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.
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.