Over Bruce Springsteen
No rock performer has spoken with more authority on the human fallout of the American Dream than Bruce Springsteen. Darkness on the Edge of Town and Nebraska are American Gothics haunted by star-crossed lovers and noble souls hag-ridden by fate into crime, depression, and worst of all, ordinariness. But lest we forget, the original denim rocker has also written some of the most uplifting songs in AOR: every line of "Born to Run" and "Glory Days" offers an ideal place to hang your troubles out to dry. Springsteen plays the perfect tailor for the damaged lives that populate his lyrics, recognizing the tiny flaws and the holes that gape in the human fabric, and doing his best to mend them -- sometimes with simple compassion, sometimes with joy. Just about everything the Boss has done has an air of permanence about it. You just know that when generations hence try to grasp what life meant to us, his music will offer an important clue. But despite his many accomplishments and incredible fame, something has kept the Boss down to earth. He generously handed out hit songs to Patti Smith and Robert Gordon in the 1970s, and even today continues to promote the careers of lesser luminaries such as duet partner Elliot Murphy.