Ten Underrated Bruce Springsteen Songs for Your iPod
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)
"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.
"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)
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.
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.