Bruce Springsteen: Album-by-album

Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, 1973 3 stars

Downplaying the soul and R&B side in favour of wordy lyricism got Springsteen saddled with the "New Dylan" tag; but future anthems are discernible in songssuch as "Blinded By The Light" and "Growin' Up".

The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle, 1973 5 stars

Nine months on, this was a huge step forward, with vastly improved use of the E Street Band: rather than the New Dylan, Bruce here sounds more like the New Van Morrison.

Born To Run, 1975 5 stars

The big breakthrough, whose attempt to fuse Spectorian epic dynamics and Orbisonic melodrama with Dylanesque street parables and R&B grit served due notice of Springsteen's burgeoning ambitions.

Darkness On The Edge Of Town, 1978 5 stars

The brooding cover photo tells the tale: the extrovert confidence and optimism of Born to Run has all but drained away, as adult disillusion dispels the freedom fantasies of youth in tracks such as "Badlands".

The River, 1980 3 stars

A double album built around leftovers from Darkness on the Edge of Town, Springsteen's first US chart-topper leavens the sombre mood of the title track with spirited material such as the rollicking "Cadillac Ranch" and catchy "Hungry Heart".

Nebraska, 1982 4 stars

Springsteen scrapped full band recordings in favour of retaining the haunted quality of his solo demos, which more accurately matched the bleak ruminations on crime and punishment in songs such as "Johnny 99" and the title track.

Born In The USA, 1984 5 stars

Bruce's most insular album was followed by his most brashly populist, a set of hook-laden rock anthems which sold between 20 and 30 million copies, in the process notching up seven straight Top 10 singles, a feat equalled only by Thriller.

Tunnel Of Love, 1987 5 stars

Springsteen responded to the breakdown of his marriage with a series of songs brooding on the difficulty of sustaining a relationship. Its sonic palette of drum machine and synthesisers cast a reflective tone that matched the material beautifully.

Human Touch, 1992 2 stars

Lucky Town, 1992 1 stars

Released simultaneously, this pair of albums are generally – and justifiably – rated among the poorest in his oeuvre, their surfeit of mediocre material matched by indifferent performances in which the absence of all but the occasional member of the E Street Band takes its heaviest toll, despite the compensatory presence of soul giants Bobby Hatfield and Sam Moore among the backing singers.

The Ghost Of Tom Joad, 1995 3 stars

A return to the bleak, bare territory of Nebraska for a collection of tales whose protagonists have all been blind-sided by the American Dream. A flinty repudiation of trickle-down economics and outlaw romanticism, delivered with unflinching simplicity.

The Rising, 2002 2 stars

Anthemic title-track aside, Bruce's 9/11 album is a big disappointment. The songs are pale echoes of former glories, the keyboards sound dated and flaccid, and his response to the cataclysm is weak, clichéd and overly sentimental.

Devils & Dust, 2005 2 stars

More tales of cars and girls, albeit bereft of his youthful enthusiasm: here, travellers yearn for home; barfly losers seek solace in one-night stands; and wetbacks, workers and outsiders tug less persuasively than usual on the heartstrings.

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, 2006 3 stars

An enjoyable trawl through the godfather of folk-protest's back catalogue of activist anthems, traditional tragedies, dustbowl ballads and childish whimsy that played at one of Bruce's backyard barbecues.

Magic, 2007 5 stars

A sterling return to form, steeped in disgust at Bush's betrayal of core American virtues, with songs bleeding empathy for wounded soldiers, dead bikers, destroyed families and all the other collateral damage of the ill-judged Iraq campaign.

Working On A Dream, 2009 4 stars

Bruce's welcome to the Obama Era, replete with songs of euphoria and anticipation. The unashamed 1960s pop style of some arrangements is a new twist, as is "Kingdom of Days", a song celebrating old folk, with a touching tone of elegiac uplift.

Win all 16 Springsteen albums

'The Independent' is offering three readers the chance to win Bruce Springsteen's entire back catalogue. To win all 16 albums, all you have to do is to answer the following question: Where was Bruce Springsteen born?

To answer go to and input the reference code BRUCE. Closing date for competition is 5pm on Friday 3 July. The winner will be drawn at random. Prize is non-transferable and non-refundable. The editor's decision is final. Only one entry per household is allowed. A full set of terms and conditions can be found online at

Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
The party's over: Paul Higgins and Stella Gonet in 'Hope' at the Royal Court

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special

Broadcaster unveils Christmas schedule

Arts and Entertainment
Look out: Broad shoulders take Idris Elba’s DCI John Luther a long way
tvIdris Elba will appear in two special episodes for the BBC next year
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is dominating album and singles charts worldwide

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Kieron Richardson plays gay character Ste Hay in Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks

Arts and Entertainment
Midge Ure and Sir Bob Geldof outside the Notting Hill recording studios for Band Aid 30

Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tvThe two new contestants will join the 'I'm A Celebrity' camp after Gemma Collins' surprise exit
The late Jimmy Ruffin, pictured in 1974
Northern Uproar, pictured in 1996

Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the new Paddington bear review

Review: Paddingtonfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Tony stares at the 'Daddy Big Ears' drawing his abducted son Oliver drew for him in The Missing
tvReview: But we're no closer to the truth in 'The Missing'
Arts and Entertainment
Henry Marsh said he was rather 'pleased' at the nomination
booksHenry Marsh's 'Do No Harm' takes doctors off their pedestal
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'

Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking in new biopic The Imitation Game

'At times I thought he was me'

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
One Direction go Fourth: The boys pose on the cover of their new album Four

Review: One Direction, Four

Arts and Entertainment
'Game of Thrones' writer George RR Martin

Review: The World of Ice and Fire

Arts and Entertainment
Sean Bean will play 'extraordinary hero' Inspector John Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles
tvHow long before he gets killed off?
Arts and Entertainment
Some like it hot: Blaise Bellville

Arts and Entertainment
A costume worn by model Kate Moss for the 2013 photograph

Arts and Entertainment

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital