Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, "Atlantic City" (1982)

Share this:

Like so many of Bruce’s songs, a relatively simple story ends up going a lot deeper. So what appears to be a gangland tale presented with cinematic detail, ends up reflecting shadows back onto the listener. I hear that in the lines “But I got debts that no honest man can pay,” and “And everything dies baby that’s a fact/But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.” That first line is drenched with a kind of desperate honesty and the situation it infers is sadly all too common. The latter, haunting pair comes loaded with multiple meanings. Is it that a person can run away from his past? That redemption isn’t possible? Maybe so. A lot of people feel that way these days. Maybe they always have.

There have been a lot of great covers of “Atlantic City” (my favorite being the one on The Band’s Jericho album), and Bruce himself has for years played the song in a terrific full band arrangement, but for me its full power is on display in the acoustic form.

Next up: Mansion On The Hill

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00137QSOG” container=”B00137UZ6S” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B00138GZ5W” container=”B00138GZ5W” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0000025T6″ container=”B0000025T6″ container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

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
Share this:
Close