Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “I’m Goin’ Down” (1984)

It’s the short (but all too familiar) story of a relationship gone bust. She used to be hot for ya, and now she’s just … there. It’s not a great feeling.

“I’m Goin’ Down” is yet another example of a downbeat lyric integrated with some music that’s happy, if not giddy. It’s a pop music tradition that never seems to get old. That collision of words and music manages to intensify — or at least hold in sharper relief — the dark emotion of the presented scenario.

This is a song that gets lots of “Why is this on Born In The USA when he left off ‘Janey Don’t You Lose Heart’?” comments. Yeah, Bruce could have made a lot of different choices with this album. But it all reminds me of something McCartney said about whether this or that song should have been on the White Album: “It’s the bloody Beatles White Album!”

Exactly.

Up next: Glory Days

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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 writes several 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.

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