Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, "Candy's Room" (1978)

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The teenage mind houses a seething mix of focus and scattered thought. Lust, anger, and confusion swirled around in my head, though at times I’d drill straight down to one topic. Usually, that topic was lust. This is why I thought that “Candy’s Room” just about a woman who was out of reach. The prostitute/stripper character never entered my mind. It’s easy to chalk this up to the stupidty of youth (and sure, there might be a little of that) but let’s face facts — lust and unfulfilled desire can easily push logic out of the way, especially for a 16 year old boy. Yes, there were unattainable girls back then, making me ignore the narator’s and Candy’s desperation in favor of my own.

And then there’s the guitar solo. The song builds into its explosive verses out of a simple hi-hat pattern plus piano and glockenspiel, but when Bruce leans into that guitar solo, the whole thing goes super-nova…just like my own unchecked desires.

Check out this version from Passaic, NJ, 1978-ish. The video quality isn’t so great but the passion burns right through.

Up next: Racing In The Street

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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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