Counting Down Bruce Springsteen: His 100 Finest Songs

Jim Beviglia. Rowman & Littlefield, $35 (220p) ISBN 978-1-4422-3065-1
Beviglia (Counting Down Bob Dylan) delves deep into the Springsteen oeuvre to retrieve the superstar's 100 greatest songs, relying primarily on lyrical content to decide the ranking. He reflects on Springsteen's politics, from the indictment of Wall Street's "conscience-free ruthlessness" in "Easy Money," to the measured take on the shooting of Amadou Diallo by NYPD in "American Skin." The E Street Band is celebrated for their integral part in Springsteen's success, particularly Clarence Clemons, whose performance on "Jungleland" is declared "the most iconic saxophone solo in rock history." Beviglia notes the cohesion of many Springsteen albums, the grim circumstances couched in catchy melodies of Born in the USA the call to arms message of Wrecking Ball, and the mournful post-9/11 The Rising. Then, there are the Springsteen characters, "big-hearted gang members, teenage femme fatales, and other spectacularly romantic rogues" like the fight-throwing boxer of "The Hitter," the broken-down veteran in "Shut Out the Light," and "Zero and Blind Terry." Beviglia's top 10 is peppered with early gems like "Lost in the Flood," "Rosalita," and "Incident on 57th Street." While some might find the ranking system puzzling, Beviglia's knowledge and enthusiasm for his subject will be appreciated. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/17/2014
Release date: 06/01/2014
Open Ebook - 220 pages - 978-1-4422-3066-8
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