Album Reviews of the 80s

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Bruce Springsteen, "The River" / 1980 Review by: Matt Benzing
A failed masterpiece. This double album contains some of the best (Point Blank, The River, Independence Day, Cadillac Ranch) and the worst (Crush on You, Out in the Street, I'm a Rocker) material that Bruce ever released. Almost released in '79 as a single album called the 'The Ties That Bind', this record just kept evolving until it developed into the facinating but uneven collection that eventually ended up on the market. Much of this record looks forward to both the bleak arrangements of 82's 'Nebraska' and the brashness of 84's 'Born in the USA'. The 1999 outtakes release 'Tracks' features a whole CDs worth of outtakes from this album, including a New Wave rave-up called 'Living on the Edge of the World' that would have been a huge hit had it been released in the early eighties. These outtakes ahow that there were any number of ways that this album could have gone. The following 80-81 tour was perhaps the high point of Springsteen's career; he got bigger (both in terms of muscles and sales) but he never got better.

8 out of 10.

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