Countdown No 8: Bruce Springsteen – Badlands


You wait 30 years to see him and he then delivers three and a half hours of energy.

As my first live Bruce Springsteen experience was this year, I’m excused the fact I might slip in two moments from him in the countdown.

I guess, like many of my age, I discovered Born in the USA first and then worked backwards.  And much as I love BITU as there isn’t a song wrong on that album, it is probably two of his earlier works that really speak to me.  Firstly, The River, which is (and you’ll pardon the pun) awash with stories to wade through.  Stories of sad love, hard work, high spirits.  Boy, did I wear out that tape.  And, secondly Darkness on the Edge of Town – which is by far away my favourite.  I defy anyone not to bw deeply moved by Racing in the Street or the title track.  Both these albums were constant companions in my late teens and their stories are carved in to me.

Some guys they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up
And go racin’ in the street

But as we’re talking live performances my favourite Darkness moment goes to Badlands – belt it out on the drums.  Holler your heads off and join in with the chant at the end.

Hyde Park 2009.