There are two kinds of people in this world—those who call Bruce Springsteen “The Boss” and those who know that no true disciple would ever refer to the man as “The Boss.” It’s the tell that reveals who really hears one of our greatest American storytellers, and who, with bleary eyes and a concert-issue soup container full of light beer, thinks that “Born in the U.S.A.” is a fist-pumping anthem of American pride. “I love ‘Glory Days,’” they’ll say. “He’s the boss!”
Now, “Glory Days” is without a doubt one of the most ass-kicking songs there is, and “Born in the U.S.A.” is a damn great fist-pumper, but those tracks and their 1984 stadium-anthem companions are merely the recognizable tip of an enormous iceberg of music that comprises studio albums, outtakes, and incalculable hours of bootlegged live tracks. With Springsteen’s first proper E Street album in eight years coming out on the 23rd, here’s a small guide of Spotify-available tracks from his catalogue that will show you where the keys to the highway really live.
Alex Oliveira is an Associate Editor for AIR MAIL