New Band of the Month: March – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band


Every month this year, I’m dedicating myself to getting into a new band.  By ‘new band’, what I really mean is an old band who I’ve known of for awhile but have for one reason or another never checked out.  Maybe they were a genre I wasn’t into, maybe they were the favorite band of someone I didn’t like, maybe I was just lazy.  Whatever reason, I’m going to spend the month trying to get into them.

If, at the end of the month, I find myself enjoying the music I’ll buy an album.  And if not, I’ll save my money for something else.

My New Band for March is:

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

From the wiki page:

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949), nicknamed “The Boss,” is an American singer-songwriter-performer who records and tours with the E Street Band. Springsteen is widely known for his brand of heartland rock, poetic lyrics, and Americana sentiments centered on his native New Jersey.

The E Street Band has been rock musician Bruce Springsteen’s primary backing band since 1972.

My personal history with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band:

Uh, Born In The U.S.A.  Seriously, that’s pretty  much it.  I mean, like anybody who has spent any amount of time in a bar in the last, oh, I don’t know, 30 years, I’ve heard my share of Bruce Springsteen.  Yet, I can’t really claim to know many of his songs and have never listened to him on my own.  Seriously, check out my Last.fm if you don’t believe me (one random play must have snuck through on their streaming radio).

I don’t know that there’s any great reason for it.  I was born right at the beginning of Springsteen’s rise to success, but by the time I was paying attention to music on my own, it was the 90s, and 80s rock was replaced with Nirvana and sarcasm.  That, of course, hasn’t stopped me from becoming a later-in-life fan of other 80s stalwarts like Talking Heads or The Cure.  No one in my life ever really listened to ‘the Boss’, so I never felt any inclination to care.

Which is why it’s always sort of blown me away how absolutely beloved Springsteen is throughout the country.  Obviously in New Jersey he’s bigger than Jesus, but people love this dude’s music all over the place, and while I can drunkenly mumble along to a few of his hits with the best of them, I have pretty much no knowledge of his vast library.

And vast it is.  Fugazi has a solid number of albums, but only a few that seemed ‘vital,’ and Digable Planets only produced two albums.  Having a representative experience of both band’s respective discography in a month was reasonable.  That won’t be the case with Bruce Springsteen.  I’ll likely focus on his most revered period, specifically Nebraska and Born in the U.S.A., but I know his fans would tell me there are a dozen other albums worth checking out (including a new one this month, I just realized; kismet).

I fully expect my frame of reference by the end of the month to be woefully incomplete, but I’m going to do my best.  Maybe by March 31st, I’ll see what I’ve been missing all these years, or maybe I’ll realize why I’ve never felt compelled to give the music a chance.  We’ll see.

Feel free to explore with me, or rediscover him if you’ve always been a fan.  And if you have suggestions for future bands I should feature, please mention them in the comments.

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