Song of the Day #4,938: ‘Glory Days’ – Bruce Springsteen

Last week I wrote about my five favorite albums from the year 1984, as part of my recurring Decades series. This week I’ll shift to five albums from that year that I know primarily through their singles. I can’t say I’m familiar enough with any of these albums to include them in my personal list of faves, but I know enough to separate them from the true unknowns to come.

It probably seems crazy that I’m including Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. among this group. After all, it’s by far his most popular album, 15X Platinum in the U.S. with sales north of 30 million worldwide.

But I somehow never managed to own it myself. I wasn’t buying albums in 1984 when it was huge, and when I started my Bruce Springsteen phase six or seven years later, the albums I fell for were Nebraska, Tunnel of Love and Born to Run. Even when I started dipping into the early material, I kind of left this one on the shelf.

I suppose I figured I knew it well enough through its singles — all seven were top ten hits. Certainly ‘Dancing in the Dark’ and ‘I’m On Fire’ number among my very favorite Springsteen songs.

I finally listened to the whole thing through and — shocker — it’s brilliant. While none of the deeper cuts have the impact of the songs I know well, they are all very much of a piece. This is a confident, muscular, melodic rock album with a point of view and a chip on its shoulder.

[Verse 1]
I had a friend was a big baseball player
Back in high school
He could throw that speedball by you
Make you look like a fool, boy
Saw him the other night at this roadside bar
I was walking in, he was walking out
We went back inside, sat down, had a few drinks
But all he kept talking about was

Glory days, well they’ll pass you by
Glory days, in the wink of a young girl’s eye
Glory days, glory days

[Verse 2]
Well, there’s a girl that lives up the block
Back in school, she could turn all the boys’ heads
Sometimes on a Friday, I’ll stop by and have a few drinks
After she put her kids to bed
Her and her husband, Bobby, well they split up
I guess it’s two years gone by now
We just sit around talking about the old times
She says when she feels like crying
She starts laughing, thinking ’bout

Glory days, well they’ll pass you by
Glory days, in the wink of a young girl’s eye
Glory days, glory days

[Verse 3]
I think I’m going down to the well tonight
I’m gonna drink till I get my fill
And I hope when I get old I don’t sit around thinking about it
But I probably will
Yeah, just sitting back, trying to recapture
A little of the glory, yeah
Well time slips away and leaves you with nothing, mister
But boring stories of

Glory days, well they’ll pass you by
Glory days, in the wink of a young girl’s eye
Glory days, glory days

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,938: ‘Glory Days’ – Bruce Springsteen

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I could have sworn you had done a deep dive series on Bruce Springsteen. Sounds like that should be put on your list.

    I kinda wish you had featured one of the tracks that wasn’t a hit single. Among those, my favorite (and arguably one of my favorites on the album overall) is the closing track “My Hometown.”

  2. Peg says:

    I love this album. It’s my go to when I’m on the treadmill so I am quite familiar with all the songs.

  3. Amy says:

    I, too, love this album and spent a good bit of time staring at its cover, internally debating whether he was honoring or disgracing the flag. It’s such a rich, sometimes subtle, sometimes overt, critique of America that it may have been the first contemporary album I’d heard that offered the chance to think while dancing. You featured what is probably my favorite song in the album. Without having yet played it this morning, I’m able to hear all the details of the track in my mind. I hadn’t realized just how familiar this album (or at least this song!) was until just now.

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