Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Top 30 Springsteen songs to add to your playlist before the next Australia tour

Springsteen and the band are coming back and this time they're sure to be playing to more people who may not have seen them before.

In Australia in particular this means plenty of fans could be hearing tracks performed live for the first time - whether they have previously heard of them or not.

And fans who have never been to an E Street Band show you'll be happy to know that Springsteen has more than just Born In The USA, I'm On Fire, Dancing In The Dark, and Hungry Heart in his song list. Unlike most Australian radio stations which seem to only have them.

In a bid to prepare for the upcoming Australian tour, I've put together a track list of studio and live recordings for fellow fans to listen to as a warm up.

The list is what I consider to be some of the best tracks you could want to hear on the tour after seeing the band several times including all ten dates of the Wrecking Ball tour in Australia.

Some are live and some are studio recordings - all are songs that sound great from the stage. 

The order is part preference, part what I predict we can expect on the next run of shows in February and part the list of songs worth adding to your playlist if you don't have them already.

1. High Hopes - High Hopes (2013/2014)
A great crowd pumping tune that is the title track of the new album. It's gonna get played.

2. Because The Night - Live 1975-1985
One of the best live songs with a brilliant guitar solo, usually by Nils Lofgren, but at Hanging Rock 2, Bruce took on solo duties himself.

High Hopes in Sydney, March 2013.

3. Badlands - Live 1975-1985

No live show would be complete without shouting along to this classic. It gets the entire pit jumping and this live version is a blast.

4. Prove It All Night - Live In New York City
A stand out live track. Australia got this song several times, and twice with the acclaimed '78 intro. The best example of a studio song taking on new life in it's live format.

5. Thunder Road - Live Hammersmith Odeon, London 1975

A haunting rendition of this Born To Run opener with the crowd joining in. Just as it will be again.

6. Rosalita - Live 1975-1985
Often brought out to close the concerts, you don't want to embarrass yourself by not knowing those fastly-spoken lyrics, or why her momma don't like me.

7. Spirit In The Night - Live 1975-1985
When he asks you one question, you better have the answer. This song can make or break a concert for some fans it's that popular.

Bruce blasting the solo on Prove It All Night '78

8. Atlantic City - Live In New York City
A blistering performance of this track which when it comes out with a full band on stage will blow you away.

9. Murder Incorporated - Live In New York City
Again, like Atlantic, this live version is incredible, fierce and pounding. Not played every night, so you'll appreciate it when it does arrive.

10. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out - Live 1975-1985
Recently used to tell the story of the band and remember Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici. This is a classic rendition with the energy to keep everybody going.

11. Jungleland - Born To Run

You need to know this song, the passion it invokes and the heart-wrenching tribute it has come to be when performed by Clarence's nephew and rising star Jake Clemons.

12. We Take Care Of Our Own - Wrecking Ball

Fast becoming the motto of #BruceBuds and E Street Fans who line up for hours and days to get a front row spot in the pit. It's worth your time to build the comradery that comes with being part of something huge.

13. Wrecking Ball - Wrecking Ball

The live version takes this song to another level, so you want to get a good grounding in it beforehand.

14. The River - The River
All about the lyrics. You'll want to know them when the time comes to go down to the river. It's a show-stopping moment.

15. Youngstown - Live In New York City
Up there with Atlantic City and Murder Incorporated, but also with  Tom Morello on board this version is as close as you'll get to a recording of their Ghost Of Tom Joad version. Hopefully we'll see it again.

16. Hard To Be A Saint In The City - Live 1975-1985

With Steve Van Zandt back there has to be a good chance of hearing the live duelling guitars on this tour.

17. Lost In The Flood - Live In New York City
A haunting song - this was my live request at three shows in March 2013. It never got picked up. Until of course the next night when I didn't bring it and Bruce knocked it out the park. One of my favourites, hoping to hear it again.

18. Ghost Of Tom Joad - Ghost Of Tom Joad

This song was played every night of the Wrecking Ball tour in Australia, of course this was because Tom Morello was on board and brought with him the incredible electric version. Before that one gets a studio release in January's High Hopes, make sure you give the original plenty of airplay - so you can be blown away when it appears on the tour next year.

19. Incident on 57th Street - The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle

This one always takes me by surprise. Every show I've heard it I've always forgotten about it and been amazed just how well every other person around knows it. It's a great one that will probably sneak up on you in the setlist so get to know it first.

20. The E Street Shuffle/Having A Party - Live Hammersmith Odeon, London 1975

This another song that Tom Morello injected a brilliant electric buzz into. At one point during the song he pulled out the plug of his guitar and jabbed the plug into his free hand to create the sound of the Shuffle. Another one to look out for as he returns with the E Street Band.

21. Out In The Street - Live In New York City

Last time round this song was interchangeable with Hungry Heart. Bruce would use either one of these on a night to leave the stage with the crowd singing along and carry the beat along with him as he surfed the audience back to the stage. Hungry Heart is among half a dozen that get the occasional radio airplay, this one unjustly doesn't.

22. Death To My Hometown - Wrecking Ball

A great recent addition that adds the full sounds of the band. The live version brings out more of the guitars too. And with Stevie, Tom, Nils and Bruce all on the tour it could get a great work out.

23. City Of Ruins - The Rising

Used recently to introduce the band in an extended roll call while also urging the crowd into an eery silence for the 'ghosts of E Street', this song was powerful on release and has taken an even stronger presence in the line-up.

24. Radio Nowhere - Magic

Just a solid rock tune. Easy to join in, easy to enjoy. Play it loud.

25. Johnny 99 - Live 1975-1985
Another one that always took me by surprise and Bruce seems to really enjoy himself playing it. This live version is a great warm-up.

26. She's The One - Live Hammersmith Odeon, London 1975

An underrated tune that also gets a frequent playing on stage. For good reason too - the crowd participation is like that of Badlands in that it helps construct a whole new version of the song. So like Badlands, get to know your part.

27. Pay Me My Money Down - The Seeger Sessions, Live In Dublin

A Seeger Sessions blow out that brings the whole band into play, in particular the horns section. On first listen this rollicking folk tune may not appeal to everyone, but when the band get into it, it's impossible not to enjoy. Just ask the Brucettes from the first night in Melbourne who got pulled up on stage in their matching tops - I'm pretty sure they've never stopped playing.

Pay Me My Money Down, Melbourne 2013.

28. Backstreets - Born To Run

One of my all-time favourites alongside Lost In The Flood, and like that great tune it wasn't played every night. But when it was it brought the arena to a standstill. Prepare yourself in advance to give it the respect it deserves.

29. American Land - The Seeger Sessions
Another Seeger Sessions joyride that you might not think of, but gets thrown out when the band are in full swing and just don't want to go home. Good luck in learning the lyrics, it ain't easy to keep up but gets stuck in your head after a couple of plays.

30. American Skin (41 Shots) - Live In New York City

This silent-inducing, powerful live performance of this song is another show-stopping lesser-known track. With it getting a release on High Hopes we could hear it again soon.

Do you agree? What else should I add to the list? Let me know below...