On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
Bruce Springsteen – Death to My Hometown (2012)
” Death to My Hometown” is a song written and recorded by American musician Bruce Springsteen and was the third single from his album, Wrecking Ball .
Welcome to 2012, dear reader. We are remaining in the US today but leaving New York and making our way over to New Jersey instead. We are revisiting with the Boss, aka Bruce Springsteen who is making his fourth appearance on our list, having featured in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s! Not bad. Joining Springsteen in 2012 he has released his seventeenth album, Wrecking Ball, and from there 1001 Songs have gone with the track, Death to My Hometown.
In Death to My Hometown, Bruce Springsteen writes both a protest and a lament about the death of the town he once called home. In the track he tells us that no war, revolution, or any kind of violence or destruction was responsible for this tragedy. Instead, the perpetrators are the bankers and other figures high in financial institutions, whose greed and recklessness brought about the economic crash of 2008. Springsteen’s fury is that the working class, or anyone on minimal income, were the ones who bore the serious brunt of the economic downturn.
Bruce Springsteen was dabbling in Celtic folk around this time and you get both a rock and folk feel to this track. There is even a choir providing backing vocals at one point. Both the lyrics and the song in general show that the Boss was still able to produce quality decades after Born to Run. Wrecking Ball proved to be one of Springsteen’s most successful albums in years, bagging critical praise and award nominations. What more can you say about Springsteen’s longevity?
Favourite songs so far: