10 Underrated Bruce Springsteen Songs You Should Listen To

Or why a 50-track Best Of still wouldn't do Bruce Springsteen justice.

Bruce Springsteen Letter To You

At 73, you can't blame The Boss for taking things a little more easy. Nowadays, on his ongoing world tour, he is not likely to take requests from fan signs - yours truly did try - or run back to the stage for a fifth encore. (Bruce being Bruce, that still means you get a three-hour spiritual experience of a spectacle. Just ask Barack and Michelle Obama, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Sting, Nick Cave, Chris Rock or Woody Harrelson).

The relatively fixed setlist is jam-packed with the classics and crowd pleasers, so don't count on Bruce to unearth an obscure gem from his collection and make you realize his discography is even richer than you thought. Count on this article to do just that though.

Note that this list does not include any songs from pre-1990 albums or from the acoustic ones (Nebraska, The Ghost of Tom Joad, and Devils & Dust), because even if some of their songs are less known, those albums are still widely considered masterpieces from beginning to end. It would be a little disingenuous to call one of their songs underrated. Besides, picking the likes of "Meeting Across the River", "Highway Patrolman" or "Youngstown" would just be too predictable.

10. 57 Channels (And Nothin' On) (1992)

One of - if not the - most atypical single Bruce ever recorded, it is musically distinct from the rest of the album, and the rest of his discography up until that point (the EP Tracks does have other similarly minimalistic songs). If you think of Bruce as a rock star who screams over loud guitars, you may not recognize this fella who's playing the bass while reciting spoken word poetry.

You can take this song to be a criticism of America's consumerist society, but you can't it take to be only that. Bruce's art always mixes the political with the personal. As such, this song also stands as a bleak, atmospheric portrayal of modern-day solitude. This allegorical use of the television is spot-on. Nowadays, in a world saturated with screens, it is more relevant than ever.

After all, which of us hasn't lost valuable minutes flipping through the catalogues of streaming platforms or endlessly scrolling down our news feed, looking for the one piece of content that'll turn the day into a memorable one, only to feel as empty as ever when an hour and a half later, we realize there's nothin' on. In a sense, there's never anything on. So, if "in the blessed name of Elvis", you want to shoot your computer or your phone, go ahead. Just finish this article first.


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