Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “All The Way Home” (2005)

The story is that Bruce wrote “All The Way Home” for his friend Southside Johnny, who released it on his Better Days album in 1991. Many years later, a Springsteen version shows up on Devils & Dust. What’s interesting about this is that the two versions could not be more different.

Bruce’s take was a more uptempo rocker, to me not all that dissimilar from the things he put out circa Human Touch/,Lucky Town. Southside took the song, slowed it down and added a bucketload of soul. This latter approach suited the song much better, telling the story of a man trying to put himself on the right track after overcoming previous failures. Sonically, it reminds me of the times when Southside and Bobby Bandiera used to play Bruce’s “Fade Away” as a duet.

Honestly, it’s not really even fair to compare the two versions as they’re so different as to be two completely distinct songs. I’ve included videos of the original song, a live Southside version, and a pretty nice duet. Bruce has played both versions live, making me wonder if he’s got a favorite.

Up next: Reno

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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.