Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “All I’m Thinkin’ About” (2005)

It’s not often that I think of Bruce Springsteen songs in the same context as the Viet Nam era and the American culture of that time, but “All I’m Thinkin’ About” has always reminded me of Canned Heat’s “Heading Up The Country.” They’re mostly simple “you & me, baby” blues tunes, though Springsteen’s obviously lacks the war time issues implied with with the Canned Heat lyric “But we might even leave the U.S.A./’Cause it’s a brand new game, and I want to play.” But it’s Bruce singing in that higher register and playing a tight strum on the acoustic guitar that brings this parallel to my attention.

Like a lot of Springsteen songs though, there’s always a little catch. I love that in the middle of the narrator’s “one track mind” floating over the scenes, Bruce drops in “Big black curtain comin’ cross the field/Blind’ll see, the lame will be healed.” Even if you’re not sure where that came from, it’s adds a little darkness (and maybe a little light) to the story.

The embed comes from Milan, Italy. Too bad this one was played live so rarely. I kind of dig Bruce taking on that voice.

Up next: Matamoros Banks


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.

Here's where you talk back ...