I hate it when people put bands/singers/artists into categories. I do it for fun, but never really mean it and recently I’ve developed a deep down fear that those around me may think I mean what I say, not understanding the respect and admiration I hold for these people.
One of those I revere the most, and apply this random categorisation to, is Bruce Springsteen. He’s an odd choice for me. I don’t own all his albums.I didn’t care enough to get tickets for his last tour, but he does hold a special place in my heart with his album 'Born To Run' rarely leaving my turntable.
His third album released in 1974 has some of the greatest anthems The Boss has written, far surpassing the material that would appear on 'Born In The USA', released a decade later and sporting songs for which the masses would equate him with.
'Thunder Road' is without question one of the finest opening tracks to grace any album. I can’t define this song, as with much music I have no definitive answer to what the lyrics are about. What I can tell is that this song makes me want to be 16 years old again, in a band, full of ambition and desire, when music was the single important thing in my life.
I guess the difference is in the locations that Springsteen describes throughout the album. You can almost feel what its like to be in your late teens growing up on the streets on New Jersey, spending cold winter nights racing cars, writing songs and chasing girls.
Springsteen’s visual imagery is incredible; In 'Born To Run' he sings "wrap your legs round these velvet ribs and strap your hands across my engines", a line full of teenage sexual tension, set within a song which portrays a life of racing modified cars with an ambition of finding love and making a life outside of the town they grew up in. This American dream is apparent throughout the album.
You can find lyrical picture painting on each and every song, something Springsteen has an incredible knack for , but its not simply his agility with words that makes him a great singer/songwriter.
The delivery and passion are heartfelt, this amongst everything and before you delve into the lyrical content its what you hear that fills you with energy and make you want to punch your fist in the air. This is what makes a great anthem. A song which fills you with hope, that makes you want to live life to the full.
Start your days with these songs and there is no denying that you will be left feeling full of hope, full of ambition and a desire to take on the world. They’ll put a spring in your step and a glint in your eye.