Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Real World” (1992)

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The wish to dive headlong into the future, to face whatever comes and to rise above it all: that theme presents itself in so many Springsteen tunes. Hell, the entire Born To Run album was built on that idea.

“Real World” presents it with a driving beat, a snarling Chuck Berry-ish guitar solo, and the soulful voice of Sam Moore. Those ingredients should add up to one explosive tune, right?

Well, the problem is that Bruce has done other versions of the song that are far, far superior.

First, there were the legendary Christic Benefit shows back in 1990. With Springsteen alone at the piano, “Real World” was raw and filled with emotion. Compare this with the slightly more subdued (but still quite intense) take during the Devils and Dust tour.

I’ve embedded videos from both songs below. I’m leaning more toward the early Christic rendition for its raw passion.

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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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