Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Hits

Bruce Springsteen Hits

Feature Photo: Ben Houdijk / Shutterstock.com

Our top 10 Bruce Springsteen hits article looks at the biggest hit singles Bruce Springsteen has released throughout his career. When Bruce Springsteen first arrived on the scene in the 1970s, he was definitely not known as a hit singles artist. In fact, Bruce Springsteen did not crack the top 10 throughout the entire decade of the 1970s. Of course, with so many musical artists throughout classic rock history like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and others, their work was not about hit singles but about the deep album tracks that changed the course of music.

Bruce Springsteen released four albums in the 1970s. Springsteen’s first abum Greetings from Asbury Park New Jersey was issued in 1973. The second album also released in 1973 was entitled The Wild Innocent and E Street Shuffle. His breakthrough album Born To Run was released in 1975. His fourth album Darkness on the Edge of Town was released in 1978. Both the Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town albums released singles such as “Born to Run,” and “Prove It All Night,” but none of them broke into the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Of course, most fans believe that the best music Bruce Springsteen ever released was issued on both of these albums. In my opinion, they are Bruce Springsteen’s best work.

In 1980, Bruce Springsteen released a two-record set called The River. The album would be fueled by his first top 10 hit of his career called “Hungry Heart.” It was a song that sounded nothing like Bruce Springsteen had ever released before. However, it would be another four years before Bruce Springsteen broke into the top 10 once again.

1975’s Born to Run album turned Bruce Springsteen into a major star. However, it was his 1984 release called Born In The USA that turned Springsteen into a household name around the entire world. The album’s success also earned some resentment from long-time Bruce Springsteen fans who didn’t like sharing the boss with people they thought weren’t along for the ride from the beginning. Half the songs on this Bruce Springsteen top 10 hits list are from the Born In The USA album. The album was so successful that Columbia Records released seven singles from the album. All seven singles broke into the top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Bruce Springsteen would break into the top 10 a few more times in his career in the 1980s and the early 1990s. His last single to break into the Billboard Hot 100 was the title track to his Working On A Dream album released in 2008. This top 10 Bruce Springsteen hits article is based on the US Billboard Hot 100 only. He’s had some songs that were bigger hits in other countries but we based this list just on his success in the United States on the Billboard Top 100. So here we go with Bruce Springsteen’s biggest hits.

This is not a top 10 Bruce Springsteen song list. It’s an article that presents the highest charting singles of his career. This is an objective presentation with factual information and subjective commentary. 

# 10 – Streets of Philadelphia

We open up our top 10 Bruce Springsteen Hits list with the haunting and somber song entitled “Streets of Philadelphia.” The song “Streets of Philadelphia” was released on the soundtrack to the motion picture Philadelphia. The film was released in 1994, ten years after Bruce Springsteen had become the world’s biggest star in 1984. This is not the same Bruce Springsteen from the Born In The U.S.A. era. This is a Bruce Springsteen who for the first time in his career was maybe a little lost. He had fired the E Street Band a couple of years before the release of “Streets of Philadelphia.” He had toured with a completely new band with the exception of Roy Bittan. The sound of this song was like nothing  Bruce Springsteen had ever released before.

The musicians in the E Street Band were his soulmates and confidants. We feel he may have realized that eventually because only a year later he had the E Street Band back together again recording new songs for his Greatest Hits package. The song “Streets of Philadelphia” was a top 10 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number nine. “Streets of Philadelphia” would become the last top ten hit of Bruce Springsteen’s career as of 2023. Who knows what lies ahead?

# 9 – Tunnel of Love

Continuing with our top 10 Bruce Springsteen Hits list we take a ride on the magnificent song entitled “Tunnel of Love.”  The song “Tunnel of Love” was released on the album also titled Tunnel of Love. The album was released in 1987. The Tunnel of Love album had become one of the most anticipated albums of the 1980s. After the bigger than life success of Born In The U.S.A. fans and critics could not wait to hear the follow-up. Of course, there was the triple CD live album that was released in 1985 that became an important release in helping the CD format take hold, but it was not a studio record.

Instead of repeating the same formula that turned the Born in the U.S.A. album into one of the biggest albums ever released, Bruce Springsteen pulled the reins back looking to shut down all the hype and delivered a very introspective record. The album was fueled by the concept of the tragedy of love. It’s the most personal album he has ever released. The album’s second single “Tunnel of Love” broke into the top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number nine.  It was the first single released from the album. “Tunnel of Love” was a massive hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number nine.

# 8 – War

While Tunnel Of Love presented fans with the long-awaited followup to Born In The U.S.A. fans were joyous to hear the news in 1985 that Bruce Springsteen was releasing his first official live album. Hardcore fans were hoping it would be a complete show from one of his past tours. Instead, Columbia released a live career perspective album that featured songs from all his tours including the most recent Born In The U.S.A. tour.

The lead single from the live album would feature a Bruce Springsteen cover of  Edwin Starr’s “War.” Composed by  Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong in 1969 in the middle of the Vietnam War, the song continued to showcase Bruce Springsteen’s developing political voice that many years later would cause a divide among his fans mirroring the great political divide in the nation in the current day.

