#375: Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. by Bruce Springsteen


Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. by Bruce Springsteen (1973)

Favorite Track(s): "Blinded By the Light" and "Growin' Up" and "Lost in the Flood" and "The Angel" and "For You" and "Spirit in the Night" and "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City"

Thoughts: EVERYTHING IS EARLY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND NOTHING HURTS. And by early, I mean his first studio album. And I will start by saying, leave my blog now, and go to a music-listening site of your choice, and listen to this album. Just do it. All you will find here is my inability to express with words how I love this man's music, and specifically this album. Also my favorite lyrics!

We've only had one Bruce album so far, my beloved Tunnel of Love, but this is our first album with the E Street Band!* Well, one of its earliest incarnations, at least.

Some lyrics from "Growin' Up":

I was open to pain and crossed by the rain and I walked on a crooked crutch
I strolled all alone through a fallout zone and came out with my soul untouched
I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd but when they said "Sit down" I stood up.

I mean, come on.

Yes, "For You" is on my Doctor Who playlist, and especially makes me think of Rose.** Like "For You" I think I prefer "Spirit in the Night" live, but the lyrics are lovely:

I think I really dug her 'cause I was too loose to fake
I said, "I'm hurt." She said, "Honey let me heal it".
And we danced all night to a soul fairy band
and she kissed me just right like only a lonely angel can
She felt so nice, just as soft as a spirit in the night (all night)

And "It's Hard to Be A Saint in the City" (which Bowie covered):

I had skin like leather and the diamond-hard look of a cobra
I was born blue and weathered but I burst just like a supernova
I could walk like Brando right into the sun
Then dance just like a Casanova
With my blackjack and jacket and hair slicked sweet
Silver star studs on my duds like a Harley in heat
When I strut down the street I could hear its heartbeat
The sisters fell back and said "Don't that man look pretty"
The cripple on the corner cried out "Nickels for your pity"
Them gasoline boys downtown sure talk gritty
It's so hard to be a saint in the city

I mean, if the best part of these songs were just the lyrics, I'd love them, but then you add in this fantastic sax and piano and guitar and rhythm. I just love to listen to this music.

Ok, enough gushing.

Is This Better Than A Hard Day's Night?: It is such a relief to finally be able to say, YES.

*I think. I hear disputing reports, some saying that they were all on Tunnel of Love? Perhaps I just need to revisit my album's sleeve.

**Welcome to my deconstruction of "For You" as a Who song! If you are reading this you are one of two people who I think would even be remotely interested in this, but if I can't relate a 1973 rock song to a 2005/2006 sci-fi show on my blog, where can I?

Right, so The Doctor and Rose. So I'm going to post the whole song's lyrics, then put the bits I find relevant to Doctor Who in blue (like his sonic screwdriver, of course) with episode/line/relationship reference in parentheses after it.

Princess cards she sends me with her regards
barroom eyes shine vacancy, to see her you gotta look hard
Wounded deep in battle, I stand stuffed like some soldier undaunted (Doctor after the Time War!)
To her Cheshire smile (Rose's toothy grin!). I'll stand on file, she's all I ever wanted.
But you let your blue walls (Tardis!) get in the way of these facts
honey, get your carpetbaggers off my back
you wouldn't even give me time to cover my tracks.
You said, "Here's your mirror and your ball and jacks".
But they're not what I came for, and I'm sure you see that too
I came for you, for you, I came for you, (companions being picked up by the Tardis in general) but you did not need my urgency
I came for you, for you, I came for you, but your life was one long emergency
and your cloud line urges me, and my electric surges free

Crawl into my ambulance, your pulse is getting weak
reveal yourself all now to me girl while you've got the strength to speak
Cause they're waiting for you at Bellevue with their oxygen masks
But I could give it all to you now if only you could ask.
And don't call for your surgeon even he says it's too late
It's not your lungs this time, it's your heart that holds your fate
Don't give me money, honey, I don't want it back
you and your pony face and your union jack (Rose wears a Union Jack shirt in "The Empty Child")
well take your local joker and teach him how to act
I swear I was never that way even when I really cracked
Didn't you think I knew that you were born with the power of a locomotive
able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? (Every time the Doctor tells a companion how brilliant they are)
And your Chelsea suicide with no apparent motive
you could laugh and cry in a single sound

And your strength is devastating in the face of all these odds (the strength of the companions)
Remember how I kept you waiting when it was my turn to be the god? (When the Doctor acts like a god)

You were not quite half so proud when I found you broken on the beach ("Doomsday" episode, at Bad Wolf Bay beach and the Doctor found Rose there)
Remember how I poured salt on your tongue and hung just out of reach (he doesn't say he loves her)
And the band they played the homecoming theme as I caressed your cheek
That ragged, jagged melody she still clings to me like a leech.
But that medal you wore on your chest always got in the way
like a little girl with a trophy so soft to buy her way
We were both hitchhikers but you had your ear tuned to the roar
of some metal-tempered engine on an alien, distant shore (Rose choosing to stay with the Doctor to close the void)
So you, left to find a better reason than the one we were living for
and it's not that nursery mouth I came back for
It's not the way you're stretched out on the floor
cause I've broken all your windows and I've rammed through all your doors
And who am I to ask you to lick my sores? (The Doctor thinking he should travel alone because he just messes with people's lives and families and they end up leaving him in the end)
And you should know that's true...
I came for you, for you, I came for you, but you did not need my urgency
I came for you, for you, I came for you, but your life was one long emergency
and your cloud line urges me, and my electric surges free

(And yes, I am aware a need to get a life...)

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