Rory and Springsteen

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Re: Rory and Springsteen

Postby RobertaSparrow » 11 Apr 2016, 12:13

vasdis wrote:Never understood all the excitement re Springsteen ,but each to his own ,sort of Born In The USA parts 1 to infinity
certainly think RG could have improved on some of BS's songs though.


I was never that partial to Springsteen myself until I heard his song Streets of Philadelphia. The song came out in '93, and for the first time ever, I actually listened to a Springsteen song. I have read that Rory did like Springsteen's music, and I do understand the appeal, his songs are simple, and I used to think over-rated, until I actually listened to this one. I heard the lyrics to this one, and the dark beauty and tragedy in the lyrics made me cry.



Just as Bob Dylan IMO can run hot or cold, I cannot deny the poetry in either man's ability with a lyric. In 1993 the movie Philadelphia came out, and the song, about a young man, dying before his time, alone, shunned by the people around him, hauntingly beautiful:

I was bruised and battered, I couldn't tell what I felt.
I was unrecognizable to myself.
I saw my reflection in a window, I didn't know my own face.
Oh brother are you gonna leave me here, wastin' away
On the Streets of Philadelphia.

I walked the avenue, 'til my legs felt like stone,
I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone,
At night I could hear the blood in my veins,
Black and whispering as the rain,
On the Streets of Philadelphia.

Ain't no angel gonna greet me.
It's just you and I my friend.
When My clothes don't fit me no more,
I walked a thousand miles
Just to slip this skin.

Now the night has fallen, I'm lyin' awake,
I can feel myself fading away,
So will you receive me brother with your faithless kiss,
Or will we leave each other alone like this
On the streets of Philadelphia

Rory was an avid collector of other people's music, I'm certain he heard that one. It's one of those things that, if I could sit down and talk, exchange thoughts and ideas with him, I would love to hear Rory's opinions on that one. In 1993 when Rory's own health was failing, the lyrics to that must have touched him. Still, I never bought a Springsteen album myself until The Rising came out. I don't think there is a cut on that album that I don't love to listen to, to this day.

I came late to that party, as an aficionado of Springsteen's music. My daughter grew up listening to the kind of music that I like, but like Rory, she listens to a much wider range of music than I, and as a gift last year she gave me Bruce's album Nebraska. It came out in 1982, just Springsteen, his guitar and harmonica, and I had never heard the album before, but I love it- I can see the appeal it would hold for Rory-

Here are two examples, Rory and Bruce could have traded these two for fun, and I would love to hear each's take on the other:

Open All Night-


Souped Up Ford-


Burbon-


Kid Gloves-


Atlantic City-


I know this is a long post, but when I first listened to Nebraska, I thought of Rory and how the style on the album would have appealed to him. I bet this was an album he really enjoyed.
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Re: Rory and Springsteen

Postby ailish78 » 11 Apr 2016, 13:14

Well I like a lot of what he did. Born in the USA is an often misunderstood song. It's very cynical and criticizes the things that are wrong with America. Rory did play that kind of stuff as well after all. You can hear a lot of the american influence in his music. Overnight Bag is a very good example in fact. I think Springsteen could probably make a good job of it (apart from the guitar solo of course. That belongs to Rory). I do believe Rory could have become just as big as, if not bigger than Springsteen if only he had released some singles, but that's not what he wanted to do.
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Re: Rory and Springsteen

Postby ailish78 » 11 Apr 2016, 13:33

Thank you for that Cynthia. I seemed to have missed that last page out somehow. You made some really nice choices there. I can just imagine Springsteen covering any of those.
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Re: Rory and Springsteen

Postby lonelymile » 11 Apr 2016, 18:07

I always wonder if Rory had Springsteen in mind when his scrapped follow-up album to Calling Card (eventually released as Notes from San Francisco) was first produced. The version of Overnight Bag from this album always reminds me of Springsteen. Please forgive my lack of technological description, it's quite jangly, something I always notice about Springsteen arrangements. As we all know, Rory took against the finished recording and it was abandoned before it reached the ears of the record company. Perhaps he realized a heavy production just didn't work with his writing, or he felt he had lost control over the album.

I admire Springsteen songs myself - very fine lyrics. I also admire Springsteen himself, he seems like a principled artist. I am pretty sure I bought a copy of Born in the USA back in the day. But his sound is very heavily produced, almost like a Phil Spector-like "wall of sound."

