Sunday, October 07, 2012
Tunnel of Love at 25
It would be a mistake to interpret this obvious, and likely mindful, oversight as an indication that the album is lacking in merit. I wouldn't go so far as to say that "Tunnel of Love" is Springsteen's best album, or an album that I'd take to a desert island before "Born to Run," "Darkness on the Edge of Town," or "Born in the U.S.A." - but I would say that it is a genuinely great album, and one that can withstand a song-by-song comparison with anything Bruce has done in his career, while standing its own.
"Tunnel of Love" is and album that people might think more suited to Jackson Browne - one that examines relationships between men and women; one that delves into matters of the heart. At the time the album was released, Bruce was still in his first marriage - and it's pretty clear from the tone of several of the album's songs how it was going. Given that, it's probably not surprising that the songs from "Tunnel of Love" have never quite fit into the story that Bruce has wanted to tell in the years since its release.
But make no bones about it - there are plenty of great songs on "Tunnel of Love," from the title track to "Spare Parts," "Brilliant Disguise," "One Step Up," and "Valentine's Day." Bruce knew exactly what he was aiming for with "Tunnel of Love," and he achieved it - which is something you can't say about even some of his best records.
So here's a salute to a great one, on the occasion of its 25th birthday.