Saturday, 4 January 2014

The Archivist: Bruce Springsteen - Tunnel Of Love

I have loved Bruce Springsteen ever since I saw him way back in the day on The Old Grey Whistle Test. It was somewhere around the Born To Run album. I had a friend who worked in a local record store and he used to let me take the albums home and record them, so I often had tapes before I managed to save up for the albums. I remember doing this for BTR and Darkness On The Edge Of Town. But I did buy both albums as soon as I saved the money. I had integrity back then. 
So, I the bought the first 3 albums and have been a massive fan of his music ever since.
On June 4th 1984, Bruce Springsteen was to release the album that made him a MEGASTAR. Born In The USA.

Nothing really prepared the world for this album. The previous album, Nebraska, was a lo fi home recorded dark beauty of a record that would turn out to be many a muso's Bruce of choice -  for the geeks ( )  - but for the American public, Born In The USA shone like a beacon through the gloom on many a workingman's tough existence. It had songs of hope, nostalgia and (misplaced) patriotism. The album produced no less than 7 hit singles. It went on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide and life for Bruce would never be the same again.
Following Born In The USA and it's subsequent tours, Bruce spent the time compiling his 75-85 Live Album which was released to huge acclaim.
Now Bruce has always been prolific and continued recording sessions at his home studio. However the next album was going to be different. This was not going to be an album without the legendary E Street Band in the title.  Bruce played a lot of the instruments himself on what would become his next album - and my favourite Bruce album after Born To Run - it was the brilliant Tunnel Of Love. This is not to see that the various E Street Band members did not contribute, they did. But the change in sound to a more Country style was not the same sound that Bruce had acquired with his backing band up to this point.

For a detailed fan analysis of Born To Run, please check out the link to a fellow musician's Trevor Jones' Blog. He thinks the same as I do sometimes :)
So on October 9th 1987, Bruce released Tunnel Of Love

The album, although going triple platinum, did not and probably could not match the success of Born In The USA. Tunnel was a different beast entirely, focusing more on relationships and their trials and tribulations.
There were 4 singles released from Tunnel Of Love with varying success.
I loved the sound and feel that Bruce achieved with Tunnel Of Love and his maturing voice suited the Country style presented on many of the tracks. It's something I hope he will return to in the near future.
Bruce recorded several tracks at the Tunnel Sessions which were not released on any albums - although a few were later released on the TRACKS compilations.
Although some have never even been played live, officially.
But some have
 One track I wish he would release was a co-write with Southside Johnny which Johnny himself
walking through midnight
Tunnel of Love still holds a special place in my heart and after the majestic Born To Run, still remains my number two favourite Bruce Springsteen album.
Twitter - @springsteen


  1. Nice piece Nick. I disengaged with Bruce briefly after the bombast and over exposure to (the much misunderstood) 'Born in the USA'. Hated that the Republican politicians jumped on the back of it opportunistically.
    Must revisit the Tunnel.
    'One Step Up' always resonated.

    1. Thanks Trev, thanks for the moral support. It's surprising how long it takes to research and produce one of these. Gives me more respect for your professional blog.

      I suppose I could have done Born To Run as it's my favourite Bruce album but seeing as you did such a good job I thought I'd pick Tunnel.

      Other than BTR, Tunnel was always my favourite Bruce album. It was another left turn after Nebraska. With his new album of odds and sods being released soon and seeming like an exercise in tying up loose ends, I think he once again wants to take a different direction to his recent E Street offerings. I'm hoping he'll go back to Country for a Tunnel 2.

  2. I checked out the link with Southside's song; it is a lovely track. I have about 7 of his albums (with the Asbury Jukes) but not the 1988 one. Will have to purchase it at some point. Tunnel of Love is not in my top 5 fav Springsteen albums, but I love Valentine's Day and was listening to it just before going online tonight! Nice post BTW. My blog is mostly pictures of Bruce (only 900 or so...) Happy New Year!

  3. Hi Scarlet, this is great. I have a few friends who would love your blog so I'll pop it on my facebook page. You can't get too much Bruce :)