Yeah, the music rocks my socks off, but the greatest? Barely.

Nov 24, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Nothing on this album is bad.

Cons:Biased, strongly lacks variety, "Bruce by numbers" approach.

The Bottom Line: There are better collections out there.


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I'm sick of sittin' around here
Trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
Come on, baby, gimme just one look

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When it comes down to it, Bruce Springsteen is one of those artists that you cannot capture on just one disc. If you really want to get to the heart of this man, you have to look back all the glitzy-American singles and listen to the messages that he more accurately described on his records. While there are moments when he gets way wrapped-up in himself and his own invention, he can still write a really mean rock song. Bruce is just a recent interest of mine, only running two years shallow, but in that short time, I’ve laid down quite a bit of cash on LPs, singles, vinyl records, cassettes, and box sets. One CD I still don’t own, though, would be the 1995 Greatest Hits release, which is something that I guess doesn’t interest me all that much. I see Springsteen as a better albums artist, but still, mainly see it the other way around. And how did this collection add up as a retrospective of his hits and best material? Well, it does a pretty good job. And by pretty good, I mean just decent.

First of all, this collection of songs is very biased towards his iconic Born in the USA project, featuring four of the record’s singles. While this album is great, yes, it’s a little disturbing that we have four songs from this album but absolutely no matter from his first two releases. That’s quite baffling. And where do they get off only including one song each from Tunnel of Love and Darkness on the Edge of Town? Immediately off the bat, I have to knock this release down an entire star just for not being accurate. Bruce Springsteen is more than a very nice butt and a sarcastic view of the American life. He’s more than catchy synth-rock hits, and he’s certainly more than just an 80s cartoon. The nitty gritty of Bruce’s lyrics, heart and soul are just barely represented on tracks like Badlands and Born to Run. Regardless, this is the far more produced and slick Springsteen, who is also really cool, but still. It would have been nice to hear a little variation. For an artist with so many interesting facets and eras, it’s a crime that such classics as This Promised Land and Tunnel of Love were not included.

For the general public, while there’s some beautiful ear candy on this record, I still feel like it’s either going to missing that one classic track (I’m on Fire, perhaps?) or just not be enough. There’s some new material, like Secret Garden, which represent his current adult-contemporary sound, but I dunno if that’s enough for mainstream America. New material is more for the fans to go gaga over. This release seems to be to trick people—this was the height of Springsteen’s down period. He wasn’t all over the place anymore, the E Street Band wasn’t behind him, and he was experimenting with dark sounds and folk twists. Thus, why not capitalize on what people think Bruce should sound like? As a result, Greatest Hits was released, and it seriously has to be taken with a few spoonfuls of salt. While the material on this album is very enjoyable, like the fiery Dancing in the Dark and rough Thunder Road, but this barely scratches the surface of such a prolific artist. For a far more comprehensive review of his music, check out his 2CD set (sometimes 3CD set depending on the edition) The Essential Bruce Springsteen. But if you’re looking for something aside from some wiggling hips, you’re going to be disappointed.

Total words: 603

VERDICT
01. Born to Run
02. Thunder Road
03. Badlands
04. The River
05. Hungry Heart
06. Atlantic City
07. Dancing in the Dark
08. Born in the USA
09. My Hometown
10. Glory Days
11. Brilliant Disguise
12. Human Touch
13. Better Days
14. Streets of Philadelphia
15. Secret Garden
16. Murder Incorporated
17. Blood Brothers
18. This Hard Land



SCORE: 3 STARS (For being overly biased.)

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BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
1975 - Born to Run
1978 - Darkness on the Edge of Town
1984 - Born in the U.S.A.
1987 - Tunnel of Love
1992 - Lucky Town
1992 - 57 Channels (And Nothin' On) (CD-Single)
1994 - Streets of Philadelphia (CD-Single)
1995 - Greatest Hits
1995 - Secret Garden (Cassingle)
2002 - The Rising
2002 - Lonesome Day (CD-Single)
2007 - Magic
2009 - Working on a Dream
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For the Lean & Mean Write-Off: HERE


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