Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Spare Parts” (1987)

Again, I had been waiting for it and, for just a few seconds, that kick drum and moaning blues harp had me ready for … disappointment. Out came a furiously-strummed acoustic guitar to frame what felt like yet another shell of a rock song.

Maybe Bruce had grown tired of the electric guitar from the excesses of the Born In The USA tour (and cultural phenomenon), but all of these acoustic-based “rock” tunes had me ready to pitch this record out the window. Oh sure, there are electric guitars to be found in the background, but they’re drenched with so much transistorized distortion that they sound like pasted-on afterthoughts.

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of people say that “Spare Parts” is the one “mistake” on Tunnel Of Love. Only one?

As usual, the Devils & Dust tour comes to my rescue:

Up next: Cautious Man

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quDkCHDvLLk&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.
  • Josh

    You must be so proud of your career.

  • Mark Saleski

    if being honest is something to be ashamed of then i would have stopped writing a long time ago. i’ve been a big Bruce fan going all the way back to the 70’s. danced at my first show and sang until i had no voice. played my tapes of Fire On The Fingertips and Live at the Agora until they were dust. i just didn’t like this record.

    so your answer: yes.