The Boss, as Bruce Springsteen is so lovingly known, is one of the most inspirational musicians of the last four decades. With his mixture of poetic lyrics, sprinkled with political sentiments, and his completely unrivaled and unique voice, it comes as no surprise to learn that Bruce Springsteen is one of the best-selling artists in the world, of all time! The crooner has bagged himself a whopping 20 Grammy Awards, inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. This guy has released 70 singles, 18 studio albums, 23 live albums, and a ton of other compilations, video albums, and box sets. With so many records released, it’s a tough job trying to whittle down his best. However, we’ve given it a go and summed up the best Bruce Springsteen albums ever.
Even if you’re not the biggest fan of Bruce Springsteen, there’s a good chance you like the majority of songs on the Nebraska album. We thought we’d kick off with a real crowd pleaser, despite it being a slightly different direction for Springsteen. Released in 1982, as the sixth studio album by The Boss, the songs on the album were initially meant to be demos recorded with the E Street Band. However, after a couple of touch and go moments with the E Street Band, Springsteen decided he was going to release the demos himself. Touching on topics such as criminals, down-on-their-luck blue-collar workers, and outsiders, everyone felt as though they could relate to at least one song on this classic Bruce Springsteen album.
The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle
When Bruce Springsteen’s second studio album, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle, was first released, critics went wild. However, commercially, people weren’t that impressed with this album until much later on. This album includes one of our favorite Springsteen songs of all time, and one that the band used to close the majority of their sets for the first decade of their career, Rosalita (Come Out Tonight). Back in 2009, the E Street Band and Bruce Springsteen played the whole album for the first time ever, at a concert at Madison Square Garden. What we would have given to have seen this live!
The only ever double album released by Bruce Springsteen came out in 1980, making it the fifth studio album by The Boss himself. This was actually the first of his albums to make it to number one on the Billboard 200, enjoying a total of four weeks at the top of the charts. The entire album mixed frivolous tracks with songs that were more solemn in nature, making it a heady combination that had rarely been seen in rock and roll albums. Perhaps this is what makes it such a classic in the Bruce Springsteen discography, and a fan favorite.
Darkness on the Edge of Town
After a three year hiatus, thanks to legal battles with their former manager, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band released Darkness on the Edge of Town. Yet again, critics couldn’t get enough of the album, particularly when it came to the mature and poetic topics and lyrics. Talk to any major Bruce Springsteen fan, and they’ll likely tell you it’s one of their all-time favorites – and so it should be. While it didn’t receive as much commercial success as it should have, it did spend 97 weeks in the charts and achieved triple Platinum status. A must-add to your Springsteen collection, if you don’t already have it!
Born to Run
Okay, so we may be totally obvious with our number one Springsteen choice, but there is no denying it is the greatest album of his (and possibly on the planet). The third studio album was Springsteen’s shot at going mainstream, and it certainly had the desired effect. All of a sudden, people were sitting up and taking notice of The Boss and his band, and many people believe this was the beginning of Springsteen’s big success. Many critics will also tell you that Born to Run is one of the best albums in popular music. Ever.
We found it difficult to pick just five of Springsteen’s best albums, but we hope his fans will agree with the choices we’ve made. If you’re not already a Bruce Springsteen fan then here are the ultimate five to get you into The Boss… Trust us; you’ll never look back.