My music taste ranges from music for twelve year old girls to music for grandpas and grandmas. In the latter category we have my everlasting love for (and innocent crush on) Bruce Springsteen. I normally try to keep this love on the down low, but today is a day to celebrate. His sixth album, and one of his best albums to date, Born in the U.S.A. was released 30 years ago today.
Born in the U.S.A., according to Rolling Stone, at least, is one of the best albums of all time. An opinion that I have no second thoughts about agreeing with. With seven number one singles and over 30 million copies sold world wide, it is Springsteen’s most successful album. Containing twelve songs and over 45 minutes of patriotic banter, Born in the U.S.A. started a political marriage between Springsteen’s past and present, sometimes-sarcastic music and democratic presidential campaigns that continued even at the 2012 DNC.
This album is responsible for starting The Boss’s legacy and creating an image so illustrious that people in the music world still strive to have a piece of it today. This is an album cover photographed by the iconic Annie Leibovitz showcasing Springsteen’s tush, and the home of songs like “I’m Goin’ Down” and “Dancing in the Dark.”
Not only have people like Ryan Adams used similar shots for album covers (Adams’ album Gold is a fairly patriotic album, released directly following the 9/11 attacks and using cover art which was clearly inspired by Born in the U.S.A.), but bands like Vampire Weekend, Mat Kearney, John Legend and Taylor Swift have covered singles off this album. Also, “Dancing in the Dark” was recently used in the pivotal season finale of The Mindy Project. The everlasting use grants American youth and beyond with a newfangled appreciation for The Boss, even if they don’t really know that he’s where these songs originated
It’s been thirty years since this glorious collection of acclaimed singles was released. And somehow, listening to it on repeat today couldn’t sound more appealing. This album and all of the glory days (pun totally intended) it can bring aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.