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08:20 AM on 05/11/11
Craig Manning
Down in Jungleland
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1. Lucky Town and Tom Joad are both solid records with a handful of great songs on them. I think ignoring that entire period of his career is a bit of a cop out and I'd ask you to reconsider. Give those records a fresh listen and write down your reactions: they don't have to be long reviews, but I'm as interested in hearing about where you think Bruce falls short as I am about hearing where you think he makes the best albums of all time.
2. Meeting Across the River is definitely one of the best six songs on Born to Run, it just would never work randomly in a setlist. That song is one of the best penultimate tracks I've ever heard, and serves as a flawless lead in to Jungleland, but it only really works in a setlist if it's a full album show. Still, I've always found it strange how that song is cast aside as the album's weak point, when to me, it's clearly the best outside of the four corners.
11:43 AM on 05/11/11
Craig Manning
Down in Jungleland
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I think "She's The One" is the best outside the corners. "Meeting" isn't a bad song by any means, the fact that I think it's the weak point on that record doesn't mean much when you consider how much I love the record.
She's the One would be my next choice, putting side 2 a hair above side 1 for me, even though Thunder Road is my favorite song of all time. I just love the story on Meeting, and that trumpet is just brilliant.
I really do think you should at least give Lucky Town another listen. I think it's a truly underrated record that would be considered much more along the lines of Tunnel of Love than Human Touch if it hadn't been released along with the latter. Again, I think it would be silly of you to ignore a large portion of Springsteen's career, especially when Lucky Town (and probably Tom Joad, as well) are better records than his most recent one, and I trust you will be reviewing that.

Also, if you're interested, this guy did a pretty cool feature leading up to the release of Working on a Dream where he went back and gave reviews/reflections on each album in Springsteen's discography. His opinion on Lucky Town was always especially interesting to me, and was what inspired me to give that album a more fair chance. Scroll down if you're looking for that review, but they should all be there.

12:08 PM on 05/11/11
Craig Manning
Down in Jungleland
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Interesting, I'll definitely check that out. I think Magic is one of his better releases. I've always hated that he put out HT and LT on the same day. But then again he's the only artist to ever release two full length record on the same day, so that's pretty cool.

Magic is very solid, but doesn't touch his first 7 or 8 for me. There are some very strong songs and a few I don't care for much, and the second half is far superior to the first, in my opinion. Still a very good record: it's amazing to me that he followed it up with something as uninspired and weak as Working on a Dream.

Sounds like I need to listen to Lucky Town some more. So disappointed in myself right now haha

No big deal. I won't argue that Human Touch is anything but a dud (though there are a few gems on there, as usual), but Lucky Town is solid all the way through, and I really love a few songs on there, namely If I Should Fall Behind, Living Proof and Better Days.

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