Tuesday, October 12, 2010

the river

thirty years ago the river flooded the american landscape with its sprawling sense of yearning and joy, desperation and desire, resignation and redemption. it became his first number one album. made during a severe recession, springsteen wanted to portray the real situations of families and marriage. he was going to make a single album, but thought that it didn't feel big enough and was too pop; so he expanded the the scope of the record with more solemn material. the juxtaposition of celebratory pop music alongside the dark and somber numbers were intended to convey the inherent paradoxes of life.

'the ties that bind' was a leftover from the darkness on the edge of town sessions and was originally intended to be the title track of a single album.

'sherry darling' is a catchy (and very funny) song that describes the "package deal" that comes with relationships.

bruce's first top ten hit, originally written for the ramones, made it to number five. 'hungry heart' speaks to the yearning and regret we all have with an incongruously uplifting sound.

this hopeless ballad marked a new development in springsteen's songcraft. the way that happy memories can haunt us in our times of despair and the complex interplay of emotions where we try and maintain our hope even as we have no reason to do so.

'fade away', the second single from the album made it to number twenty.

'The River'
full album 

All songs written by Bruce Springsteen.

Side one
1. "The Ties That Bind"   3:34
2. "Sherry Darling"   4:03
3. "Jackson Cage"   3:04
4. "Two Hearts"   2:45
5. "Independence Day"   4:50
Side two
1. "Hungry Heart"   3:19
2. "Out in the Street"   4:17
3. "Crush on You"   3:10
4. "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)"   2:37
5. "I Wanna Marry You"   3:30
6. "The River"   5:01
Side three
1. "Point Blank"   6:06
2. "Cadillac Ranch"   3:03
3. "I'm a Rocker"   3:36
4. "Fade Away"   4:46
5. "Stolen Car"   3:54
Side four
1. "Ramrod"   4:05
2. "The Price You Pay"   5:29
3. "Drive All Night"   8:33

4. "Wreck on the Highway"   3:54

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