AUK’s Chain Gang: Bruce Springsteen “Badlands”

My esteemed colleague Jim Finnie’s piece on Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band’s “Against The Wind” last week brought back many happy memories for me. Amusingly the Bob Seger album that has special significance to me was released 22 years before I was even born, but you can thank my Dad for getting me into him!

I have really fond memories of listening to Bob Seger’s ‘Stranger In Town’, among other random artists like Katy Perry (before she was famous) whenever I went down to swimming on a Saturday morning, and ‘Feel Like a Number’ is still one of my favourite songs to date.

1978 bizarrely links to something else for me as well: Bruce Springsteen’s release of his 4th studio album, Darkness on The Edge of Town. Now why on earth is that significant to me? Well Springsteen was the sound of my childhood, with all my siblings being huge fans, and my parents putting him on non-stop. And in 2013, having gone down to Wembley for a Springsteen concert, 10 songs in he decided to ask the audience one thing: ‘Shall I play the whole of ‘Darkness’?’ The crowd erupted and what proceeded was a brilliant live version of the equally astounding studio version.

I have many happy memories of Springsteen concerts, with one being him picking me and my siblings from a crowd to play us ‘Travelin’ Band’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival, and no one other than us having any idea what was going on as we belted out all the words, but that Wembley gig reminds me of how special The Boss is, and how no-one will ever play concerts like he does.

And how can I pick just one song from an amazing album? Well, whenever you go to a Springsteen gig, before it has even started, the crowd begins to sing ‘Badlands‘, encouraging The Boss to come out. Me and my brother now sing this iconic ‘Woah oh oh oh oh’ at every gig we are at, regardless of if it’s a Springsteen concert or not, so when we can finally get back out there, if you can hear two guys singing ‘Badlands’, it is most likely me and him.

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