It's Cool To Like Bruce Springsteen

Pitchfork’s Mark Richardson wrote an article last week detailing the recent emergence of Bruce Springsteen as an indie rock hero, which followed Stephen Duesner’s review of Magic in which he claimed Bruce has supplanted Brian Wilson as the go-to “ideal” among young bands. I’d noticed this trend of late as well, as many of my favorite young bands (The National, The Hold Steady, Handsome Furs, etc.) sport a fairly obvious influence of said American icon, who happens to be my own first musical hero. I still remember quite clearly buying Born To Run from a catalog in 4th grade because I figured it was the one with “Born In The USA” on it. Well, it wasn’t. Regardless, I spent the next 2 or 3 years pouring over the technicolor words of “Jungleland”, “Backstreets”, and the rest of those rock n‘ roll poems.

I wonder though, now that Bruce is “cool” again, if the ever-trendy Pitchfork would reassess their notion that not one of Springsteen’s classic 70s albums were worthy to be named among that decade’s Top 100 albums. Seriously, the 4th best Brian Eno album (including the 1 with Roxy Music) is better than Born To Run? Nothing against Eno - I have Another Green World and Here Come The Warm Jets and enjoy both a great deal, but that’s about as poor a verdict on any list I’ve seen online. And yes, I’ve seen all those ridiculous Rolling Stone lists.

Anyway, in the article Richardson uses the fact that he’s heard 4 different bands cover the Boss’s “I’m On Fire” over the past few months as proof of his assertion. I’d heard 2 myself - - one being the previously posted A.A.Bondy version that hasn’t been officially released, the other a P’fork posted version by a band called Chromatics. I did some searching over at the new Hype Machine for the other 2 he was speaking of and came away with several other “I’m On Fire’s”, including live versions by Bats For Lashes and Heather Nova (which actually dates back to the mid-90s) and a really fantastic song by a band called The Soft Hands, which in no way, shape, or form resembles the Springsteen penned classic (more on this exciting young L.A. band soon). So, in case you read the same article and were looking for all these songs in the same place, here they are. And don't worry, it's cool:

MP3 :: I’m On Fire - AA Bondy
MP3 :: I’m On Fire - Chromatics
MP3 :: I’m On Fire - Bats For Lashes
MP3 :: I’m On Fire - Heather Nova

Here’s a fiery (pun intended) version that I don’t think Richardson was talking about:

MP3 :: I’m On Fire - Earl Pickens & The Black Mountain Marauders


mjrc said...

thanks for these. i know someone who loves this song and will want to hear these--i think!

Anonymous said...

A spectacular new book called For You is one of the best Bruce Springsteen books ever published. What's real special about this is that it's all about Bruce and his fans. The 208-page book is a collection of recollections from fans about Bruce from the early 1970s to present. This marvelous collection of hundreds of fan tales, testimonials and memories also features tons of fan photographs of Bruce and the E Street Band over the years. Many of these photographs have never been published.
It's the photos that really impressed me. So many great shots of Bruce over the years, from his Steel Mill days in 1970 to even the Magic Tour. Only 2,000 copies of the book were printed.
The stories by fans really capture how Bruce Springsteen and his music has touched our lives over the past 30-plus years. This is a 'must have' for any Springsteen fan.