Sparks Fly on E Street

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Long Time Comin” (2005)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Long Time Comin” (2005)

At first listen, this sounded like the Devils & Dust odd man out. The chorus is definitely something of an outlier with its sing-song, uplifting notes. I suppose you could say that the underlying story is uplifting as well, certainly when compared with the rest of the album.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Reno” (2005)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Reno” (2005)

You know, forget the “controversy.” Sure, Starbucks didn’t want to carry Devils and Dust because of this song’s “explicit” lyrics. Well, good for them. I don’t buy their stuff anyway. I tell you though, sometimes it feels like this country will never grow up.

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

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.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Devils & Dust” (2005)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Devils & Dust” (2005)

When Devils & Dust was released, I was in the middle of a vacation. Late at night, sitting in a big comfy chair at our hotel, I sipped a glass of scotch while I listened.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “My City Of Ruins” (2002)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “My City Of Ruins” (2002)

Written for the decay and subsequent revival of Asbury Park, “My City Of Ruins” has taken on many other roles since its release. For my money, the most moving and powerful context that Springsteen placed it in began with the gospel and horn-drenched unveiling at that legendary Apollo Theater show.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Paradise” (2002)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Paradise” (2002)

I remember thinking that “Paradise,” written from the point of view of a suicide bomber, was simultaneously haunting and touching.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “The Rising” (2002)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “The Rising” (2002)

There are points during nearly all concerts where the emotions and internal language of the music can take over to express something that’s out of the grasp of mere words.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “You’re Missing” (2002)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “You’re Missing” (2002)

When The Rising first came out, the meaning of the songs of pure loss — Empty Sky and You’re Missing in particular — could only come out of the context of the events of 9/11. Though you might be able to take the story of You’re Missing and apply it to say, a broken marriage or any sudden death, I’dRead More

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Mary’s Place” (2002)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Mary’s Place” (2002)

Dropping “Waitin’ On A Sunny Day” from consideration, “Mary’s Place” is the worst song Bruce has done since … oh, take your pick

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “The Fuse” (2002)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “The Fuse” (2002)

The great songwriting tradition of blending opposites gets quite a workout on “The Fuse.” We have the vignette of the (possibly doomed) lovers in the last verse, which seems to leaven the darkness of the earlier verses, where death takes on a heavy presence.