazy that three songs in to your debut album that you'd need to take a break from the concept of melody.

It's not that I'm mad at Bruce, I'm just disappointed.

Rating: Barf.

This Makes Me Feel: So angry. (Looks like I lied—I'm not disappointed, I'm mad.)

Fun Fact About Bruce: This song allegedly is about a drag queen, which initially made me feel bad about hating it so much, but then I realized that equal opportunity also can mean the equal opportunity to be in a terrible song. So... We did it?

The Clouded Wrath of the Crowd

Song: Growin' UpAlbum: Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ Year: 1973

Pretttty earnest, but I like the contrast of the abstract verse lyrics with the hyper-literal chorus. It might be about the war but it also might be about going to space, or maybe just about performing at a high school talent show. I have only done one of those things in my life so it's hard to say if all of those things conjure the same feelings for sure.

If I can just make a request to the sort of people who insist on "jamming" on their guitar around the campfire: maybe think about subbing this one in for Wonderwall every once in a while? Could be fun?

Rating: 4 growth spurts out of 10. This makes me feel: like deleting my Livejournal. Springsteen fun fact: He grew up downwind from the Nestle chocolate factory so everything smelled delicious all the time. WHAT A TOWN!

Cut Loose Like a Duece

Listen, I like Bruce Springsteen, but I'm ready to be IN-like with Bruce Springsteen, and that's going to take some research. So I'm going to become a superfan by thoroughly contemplating one song per day. Starting.... now.

Song: Blinded by the LIght
Album: Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ
Year: 1973

This is a revelation. Who knew he wrote this song? Probably everyone but me. This project is great so far—I'm already getting smarter! And so many ten-dollar words in the mix here, too. It's like a dictionary threw up all over a factory town.

It's a bold move to start off your debut album with a five minute song, but Bruce is nothing if not bold. He's an inspiration to us all, and looks good doing it. Here is a picture of Bruce in 1973. His facial hair could use some work, but it's hard to find time to trim your mature-teen-stache when you're crafting sheer poetry (if, in fact, phrases like "go-kart Mozart" can be considered poetry).


Overall, it's a little bit ramble-y and Dylan-y, but I'm into it. I like when Bruce acts as an omniscient narrator of New Jersey. He said, she said, shootin' stars in sidecars, etc.

Rating: 7 curly-wurlys out of 10 This song makes me feel: like making out in a beer garden. Bruce Fact of the Day: The Manfred Mann recording of "Blinded by the Light" is Springsteen's only number one single as a songwriter on the Hot 100. Bummer, dude.