“War”  was the first single released from the live album. The song was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number nine.  The single’s B-side featured the unreleased recording of  “Merry Christmas Baby,” written by John Dudley Moore and Lou Baxter.

# 7 – Cover Me

In the number seven position on our top 10 Bruce Springsteen Hits list is the song entitled “Cover Me.”  The song “Cover Me” was released on the album entitled Born In The U.S.A. “Cover Me” was the second single released from the album. The song was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number seven. “Cover Me” was originally written for Donna Summer. However, Springsteen’s manager Jon Landau was looking out for his boy and said no, no, no, you keep that one, or something like that. Good call Landau, “Cover Me,” turned out to be one of our favorite songs from the album and one of the record’s most straight-ahead rocking songs.

# 6 – My Hometown

As we move through this Bruce Springsteen Hits list, the commercial success of the Born In The U.S.A. album continues to become more clear. In the number six spot, we present the song “My Hometown.”  The power of the Born In The U.S.A. album is defined by songs like this that pretty much relate to anybody in the United States and the rest of the world. Everyone has their own hometown. It’s a brilliant lyric that is matched by chord changes and a melody that brings the song to life. It became a magical moment on the Born In The U.S.A. tour when he performed this song.

The single release also proved to be a huge gift for old-time Bruce Springsteen fans as the B-side contained the classic radio-only live version release of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” For the first time, fans could own the song in an official vinyl release. “My Hometown,” was the seventh and final single released from the album. The song was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number six.

# 5 – I’m on Fire

It’s almost all Born In The U.S.A. tracks the rest of the way, At the halfway point on our top 10 Bruce Springsteen Hits list is the song entitled “I’m on Fire.” This was one of the coolest songs on the record. It would also become one of the most covered songs from the Born In The U.S.A. album. Hands down, it is our favorite Bruce Springsteen video ever made because it was just fun watching him act. “I’m on Fire” was the fourth single released from the album. The song “I’m on Fire” was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number six. Like many of the Born In The U.S.A. singles it also hit number one in New Zealand.

# 4 – Glory Days

Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days,” has some of the greatest lyrical lines he has ever written. They are so basic yet so to the point. It’s amazing what a different songwriter he become since his Born to Run days. The guitar lick that drives the song has become a standard riff played at many sports games. The ending of the song where Bruce and Steven go back and forth vocally became a highlight at many Bruce Springsteen E Street Band concerts. To this day it’s one of his most performed songs. The song was released as the fifth single from the record and became the second most successful song of the Born In The U.S.A. album. “Glory Days” was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number five.

# 3 – Brilliant Disguise

Getting away from the Born In The U.S.A. album for a couple of songs, we now present one of the most highly anticipated singles of Bruce Springsteen’s career.  The third highest charting single of Bruce Springtseen’s career was the alluring track “Brilliant Disguise” The song “Brilliant Disguise” was released on the album entitled Tunnel Of Love. The album was released in 1987. Upon first release, fans were shocked at what they heard. This sounded nothing like the songs on Born In The U.S.A. album. “Brilliant Disguise” was fueled by a vocal line and performance reminiscent of the Drifters. It was a soulful song that served as a reminder that Bruce Springsteen was an artist determined to keep growing musically. The song “Brilliant Disguise” was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number five.

# 2 – Hungry Heart

We are getting closer to the highest-charting song Bruce Springsteen has ever released. In the number two spot on our top 10 Bruce Springsteen Hits list, we celebrate the song entitled “Hungry Heart.”  The song”Hungry Heart” was released on the album entitled The River. The album was released in 1980. So many fans including myself were stopped in our tracks the first time we heard this song. Was that really Bruce singing is what most people asked. It was easily one of the most enjoyable and surprising reactions I have ever had to hearing a new song. The magical moment was when Flo & Eddie appeared in the second verse. “Hungry Heart” was the first single released from the album. The song “Hungry Heart” was a hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number five. It was a turning point in Springsteen’s career as “Hungry Heart,” was his first single to break into the Billboard Top 10.

# 1 – Dancing in the Dark

We close out our top 10 Bruce Springsteen Hits list with the song entitled “Dancing in the Dark.” This one was a real shocker. It was the first song any of us heard from the Born In The U.S.A. album. “What was Bruce doing?” is what most of us said. Out came that video of Bruce all cleaned up in a white shirt pulling an unknown Courtney Cox out of the audience. What happened to the guy on the cover of Born To Run or Darkness on The Edge of Town? Well, someone knew what they were doing because “Dancing In The Dark,” became the highest charting single of Bruce Springsteen’s career.

The song “Dancing in the Dark” was a huge hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number two. Bruce could not get past the power of Prince’s single “Purple Rain,” which prevented Bruce from having the only number one of his career. Bruce would often curse out Prince in concert because of it, all in good fun.

While Bruce Springsteen never celebrated a number single on the Billboard Hot 100 in his own voice, he did actually get to that magical number when Manfred Mann hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded By The Light,” in 1976.

Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Hits article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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