In honor of Bruce Springsteen re-recording Tommy Tutone's "867-5309" as his own "Radio Nowhere" and to celebrate the release of his new album, the Pilot- and America-inspired (and hey, sounds like Nick Drake!), Magic, we here at List Of The Day offer five Bruce Springsteen soundalikes who we like just as much as the old Boss himself.
Meat Loaf: While Bruce was in court arguing with his old manager over the right to date and record with his new manager Mr. Jon Landau, Marvin Lee Aday, a man people accused of looking like a Meat Loaf, hired Bruce's drummer and pianist to record with him and Todd Rundgren and Yankee shortstop Phil Rizzuto an album that would take Born To Run and make it even more verbose, more over the top, more cinematic, more teen-drama, more longer and more better! My mom liked it.
John Cougar: With or without the Mellencamp, you have to admit John Cougar sure did a lot of the same moves as ol' Brucie. Bruce had Born In The U.S.A. so Coug had "R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A." He "borrowed" from the Bobby Fuller Four for his "Authority Song" and he liked the American farmer and little pink houses and, of course, there was that ditty about Jack and Diane, two kids who realized the thrill of living went bye-bye soon after their 16th birthday and all else was pain, misery and soul-crushing drudgery. Yahoo!
Iron City Houserockers: They came from Pittsburgh, where man would wake in the morning, go out in the cold pre-dawn air and stand around a metal can with fire coming out of it, hoping there might be work that day in one of the soul-deadening factories built to crush the lives and souls of those born in its shadow. Human misery might be unavoidable in Pittsburgh, but sometimes the night can save you and Springsteen-derived music can set your soul on fire and lead you to the promised land. If not, maybe you can trade your dreams for vouchers.
John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band: I remember when the movie Eddie And The Cruisers came out and "On The Dark Side" was on the radio everywhere and kids would argue endlessly over whether or not it was a Bruce Springsteen song. Even though the answer was, it's John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band, the fights would usually consist of someone jamming a wet lollipop into your hair, making any resolution other than pure satisfying violence anti-climatic.
The Hold Steady: Just when you thought it wouldn't ever be done again, out come these Minnesota to Brooklyn boys who take heartland rock, a mouthy singer and a fussy keyboard player right back to the era of Born To Run. Boys And Girls In America is a fine textbook case at what happens when years go by and nothing worthwhile comes to fill the void. You reach back into your history books--and be it garage, freaky folk, Joy Division tributes, or the good ol' Boss--and recreate anew. It's not like bands are breaking down the doors to recreate the "magic" of Human Touch or Lucky Town.
- Bruce Springsteen
- Tommy Tutone