“Born In The U.S.A.” Turns 33: What’s Your Favorite Track?
Thirty three years gone by in a wink of a young girl’s eye. Gone but certainly not forgotten.
Bruce Springsteen released his landmark “Born In The U.S.A.” album on June 4th, 1984. While 1975’s “Born To Run” made Bruce a rock star, “Born In The U.S.A.” transformed into a worldwide pop star. Seven top-ten singles will certainly do that kind of thing to any musician, even a guy like Springsteen who would tell his fans often in concert that he was “just an average guy”. Thanks to heavy radio and MTV rotation “Born In The U.S.A.” went on to sell over 30 million copies and catapulted Springsteen into the top of the charts where it stayed for the entire summer and beyond.
So here we are 33 years later and the album has certainly stood the test of time and remains a classic. That much we know but here’s a challenge I put to you Springsteen fans. Of the twelve tracks on this record which one stands as your favorite? Is it one of the hit singles like the title track, “Cover Me”, “Dancing In The Dark”, “I’m On Fire”, “Glory Days”, “I’m Goin’ Down” or “My Hometown”? Maybe it’s one of the deep tracks like “Darlington County”, “Working On The Highway”, “Downbound Train”, “No Surrender” or “Bobby Jean”.
I’m going with one of the deep tracks and it’s “Downbound Train”. The dark thumping beat driving throughout, the way Bruce tells the heart-wrenching story of a man who had everything and lost it all. It hit me from the instant I bought and played the cassette from start to finish in my car one cold winter day back in ’89. The goose-bump part of the song comes in at around the 1:36 mark. The thumping beat comes to a stop, the chilling tones of a synthesizer and acoustic guitar remain while Bruce sings with a despondent tone:
“Last night I heard your voice
You were crying, crying, you were so alone
You said your love had never died
You were waiting for me at home
Put on my jacket, I ran through the woods
I ran till I thought my chest would explode
There in the clearing, beyond the highway
In the moonlight, our wedding house shone
I rushed through the yard
I burst through the front door, my head pounding hard
Up the stairs I climbed
The room was dark, our bed was empty
Then I heard that long whistle whine
And I dropped to my knees, hung my head and cried”
Damn that gets me every time.
Now it’s your turn. Vote for your favorite track below and feel free to comment at the bottom of this page or on our Facebook page.