Daily Archives: December 26, 2008

Bruce

The Facts are not in dispute:

“Wal-Mart will be the exclusive U.S. retailer for Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band’s “Greatest Hits,” which will arrive January 13, two weeks before the group’s new Columbia studio album, “Working on a Dream.”
The 12-track set omits material from Springsteen’s albums without the E Street Band to round up classics such as “Born to Run,” “Thunder Road,” “Born in the U.S.A.” and “Darkness on the Edge of Town.”
Both “Greatest Hits” and “Working on a Dream” will be in stores when Springsteen and company perform at the Super Bowl XLIII halftime show on February 1 in Tampa, Fla. Like last year’s “Magic,” the new album was produced by Brendan O’Brien.
Meanwhile, Springsteen made a surprise appearance Monday night at the fourth Hope Concert in Red Bank, N.J., which also featured Jon Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny. Springsteen performed “Run Run Rudolph” with Bon Jovi and then played “Merry Christmas Baby,” “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” “634-5789,” “Avenue” and “Having a Party” with the house band.
Here is the track list for “Greatest Hits”:
“Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)”
“Born To Run”
“Thunder Road”
“Darkness on the Edge of Town”
“Badlands”
“Hungry Heart”
“Glory Days”
“Dancing in the Dark”
“Born in the U.S.A.”
“The Rising”
“Lonesome Day”
“Radio Nowhere”

The spin, however, is a matter of considerable contention.

“Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949)[1], nicknamed The Boss, is an American songwriter, singer and musician. He has recorded and toured with the E Street Band. Springsteen is widely known for his brand of heartland rock infused with pop hooks, poetic lyrics, and Americana sentiments centered around his native New Jersey.
Springsteen’s recordings have tended to alternate between commercially accessible rock albums and somber folk-oriented works. Much of his status stems from the concerts and marathon shows in which he and the E Street Band present intense ballads, rousing anthems, and party rock and roll songs, amongst which he intersperses whimsical or deeply emotional stories.
His most famous albums, Born to Run and Born in the U.S.A., epitomize his penchant for finding grandeur in the struggles of daily life. He has gradually become identified with progressive politics. He is also noted for his support of various relief and rebuilding efforts in New Jersey and elsewhere, and for his response to the September 11, 2001, attacks, on which his album The Rising reflects.
He has earned numerous awards for his work, including eighteen Grammy Awards and an Academy Award, and continues to have a strong global fan base. He has sold over 65 million albums in the U.S, and 120 million worldwide”

Given the John Hammond Seal of Approval (as the old man was lurching off into that good night from which none return), Springsteen offered himself up as a newer, younger model of the Electric Dylan. Of course as Todd Haynes reminds us that manifestation of Zimmerman took a considerable time to win critical and public acceptance. Springsteen had no such trouble — unprecedentedly making the covers of both Time and Newsweek in the same week. That in and of itself should have signalled what a hollow reprehensible phony he is, but a man who shall remain nameless — Eric Alterman — continues to hold this piece of puffed-up “common man” schtick in in very high esteem. Too tired for camp, Spingsteen has been coasting along on cliche for some time now. Yet the notion that he is the singing spokesman for “Progressive Politics” has remained.

Perhaps scales will now fall from the eyes of those who should have known better — one hopes against hope. Don’t they use the internet? Aren’t they aware of sites like THIS?

“In Spring 2005, Wal-Mart Watch began a nationwide public education campaign to challenge the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, to become a better employer, neighbor, and corporate citizen.
Wal-Mart Watch aggressively tells a new, more truthful Wal-Mart story. We bridge the gap between ordinary citizens and community organizations concerned about Wal-Mart’s unchecked growth and negative impact on our society. We challenge Wal-Mart to embrace its moral responsibility as the nation’s biggest and most important corporation.
Our aim is real change—transparent and lasting—to benefit Wal-Mart communities. To date, we have made remarkable progress in getting Wal-Mart to respond to a wide array of concerns about its business practices. Wal-Mart has acknowledged the harm it causes by providing poor health benefits that force its employees to seek taxpayer-supported public assistance. It has taken some promising first steps on a long road toward creating a more environment-friendly business. We are hopeful the company is serious when it acknowledges that change is necessary, and we will continue to push Wal-Mart forward.
As our nation’s largest employer and most successful company, Wal-Mart is most certainly an American institution. Wal-Mart occupies a unique position in our world by virtue of its size, reach and responsibility for the livelihoods of millions of workers and the needs of billions of consumers. And with such overwhelming influence come certain moral responsibilities.
In 2006 we launched A Handshake with Sam, seven moral principles that reflect sound business practices and responsible corporate behavior in the twenty-first century. Our mission is to persuade Wal-Mart to assume its leadership role as America’s largest corporation and enact positive change. If Wal-Mart commits to these principles and assumes the moral responsibility we expect of our biggest and most important American corporation, it will have proven worthy of America’s admiration. “

And that’s putting it in the nicest possible way. HERE you’ll find the director of Xanadu cutting right to the chase.

But can any of us be really surprised? For as The Boss made clear some time back —

“Everybody’s got a secret Sonny
Something that they just can’t face
Some folks spend their whole lives trying to keep it
They carry it with them every step that they take
Till some day they just cut it loose
Cut it loose or let it drag ‘em down
Where no one asks any questions
Or looks too long in your face
In the darkness on the edge of town”

Were: the actual dollar amount Wal-Mart offered to be made known we’d learn precisely what Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen could face.

Sing us out, Slim!