Well, the world didn't come to an end last week, but for some, this may seem almost as apocalyptic. Today is the end of Your Friday Bruce Fix, and no, I'm not pulling your leg, like this April Fool's joke from 2011.
After five years, more than 260 Friday Bruce Fixes and more than 600 videos, I just feel like I'm done. It has been a lot of fun and I hope you've enjoyed it, too. I suppose I could go on forever given the extraordinary depth and breadth of Bruce Springsteen's catalogue. He has produced a body of work that is pretty much unmatched, beginning with his 1966 recording of 'That's What You Get' and 'Baby I', and continuing on to this day.
Although Bruce makes it easy to find great material to post, after all this time, I've run out of enthusiasm for the time commitment required to post every Friday (I think I missed only one, while on vacation) to the point where I just don't want to do this anymore. I hope you'll understand and I hope you'll find a way to get your Bruce Fix when you need it.
Thanks to the many Bruce enthusiasts for their time commitment to post all those videos on YouTube and a very big thanks to the people behind SpringsteenLyrics and Brucebase and of course the man himself. This blog would have been impossible without you.
Before I go, I thought I'd leave you with a Top 10 list. I don't mean this to be THE definitive, all-time list of the 10 best Bruce Springsteen songs. I guess it's the 10 performances and/or 10 songs that I just couldn't live without, and the songs I turn to most often when I need my fix.
I should also say that making a list like this is almost impossible. A list of 25 would seem to be easier. There are certain songs and performances that I can hardly believe I've left off this top 10 list. Of course, if I drew the line at 25, I'd still hate some of the cuts I would have made. On second thought, maybe a top 5 would have been easier, as I would have had fewer painful cuts to make.
I sort of cheated last week by sneaking Kitty's Back into my Bruce Springsteen Christmas roundup. I've probably played that one clip more times than any other, it was the first video played on the first Friday Bruce Fix that I sent to four friends by email five years ago and it's a great place to go to get my fix. It really does belong in the top 10. Let's call it the top 11!
One observation I'd like to make in looking at my list is that I've gravitated towards songs that mostly highlight Bruce's brilliance as a song writer and as a solo performer. As much as I love the E Street Band, those fist pumping anthems, the all night parties that are Springsteen concerts, and Bruce's total command of the stage and the building as the best band leader in the history of rock and roll, it's when you strip all of that away down to just the song and the performer, that the genius of Bruce Springsteen's artistry shines brightest.
In case you're wondering, some of the songs about which I'm most annoyed by their absence from this list are, in no particular order: Badlands, Darkness on the Edge of Town, Because the Night, My City of Ruins, Blood Brothers, Independence Day, Rosalita, Atlantic City, Lost in the Flood, Loose Ends, Restless Nights, No Surrender, Bobby Jean, Tougher Than the Rest, Two Faces, The Rising, The Fever, The Promise and The Promised Land. I would have no quarrel with any top whatever list that included any of those songs. At that, I'm sure I've overlooked a few, perhaps a few dozen! Please post a comment to let me know which songs you would have listed on your Top 10!
OK, so here we go, in reverse or countdown order. Of course, feel free to play them in whatever order you want. While this may be my top 10 Bruce Fixes, it's still Your Friday Bruce Fix!
As always, if you're getting your fix while at the office, don't take any calls, cancel your meetings, close your office (or cubicle) door, watch these fixes on full screen and turn up the volume. Sometimes, you just need your fix. With any luck, it won't get you fired.
#10 Brilliant Disguise
#8 The River
#7 You're Missing
Since the video version of the live performance on SNL that I love so much has gone missing, here's a clip from the rehearsal of that performance:
This is the audio from the live broadcast, by which time Bruce had smoothed out the few little bumps that turned up in the rehearsal.
#4 Land of Hope and Dreams
#3 Incident on 57th Street
Because it was so hard to choose, first up, a piano & violin only version from early 1975, followed by a full band version from 1978.
#2 Born to Run
#1 Thunder Road
Thanks and here's wishing you an amazing 2013, and an endless series of Happy Fridays!