Everything Dies, Baby, That's a Fact

Song: Atlantic City
Album: Nebraska
Year: 1982

Okay, we've got the mob, a crummy town, and desperate people, and public transportation gets a shout-out. This is basically a Bruce Springsteen Mad Lib. Another convention I'm noticing pop up a lot is B instructing people how to get dressed. In the last song, you had to put on a coat while he got his hat. Here, we're supposed to put our makeup on and fix our hair up pretty. Maybe that's why they call him the Boss: because he's so CONTROLLING sometimes. CHILL OUT, BRUCE! MY BODY, MY CHOICE!

"Atlantic City" is a great song, which is probably why like 30 different bands (among them, the Counting Crows) have covered it. It's basically a mini movie! It's very depressing and also there's an explosion—key components to any Oscar-winning script. Boardwalk Empire, another Atlantic City-themed media property, would've been greatly improved by an infusion of Bruce's poetic drama. Imagine what the show could've accomplished had HBO put him at the helm. Also, imagine that while working on the show, he and Steve Buscemi became best friends and the media started calling them "Steve Bruce-cemi" or "Bruce Springsteve Buscemi." Just. Imagine.

Just a candid picture of two great pals after an awesome day out on their dune buggies!!!!!
Just a candid picture of two great pals after an awesome day out on their dune buggies!!!!!

Rating: 8 chicken men out of 10.

This song makes me feel: sooooo melancholy. I'm beginning to think Nebraska isn't exactly a party album.

Fun Bruce Fact: Apparently Ryan Adams' cover of Taylor Swift's 1989 took its sonic inspiration from Nebraska, as if there wasn't enough to love about it already. Careful you're not flying a little too close to the sun, Adams.


All Them Fat Cats, They'll Just Think It's Funny

Song: Easy Money
Album: Wrecking Ball
Year: 2012

While most of the shanties you may have enjoyed in the past have likely been sea-oriented, I think this still qualifies as one, too, due to the heavy-handed fiddling. (Also, you can definitely sing it on a boat. DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU YOU CAN'T.)

I know this song is supposed to be an allegory about citizens taking revenge for the economic crimes of fat cat bankers, but it's also a song really romanticizes muggings. He and his gal are getting dressed up for date night, and it sounds so much fun! We're learning a lot about how The Boss treats a lady from his music. A nice long highway drive in the dark and some light looting are his equivalent of dinner and movie from what I can tell.

The YouTube comments on this song are mostly about how to make money working from home, proving that in addition to being a musical genius, Bruce Springsteen is also a master of SEO. If I ever record a song, I'm  going to name it "One Weird Trick for Weight Loss" and wait for the hits to come rollllling in.

Rating: 6 out of 10 fat cats.

This song makes me feel: like eating a lobster roll. (To be fair, though, the odds of catching me in this particular mood are pretty high.)

Fun Bruce Fact: says that Bruce Springsteen's favourite colour is blue but offers no citations to back that up, so this is less a "Fun Bruce Fact" than it is a "Juicy Bruce Rumour," but beggars can't be choosers.

I Got the Fortunes of Heaven in Diamonds and Gold

Song: Ain't Got You
Album: Tunnel of Love
Year: 1987

I never thought I would see a day where Bruce Springsteen would debut a song that clocks in at just over two minutes, but I guess today is that day. Or I guess October 9, 1987 was that day and I missed it because I was a three-month-old baby who didn't yet understand the concept of music. Incredibly rude of me.

The Boss spends this song sadly bragging about all the fancy things and he's got stowed all over his many mansions—just another classic everyman tune. It's like a bizarro-world version of "If I Had a Million Dollars" or the interesting-person version of "Lucky." calls the song it "starkly autobiographical" but I sincerely doubt Bruce is slamming caviar on the reg. Yes, he's a multi-millionaire and has been for most of his life, but I still believe the only way he would eat caviar at home is as a dip for chips while he's watching baseball. We all know what B is really spending his money on: model train sets. (The man loves trains!)

Rating: 8 fancy foreign cars out of 10.

This song makes me feel: proud of Bruce. Even though this is his shortest song ever, he still manages to slip a shoutout to King Farouk in there because he's a goddamn professional who knows that that mentioning a rich Egyptian man is a key ingredient in any hit single.

Fun Bruce fact: lists one of Bruce Springsteen's nicknames as "Bad Scooter." Maybe it means that there's a whole concept album I haven't listened to yet where he performs under that name as an alter ego, à la Chris Gaines! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!