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Ben’s BackTrack – Bruce Springsteen – ‘Nebraska’.

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska’ which was recorded straight to tape in his lounge room in 1982, (just him and his guitar) is both complex and sparse at the same time. No E-Street band on this record. Just Bruce. Check out the album cover. A bleak, featureless landscape, very fitting of the mood and subject matter of the record.

It’s an album about fractured relationships, loners and murderers, misfits and stark, hard luck stories. But it’s also a record of Springsteen and his folk rural roots, it’s a blues record without being a blues record if you know what I mean?…

After establishing himself as a major rock & roll force with previous records like ‘Born to Run’ and ‘The River’ and relentless touring to massive audiences, this record was a breakaway, and proved he could sit with guitar and tape recorder and make an uncluttered, stripped back album of beautiful, yet disturbing songs. A very brave step for someone who had the rock & roll world at his feet.

Stand out tracks are ‘Atlantic City’ and the incredible ‘Johnny 99’ – a kinda rockabilly feeling where Robert Johnson and Woody Guthrie come together. Johnny Cash covered this track on his 1983 album of the same title ‘Johnny 99’.

‘Nebraska’ is a true masterpiece. Give it a spin. 




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