350 Jersey Songs (bonus pick): ‘Thunder Road,’ Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons play "Thunder Road."

Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons play “Thunder Road.”

Note: I ended the 350 Jersey Songs project — 350 daily posts on songs by Jersey artists, or about some aspect of the state, or recorded here — in September. But there are, of course, more songs to write about. So here’s a bonus entry, on Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road.”

“Thunder Road” has always been one of my favorite Bruce Springsteen songs, as well as, obviously, one of his most undeniable masterpieces. Yet I didn’t include it in the original 350 Jersey Songs list, for no other reason than I had a bunch of other Springsteen songs there, and I just never got around to it.

But now I have a good reason to add it as a bonus track: Paul Whitehead has assembled a remarkable video, using snippets of various “Thunder Road” performances — including ones at venues in Asbury Park, Newark, Red Bank and Passaic — over the last 41 years. You can see how the song evolved, and how Springsteen has been able to accentuate different aspects of it at different times of his career. Sometimes it’s been stark and scruffy, other times rousing and celebratory. There’s no question this is one of Springsteen’s most densely poetic songs, evoking a whole range of emotions every time he sings it.

The video is really something that every Springsteen fan should see as well as, ultimately, a touching tribute to the late Clarence Clemons as well. Please check it out below.

To see the 350 Jersey Songs, listed alphabetically by artist, click here.

On March 13, Crossroads in Garwood will host a benefit concert for NJArts.net, featuring artists from the 350 Jersey Songs list playing their songs as well as others from the list. The benefit’s Facebook event page is here.

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1 comment

Geralyn Gray March 1, 2016 - 5:23 am

It even has a surprise ending. Pretty hard not to tear up. Glad it includes Light of Day and Jake too. Light of day is amazing because it is mostly the audience singing.


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