Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Love Songs

Bruce Springsteen Love Songs

Photo: Takahiro Kyono from Tokyo, Japan, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Love Songs list looks at the music of Bruce Springsteen and attempts to pick out ten love songs that were actually sweet sounding heartfelt love songs with no alternate meanings or political ramifications. Just simple love songs meant in tribute as a gesture of love. Bruce Springsteen has turned many corners in his career as a songwriter. Any songwriter with a conscience and a soul is going to hopefully grow as a songwriter as they age and become more knowledgeable and hopefully more passionate about the world around them. Of course they could also grow more bitter and skeptical as well. How could they not ? That’s life! as Frank Sinatra once sang.

Many of the greatest Bruce Springsteen love songs came early on in his career when most of his music was filled with stories of teenage angsts escape and romance. As he became an adult and went through a bad marriage many of the love songs full of hope turned dark. Of course, Bruce Springsteen rebounded with his wife Patty and life went one. However Bruce Springsteen’s music has always been written about the everyday man and woman so there is a lot to pull from. We are going to try and keep this one positive and choose the songs that are really dedicated love songs. This one should be fun.

# 10 – I Wanna Marry You

We open up our list with this one simply because it’s the first one that came to mind to us when we came up with the idea for a Bruce Springsteen Love songs list. The song “I Wanna Marry You,” was a surprise at first to many Bruce Springsteen fans when it was first released because of the song’s simplicity. Yet, it’s the song’s effortless lyrics that help make the song feel so genuine. There is no more powerful gesture of romantic love than there is in asking a person for their hand in marriage. It’s as straightforward of a love song as it gets. Talk about a perfect wedding song. The song was released on the album entitled The River.

# 9 – Be True

Well now that we are married what comes next? Oh yeah how about being faithful and that goes for the woman too!!!  We thought this one would be a great follow up to “I Wanna Marry You.” Too bad too many people don’t follow up on their vows. “Be True,” is another classic River era song. A fantastic rare track (not to Bruce fans) and one that was left off the album and released as a B-side. Not just one of our favorite Bruce Springsteen Love Songs, but one of our all time favorite Bruce songs in general.

# 8 – Spanish Eyes

This was one of the most popular Bruce Springsteen bootleg songs of all time and then the man finally released it on the album The Promise. Thank you Bruce, but man it would have been cool to be listening to this one in a crisp recorded version when I was 17 instead of 37. But we will take it. Come on listen to how gorgeous and romantic this song is in its flamingo groove. From the opening piano notes all the way through, this is just a spellbinding song.

# 7 –  This Life

In the number seven position on our Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Love Songs list is the captivating song entitled “This Life.” I get sort of all choked up listening to this one. This is such a ravishing celebratory love song that is obviously written for Patti, but one that millions of other happily married couples could relate too. That’s always been the magic of Springsteen. The 1960s harmonies at the song’s tribute ending may very well be one of the most wonderful musical sections Bruce has ever laid out on vinyl. The song “This Life,” was released in 2009 on the album entitled Working On A Dream.

# 6 –  All The Way Home

This is a very interesting love song written by Bruce Springsteen because in many ways it’s a song  based on the promise of love or just the sheer hope of love, or maybe even the concept of begging for love. It’s an uptempo tune that doesn’t sound like a love song, but its lyrics are tender and genuine. The man is trying to pick up a girl in a bar and realizes that his chances are getting better as there are less people left. It’s humorous, it’s fun and it’s pretty real. We have all been through it. Searching for love does qualify as a love song…especially late at night. “All The Way Home,” was released in 2006 on the album Devils And Dust.

# 5 -Back In Your Arms Again

Smack in the center of  our Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Love Songs list is the much loved song entitled “Back In Your Arms Again.” This one is in many ways similar to the track “Drive All Night,” in tempo and spirit. It’s a slow drawn out almost spiritual gospel like groove where Bruce just lays his heart out there. It’s one of his most passionate vocal performances on record.

# 4 – Drive All Night

At the number four spot on our Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Love Songs list we present the song entitled “Drive All Night.” Bruce Springsteen fans who caught his Darkness tour in 1978 first heard snippets of this song in the coda to “Backstreets,” that many people labeled as “Sad Eyes,” which is not to be confused with the song from Tracks. Bruce seemed to turn the live extended Backstreets coda into an entire brand new song for The River album we all came to know as “Drive All Night.” Is there nothing more heartfelt than a man telling a woman that he would drive all night for her just to buy her some shoes.

# 3 – If I Should Fall Behind

As we work our way to the top of our Bruce Springsteen Love Songs list we present one of his most loved songs of his career. Now this my friends is a love song for the ages. It’s probably the closest Bruce Springsteen has ever come to writing a standard. This one should be in the Real Book. It’s one of those songs that would sound great being sung from any variety of artists from a Paul Anka to a Carrie Underwood to a Sammy Hagar to a Tony Bennett. It’s just that beautiful of a song. When the E Street Band reunited in 1999, “If I Should Fall Behind,” became one of the highlights of the tour as Bruce, Patti, Clarence, Stevie and Nils all traded verses on the song. It was stunning.

# 2 – Thunder Road

Now talk about a standard. This may not be a standard in the traditional sense of an “Autumn Leaves,” or a “As Time Goes By,” but it’s a standard in the world of Bruce Springsteen. In fact it’s really the standard that every Bruce Springsteen song released since “Thunder Road,” tries to measure up to. Overall, we believe “Thunder Road,” is Bruce Springsteen’s greatest song he has ever released. It’s definitely a love song as its has his greatest line he ever composed in “You Ain’t A Beauty but hey you’re alright, oh and that’s alright with me.” Yet, “Thunder Road,” was so much more than a love song. It was an epic adventure filled with a cinematic sense that had never been captured on vinyl before. The entire album was like that, but “Thunder Road” was the opener. It was the song that set the wheels in motion, as we all wanted to jump in that car and take that ride with Bruce and Mary. And yes, we all did……

# 1 – 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

Most of us who discovered Bruce in the 1970s did so via the Born To Run album. As soon as we fell in love with that record we reached out and brought his first two albums. While there were so many great songs on his first two albums, the ballad that really stood out entitled 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) was released on the The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle album  This was just one of those songs that placed you right on the boardwalk on a warm summer evening. It was a song that was both romantic and hopeful. A song of a man setting his sights on his future while he cuddles with his girl. Does she leave the boardwalk with him, or is it goodbye? It very much seems like the latter. He asks Sandy to love him that night for he may never see her again, but you know they will never forget each other. There is fireworks in the background, the ferris wheel is spinning, Madam Marie is working the boardwalk. One cannot set a scene any better than Bruce does in this extraordinary musical piece.

Top 10 Bruce Springsteen Love Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021

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