Bruce Springsteen has evolved into what is a beacon of light over the career of Arcade Fire’s Win Butler, and his list of favourite songs by ‘The Boss’ makes for essential listening.
Butler has become friendly with Springsteen in recent years, and he can also count him as a fan of Arcade Fire. Considering the prestige that he bestows upon the name of The Boss, the way that they’ve grown close has been dreamlike for the Canadian singer.
While Bruce will always be a source of inspiration for Arcade Fire in a musical sense, one piece of advice that he provided Butler following their misunderstood fifth album, Everything Now, was a piece of reassurance he desperately needed to hear.
Springsteen, who is no stranger to criticism, has been disregarded as yesterday’s news more times than he’d care to remember. However, he also knows that you shouldn’t listen to the noise and let it distract you from creating the art you desire. “Bruce Springsteen actually told us once, ‘Just make sure that you can always play shows in Spain,'” Butler once explained to CoS. “Because there will come a time when people hate you for like a decade, and you can just disappear and go play shows in Spain where people love you. And you’ll be in Spain, and you can eat delicious food. And then ten years after people will realise that you’re really great and you can go back to America’.
“The crazy thing about music is that everyone has different taste,” he continued. “Depends where you grew up, what your parents liked, how you feel rhythm etc. I’ve been on the other side and not loved the music my favourite bands made, but I just started listening to other music.”
His advice helped Butler see the bigger picture and convinced him not to beat himself up over the lukewarm reception to one piece of work. Interestingly, his music hasn’t always been a significant part of the singer’s life, and his introduction to Springsteen was a relatively late one.
In 2010, Butler shared an eclectic career-spanning playlist with Rolling Stone which featured his favourite 14 tracks by the New Jersey native. Expanding upon his relationship with The Boss as a fan, Butler explained: “This Bruce Springsteen list is a mix of his pop and not-pop songs. But I got into his albums in random order.”
Adding: “I heard ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ on the radio when I was a kid. But it was after I moved to Montreal that I got into Bruce. It was the energy in Born to Run. Brendan Reed, who played drums in the original lineup of Arcade Fire, had that album. I’d heard Bruce’s music before, but I had never heard that record as a record.”
His selection of songs aren’t particularly laden with deep cuts, but if you’re not an obsessive Springsteen devotee, then Butler’s playlist is the perfect place to start. Listen to his choices below.
Win Butler’s favourite Bruce Springsteen songs:
- ‘The Rising’
- ‘Born To Run’
- ‘Thunder Road’
- ‘Galveston Bay’
- ‘Streets of Philadelphia’
- ‘Tougher Than the Rest’
- ‘Dancing in the Dark’
- ‘I’m on Fire’
- ‘Highway Patrolman’
- ‘State Trooper’
- ‘Atlantic City’
- ‘Two Hearts’