Artist – Album: Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A
Released: 4th June 1984
Sounds Like: Bossing it
...Meanwhile, back in Springsteen’s universe:-
The downtrodden losers of Darkness On the Edge of Town (released 6 years or just two blogs earlier depending on your point of view) had tumbled even further on follow up album Nebraska, shifting from working class nobody’s with no chance of escape from the monotony of their small town lives to petty criminals and full blown murderers. The situation had seemingly become hopeless, and the Boss appeared stuck in a rut.
But as Yazz would point out, when you hit the bottom, the only way is up (baby!). Born in the U.S.A., his seventh album, features the same cast of downtrodden blue collar characters – Vietnam war vets and disaffected, disappointed guys who peaked in high school. The difference here though is Springsteen has instilled some hope into their doldrums existence. With titles like ‘No Surrender’ the Boss showed that they weren’t about to give up, and his more positive approach was backed up by the music, his poppiest to date. Where Nebraska featured sombre, seemingly unfinished pieces composed with simple guitars and harmonicas, his next record had synths and pounding drums. Where there were no hits to be found on his bleak sixth effort, Born in the U.S.A was chock full of them (the seven charting singles here – ‘Dancing in the Dark’, ‘Cover Me’, ‘Born in the U.S.A’, ‘I’m on Fire’, ‘Glory Days’, ‘I’m Goin’ Down’ and ‘My Hometown’ – is a joint record high for one album).
All this results in one great big giddy rock pop album that satisfies both superficially with its singalong choruses, and deeply with its local caricatures and sketches. Superb.
Albumaday... rating: 8/10
1. Born in the U.S.A – 4:39
2. Cover Me – 3:27
3. Darlington County – 4:48
4. Working on the Highway – 3:11
5. Downbound Train – 3:35
6. I’m on Fire – 2:37
7. No Surrender – 4:00
8. Bobby Jean – 3:46
9. I’m Goin’ Down – 3:29
10. Glory Days – 4:15
11. Dancing in the Dark – 4:00
12. My Hometown – 4:34
Listen to ‘My Hometown’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CSFSX-Qh54