Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Brilliant Disguise” (1987)

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I’ll be honest fellas, it was sounding great but…I coulda used a little more clave!


The ground hog day experience continues as I bring up (again!) the claves. This being one of the few songs on Tunnel Of Love that I can actually almost stomach, it is wrecked by the nagging presence of the clicking clave. It shows up in the short drum intro well before the acoustic guitar and keyboards kick in. This particular sonic decoration might remind me of that “more cowbell” thing except that I don’t think Blue Oyster Cult sprinkled it over the entirety of Agents Of Fortune. Well, that and I don’t think it’s funny.

I do have to say that I like Bruce’s vocals here. It’s one of the few Tunnel tracks where he really digs in. And it’s a terrific lyric as well. But like pretty much every other song on this album, I prefer the various covers that are out there (particularly Elvis Costello’s) as well as Bruce’s own reworkings.

Up next: One Step Up

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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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