8.  Backstreets (Born to Run, 1975)

Another song about being a teenager on the streets of Jersey, but, like most of Bruce’s songs, told with depth and pain and insight and power.

7.  Badlands (Darkness on the Edge of Town, 1978)

The first song from one of Springsteen’s best albums, and one that he has admitted he lifted from The Animals, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”  It charted—barely—at #42 on the Billboard Hot 100, but that didn’t stop it from becoming a fan favorite.  Best line: “It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive.”

6.  Bobby Jean (Born In The U.S.A., 1984)
The live version on his big boxed set breaks me every time I hear it.  Everyone knows it’s not a traditional love song—it’s about Bruces’ friend, Steve Van Zandt, who quit the band right before they got their biggest album.  “I’m calling you one last time, not to change your mind but just to say I miss you.  Good luck, goodbye, Bobby Jean.”  Christ.  I get tears just typing that.

Next: The top 5!

Related Posts

About The Author