I used to be a rabid Bruce Springsteen fan. Rabid is even an understatement. I was obsessed; consumed; hopelessly drowning in Bossness. In college and through the early eighties I listened to his albums endlessly, almost to the exclusion of all others (except similar-sounding artists like Dire Straits, Bob Seger, and John Mellencamp, with a little Billy Joel tossed in for "variety").
Over the years, I dutifully bought all things Springsteen: the records, the singles, the bootlegs, the boxed set of Tracks, the single CD (18 Tracks), even the suicide-inducing Ghost of Tom Joad. I was there when he and the E Street Band reunited and toured in 1999-2000, and back again for The Rising tour of 2002.
But I started to lose the faith when he released Devils & Dust, and felt no desire to buy the Seeger Sessions CD. It was obvious Springsteen was off on a musical journey that inspired him; I just wasn't going along for the ride any more. I rented the Live in Dublin DVD (filmed during his Seeger tour, which I purposely missed, and ended up skipping through most of the songs).
A couple of weeks ago, Springsteen announced he'd finished a new album, one recorded with the E Street Band. The record was due in October, with a tour to follow. This record, Magic, was billed as a rocker. But still I was skeptical, like a lapsed Catholic who wants to believe but just can't drag himself back to church.
The first single for Magic, "Radio Nowhere," somehow made it on You Tube and it does, indeed rock. Alas, as of today (Wednesday 8-29) it's been removed, but you can download the official song for free at iTunes.
It also sounds strangely similar to a couple of other songs from the 1980s.
Have a listen.