Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska
I’m getting ready to read Springsteen’s new autobiography, so I needed to get my head into the right sonic space, and if I had to pick one Springsteen album above all others, it would be this one.
If nothing else, listening to this album ought to out least make you pine for the days when the word ALBUM meant something. When we thought of ALBUMS the way we thoughts of novels, or plays, or paintings. We used to think of them as miniature self-defining and self-completing universes, with themes, and relationships, and … purposes.
This is a completed circle. It is a closed ecosystem.
It was a massive, massive artistic accomplishment, and it was a bloody brave move to release it. No major artist in the history of rock n’ roll music had ever—or HAS ever—taken such a decidedly unexpected—and completely non-commercial—left turn at the height of their careers. And Springsteen was at the HEIGHT. At this point, he had become The Boss. He was Bruuuuuuce! He was the Hungry Heart.
And then, suddenly, he wasn’t. Suddenly, the man who spent 4 weeks in the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 decided to release an album recorded on a 4-track cassette recorder. An album whose very first lyric was this one:
I saw her standing on her front lawn just twirling her baton
Me and her went for a ride sir and ten innocent people died