January 8, 2014

What are the best Bruce Springsteen albums? We've picked our Top Five…
by Tom

by Tom Goodwyn

hmv London; 08/01/2014


hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

What are the best Bruce Springsteen albums? We've picked our Top Five…

Bruce Springsteen, the irrepressible force, the man who has been filling stadiums all over the world for the last 20 years, has a new album out on Monday.

The record's called High Hopes and you can read a proper preview of the album here. It's the man some call The Boss's 18th studio album and his third in the last five years, an impressive feat considering how much he tours.

Thing is, if you're a newbie to Springsteen, there's a whole lot to catch up on, so, as a public service to you all, here are the five essential Bruce Springsteen albums.

Darkness On The Edge Of Town (2010 Remastered Version)

Darkness On The Edge Of Town


This came out in 1978 after the phenomenal success of Born To Run and remains one of Springsteen's darkest records. Every track is written in the first person, with Springsteen's formidable storytelling ability fully on show. It produced no big hits, but has aged superbly.

Essential Track: 'Badlands' (Preview it here)

The River

The River


Released in 1980, The River is the record that cemented Springsteen's reputation as a blue-collar rocker, a hero for the working man. This album took on recession hit America head on, including some real diatribes against what was going on in the country. It produced the likes of 'Hungry Heart' and 'Stolen Car', two of Springsteen's finest moments.

Essential Track: 'Hungry Heart' (Preview It Here)




This is Springsteen at his most stripped back and raw. Coming between The River and Born In The U.S.A, which shows the rocker at his most bombastic, this is an intimate record. Among the beautiful cuts on the record are 'Atlantic City', 'Johnny 99' and the tender title track. Another essential purchase.

Essential Track: 'Nebraska' (Preview It Here)

Born To Run - 30th Anniversary Edition

Born To Run


Released back in 1975, this was Springsteen's first big success and a number of its eight tracks remain a staple of his live set to this day. Full of energy, vigour, and, most importantly, eight absolutely huge choruses, this is a damn near perfect record.

Essential track: 'Thunder Road' (Preview It Here)

Born In The U.S.A.

Born In The U.S.A


The obvious one. The only choice. This is Springsteen's seminal record, the one that you should own above all others.

Coming out in 1984, two years after Springsteen's raw Nebraska, this record is the polar opposite of that, full of radio-friendly pop with enormous choruses. That's not to say it's a flag-waving trailblazer of an album, there's a lot of subversion in the lyrics, telling stories of working America at its best and at its worst.

There are so many seminal tracks on this record, you've got the upbeat pop of 'Dancing In The Dark', the smouldering 'I'm On Fire', the strident 'No Surrender', the delicate 'Bobby Jean', the buccaneering 'Downbound Train' and, of course, the all conquering title track.

So start here, then work your way through the others. OK?

Essential track: 'Born In The U.S.A' (Preview It Here)


You can check out all of these records in our download store now.