Top Under-Appreciated Bruce Songs

I wrote recently about being a fan of Bruce Springsteen for essentially nearly all of my years on the planet given that I started pretty young.  Here’s a list of five songs that I feel don’t get enough credit.

  1. Tougher Than The Rest. I first heard this song by a country artist I like named Chris Ledoux. It randomly came on the one country radio station in town that plays lots of older stuff and very little Thomas Rhett, which are two key reasons I have it on my presets.  Only later did I realize it was written by Bruce even though it was never a major hit for him. It speaks to a sense of resilience and a willingness to keep trying in a way that I find incredibly moving.
  2. Trapped. This is Bruce doing a cover of a song by reggae artist Jimmy Cliff.  I really can’t understand why it wasn’t a bigger deal.  It has such a crazy contrast of relatively slow and calm verses followed by a more hard-charging chorus he yells more than sings. If I was the sign-making type, I would have made a sign to hear him play this song.
  3. Because The Night. The first version I heard of this song was by 10,000 Maniacs.  Later I found out it was first popularized by Patti Smith and still later I learned that Bruce was the originator but brought in Patti Smith to help him finish it.  He plays it in his shows a lot (which is great) but I don’t think it was a conventional hit for him.  I challenge any rock and roll fan to resist singing along.
  4. I’m Going Down. Maybe it’s because there were so many other big hits on the Born in the USA album.  Maybe it’s because there was already a song called I’m On Fire on the same album and it was too many “I’m” references.  Or maybe just because it’s a buzzkill song about a guy who can fully see his relationship is going down the tubes.  You feel empathy for the guy and it has a catchy feel to it, plain and simple.
  5. One Step Up. Okay so this song did have some success but I think most Bruce fans would admit it isn’t widely-recognized as a mega-hit and he never plays it live.  It is a soulful story to say the least and deserves a listen, if you’re in the mood.

For honorable mention, I’d go:

  • Better Days
  • Brilliant Disguise
  • Lucky Town
  • Girls In Their Summer Clothes
  • Human Touch


If you have one you feel I’ve missed, feel free to contact me

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *