“Good Eye” is unlike anything Bruce Springsteen has ever recorded: A stomping, heavily distorted blues-rock song, with a howling vocal and a wailing harmonica. Yet lyrically it finds him on familiar territory. Its narrator has both a good side and a bad side, and keeps on making the wrong choice: “Had my good eye to the dark/And my blind eye to the sun.”
In the second verse, he admits this is true even if he’s gotten rich in the process; in the third verse, he seems to be confessing to infidelity, using as few words as possible: “I swore you were my darling/You were the only one/Had my good eye to the dark/And my blind eye to the sun.”
And that’s it. It’s as primal, lyrically, as it is musically, and it’s over in just three minutes and one second. It’s not the most essential Springsteen track, certainly, but it’s a jolt of energy, and something that enlivens — and shakes up, for a moment — the generally more polite-sounding Working on a Dream.
Background facts: “Good Eye” is from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album. According to Brucebase, it was performed twice in rehearsal shows for his Working on a Dream Tour at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, that year, but just one time after that, at the official tour opener, the next week, in San Jose.
On each of the 70 days leading up to Bruce Springsteen’s 70th birthday (on Sept. 23, 2019), NJArts.net will do a post on one of The Boss’ best songs of the last 30 years. We’re starting with No. 70 and working our way up. For more on the project, click here.
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I find the the sound of this song similar to his Halloween gift years before, “A Night With The Jersey Devil.”