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Ten Underrated Bruce Springsteen Songs for Your iPod

Updated on November 8, 2012

Bruce Springsteen is one of the greatest songwriters in rock and roll history. Many of his songs are household names and have become anthems such as "Born to Run" and "Born in the USA", however, he also has many great songs that have been lost and forgotten over the years. This is a list of these underrated songs. Many of them are my favorites, but you never hear much about them anymore. Hopefully, this article will prompt you to check them out as they are well worth a listen. For a complete discography of Bruce's music check out this hub. Also check out my list of the best Bruce songs of all time.

For You (1973)

The wordy Bruce of the early '70's
The wordy Bruce of the early '70's

"For You" is from Bruce's wordy, early years when he tried to pack as many words as possible into each song. It's also interesting to hear Bruce's quavering voice and compare it to his later voice on albums like Darkness on the Edge of Town and Born in the USA when it was rougher and raspier.

Used Cars (1982)

An acoustic song from the legendary Nebraska album Bruce released in 1982. It's told from the perspective of a young boy as he watches his financially struggling father buy an old beater car for his family. The boy vows to win the lottery so he'll never go through the embarrassment of buying another used car again.

The Wish (1987)

"The Wish" was recorded in 1987 and is Bruce's tribute to his Mom. It was never released on one of his primary albums, but instead came out on the Tracks box set. It is one of the few songs about his mother and includes some interesting details about his childhood like when he got his first guitar and how he used to hear his Mom getting ready for work in the early morning hours. My favorite parts of the song, however, are the killer Duane Eddy, twangy guitar solos in the middle and at the end.

"smoke stacks reaching like the arms of God into the beautiful sky of soot and grey" from the song "Youngstown"
"smoke stacks reaching like the arms of God into the beautiful sky of soot and grey" from the song "Youngstown"

Youngstown (1995)

"Youngstown" is from the Ghost of Tom Joad album and is a history lesson on the origin, growth, and decline of the steel industry in Youngstown, Ohio. Bruce did a lot of background research for the song and it shows in the details. Note that the Jennie mentioned by Bruce is not a girl but is actually the nickname for a bast furnace that produced liquid iron at the Ohio works steel mill.

Something in the Night (1978)

I never hear anyone mention this song from the Darkness on the Edge of Town album, but it is one of my personal favorites. I think it ranks as one of Bruce's greatest vocals with his wordless howling, wails, and crying.

Tougher Than the Rest (1987)

My favorite song from the Tunnel of Love album. This song has a great organ intro and twangy guitar riff. Bruce also delivers and edgy, echo-filled vocal.

Adam Raised a Cain (1978)

A great song from Darkness on the Edge of Town about Bruce's complicated relationship with his dad Doug. It contains some of Bruce's hardest and most aggressive guitar playing ever.

Fade Away (1980)

Bruce and the band hanging out in Jersey
Bruce and the band hanging out in Jersey | Source

A gem from the The River album. Another song with a great organ line. It also contains one of Bruce's better vocal performances from this time period. Surprisingly, the song reached #20 on the US charts in 1980.

Night (1975)

Another great song that seems to have been forgotten with the passing years. From the Born to Run album, this is one of Bruce's fastest songs and is 3 minutes of pure adrenalin. It begins with a blast of Max's drums and Clarence's sax and ends with another great sax solo. It really showcases the Phil Spector "wall of sound" feel Bruce was trying to capture with this album.

Spare Parts (1987)

A forgotten gem from the Tunnel of Love album. A gritty, blunt account of a young woman finding a measure of redemption after an unwed pregnancy and failed marriage. The song showcases blistering guitar playing that is some of the best of Bruce's career.

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    • Horatio Plot profile image

      Horatio Plot 5 years ago from Bedfordshire, England.

      Wow, my kind of Hub.

      I love your choices. My favourite of the ones you list is "For You”. Others on my list would include, “The Last Carnival”, “Open All Night”, “Candy’s Room”, “Jackson Cage”, “Downbound Train” and “I Wish I Were Blind”

      It's amazing the standard of songs that never made it on to a studio album as you allure to when you talk about, “The Wish”. That should be your next Hub. My favourites from that category would include “My Love Will Not Let You Down”, “Linda Let Me Be the One”, “Paradise by the ‘C’ ” and “From Small Thing (Big Things One Day Come)”.

      Good stuff. I’m off for a walk with the dog and my iPod.

      Voted up and shared.

      Keep the faith. RIP Danny and Clarence.

    • theframjak profile image
      Author

      theframjak 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks so much for reading Horatio Plot. I can tell by your song list that you are also a big Bruce fan. "open All Night", "Candy's Room", and "My Love Will Not Let You Down" are also three of my favorites and just missed making this list. Maybe I will have to write a part 2.

    • Theeyeballkid profile image

      Theeyeballkid 5 years ago

      Nice hub theframjak, these are definitely great underrated springsteen tracks.

      I love the tunnel of Love album myself, as you point out 'Tougher than the rest' is a classic and I think 'When your alone' and the closer 'Valentines day' are 2 of the best break up songs he's written.

      Voted up!

    • theframjak profile image
      Author

      theframjak 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks for reading Theeyeballkid. "When You're Alone" just came up on my iPod this morning and I thought "man, this song should be on the list too!" There are so many great ones to chose from.

    • profile image

      Roy 5 years ago

      My father's house,thundercrack,iceman,wages of sin,the fuse, and the very special countin' on a miracle (ACOUSTIC)so many

    • theframjak profile image
      Author

      theframjak 5 years ago from East Coast

      Roy, I agree. The list could easily be 50 songs long. Thanks for reading.

    • Olde Cashmere profile image

      Olde Cashmere 5 years ago from Michigan, United States

      These are all excellent and underrated songs. Bruce Springsteen is one of my favorite music artists. Thanks for writing this great hub. Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

    • theframjak profile image
      Author

      theframjak 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks for reading Olde Cashmere. Bruce is also one of my favorites. I appreciate the kind words

    • MarshFish profile image

      Marshall Fish 3 years ago

      Nice hub! I like your list of tracks here, especially The Wish, written about Bruce's mom Adele.

    • theframjak profile image
      Author

      theframjak 3 years ago from East Coast

      MarshFish, thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it. I agree. The Wish is a great song. Check out my other hub on Bruce's top 25 songs if you are interested in more Springsteen discussion.

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