As far as how I will pick the albums… well… there will be some randomness in my random selections. I do not want to go in with a plan, and am fine to let the iTunes Shuffle feature find some things, but I do want the ability to pick new albums and artists and things that are timely. Most importantly, I want to go with what I am feeling on a particular day. Instinct and gut reactions are key to appreciating and understanding music, so ignoring them is not an option.
With that said, the first album to kick this whole megillah off is…
Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run.
Look, the album cover is my Facebook icon, so the choice is obvious and exciting on many levels.
I will be the first to admit that I did not fully appreciate the Boss in my youth as much as I do now. I always loved the music, but I understand it on a much deeper and more profound level now. It moves me like nothing else.
Going to a Springsteen show has become a religious experience, and I do not say that lightly. You walk out into the night feeling like you can accomplish anything, and this is what Rock and Roll is all about… a power and an immediacy that grabs you and never lets up.
The opening of Thunder Road… the strained and then wailing harmonica…
“The screen door slams… Mary’s dress waves… Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays…”
How fantastic is that??? There are movies in that there music! The images are so vivid, so detailed, so Bruce.
I cannot help but think about all the times I have seen this performed live and becoming part of a stadium-sized chorus. Utterly amazing…
“Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night.”
Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
The funk, the horns, the joy! Can you actually listen to this song without a grin from ear to ear? I don’t think so. Yet when you really listen to the lyrics here they provide a great irony, for many of Bruce’s songs and anthems have a real danger and edge within a stunning musical framework.
I am just a prisoner of my dreams and Bruce is a master storyteller who has never lost touch with his roots nor the people he writes about. Think about how amazing this is, considering the world of fame and riches he lives in. His ability to stay a man of the people is perhaps his greatest strength. Seeing this one live is always a treat.
The elements of Bruce’s music, like the horns or the piano that opens this one are so strong on their own, but when the whole band kicks in, the yearnings and desires reach a peak.
Born to Run
One of the most iconic and classic songs of all time and anyone who has sung this at the top of their lungs will simply never forget it.
She’s the One
More yearning, more poetry and more ball grabbing Rock n’ Roll! This song simply drives a beat right through you!
Meeting Across the River
I adore this song so much. It is one of my favorites but a bit of a running joke in that I have NEVER seen this performed live, which kills me. If the Boss does a run of four shows and I go to three… he will play this on the show I am not at. This has happened three times!!! I know, I know… do not EVER miss a Bruce show!
It takes an intricately detailed canvas, a giant motion picture screen and the tightest band in Rock history to make an opus like this. It is a nine-minute and 35-second masterpiece full of detail and specific imagery that only Bruce can create and in just under 10 minutes, he shows you the world.
“Outside the street’s on fire in a real death waltz,
Between what’s flesh and what’s fantasy.
And the poets down here write nothing at all,
They just stand back and let it all be.
And in the quick of the night they reach for their moment and try to make an honest stand.
But they wind up wounded, not even dead,
Tonight in Jungleland.”