Thursday, June 2, 2011

Best of the 80's: The River by Bruce Springsteen

The RiverAfter Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River found Springsteen moving off into a new direction.  Lyrically the characters are more mature, musically the album isn't so tightly constructed.  You can go from "Point Blank" to "Cadillac Ranch" a transition that would never have occurred on the previous two albums.  But more importantly the album finds Springsteen playing around with much simpler pop tunes, like "Hungry Heart."  It's a move which would pay dividends for him on Born in the USA four years later.

This 1980 release currently sits at number 63 on the Best of the 80's list.  It's an album I rarely pick up to play, but it really doesn't have a bad song on it.  I still find "Point Blank" to be a very compelling song.  One of my favorite Springsteen lyrical moments comes on this song when he's describing a dream.

Once I dreamed we were together again baby you and me
Back home in those old clubs the way we used to be
We were standin' at the bar it was hard to hear
The band was playin' loud and you were shoutin' somethin' in my ear
You pulled my jacket off and as the drummer counted four
You grabbed my hand and pulled me out on the floor
You just stood there and held me, then you started dancin' slow
And as I pulled you tighter I swore I'd never let you go

A good album to play while doing work around the house.  

Following the Rhapsody rating method I give it 3 out of 5 stars for Pretty Good.


  1. I see your point, although I would give this album 4 stars even if it were only "The River" and eight songs that sounded like "Sherry Darling."

  2. I love that clip of the "The River."

  3. I think these concert clips will play prominently in Ken "Skipper" Burns IV's 20-part Smart Grid series on DRABS in 2111.