So I’ve shared on Facebook and I’ve retweeted on Twitter but I’ve never reblogged until now.

This is a post from Dave’s Strange World, another blog that I follow. It is a quite extraordinary version of “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen. It is one of my favourite Springsteen songs and is one of the best “Side One Track One’s” going. It’s story song, which I’m a sucker for. The detail transports you to New Jersey in the early Seventies – The Big O on the radio, the screen door slamming, Mary’s dress swaying. There’s no chorus but that doesn’t matter. The momentum of the music just takes you along and you don’t need a chorus – the redemptive power of the outro does the job.

It’s a song that I’ll always remember from a celebratory day in 2003. In the afternoon we watched Wolverhampton Wanderers get promoted to the English Premier Football League for the first time. We then headed down to Crystal Palace in South London for Bruce and the E Street Band. “Thunder Road” was a favourite of mine anyway and as the mammoth set drew on and it hadn’t been played, I had a dilemna. Did I cross my legs for another half an hour or did I nip to the loo? I chose the latter and managed to leg it back to N just as the piano and harmonica signalled the intro – I was a happy boy.

The Golden Ticket
The Golden Ticket

On that occasion the hope and redemption offered by “Thunder Road” was perfect.

This is different though. It’s backed by acoustic guitars as opposed to the full band as on the “Born to Run” version or the piano on the Live Box Set version. This only tells half the story. We really are talking about another song altogether here . There are more minor chords. The uplifting American Dream aspect of the recorded version is a long way off. We aren’t with Mary either. It’s Christina.

The song is a demo from earlier than 1975 most probably, given the long gestation period for the “Born To Run” album. It could have sat as a coda on “Nebraska” though with the poor huddled masses that inhabit that album – the cop and criminal brothers, the murderers, the downtrodden unemployed.

Anyway – have a listen, thanks to Dave’s original blog. I’ll be back later in the week with a post of my own

Here’s the link to Dave’s site again as well. Have a look – there’s some good stuff on there. Thanks again to Dave for letting me use his post.

http://davesstrangeworld.com

Written by stue1967

After taking several readings, I'm surprised to find my mind's still fairly sound

16 comments

  1. Damn, you said it better than I did! Awesome post, sir. And yes, Springsteen would have made a powerful statement putting this version on “Nebraska.” But not including the song on “Nebraska” was likely an act of mercy, because the album was plenty bleak enough without completely crushing all sense of hope out of the fans. But damn, that would have been ballsy … the equal of Lou Reed releasing “Berlin” after “Transformer,” his biggest commercial success.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words, not sure it was better just different. I was really conscious that I didn’t plagiarise you as I am new to blogging. So I’m happy that you’re happy.

      Nebraska is one of my favourite albums and I think your Transformer/Berlin point really holds.

      I owe you one!

      Like

  2. Thunder Road is one of my all time favourite songs and I really like the version you have posted I hadn’t heard it before. My favourite live version was from the 2013 Hampden gig in Glasgow (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMFBzxd_oUQ). After a 3 1/2 hour set the band left the stage and it was just Bruce and his guitar. He was so exhausted he could barely strum along. The atmosphere in the stadium was electric and it was one of those performances that makes the hairs on your arms stand up. It was a magical night and I hope Bruce comes back to Scotland soon 🙂

    Like

    1. I haven’t see Bruce since the gig I blogged about. I’ve made a pledge to myself to go next time. With Clarence and Danny dying, you don’t know how long the E-Street Band will be around for

      Like

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