Born in the USA Album - An 80s Classic
Bruce Springsteen or 'The Boss' as we like to call him had already established himself as a rocker before he released his 1984 album Born in the U.S.A. The album, Born in the U.S.A. raised him up from rock singer to superstar and everywhere you turned Bruce Springsteen was being played on the radio.
Born in the U.S.A. is a must have album of the 80s for both die hard Bruce fans and people who didn't enjoy The Boss' other work. It is a classic album filled with great songs. Born in the U.S.A. is one of the few albums where every song can stand on it's own two feet - there's no fillers at all. So why don't you take the Downbound Train to Darlington County and we can see Bobby Jean as she's Working on the Highway and talk about our Glory Days. I'm Goin' Down to My Hometown where I'll be Dancing in the Dark!
Born in the U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen
The album Born in the U.S.A. was released in 1984 and reached the number one position in album charts around the world. Bruce Springsteen released a number of singles from this album including the immensely popular title track - Born in the U.S.A.
Other singles from this album were Dancing in the Dark, Glory Days and My Hometown. It is so hard to pick just one favorite from the selection, during the late 80s it was Working on the Highway, in the early 90s I preferred My Hometown and a few years ago I would have picked Glory Days. However, all of the tracks are fantastic and this is a cd I think everyone should own!
Born in the U.S.A.
- Born in the U.S.A.
- Cover Me
- Darlington County
- Working on the Highway
- Downbound Train
- I'm on Fire
- No Surrender
- Bobby Jean
- I’m Goin’ Down
- Glory Days
- Dancing in the Dark
- My Hometown.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A. is often thought of as a patriotic song, even in so much as Ronald Reagan asked if he could use it on his campaign. It was in fact a song of a disillusioned Vietnam veteran. It is quite a harsh song about a veteran returning home from serving and finding no jobs in fact very little left for him in the country where he was born. He had fought hard, his brother had been killed and there wasn’t any of the parades that had welcomed home troops from WWII.
During the 80s the general public felt a little ashamed of how they treated their Vietnam veterans this is evidenced by movies such as Rambo as well as this song by Bruce Springsteen.
The second track on the album is Cover Me which was another top ten single from the album Born in the U.S.A. Cover Me is often criticized as being too 'pop' and commercialized compared to Bruce Springsteen's usual rock style. Personally I think it is yet another excellent song.
The whole world is out there just trying to score
I've seen enough, I don't want to see any more
Listen to the song - to me it appears to be full of desperation and the need to find someone. It could almost be an anthem for Bridget Jones.
Springsteen's Darlington County catches you as soon as it starts with a great beat that gets you swaying in time.
We drove down from New York city
This song really does sound like the kind of song you'd want playing on a road trip with a friend, singing along at the top of your voices.
With a 50s era vibe Darlington County tells the tale of a couple of kids going down South for work and a few kicks while they're away from home. This inevitably leads to trouble!
Working on the Highway
The next track on Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. album was Working on the Highway - fantastic. I absolutely thrashed this track when I first got the record, yes my first copy of Born in the U.S.A was on vinyl! Where Darlington County had a bit of a 50s vibe to it, Working on the Highway has a definite 50s feel.
Working on the Highway is a fun, catchy dance track that would appear to be a tribute to construction workers........................until you listen to Bruce Springsteen's lyrics properly. The song was about the consequences of romancing the wrong girl in the wrong town. Not only that the girl was obviously underage which is why he is now Working on the Highway!
Although this track wasn't a single it had all the makings of a hit. The story was about a man who's life was going on fine and then boom everything had changed. It was like you hopped onto the first train at the station not knowing where it was going and you just held on tight!
Again this song is quite gloomy as the man slips further and further into oblivion with no light at the end of the tunnel.
Now I work at the car wash, where all it ever does is rain
He's in a depressed state because he can't even be happy he has a job, he just misses what he had and what he cannot seem to get back.
I'm on Fire
I’m on Fire is a lustful song where Bruce Springsteen is saying that only sex with this one lady could heal everything that causes him angst. A love song or something more creepy? I’m not really sure but I love it anyway!
I absolutely loved playing this loud and belting out the lyrics during the 80s.
Well, we made a promise we swore we'd always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender
As a teen I also loved the words from the first verse -
We learned more from a 3-minute record, baby
Than we ever learned in school
Of course I didn't really believe it, but I felt like a rebel singing it..................................................and did I mention that this one needed to be sung loudly (it's lucky my folks liked Bruce Springsteen really!)
Basically I think this song is on Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A album because the whole album is about people doing it tough and this song is saying - pick yourself up and keep going. The American Dream is still out there, you've just got to keep on trying for it.
When I used to listen to Bobby Jean I always thought it was about a girl that Bruce Springsteen realized he loved after she left. He wishes that she'd told him she was going because as soon as he knew he realized his feelings for her.
Now I wish you would have told me
I wish I could have talked to you
Just to say goodbye, Bobby Jean
As I got older I realized that it was in fact a farewell to an old band member Steve Van Zandt who had just left the band after getting married (I think?). Personally I think I like the love story idea more!
I'm Goin' Down
This was a hit single for Bruce Springsteen, but it never really ‘did’ it for me, I felt it was like an album track! It takes a little bit of rock, a little bit of country and a touch of honky tonk which sounds pretty good, but it’s still too repetitive for me.
Basically it’s a song about a love affair that’s run it’s course and there’s absolutely nothing he can do to get the passion back.
I used to love singing this, although it’s not until you get older that you really appreciate Mr Springsteen’s songwriting abilities. I have a little smile to myself every time I hear this because it makes me think of my husband. Every couple of years he spends a week with a group of friends that have been friends since high school when they played footy together. Whenever they get together they’re always talking about the ‘glory days’, but the tales get bigger and bigger!
It is a fantastic singalong song and I know my feet are tapping just thinking about the song and I’m singing it in my head as I type – an absolute classic!
Dancing in the Dark
This single is accompanied by the video that starred Courtney Cox, but when I see the video these days all I can think is that Bruce Springsteen looks like he’s constipated!
On the surface Dancing in the Dark has a good beat and you could think of it as a great dance song, until you start listening to the lyrics. It’s not about someone who just wants to go ‘dancing in the dark’ (we all know what that means now , don’t we?), it’s actually about someone who’s searching for the possibility of love.
Like in Cover Me it’s about someone who’s alone and doesn’t want to be alone, I’m just tired and bored with myself followed by the I could use just a little help.
This song has that something special, you can’t define it but you know it when you hear it. My Hometown hooks you up and then tugs at your heartstrings. It is a beautiful song touched with a sad dollop of nostalgia, I think it’s still positive. Bruce Springsteen sings that it’s my hometown with pride.
A great song to end the album on because it’s really summing up what the whole album has been saying – people kick you when you’re down, sometimes life throws you a curve ball BUT you pick yourself up, dust yourself down and keep going. That’s what you learnt to do growing up in your hometown!