#467: Tunnel of Love by Bruce Springsteen


Tunnel of Love by Bruce Springsteen (1987)

Favorite Track(s): "Tougher Than the Rest" and "Walk Like A Man" and 'Tunnel of Love" and "Brilliant Disguise" and "One Step Up" and "When You're Alone"

Thoughts: Ahem. How is this album all the way down at 467? I don't understand. That's it. Every album from 466 to 1 better--to borrow a phrase from a close friend--"make me want to rip off all my clothes, fly into the sky, and turn into the sun." Because I LOVE this album. I even named my tumblr after it.

I discovered it in the CD shelves of my childhood home after watching Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band - Live in New York City with my dad. I suddenly had to scour the man's discography. While Tunnel of Love made it to #1 on the charts, it is arguably the album Bruce sings from least in his tours, and as you can see from its ranking on this list, not considered his best work. It's an album of heartache and loneliness, born from his failing marriage to actress Julianne Phillips (they got married in my hometown!). And I looooooove it. Every single song.

I'm not sure what it is... This album was his first studio venture after the major commercial success of Born in the U.S.A. and isn't considered a E Street Band record, and you can tell (even though they all played on different songs--just sparingly). But this might be his only non-E-Street album where I don't really miss them. Ghost of Tom Joad and Nebraska never appealed to me much, but this album is like a slice of 80s pop-rock-love-songs-heaven. I first knew "Tougher Than the Rest" from a cover by Everything But the Girl, and it's literally one of my favorite songs of all time. I'd karaoke it if I didn't know my voice could never do it justice.

"Cautious Man." On his right hand Billy tattooed the word love and on his left hand was the word fear / And in which hand he held his fate was never clear. UGH. All of the lyrics to "Tunnel of Love." I can feel the soft silk of your blouse / And them soft thrills in our little fun house / Then the lights go out and it's just the three of us / You me and all that stuff we're so scared of. "One Step Up" is one of my favorite songs to sing along to.

For some reason the the electronic keyboards and effects of the album don't bother me, but instead fit right with the music. It doesn't seem dated, or if it does, in a nostalgic way. Which is sort of hilarious, because I was probably still in diapers when this album came out.

This is the perfect album to listen to when you're single and start looking at couples and married life with too-rosy glasses ( until you get to "When You're Alone" and then you'll feel jealous of them again). There are themes of weddings/brides, driving out of town for good, deceptive lovers, and the struggle between wanting romantic relationships and yet how difficult they can be.

1 comment:

Bruce Springsteen said...

As Bruce said in the song .. " you have to learn to live with, what we can't rise above".... translation: Get up and Stand up and move on and if you can't, then Shut the hell up, it's your bed, you made it, so lie in it. Sad truth, but that's the boss, who am I to say, in such a truth?.