It Aint Heavy - Its The Lite Side

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Springsteen minces no words with this one, though it loses a few points for extraneous electronic effects and textures that add nothing to the composition. An optimistic track, both lyrically and musically. First, an early rockabilly version was cut early in the —81 recording sessions that led up to The River. The River version is just a straight-ahead rocker, so it fits better with the record overall, but the rockabilly version absolutely has more depth.

The quietest song on the record, but easily the angriest. He asks a lot of questions here without actually asking any actual questions. The power of this song lies in its specificity, the little details and the big ones. He sets the tone with tuba, accordion, acoustic guitar, and mandolin, telling the story of a circus from setting up and settling in to packing up and moving on. What distinguished this particular cut in his mind? This is the kind of song Springsteen thinks about when he describes why The River needed tracks that evoked an E Street Band show.

The disbelief manifests itself in his voice. The good-time sax solo and get-down party music juxtapose with the lyrics in such a strong way. Bruce wants us to understand the hypocrisy of violating basic American civil liberties in the name of keeping America safe. With all those clever turns of phrase, this song gets better every time you listen to it. This tale of the inveterate rambler rolling to a stop is a keeper. Think about that again: He wrote it for Elvis Presley.

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Star time! He lost a lot of weight. For a long time, you only knew about this song if you were there back in the day, or you bought the Live — box set. Its inclusion was one of the things they got right with that release.

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It was probably thrown on just because Bruce misses Clarence. The track has its basis in the Starkweather killings ; he saw Badlands , which led him to a book written by a local journalist named Ninette Beaver , whom he would also interview. Sit down real close and listen good. Van Zandt perfectly colors the chorus on backing vocals, and the entire band is feeling it, slow and steady, with perfect, soulful precision.

If you could bottle the sound of that one night, this is what it would be.

The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy (He’s My Brother) – PowerPop… An Eclectic Collection of Pop Culture

Definitely one for the ladies. A perfect single, a heartfelt paean to the days of catching AM signals across the country, an anthem to the power of the radio airwaves. The song owes a lot to punk rock. A highly underrated number in the catalogue. Disc two strikes again! The song is a sympathetic celebration of music fandom, delivered with earnest, ebullient vocals, and half a dozen little sonic touches: hand claps, oooh-ooohs, aaah-aaahs, heys, and compact sax solo.

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It embodies the sultry, languid attitude of a cocksure young Casanova, with the music to match. This is what it sounds like when Springsteen pursues his power-pop agenda, even though the vocal delivery belongs on a rock-and-roll number. This song catches you by surprise. It opens with random guitar strumming, then the band comes in solemnly, with an almost-orchestral sound.

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Only the E Street Band could get away with something so unabashedly corny and unironic. Bruce does his best Jackie Wilson imitation on this track, and he pulls it off with aplomb. The vocals are full of exuberance and ecstasy, and Clemons is the unequivocal star, his sax running a counterpoint beneath the vocal melody. The intricate subtlety of the background instrumentation is simply outstanding: pedal steel and strings, brushes on the cymbals. The same words appear in every chorus, but they imply different emotional states based on the preceding verses.

Go, Janey. The sound of summertime on the Jersey Shore, period. The first of the great epics. It swells when it should, then drops back down in the next measure. His voice is open and full of yearning, Van Zandt adds delightful harmony vocals in counterpoint, and a quasi-Farfisa organ noodles in the background. This would be a sad story of lost love and regret, but two elements elevate it: the lonely, hollow organ chords underneath the main melody, and the bridge. So simple, yet so compelling.

The first song Springsteen wrote for the album. The sense of duty, the courage. An optimistic, boisterous statement of intent. The emotion in the vocals is what sells the song. Everybody jumps back in, though, as Bruce keens with anguish to close the track. Springsteen at his most dramatic and deliberately cinematic. Pure pop for modern people.

He loosens up even more in the last verse, just after a warm and bubbly sax solo from Clemons. It more than succeeds. Springsteen has a habit of writing songs for other people, then liking them so much he hangs on to them. The E Street Band is perfectly dialed into that groove, but Bruce plants it firmly back on his side of the road with sharp, incisive guitar solos that slice right through the beat.

A full-throttle rocker, the kind of song that the E Street Band eats for lunch. Initially an outtake from Born in the U. Springsteen delivers the best of his street-hipster cool alongside a musical arrangement that does the story justice. Just so much fun.

It Ain't Heavy - It's the Light Side

Springsteen has a special knack for capturing the ritual of getting ready to go out on the weekend. It was a ferocious, note-perfect tribute. Springsteen gave this one away, folks. He wrote it and gave it to Southside Johnny, who recorded and released a fine version , to be sure. Southside is more Otis, Bruce is more Sam Cooke.

The E Street arrangement is jazzy, dominated by piano, organ, cymbals, finger snaps, and the best part, the band singing on the choruses.

The Hollies - He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother [ Lyrics] HQ Audio

His voice is filled with a mixture of resignation and desperation, which crashes against a frantic, agitated, full-on rock performance. His voice carries exultation and relief, buoyed by ringing, heraldic guitar chords. Yes, the synthesizer comes in eventually, but the guitar and vocals are righteous enough to overlook it. Anyway, the big, the big thing that these records had, you see, was that on it the audience was at least twice as loud as the band.

When it moves you! It ranks as high as it does for two reasons: the power of the actual song, and how it absolutely improves any concert set list. Springsteen openly admitted that he stole the title of this song from Roy Acuff, but he liberally borrowed other elements from country music as well: the melody, the organ riff, and the stark brutality of the story. After such an intense, emotional experience, the listener needs to breathe and recover. An unflinching portrait about hard choices, family ties, and our essential humanity. This one hits you right in the gut.

In , Springsteen offered an unexpected explanation : He used to drive by one of his childhood houses all the time, and when he started seeing a therapist, he asked why he was doing it.

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Something went wrong, and you keep going back to see if you can fix it. Plus, a decent guitar solo covers up the worst of the production garbage. Bruce spits out the words, while Nils Lofgren strums big, melodic chords. This one still comes out on tours when he wants to make a particular point, but nowhere near often enough.

This is the dark horse of the record, which is a pity. It sounds more modern, with an almost Gaelic atonal chanting of the first verse. Springsteen creates an entire world in less than five minutes. Buon viaggio, mio fratello. The drum roll is fast-paced until the entire band comes in on the midpoint, and then once again before they break for the guitar solo, so elegant and full of tension. I always appreciated the balance of its construction: In the second verse, Johnny walks out on Mary Lou; in the fourth verse, a man gets stood up at the altar, subverting expectations.

The Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy (He’s My Brother)

This River outtake is one of the great lost Springsteen songs. Bruce sings his own counterpoint coming out of the left channel.

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At the end, the song kicks into another instrumental refrain, with Weinberg driving the beat for a few seconds before a melody swings back for the true reprise. A deliberately overwrought song.

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Springsteen toggles convincingly between world-weary and strung-out before blasting unrestrained into the choruses. Federici backs all of this with solemn, churchlike chords, and the whole band comes in swinging.