From the Vault...


Bruce Springsteen
"Greatest Hits"

© Columbia Records


track listing
  • Born To Run
  • Thunder Road
  • Badlands
  • The River
  • Hungry Heart
  • Atlantic City
  • Dancing In The Dark
  • Born In The U.S.A.
  • My Hometown
  • Glory Days
  • Brilliant Disguise
  • Human Touch
  • Better Days
  • Streets Of Philadelphia
  • Secret Garden
  • Murder Incorporated
  • Blood Brothers
  • This Hard Land

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    Bruce Springsteen
    "Greatest Hits"

    For the die-hard Springsteen fan, like myself, a Greatest Hits package brings a very unpleasant feeling. One, the die-hard Bruce fans has every major original studio album. Second, Bruce Springsteen had recorded so many (great) tunes that were not released on the original releases, because he felt they didn't fit with the album. ("The Fever" didn't fit? Which album?!?) Third, Greatest Hits packages forces die-hard fans to buy it, because it will contain songs that were not on original albums. Arguably so, 13 songs contained here were from the original releases, where the remaining were unreleased.

    Surprisingly, songs from Bruce's most earliest albums are not included here. Songs from his first two albums, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle could easily have been included, such as "Spirit In The Night" or "Blinded By The Light" from the first album, and even the classic "Rosalita" from the second album would have made this Greatest Hits package more complete, for those fans who were just getting their first glimpse of Springsteen's most popular music.

    "Born To Run" is truly one song that any Bruce Greatest Hits compilation cannot be without. Only two songs were chosen from the Born To Run release, and "Thunder Road" being the great song that it is, I would have chosen "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out". On that note, (arguing) only one song was chosen from Bruce's next album, Darkness On The Edge Of Town. The song "Badlands" is another great tune, yet there are many other songs they could have included, to even out the rest of this compilation's various songs (preferably more than one) from each studio release.

    Two songs from The River album are on this compilation. The title track, and another must-have "Hungry Heart." The title track could easily been contained here, or substituted by other great songs, such as "Cadillac Ranch." The Nebraska release was a 180 degree turn for Bruce fans, where songs from this release would be labeled as folk, and later be referenced as Unplugged acoustic recordings, featuring just guitar and/or harmonica. "Atlantic City" is a good choice, and again, it's the only song from Nebraska. My personal favorite from Nebraska is "My Father's House," where others may argue that songs such as "Reason To Believe" or even "Johnny 99" should have been included here.

    Now we enter the Born In The U.S.A. album: What song would NOT be included here from that album? 4 songs are contained here, the first big hit from it, "Dancing In The Dark" should have been a #1 hit for him, had it not been for Michael Jackson stepping in his way on the charts. Of course, the title track is another song no Bruce Greatest could not be without, enough said on that one. "My Hometown" is another great choice, as it was a personal favorite of mine, where I had sang this song in a band I was in. "Glory Days" is another great choice as well. Some may argue that songs such as "I'm On Fire" and "Cover Me" should easily have been included, but 4 songs from one album on this compilation was really stretching it.

    Again, we argue the fact that only one song was included here from the Tunnel Of Love album. The runner-up album to U.S.A., this album may not have been as outstanding as it's predecessor, yet it contains some great songs. This compilation's choice, "Brilliant Disguise" was quite obvious, yet the title track should easily have been included.

    Bruce's next two albums, Human Touch and Lucky Town were rated as two of his not-so-popular albums. I disagree -- Human Touch is one of his best, where it was much better than the Lucky Town release. The title track of Human Touch is on this compilation, and I would have to disagree with this choice for a single Greatest Hits compilation. Songs such as "57 Channels And Nothing On" and "Cross My Heart" should be included, along with the title track. There are other songs from Human Touch that could be included, but we're narrowing it down to just a few songs, for a Greatest Hits single cd. The Lucky Town may have been a forgotten album for many, and the only song from this release (and the only one that really stood out in my mind), was "Better Days."

    The remaining songs are where Bruce fans begin to wring their hands, in hearing these songs, and seeing if they could agree with Bruce that they were just left on the shelf. The first two songs are exceptions: "Streets Of Philadelphia" is a soundtrack cut from the movie "Philadelphia." Okay, I can understand most songs from soundtracks are only movie selections, and very rare are they included on an artist's original studio release. The next song, "Secret Garden" is another slow and moody tune, like the "Philadelphia" tune, and would also be included in the soundtrack of Tom Cruise's movie, Jerry MaGuire."

    "Murder Incorporated" is a true Bruce rocker. It also has the John Mellencamp sound, and wouldn't it have been great if both Bruce and Mellencamp shared vocals on this one... Two Americana artists shining bright.

    The unreleased "Blood Brothers" is another slow and moody tune, as it could have been a song included on his next album, The Ghost Of Tom Joad, having a slow-paced feel, as many songs on the Nebraska release. The last song, "This Hard Land" is a medium-paced tune, featuring the harmonica, and another possible candidate for the Tom Joad release, as the last two songs on this compilation shows Bruce in a more mellow fashion, than that of his common rocking songs.

    Arguing again, showcasing Bruce Springsteen's music on a single disc greatest hits compilation is truly not enough. This collection does have a good taste for those who are just discovering his music. But for the die-hard fan, there are far more other great songs to consider.

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    Previous Review: #849
    Booker T. & The M.G.'s--Green Onions
    Next Review: #851
    Darren Rhodes--Jesse Told Becky Goodbye