Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bruce Springsteen The Promise vs The Darkness

What to do Bruce Springsteen is starting to amass a massive catalog.  Darkness on the Edge of Town being the last point for me in trying to keep up.  Other music beckoned but Bruce and the New Jersey Shore have always held a special place in my heart.  The Promise now out has more selections from the Darkness era and I like it better.

I thought that would get your attention.  While Darkness is a great album there are a few tunes that don't do it for me. I was on board from the beginning with Greetings but after Born to Run I slowly drifted away. The River never took hold for me and the whole Born in the USA thing struck me as a Pepsi commercial.

That being said if that's what you liked more power to you and I'm not here to dissuade any of you we all have personal taste.  The Promise is right in my wheel house.  When I first heard this album I thought WOW Bruce is back and then I realized what this disc is all about. (See I'm not an obsessive fan).

I will add that those that think these are fourth tier songs after 18 Tracks (which I like and own as well) I would add not so fast. Obviously these were bare bone tracks that Bruce & Co. wanted to go back in and tweak. Rough cuts that maybe he planned on re-recording a long time ago and didn't get around to doing until now. The other more complete tracks released in the meantime. I have no way of knowing. But I really do think the batch of songs on The Promise are accessible and track after track I think top Darkness.  Believe me I think Adam Raised a Cain is a tour de-force and one of my all time favorite efforts ever by Bruce but while Promise doesn't contain any throat grabbing tracks like Adam/Cain or Candy's Room it is more consistent from the first to last track.  I can't say that about Darkness. Again just my opinion but maybe useful for others out there.  The Promise is a strong consistently good album from beginning to end.

In putting a Bruce Springsteen Collection Together I would stick with the first releases Asbury Park, The Wild and The Innocent, Born to Run, The Promise, 18 Tracks and Live/1975–85. 

In any event I took the opportunity to reacquaint myself with Bruce's huge catalog and threw together a Bruce Best of Volume II so to speak cherry picking off his massive collection after Born to Run.  Here are the songs and sequence.  It turned out real well thought I would share.

Adam Raised a Cain
Prove it All Night
Lucky Town
Your Own Worst Enemy
Girls in Their Summer Clothes :)
Brilliant Disguise
Tunnel of Love
Candy's Room
One Step Up
Old Dan Tucker
Cadillac Ranch
Long Walk Home
The Promised Land
Radio Nowhere
The River
My Beautiful Reward
Worlds Apart

That all fits onto one 80 minute disc largely taken from Darkness on The Edge-Magic also Lucky Town, The Rising, The River, Tunnel of Love and Seeger Sessions. Impossible to stay current on Bruce's career unless you are all in devoted and his releases after Born to Run have been spotty for me. But now that he has so many discs out you can pull gems off of everything and make yourself a really nice disc. Bruce is still kicking out some great music.  It might not be wall to wall on one album but the man keeps working and this Mp3 disc, Promise and the albums above square me with Bruce Springsteen and are a proud addition to my collection.  Now we need the weather to just get a little nicer and spring to get here!

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