BTW I absolutely love Overnight Bag - I believe it's one of Rory's best offerings.

Edit: I just saw that Allish has mentioned Overnight Bag in connection with Springsteen too - I guess we shared a similar thought!
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Re: Rory and Springsteen

Postby RobertaSparrow » 11 Apr 2016, 18:53

lonelymile wrote:I always wonder if Rory had Springsteen in mind when his scrapped follow-up album to Calling Card (eventually released as Notes from San Francisco) was first produced. The version of Overnight Bag from this album always reminds me of Springsteen. Please forgive my lack of technological description, it's quite jangly, something I always notice about Springsteen arrangements. As we all know, Rory took against the finished recording and it was abandoned before it reached the ears of the record company. Perhaps he realized a heavy production just didn't work with his writing, or he felt he had lost control over the album.

I admire Springsteen songs myself - very fine lyrics. I also admire Springsteen himself, he seems like a principled artist. I am pretty sure I bought a copy of Born in the USA back in the day. But his sound is very heavily produced, almost like a Phil Spector-like "wall of sound."

BTW I absolutely love Overnight Bag - I believe it's one of Rory's best offerings.

Edit: I just saw that Allish has mentioned Overnight Bag in connection with Springsteen too - I guess we shared a similar thought!


I agree with you, particularly on Springsteen's earlier music, i.e., Born In the USA, Dancing In The Dark. But give a listen to the album Nebraska- I saw a lot of Rory-esque themes in that one, and very minimal post-production manipulation. Per the Wiki description:

"Sparsely-recorded on a cassette-tape Portastudio, the tracks on Nebraska were originally intended as demos of songs to be recorded with the E Street Band. However, Springsteen ultimately decided to release the demos himself. Nebraska remains one of the most highly regarded albums in his catalogue. The songs on Nebraska both deal with ordinary, blue collar characters who face a challenge or a turning point in their lives, but also outsiders, criminals and mass murderers, who have little hope for the future - or no future at all, as in the title track, where the main character is sentenced to death in the electric chair. Unlike his previous albums, very little salvation and grace is present within the songs. The album's uncompromising sound and mood, combined with its dark lyrical content has been described by a music critic as "one of the most challenging albums ever released by a major star on a major record label."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebraska_(album)

I'm 99.9% certain Rory had this album in his collection, and in listening to it, I can see why it would have appeal to him. It is just acoustic guitar, and lyrics where emotions are laid bare. The equivalent of film noir set to music.

And this one, about the unconditional love between two brothers. Two other brothers came to mind. "Man turns his back on his family, well he just ain't no good."


P.S. I like to think that Rory, had he gotten his health back, would have done a tour, or an album or both, just Rory and his old Martin (not the Takemine, that guitar always sounded tinny and not worthy of Rory's hands) playing and singing to his fans.
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Re: Rory and Springsteen

Postby capo » 11 Apr 2016, 19:12

I know that back in the day, Rory many times mentioned how much he admired Bob Seger and how he become big without compromising his sound. Although Rory wrote many classic "Road" songs like "MMA" and "Living Like A Trucker", ect, I would have loved to hear him take a crack at Seger's great "Turn The Page", and instead of the haunting sax refrain Rory would instead replace it with his beautiful lead licks. Oh, never cared for Springsteen.
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Re: Rory and Springsteen

Postby RobertaSparrow » 11 Apr 2016, 19:18

capo wrote:I know that back in the day, Rory many times mentioned how much he admired Bob Seger and how he become big without compromising his sound. Although Rory wrote many classic "Road" songs like "MMA" and "Living Like A Trucker", ect, I would have loved to hear him take a crack at Seger's great "Turn The Page", and instead of the haunting sax refrain Rory would instead replace it with his beautiful lead licks. Oh, never cared for Springsteen.



Some of our younger members may not have heard it before- 8-)
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Re: Rory and Springsteen

Postby Annie Elliott » 11 Apr 2016, 19:57

Agree with Cynthia on this: "Just as Bob Dylan IMO can run hot or cold, I cannot deny the poetry in either man's ability with a lyric. "

I was never a big Springsteen fan until I found this, a beautiful haunting album, The Ghost of Tom Joad. I can see Rory doing songs from this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47S6Ox1 ... tml5=False


I based my opinion of Springsteen on his singles mostly, and never spent much time investigating the rest of his work. Makes me think of Rory's rationale for not releasing singles, you can get a very wrong idea of an artist if "hits" are your only exposure to them.
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