Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Tougher Than The Rest” (1987)

For a couple of seconds, I waited for it. Kick drum. Snare. Repeat. Here it comes…here it comes…

And so it did. The cheese. Oh, the cheese. I just couldn’t believe that a Bruce Springsteen song was being built upon a buzzy synthesizer (sure, I was naive, I’d forgotten Dancing In The Dark) and a monotonous drum pattern. Not even the twangy, Duane Eddy-inspired guitar solo could make me want to listen again.

As with nearly all songs, the live version brings more of a spark. The official video has Patti giving Bruce the look. A terrific moment.

But a video is not a song and it couldn’t save my disappointment.

Up next: All That Heaven Will Allow

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_91hNV6vuBY?rel=0&w=420&h=315]

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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.