Friday, August 15, 2014

#96 Breaking a Stringsteen

The boss at 96. This is interesting, as I had never considered Bruce as a standalone guitarist. He has made his way as the troubadour for the working-class american man. I have never warmed to Bruce because I always felt that if I met the subjects of his songs, they would be the kind of small-minded, selfish, resentful, conservative jerks who shit me to tears. Having dismissed him as a Dylan impersonator, I liked this self-effacing quote from him very much:

 "I got signed in the pack of new Dylans," he told Rolling Stone, "but I could turn around, kick-start my Telecaster and burn the house down."

Full respect to you, sir. You talk a good game.

So it was with quite some anticipation that I listened with only the guitar in mind. The songs that are recommended as his go to guitar work are fine songs with largely unremarkable guitar. It serves the song in amongst some histrionic horn work (yes, I know the horn guy died recently and it is heresy not to grasp how integral Clarence was to the Boss's sound...but heretic I clearly am), and what more can you ask than serving the song? Well, I'm not sure this earns you a place in the top 100...

On the one hand "Kitty's Back" starts out with a slow wailing soul solo which I very much enjoyed, where as "Backstreets" I listened to 3 times and either blacked out 3 times or there was no solo or guitar work of note (lots of yelling about being in the backstreets though...over and over and over again, over chugging piano that put me in mind of the theme from cheers...not an endorsement BTW). Born To Run? More of the same. I am afraid I am placing this underrated guitarist deep in the appropriately rated territory.


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