The chatter is picking up regarding a new Bruce and the E Street album in the works. Some unconfirmed song names: “Dead Ringers” (possibly the title track), “Sabres, Steel, and Spades”, and “Radio Nowhere.” Possible release date is October, with a tour to follow. If anyone has any other info, feel free to post in the comments.
Tonight I want to talk about Tunnel of Love, which was Bruce’s follow up to his 1984 mega-smash Born in the U.S.A. It undoubtedly surprised the lion’s share of fans he had picked up with U.S.A. With 1987’s Tunnel of Love, Bruce focused in on all the fears, doubts, and challenges of relationships. At the time, he was married to model / actress Julianne Phillips, and it wasn’t hard to connect the dots that Bruce was singing about his own current struggles in his marriage. On the Tunnel of Love tour, the relationship deepened between Bruce and his backup singer, Patti Scialfa. In 1990, his divorce with Phillips was final, and he soon married Jersey girl Patti.
The songs on the album that hit me hardest are the last five, from “Two Faces” to “Valentine’s Day”. It’s a bleak finale to the album, but so perfect in its execution. Each song weaves into the next, with a common theme of – well – doubt….
Two Faces: At night I get down on my knees and pray / Our love will make that other man go away/ But he’ll never say goodbye /Two faces have I
Brilliant Disguise: Tonight our bed is cold / I’m lost in the darkness of our love / God have mercy on the man / Who doubts what he’s sure of – Zowie, that line gives me goose bumps every time.
One Step Up: There’s a girl across the bar / I get the message she’s sendin’/ Mmm she ain’t lookin’ to married / And me well honey I’m pretending
When You’re Alone: Now it ain’t hard feelings or nothin’ sugar / That ain’t what’s got me singing this song / It’s just nobody knows baby where love goes / But when it goes it’s gone gone
Valentine’s Day: Is it the cry of the river / With the moonlight shining through / That ain’t what scares me baby / What scares me is losing you
Music carries me through the good times and the bad. This album has been my companion through those tougher times in relationships over the years. I’m not one to wallow in my misery, but: 1 broken heart + Tunnel of Love = quality time spent. Therapy, really.
This is Bruce’s album of the heart. This is Bruce affirming to himself, and to the listener, that this life and love thing, it ain’t easy. It takes work. Lucky for me and Bruce, we both find ourselves in great places these days. God willing, I won’t have to place myself into these songs again! But I always come back to this album, and I always will.
- Ain’t Got You
- Tougher Than the Rest (YouTube video)
- All That Heaven Will Allow
- Spare Parts
- Cautious Man
- Walk Like a Man
- Tunnel of Love (YouTube video)
- Two Faces
- Brilliant Disguise (YouTube video)
- One Step Up (YouTube video)
- When You’re Alone
- Valentine’s Day
BUY Tunnel of Love.