10 of 10. Bruce. Of course. My North Star.
Most of you know me. I was born in NY and grew up in NJ. When I was a kid Bruce, Prince, Michael Jackson and Madonna were the biggest stars on the planet. And WHERE I grew up Bruce was Santa, the Beatles and Coca-Cola. He could do no wrong. And that's why this album is so interesting.
Bruce's career started as the touted "new Dylan" - a kid who could write dizzying songs faster than you could sing em. The first albums were full of party anthems, tales of street gangs, war songs, Romeo and Juliet tales in the inner city and everything in between. Then all bets paid off on him with "Born to Run". 10 years of touring with his astonishing E Street Band grew his fanatic audience. A top 10 hit came finally with "hungry heart", and then 3 years later it all exploded with "Born In The USA". He was a megastar who even Ronald Reagan tried to co-opt. A live album set followed that just confirmed his status as rock's Everyman megastar. He was an institution. And then...
Bruce Springsteen fell in love and got married. And the ghosts that had been running from all this time, that propelled him to do 4 hour shows to 80,000 fans, all came home. Faced with real commitments to real humans he found himself helpless. So he did what he did best- he wrote about it. And he began cutting down his own mythology. An American icon of masculinity wrote about his doubts, failures and shortcomings. "God have mercy on the man who doubts what he's sure of" he sings at the end of "Brilliant Disguise", a song about self-deception. The guy who wrote "Born to Run" now found himself looking at the highway and noting "he didn't find nothing but road". In other words- you can't run forever.
Anyone who has followed Springsteen's career lately, read his book, and has seen "Springsteen on Broadway" and "Western Stars" knows that Bruce is STILL in the ongoing process of dismantling his persona in order to reveal the human artist and all his faults underneath. That all started here. I heard this at a time in my life when I wanted to stop believing in superheroes. And seeing this superhero take off his OWN costume left an impression that has never left