Search - Bruce Springsteen :: River

Bruce Springsteen
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #2

Despite the acclaim accorded Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town, this is the album that broke Springsteen into the big leagues, thanks to "Hungry Heart," then his most pointedly commercial song; it had new fans s...  more »


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All Artists: Bruce Springsteen
Title: River
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Release Date: 5/20/2008
Album Type: Import
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Style: Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 8869728746230

Synopsis essential recording
Despite the acclaim accorded Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town, this is the album that broke Springsteen into the big leagues, thanks to "Hungry Heart," then his most pointedly commercial song; it had new fans swooning but some old ones grumbling for the "poetic" Springsteen of days gone by. Not to worry--though more economical lyrically, The River had something to offer nearly everyone: There's old-time frat rock ("Sherry Darling"), empathetic character studies ("The River," "Stolen Car," "Independence Day"), passionate rockers ("Out in the Street"), dramatic ballads ("Point Blank"), and even a couple of good-natured goofs ("Cadillac Ranch," "Crush on You," "Ramrod"). A sprawling double-disc set, The River offers proof that Springsteen could do it all and could do it better than virtually anyone else. --Daniel Durchholz

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CD Reviews

Bruce Drives On
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 09/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The automobile has always held a special place in Bruce Springtseen's songs. To Mr. Springsteen, a car is not just a mode of transportation, but is a metaphor for life. He has always used car themes in his songs, but they come to the forefront on this sprawling two record set. The car takes on many shapes, in "Stolen Car" it's used as a cry for help, in "Drive All Night" it symbolizes devotion to his woman, in "Wreck On The Highway" it exposes life's fragility. In "Sherry Darling", the car is a source of aggrevation as he has to use to cart his mother-in-law around instead of hanging with his boys. Even though the car is a theme that runs throughout the album, Bruce explores other areas. The album contains probably his most personal song "Independence Day", which details his troubled relationship with his father. The album is both dark with troubled songs like the title track, "Point Blank" & "Fade Away" and upbeat with rockers like "Out In The Street", "Two Hearts", "Cadillac Ranch" and his first top ten song, "Hungry Heart" with peaked at number five. The River was his most accessible album to date and was his first number one album. The album solidified his presence as an artist who mattered and as a force on the charts."
Point Blank
David Bradley | Sterling, VA USA | 05/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Magnificent.THE RIVER alternates between rockers like "Cadillac Ranch," "I'm A Rocker," and "Out In The Street," songs that sing of carefree summer teen years that sound like they're blasting from the windows of somebody's Camero along the boardwalk, and a big set of tunes that address the real world problems that tug at your heals behind those idyllic scenes.The real heart of THE RIVER are Springsteen's characters struggles with love and relationships. They're all searching for somebody, finding somebody...but then what? So many of them run into brick walls, finding out all too quickly that the happy ever after ends before it starts. Haunting tunes like "Stolen Car" are hard to get past:"She asked if I remembered the letters I wrote when our love was young and bold. She said last night she read those letters, and they made her feel one hundred years old."But for all the hard times these characters come up against--losing love, driving girlfriends and their mothers to the unemployment office, struggling to keep a job--the final moment of THE RIVER is one of hope. After consoling a dying man at the scene of a horrific car crash, Springsteen sings of climbing in bed and watching his girl as she sleeps:"I just lay there awake in the middle of the night, thinking about the wreck on the highway."The road, which had been a vehicle of hope and escape on all of Springsteen's previous records, has been transformed into a black line between life and death; it is his love and home and security that suddenly seem comforting, instead of smothering.But the next Springsteen LP, NEBRASKA, wouldn't stay at follows those characters who chose to cross that black line and follow the road."
This is why he's called the Boss.
David Bradley | 08/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The day this album came out I was scheduled to go to a Yes concert with a bunch of my friends. It was my day off from my job, and at about 3:30 in the afternoon my boss called and begged me to come in. So not only was my day off blown, but I missed the concert and since my friends couldn't find a replacement, had to eat the 20 bucks I spent on the ticket. But while I was working, I found out that Bruce Springsteen's new album had just come out, so I called my mom and begged her to go buy it. That night when I came home, it was waiting for me, already on the stereo, and my mom (who had already listened to it) said "It's great" Well, mom was right. That was a long time ago, but I have never for one moment forgotten that day, or regretted the fact that I missed the Yes concert. To me The River came out of no-where. Two albums of great music. From full-blown dramas (Point Blank, Stolen Car) rock and roll rave ups (I'm a Rocker, Ramrod, Crush on You) and heartfelt ballads (Little Girl I Wanna Marry You, Fade Away) In fact, The River has two of Bruce's most personal and beloved songs, Independence Day and the title track. Two songs that his fans connect with almost as strongly as the singer himself. Now, every double album has it's share of filler. Even classics like The White Album, Songs in the Key of Life, The Wall and London Calling have one or two songs that could or should have been left in the vaults. I'm sure the River has it's share. (My vote would be Jackson Cage, the third song in what is an otherwise fantastic blast of rock and roll that kicks this album off ---The Ties That Bind, Sherry Darling and Two Hearts) but one song out of 20 ain't bad odds. This album changed Springsteen's career. With Hungry Heart it broke him into the mainstream, and with two albums worth of full blown rockers to choose from, it meant he no longer needed to depend upon up-tempo cover songs to flesh out his four hour, myth-making live shows. With the release of TRACKS, Springsteen revealed how much work and thought went into each and every album he released. There was a story he was trying to tell, and each album was another chapter in this musical novel. From Darkness to Born in the USA, Bruce was writing tons of songs, and recording them over and over. A song that didn't make it on Darkness was probably considered for The River or re-recorded for Nebraska and finally released on the B-Side of a Born In The USA hit. Springsteen has always been an artist that can create a mood in one instant, and blow it away in the next. In concert, he conveys a series of emotions, an air of gloom or sadness can fill the stage as he sings of lost souls and hoplessness, and then, in a moment, he can shine a light, like a preacher, lifting the entire audience to it's feet in a joyous rebirth. The River is the closest Springsteen has gotten to capturing that moment on tape. Darkness may have the sound of a Springsteen concert, and Born in The USA may have the thrill, but The River has the mood, the emotion, the range. For me, Bruce is like the Beatles or Dylan or The Stones or a handful other artist; it's almost impossible to say which album is his best. My choice would be Tunnel of Love, but if I had to choose one album that defined the man, that summed up to everything he stood for, that captured all of his hopes and beliefs, this would be the one. Springsteen is a great storyteller, and The River could be his most powerful tale."