Year 3, Day 34: Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A.
- Born in the U.S.A
- Cover Me
- Darlington Country
- Working on the Highway
- Downbound Train
- I’m on Fire
- No Surrender
- Bobby Jean
- I’m Goin’ Down
- Glory Days
- Dancing in the Dark
- My Hometown
About the Album
Born in the U.S.A. is the seventh studio album from New Jersey native and rocker, Bruce Springsteen. The album, recorded over a span of two years from January 1982 to March 1984, was released June 4 1984 through Columbia Records. The album was a massive commercial success having sold as of this year, 15 million copies in the United States alone (30 million worldwide). The album peaked at number one one various charts worldwide, including number one on the United States Billboard 200. The album is certified 15x platinum in the United States. The album also helped popularize the genre of Heartland Rock in the United States.
Thoughts on the Album
It seems that this year on the project, I’ve busted out more of the classics. Seriously, I wasn’t expecting to do that. But hey, people need to hear the classics, so they can better appreciate how music has evolved. Anyway, today’s album is none other than Born in the U.S.A. from The Boss, aka Bruce Springsteen. It’s another album that has held up to the test of time and has left a significant cultural impact.
The album opens with the titular track, Born in the U.S.A. with it’s majestic synthesizer chords and pounding drums. As awesome and amazing the song is, it is often misappropriated as a song that is pro-American; a song that celebrates American patriotism. Whereas the opposite rings true about this song, it’s a protest song if I’ve ever heard one. Incredibly anthemic, instantly recognizable, and probably the strongest track on the album.
The tenth track, Glory Days, is another arena rocker much like Born in the U.S.A. except maybe not as huge. The track opens with some bluesy guitar riffs; it’s a cautionary tale of lost youth and adult resignation/acceptance of where you have ended up. It’s a big arena rocking anthem.
The following track, Dancing in the Dark, for me, kind of lacks a bit of freshness. While the track is an easy listen, probably more so because of it’s pop tendencies. It’s a more layered and commercial song that still however maintains Springsteen’s heartfelt and pained tone and lyrics. The guitar line on the song fades in and out in tune with the ever present drum line. The album closes with My Hometown. If Born in the U.S.A. was an incredible opener, My Hometown is an incredible closer. The track sonically and musically offers a contrast to the rest of the songs on the album as it is a softer tone. This softer tone gives the track an underappreciated and understated sense of beauty.
I probably could have picked any four songs of feature in this review. There is really isn’t a dud on the album, which is awesome. This album is now 31 years old and still gets regular airplay on classic rock and rock radio stations nationwide. There are very few artists and bands that can write songs that touch the more stereotypical Average Joe in the way that Springsteen can. It’s a hell of an album that has obviously influenced a generation of musicians and artists and will continue to influence generations to come.