So it was late in the evening and I was washing up the dishes, usually I have my headphones and playlist on to keep me company while doing such chores, however this time I left them upstairs and didn’t fancy going up to get them , so I put the radio on, and Fleetwood Mac “Dreams” just finished playing, and I absolutely love this song! I will sure be doing a Fleetwood Mac Album review at some point! So anyway I kept the radio on and “Dancing In The Dark” by Bruce Springsteen started playing and from listening to it I forgot how much I loved his songs growing up. Though like most of the music I grew up listing to was released way before I was even born, it still is one of those songs that is quite nostalgic for me and continues to play long after its release, which just shows how great it is. So from hearing this song on the radio after a long time, it prompted me to listen to the whole album “Born in the USA” , and I have to say I enjoyed all the songs on this album which then made want to know more about it and so I decided to look into it.
Born in the USA is the seventh studio Album by Bruce Springsteen, who wrote the album, and it was recorded by his backing band, E Street Band and produced by Bruce Springsteen, Chuck Plotkin and Jon Landauat at The Power Station and The Hit Factory in New York City. It was released on June 4, 1984 by Columbia Records.
The Album was a huge commercial success! After listening to this Album I decided to listen to some of Springsteen’s previous Albums and in comparison Born In The USA is certainly a more of an upbeat sound with more of a mainstream appeal. Springsteen writes his own songs and throughout all the albums he has created, I have noticed he always incorporates political and somewhat controversial topics in his writing which speak of his experiences growing up. Like I have just said Born In The USA is a much more cheerful sound to the ear than his other Albums, however the lyrical content is very much a continuation of the topics he has always written about (i.e politics, race, economic depression, class etc) which is honourable as he has stayed true to himself and his beliefs, since it can be too easy to sway away on to something else just for the sake of doing what’s popular at the time to sell records. I also noticed that the style of lyrics have a similar tone to Bob Dylan’s, then later on when I was researching more about Bruce Springsteen, I found out that he is a fan of the works of Dylan, which makes sense when listing to his songs; though they are very different artists in a way they are also quite similar too.
I first heard Springsteen’s songs from this album when I was probably about 6 years old, and as a child you only hear the sound and don’t care too much for the lyrics or at least don’t understand them anyway, but now I’m a little older I do appreciate and look more into the lyrical content, and subconsciously I think I have always liked his songs and still like them today is because of the real talk lyrics incorporated into the great sound of the production, which is very much a rock n roll style , but with some electric fusion mixed in.
The songs I was most familiar with before listening to the whole Album were “Born In The USA”, “Working On The Highway” and “Dancing In The Dark”, though the latter is still my most favourite to listen to, however my new favourites are; “No Surrender” ,“Bobby Jean” and “My Home Town”. I really like “No Surrender” because it just reminds me of the importance records can have on our lives.
I like “Bobby Jean” because the story he told built an image in my head; of maybe a friend he lost, that was misunderstood and they only really had each other that understood one another,” Now you hung with me, when all the others turned away … turned up their nose We liked the same music — we liked the same bands — we liked the same clothes” But it seemed his friend was a lot unhappier than Springsteen thought and now he has lost him and wished he could have said and done more to help him “Now I wished you would have told me —I wished I could have talked to you — Just to say goodbye, Bobby Jean …” After I listened to the song and made my own conclusion I looked into see what it was actually about and found out this song wasn’t really about anyone in particular, and the fact that the name “Bobby Jean” is unisex it could be about either male or female and with the lyrics being quite ambiguous, I guess it’s’ a song that only Springsteen really knows who and what its about if anyone at all? Nevertheless the song evokes real emotion and makes you think.
“My Home Town” I like this song because it speaks of the hometown pride we all have(well I certainly have for my hometown anyway) , but also seeing the realistic side of the life and times Springsteen experienced and witnessed as a child and young adult. The song speaks of how life was like back in the 60s with racial tensions, the economic depression, and how at the end of the song he and his partner want a better life for their son, and decide to move on and out of his home town, but not before he takes his son in the car to show him around his home town one last time before they move , so as to say to him; though we are moving away from here, however we must never forget where we came from, which mimics the beginning of the song where its Springsteen’s Dad who teaches and instils in Springsteen as young boy the love for his home town, which is a beautiful message indeed; “Last night I sat him up behind the wheel and said son take a good look around, this is your hometown” Though a lot has changed since the 60’s, there still is small pockets of these kind of issues going on today in some small towns, where no one has fully moved on, combined with the present day economic situations and what not.
Since Born In The USA was a huge commercial success , is the main reason how I and I’m sure along with many others discovered Springsteen and his works. Though Born In The USA will always be his most well known album across the globe, there’s a lot of depth to all his music he has produced throughout the years, this is probably the main reason why I was intrigued to look into his music I heard as a child, to revisit it with a slightly more mature mind (and still growing). Not only in this process have I (re) discovered this album but also discovered his older albums previous to this one and ones after that I like just as much, and will form part of my music collection.
If you haven’t already listened to the whole Album, or haven’t heard it in a while, I would highly recommend giving it a listen.