Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, "Lost In The Flood" (1973)

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As a kind of companion piece to “Does This Bus Stop at 82nd St?”, the mood shifts dramatically here, trading all of that romantic positivity for stark reality … or at least a reality whose dark side is winning out.

The first verse, accompanied by piano, sounds like it could be the story of a soldier returning from war to a country that’s coming apart at the seams. A Viet Nam vet? Perhaps, but then the focus pulls back and we see that everything is screwed up, or maybe not what it should be. The imagery in “Lost In The Flood” lays out a harsh landscape, part film noir, part modern-day dystopia. The amazing thing to me is that the song manages to come off as uplifting despite the violence and choking inevitability of it all.

This live version is from Buffalo, 2009. Just like the album, the song takes on a full band arrangement when Jimmy the Saint shows up. Unlike Greetings, Bruce blows the roof off with an inspired guitar solo.


Next up: The Angel.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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