By Brian Ives
Give it up to Caryn Rose, of New York magazine’s Vulture blog, who just ranked every Bruce Springsteen song ever. The list is made up of Springsteen originals (not covers) that have been officially released, “whether catalogue classic, outtake, or recently released composition.” That added up to 314 songs. Spoilers ahead.
How’d she put the list together? Rose tweeted that she “put the initial order together by spending 4 days in a hotel room with a stack of index cards.” A daunting job, to say the least. She also warns, “I am a crabby old punk rock lady who is not one of those ‘everything Bruce Springsteen does is sacred’ ” so keep that in mind before deciding to follow her on Twitter.
Surely, you’re wondering what the 314th song on the list was. You might know it if you have last year’s River-themed box set The Ties That Bind. It’s a little two minute, sixteen second ditty called “Mr. Outside,” which Ms. Rose says is “half-formed,” and asks, “Why was this throwaway included in a deluxe box set? Why was this even released?”
Fittingly, the song at the top spot is the title track to his 1975 classic, Born to Run. AS Ms. Rose writes, “The song that earns every great cliché about rock and roll. It is escape, it is freedom, it is four-chord liberation. The song distills every single element of Springsteen’s sound into four-and-a-half minutes, which contains the essential question his entire catalogue tries to answer: ‘I want to know if love is real.'” Read the rest of the list at Vulture.