Trail Mix: Bruce Springsteen

Here is the first installment of Trail Mix. Basically, it is a list of some of my favorite songs by an artist. Songs to listen while hiking or just relaxing at home. These are in no particular order.

I’m On Fire – I think of the video when I hear this one. Bruce captures the longing of wanting something you can’t possibly have and maybe shouldn’t have anyway.

My Hometown – One of a long list of moody story songs Bruce writes with the best of them. A sense of nostalgia resonates through this one as the narrator recalls his hometown and what was, but is no more.

Jungleland – Clarence Clemons saxophone makes this track pure magic. The emotions flow up and down like a roller coaster as the characters take to the streets in an epic battle of the bands. Sensational.

Streets of Philadelphia – Originally called Philadelphia until Bruce found out Neil Young had written the title track for the movie of the same name. No matter. This strolling ballad captures the essence of the film and paints a picture of what it’s like to live outside the mainstream.

Secret Garden – This song from the movie Jerry McGuire is simplicity at its finest. The yearning in the music fits right along with the longing vocals about love and only being able to get so close. One of my favorite Springsteen songs of all time, more from the mood it creates than the musical virtuosity within.

Growin’ Up – I really love the live version on the box set as it is more emotional than the studio version. We all grow up, just not at the same pace.

Land Of Hope And Dreams – I first heard this when I finally saw Bruce play live in Milwaukee. It was love at first hear. He has recorded a few versions of this and while none of them fully capture what I heard that glorious night at the show, it is still a great song of hope.

Girls In Their Summer Clothes – This track from Magic just grabs me. I just like how it grooves.

Atlantic City – While I love the original version from Nebraska, I really love the version from We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. It is a new take on a classic and it gives it a different feel.

Iceman – Taken from the Tracks box set, this emotional ballad is pure poetry in motion. You can feel the pain and anguish throughout this one. I love it and listen to it quite often.

Gave It A Name – Another slow burning from Tracks. Several stories mesh together perfectly in this one. Potent lyrics and simply accompaniment blend to form a beautiful song.

Walk Like A Man – I was a late rider on the Springsteen bandwagon. A good friend of mine kept bugging me to listen to him and I never really got into him. Sure, Born In The U.S.A. Was huge, but Tunnel Of Love was the song and the album which hooked me. This album track just gets me right in the heart and never lets go. A great story from a wonderful teller of tales.

Valentine’s Day – The last track on Tunnel Of Love and my favorite on the record. A simple, strolling track which returns to the feeling of longing found in I’m On Fire. This is another one I really love.

There Goes My Miracle – A song from Western Stars which captures the moment of separation perfectly. Sweet and sour, pleasure and pain. Opposites complement each other well in life as well as in music.

4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) – A story set in Bruce’s native New Jersey and which I love both the studio version and the version from Live 1975-85. Storytelling at its finest.

Well, that does it for the first installment of Trail Mix. I hope you check out these tracks and continue to support the music and the artists who make it.

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