The American Dream wasn’t something Bruce Springsteen could easily obtain. So, through his mammoth musical career, he wielded his song-writing weapons with which he carved out his own unique path. His New Jersey, working-class roots enhance every bit of his much-revered brand of lyrical storytelling.
For music fans everywhere, Springsteen created the real voice of Heartland America. It’s why it is such a joy to look back the singer’s extensive career. A guy who rose from the dive bar circuit to filling stadiums and pitching up on Broadway, The Boss has come a long way. The 513-track ultimate playlist below offers up the perfect reflections of a true American star.
His moniker may put him as ‘The Boss’ but Springsteen has always been incredibly hardworking. With a career that spans much of the last five decades, the singer put down his first album Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ in 1973 and hasn’t ever really stopped since, releasing 19 studio records and 23 live albums (the majority of which can be found in our playlist).
Looking back it’s clear to see how Springsteen has evolved as an artist. For a singer who started out life in the dirty denim dive bars of America’s heartland, he was quick to figure out that an artist couldn’t merely survive on charming folk records. Instead, he seemed to produce both sides of the coin and for every darker more personal album there were records like 1975’s Born to Run, 1987’s Tunnel of Love or perhaps Springsteen’s biggest commercial success, 1984’s Born in the U.S.A.
That album put Springsteen into an enviable position. One of the highest-selling albums of all time the record produced seven top-10 singles, a feat only matched bu Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation. With it, Springsteen cemented not only his place in the history books but a ferociously loyal fanbase.
That fanbase is happy to follow The Boss on his tours across the country and it’s only right that some of his best moments on record are actually put to tape where Springsteen feels most comfortable, on stage with his audience. Whether it is the grottier side of the live circuit or the stadium-sized act he became, Bruce is happiest when singing. The 2006 release which captures the Hammersmith Odeon, London ’75 show has to be the very purest glimpse of Springsteen approaching stardom.
Put together chronologically based on their release dates, the playlist offers up a remarkably engaging listen across the 39 hours. It not only provides the evolution of one of America’s finest artists but also provides a refresher on just why after seeing him live people refer to Springsteen as The Boss.
So dip in and out or sit down and get ready for an education in songwriting, but either way, you have to dive into the ultimate Bruce Springsteen playlist.