Bruce Springsteen’s albums from worst to best

Springsteen Portrait 2012 V2

To commemorate 30 years since the release of Born In The USA, the UK’s Telegraph music critic, author and pundit, Neil McCormick has pulled together a list of Bruce Springsteen’s albums, ranking them all from worst to best.

As McCormick acknowledges in his article, all things Springsteen are relative: The Boss’ worst are often better than others’ best. As declared devotees of Springsteen’s music here at Skin Back Alley, we’d take exception with some of McCormick’s ordering (Wrecking Ball at No.3? Really?!) but would definitely agree with his No.1 choice.

As the Telegraph’s intro editorial notes about Born In The USA: “…its mix of anthemic socio-political rock and songs of personal struggle, bolstered with snappy pop melodies and dynamic production, helped to make it the biggest selling album in the world in the year of its release. With more than 30 million satisfied customers to date, it remains the biggest selling of his long career. But is it really his best ever?”

McCormick clearly doesn’t think so. He ranks all 18 of the New Jersey-ites albums as follows:

18: Human Touch (1992)
17: High Hopes (2014)
16: Lucky Town (1992)
15: Working On A Dream (2009)
14: Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ (1973)
13: Devils & Dust (2005)
12: Magic (2007)
11: We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006)
10: The Ghost Of Tom Joad (1995)
09: The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle (1973)
08: Tunnel Of Love (1987)
07: The River (1980)
06: Nebraska (1982)
05: The Rising (2002)
04: Born In the USA (1984)
03: Wrecking Ball (2012)
02: Born To Run (1975)
01: Darkness On The Edge Of Town (1978)

Says McCormick of his choice of Darkness On The Edge Of Town as The Boss’ best work: “It’s a kind of concept album of American failure, life in the “Badlands”, where “Adam Raised A Cain”, where wasted youth are “Racing In The Streets”, staging failed escapes in search of “Something In The Night”… It is his first great work of maturity. Everything that Springsteen has achieved since is signposted on this masterful collection.”

Read McCormick’s thoughts on each and every album here. What do you think of his rankings? Comment below or send us an e-mail and let us know!

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