Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Albums of Bruce Springsteen, Part Four

Cover of "The River"Cover of The River

The Albums of Bruce Springsteen, Part Four by Russell Shortt

He completed the trilogy of albums with The River (1980), a double album tour de force with a staggering range of styles on show. If Born to Run and Darkness at the Edge of Town detailed the experiences, The River throws up what people do after the realisation of the betrayals committed against them and indeed their complicity in them.

But Springsteen ain't offering a candy-coated path of redemption, no sir, rather he maps out the Dreiserian paths that are taken, the method of simply finding a way, to deal, to move forward. Springsteen was just over thirty, yet his world-weariness and sagely conclusions were like late Whitman.

The plight of the working classes troubled him, he had to sing their woes, the record's diverse musical range had the paradoxical effect of making us dance, sing, thrash and swoon whilst listening to The Boss voice our worlds and lives, at least someone was. Springsteen wasn't kidding around and this wasn't no commercial enterprise, Nebraska (1982) proved that. A stark, lo-fi record that found Springsteen alone with an acoustic, bitter and raging, gone is the support of E-street, it's all become too serious for musical distractions, Springsteen is facing down the barrel of it all, alone.

Never mind the expectation, never mind the industry, Springsteen wanted to make Nebraska and so he made Nebraska. Taking the baton from a long line of radical troubadours such as Woody Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Blind Willie McTell and Hank Williams. He was opening up his arms to America, no longer restricting himself to the confines of New Jersey, taking up the cause of all the States, telling the people that he was the one to do it, and he could do it alone if needs be.

Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland.

Article source: Russell Shortt, -

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