Someone, allegedly Martin Mull, once said:
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture
Now, I'm not sure if Mr. Fernwood was the actual originator of that quote, but it always sticks with me as a truism.
That doesn't mean I don't enjoy reading about music. I've discovered some great bands over the years from reviews. Reading about the history of rock gave me a much broader view and appreciation of the genre.
And, if you're a regular reader of Friday LinkFrogging (and if you're not, why is that?), you know I love to contribute lists to our weekly rundown.
So, when a copy of Jim Beviglia's new book running down the work of Bruce Springsteen in handy list form arrived, I was glad to give it a read.
I came to Springsteen later than some, but I now consider myself an above-average fan, but I figure I could always learn more.
Thanks to this book I did just that.
Its easy to pick the great songs from Born to Run through Tunnel of Love, a period that was arguably Springsteen's most commercial. Mr. Beviglia digs deeper. He examines the pre-Thunder Road period as well as the post-Tunnel of Love years. In doing so he proves there is more to the Boss than the songs you hear on the radio.
He gives the songs perspective in relation to their position on the record, the time, the world and Springsteen's life.
That's a lot of work, but it goes a long way to making this book a good read.
Each of the 100 tracks that comprise the list gets its own essay of about two pages. Each is well thought out. Each is well written. Each stands on its own as well as serving as a piece of the much bigger picture.
As with any list, you will probably disagree with the placement of certain songs (Thunder Road at 17?), but this is Mr. Beviglia's list. Don't like it? Write your own.
In the meantime, Counting Down Bruce Springsteen is the kind of music writing that makes you a bigger, better fan.
Number one is no surprise. There really isn't any other song it could be. Its one of the best rock and roll songs ever.
Counting Down Bruce Springsteen is available now. CLICK HERE to buy it.