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07:07 PM on 09/23/12
#1
Craig Manning
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Happy birthday to the greatest songwriter who ever lived.
08:32 PM on 09/23/12
#2
Craig Manning
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Throwing Born to Run on to mark the occasion.
07:43 AM on 09/24/12
#3
Craig Manning
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"Thunder Road," "Born to Run," and "Jungleland" are all better songs than anything Dylan, Lennon, or McCartney ever wrote. No one else is even close.
11:34 AM on 09/24/12
#4
Craig Manning
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You are a moron if you think Born to Run is better than Imagine, Let It Be, The Long and Winding Road, Hey Jude, and a million other songs by Lennon and McCartney. And I really like Bruce.
How is it not? How does "Born to Run" or "Thunder Road" not surpass any of those songs in sheer degree of songcraft? The level of musicianship is higher, the melodies are better and more innovative (eschewing the verse-chorus dynamic, but flowing like nothing else out there), and the lyrics are poetic in a way that Lennon and McCartney were never able to capture.

Just look at the differences between the two artists' most epic numbers: "Hey Jude" is built around a single melodic hook, and yeah, it's a damn good one, but it just repeats and repeats, with little variation. "Jungleland" is built around a lyrical arc and numerous musical setpieces from key band members, and only one line of the entire song ever repeats. I know what the "Greatest of All Time" lists told you, and they're justified in saying that because 1) Lennon and McCartney wrote undeniable great songs and 2) those songs reached a higher level of cultural importance than anything before or since. But as far as strict songwriting is concerned, they aren't even in the same stratosphere as Bruce. Only Dylan really is, and he's got everyone on lyrical prowess, but he has never been the melodist that Springsteen is.
12:06 PM on 09/24/12
#5
Craig Manning
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Blackbird, Yesterday, A Day in the Life, In My Life. Anything written by Billy Joel. You cannot win this argument. Every critic, magazine, and real musician would side with The Beatles over Bruce Springsteen. I love Bruce but cmon man, get a grip. I guess this is what I should of expected coming into this thread though.
Dude, you can't win the argument solely on the "most people say it so it must be true" mantra. You have supplied no evidence in the songs you are naming that makes them better than the ones I am naming, which leads me to believe that either A) you don't actually know anything about songwriting or musicianship or B) you have been told one thing for so long that you've been brainwashed into believing it's true, even if you can't think critically about it or form a cohesive argument on its behalf.

Your sweeping generalizations only discredit you further: every critic? Thomas and I are both a part of that population, and yet here we are siding against you. Every "real" musician? Have you ever played in a band or worked with any professional musicians? I'd actually argue that Bruce and The E-Street Band are more respected in the musical community, specifically because of the number of virtuoso talents on its roster. I'm sure none of them would deride the Beatles either (other than Ringo, who is, deservedly or undeservedly, a running joke), but none of them had the sheer technical ability of Clarence Clemons or Roy Bittan. 9/10 saxophonists, at least in my experience, would take Bruce over the Beatles. Are they not "real" musicians? And goddamn, I think a few of the bands in your "favorite artists" lists would have some choice words for your blanket statement as well.

Also, anything written by Billy Joel?! I love the guy, but just about anyone will recognize how inconsistent he is as an album maker. The Stranger is one of the 25 greatest records of all time, but even that doesn't have the thematic arc, the musical splendor, or the breathtaking flow of Born to Run. But you say Billy never wrote a song that WASN'T better than Bruce's greats? Are you trying to say that "We Didn't Start the Fire" or "I Go to Extremes" are better songs than "Thunder Road"? Speaking of statements any critic or real musician would laugh at...

And yeah, you should have expected Bruce bias in this thread, but what you shouldn't have expected was that I was just going to let you laugh at my claim, call me a moron for making it, and then let you get away without defending your arguments. Naming song titles may seem significant, but I can do that right back at you. How about "Backstreets," "Rosalita," "Incident on 57th Street," "Badlands," "Darkness on the Edge of Town," "The River," "Atlantic City," "Stolen Car," "Lost in the Flood"? All of those songs have at least one aspect (if not many) that places them above all or most Beatles songs in my mind, and I could argue why for all of them.
02:19 PM on 09/24/12
#6
Craig Manning
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Poor Billy Joel getting thrown into this. He's good but no one is Springsteen.

Yeah, it's just not fair. Billy is still a great artists with a bunch of very good to fantastic records. But come on.

Am I a moron too then?? Sweet!

You do not accept the universal belief that the Beatles are the greatest musicians of all time. You must be a moron...
05:30 PM on 09/24/12
#7
Craig Manning
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5 albums above Born to Run. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/li...album-19691231

5 songs above Born to Run. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/li...i-say-19691231

The combo of Lennon and McCartney and Lennon by himself above Springsteen. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pi...-time-20110315

All voted by writers, musicians, editors, fans.

Born to Run reached only 23 on the Billboard Hot 100.

"Biggest All-Times Sales For A Band
The Beatles have amassed the greatest sales for any group. All-time sales have been estimated by EMI at over one billion discs and tapes to date. In 2001, they had been certified for album sales of 163.5 million in the US alone. The band has numerous other world records, including that for most recorded song - Lennon and McCartney's "Yesterday" had 1,600 versions recorded between 1965 and January 1, 1986. Also, their album titled 1, released on November 13, 2000, sold 13.5 million copies around the world in its first month, making it the fastest-selling album."

Look, most of this is opinion. But it's nearly everyones opinion.

You're still not responding to anything I said above. We all get that The Beatles are the most successful and influential band of all time, but that doesn't automatically make them the best songwriters. Your inability to formulate an actual argument about their songs, rather than the cultural impact of those songs, kind of proves my point: Springsteen wrote with infinitely more depth. I like "Yesterday" as much as the next guy, but for me, the simplicity of it doesn't compare to the operatic scope and complexity of Springsteen's songs and albums. I thoroughly and objectively believe that makes him the better songwriter.
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