Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's sure good enough for me


I've been listening to some of Mr. Springsteen's material of late. And a particular song has been keeping my interest.

Admittedly, I'm a latecomer when it comes to being a fan of Bruce Springsteen. I was a kid when the "Born in the USA" album came out, and since it was EVERYWHERE at that time, I was no stranger to his name or some of his music.

Then came the "Philadelphia" film, and the soundtrack which featured "Streets of Philadelphia." Again, the movie (and that song) was everywhere ... so I was far from ignorant of even his newer material.

And being that I grew up in the lower Midwest, where it was either the classic rock of Springsteen/John Mellencamp or "modern country," well ... I had definitely been introduced to such songs as "Born to Run" and "Hungry Heart."

But I'd never been a big fan. Heck, I had no idea that Bruce hadn't used the E Street Band on all of his albums (I just figured they were always involved). I was very ignorant of his material and his history.

I'm a little older these days, and a little wiser. I know a little more. But it was a slow process.

In the later 1990s, I bought a copy of the single-disc 1995 greatest hits disc. I did this more to expand my then-limited music collection. I basically bought it for "Born in the USA" and "Glory Days," and it had a few other notable titles that I at least recognized. Good enough, I thought. I was more heavily involved in The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and Weezer at the time (and I continue to be more heavily involved with them now, but my musical horizons have greatly expanded).

Then came Sept. 11, 2001. Rather than comment on that day, or on the music that arose from those events, I'll just say that I bought "The Rising" and found it to be an interesting, challenging, strong body of work. To that point, however, it was the only studio album of his that I'd bought. (I did have one other Bruce disc: In addition to the "Greatest Hits" disc, I also owned the "18 Tracks" CD that was an offshoot of the "Tracks" box set.)

My good friend (and sometimes commenter) Mick Hatten started to broaden my horizons on Bruce around 2006 or so. He started making compilation discs for me, a handful of CDs that had some deep cuts, big hits and live versions of music. It was quite an education, and it opened me up to the variety and skill of The Boss. Since then, I've added a number of Springsteen albums to my collection (not a lot of them ... Bruce is pretty prolific, but I've caught a couple of them and will add more in the future).

In 2010, the big Bruce news was that there was a box set coming that would document "Darkness on the Edge of Town." This was a really rich, prolific time in Springsteen's life/career. Many CDs (and DVDs) of material were included in a treasure-rich box. But for the more financially modest of us, there was a two-disc distillation of material released as "The Promise." These two discs are jammed with some great material.

Included in that material is the song that keeps walloping me: a good crowd-pleasing rocker called "Ain't Good Enough For You."

I love the energy. I love the confidence. I love the way he verbally wags his finger at the woman who wants/needs more than what he is/can offer. It's a laugh, and you quickly side with his underdog champion.

The song speaks for itself, so I won't elaborate further. Give "Ain't Good Enough For You" a listen. If you dig it (or if you hate it), please share your thoughts!


  1. Yes, this is a fabulous song from The Promise. Fine choice, sir. I love in the making of "Darkness on the Edge of Town" DVD how Steve Van Zandt got into it with Bruce over his decision to NOT put this on the album. Springsteen's thought was that it didn't fit into the theme of that album. Van Zandt thought he was throwing away a hit single. I think Steve was right. There's one of the reasons as to why Bruce has never had a song hit No. 1 with him singing it. I think he's always considered himself an album artist first and a singles writer second. Even "Born on the USA," his most commercial album, he thought it was done and Jon Laundau said to him, "You need to write another song. There isn't a single here." Bruce had some choice words for Landau ... and then wrote, "Dancing in the Dark," which went to No. 2.

    Anyway, as Chris knows, "Darkness on the Edge of Town," depending on the day, is always one of my top 3 Bruce albums. "The Promise" is an excellent two-disc collection of things that Bruce did not release for the album and really stands on its own as a kind of (Chris, here's some 'Star Trek' terminology you'll recognize) alternate universe of what might have been.

    1. Thanks for the info and chipping in with your thoughts, sir. It's always appreciated and welcomed. :)


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