The Essential Bruce Springsteen

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The Essential Bruce Springsteen
Greatest hits album by Bruce Springsteen
Released November 11, 2003
Recorded 1972–2002
Genre Rock, folk rock, heartland rock, roots rock[1]
Label Columbia/Legacy
Bruce Springsteen chronology
The Rising
(2002)
The Essential Bruce Springsteen
(2003)
Devils & Dust
(2005)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[1]
Pitchfork Media (8.6/10)[2]
Entertainment Weekly (A-)[3]
PopMatters (positive)[4]

The Essential Bruce Springsteen is a compilation album by Bruce Springsteen, released on 11 November 2003. The collection is part of a series of Essential sets released by Sony BMG (previously Sony Music Entertainment). It includes songs from various Springsteen albums and concerts up to the year 2003.

The third disc is a clearing-house for items that should have made it to his previous rarities collection, Tracks, but didn't. This includes previously unreleased cuts, B-sides, contributions to soundtracks and benefit albums, covers, and an alternate, "country-blues" acoustic version of "Countin' on a Miracle" from The Rising. The disc follows a roughly chronological sequence and basically divides into early-'80s material and mid-'90s material. The '80s material has the edge due to the variety and strength of the material: the rampaging rocker "From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)," a song Bruce gave to Dave Edmunds and has never released before now; the spare, tough "The Big Payback," a B-side; the searching "None but the Brave," cut during the Born in the U.S.A. sessions; the evocative "County Fair," cut after Nebraska; a cover of Jimmy Cliff's "Trapped," cut on the River tour; a wonderfully raucous live "Held Up Without a Gun," a variation on "You Can Look but You Better Not Touch" with topical lyrics previously released as a B-side. These are fantastic performances, and while there are also very good cuts of a more recent vintage -- such as the Joe Grushecky collaboration "Code of Silence," his title song from Tim Robbins' Dead Man Walking, and a fun version of "Viva Las Vegas" -- these '80s songs are the heart of the collection. It's an unexpected gift to have them officially released as a bonus disc to a hits collection, and for the hardcore, it's worth buying two discs of songs you already have just get these rarities. And it helps make The Essential Bruce Springsteen really live up to its title.

The album debuted on the Billboard 200 albums chart on November 29, 2003 at number 14, with sales of 90,000 copies. It spent 13 weeks on the chart. The album was awarded gold and platinum records on December 16, 2003 by the RIAA, and has sold 1,079,000 copies in the US as of August 2013.[5] The Essential Bruce Springsteen also reached #15 on the UK Albums Chart in 2013.

Critical reception[edit]

The album received general acclaim from fans and music critics, who appreciated its captivation of Springsteen's most recognizable hits throughout his career and called it "a better compilation album than Greatest Hits", which was released in 1995.[6][1]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks on discs 1 and 2 are in chronological order and usually the same sequence as their original albums.

All songs written and composed by Bruce Springsteen except as noted. 

Disc one
No. Title Original album Length
1. "Blinded by the Light"   Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ 5:05
2. "For You"   Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ 3:06
3. "Spirit in the Night"   Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ 5:00
4. "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)"   The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle 5:38
5. "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)"   The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle 7:04
6. "Thunder Road"   Born to Run 4:51
7. "Born to Run"   Born to Run 4:33
8. "Jungleland"   Born to Run 9:37
9. "Badlands"   Darkness on the Edge of Town 4:05
10. "Darkness on the Edge of Town"   Darkness on the Edge of Town 4:31
11. "The Promised Land"   Darkness on the Edge of Town 4:31
12. "The River"   The River 5:01
13. "Hungry Heart"   The River 3:21
14. "Nebraska"   Nebraska 4:30
15. "Atlantic City"   Nebraska 3:57
Total length:
1:15:01
Disc two
No. Title Original album Length
1. "Born in the U.S.A."   Born in the U.S.A. 4:42
2. "Glory Days"   Born in the U.S.A. 4:17
3. "Dancing in the Dark"   Born in the U.S.A. 4:04
4. "Tunnel of Love"   Tunnel of Love 5:13
5. "Brilliant Disguise"   Tunnel of Love 4:16
6. "Human Touch"   Human Touch 6:31
7. "Living Proof"   Lucky Town 4:48
8. "Lucky Town"   Lucky Town 3:29
9. "Streets of Philadelphia"   Philadelphia soundtrack and Greatest Hits 3:18
10. "The Ghost of Tom Joad"   The Ghost of Tom Joad 4:24
11. "The Rising"   The Rising 4:50
12. "My City of Ruins"   The Rising 5:01
13. "Lonesome Day"   The Rising 4:07
14. "American Skin (41 Shots)" (Live, Madison Square Garden, July 1, 2000) Live in New York City 7:53
15. "Land of Hope and Dreams" (Live, Madison Square Garden, July 1, 2000) Live in New York City 9:22
Total length:
1:16:08

Disc three - limited edition bonus disc

1 From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come) 2:40   
2 Big Payback, The 1:57   
3 Held Up Without a Gun - live  1:18   
4 Trapped - live  5:08   
5 None But the Brave 5:35   
6 Missing  5:06   
7 Lift Me Up 5:15   
8 Viva Las Vegas  3:13   
9 County Fair 4:49   
10 Code of Silence - live 4:31   
11 Dead Man Walkin' 2:42   
12 Countin' on a Miracle - live 7:21 


Charts[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak
position
Australian Top 50 Albums[7] 43
Austrian Top 75 Albums[8] 12
Belgium (Flanders) 100 Albums[9] 19
Finnish Top 50 Albums[10] 14
French Compilations[11] 21
Irish Top 75 Albums[12] 5
Italian Top 20 Albums[13] 8
Netherlands Top 100 Albums[14] 22
Norwegian Top 40 Albums[15] 4
Portuguese Top 30 Albums[16] 13
Swedish Top 60 Albums[17] 2
Swiss Top 100 Albums[18] 35
UK Albums Chart[19] 28
US Billboard 200[20] 14
Chart (2004) Peak
position
Belgium (Wallonia) 100 Albums[21] 84
Danish Top 40 Albums[22] 17
Chart (2008) Peak
position
Spanish Top 100 Albums[23] 77
Chart (2009) Peak
position
US Catalog Albums[20] 13
Chart (2013) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[24] 15

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Norway (IFPI Norway)[25] Platinum 40,000*
Sweden (GLF)[26] Gold 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[27] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[28] Platinum 1,079,000[5]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Essential Bruce Springsteen at AllMusic
  2. ^ Richardson, Mark (6 January 2004). "Bruce Springsteen - The Essential Bruce Springsteen". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2004-01-06. 
  3. ^ Browne, David (21 November 2003). "Bruce Springsteen - The Essential Bruce Springsteen". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2003-11-21. 
  4. ^ Kalet, Hank (13 January 2003). "Bruce Springsteen : The Essential Bruce Springsteen". PopMatters. Retrieved 2003-01-13. 
  5. ^ a b Paul Grein (August 7, 2013). "Week Ending Aug. 4, 2013. Albums: Robin Thicke, Call Katy Perry". Yahoo Chart Watch. 
  6. ^ Richardson, Mark (6 January 2004). "Bruce Springsteen - The Essential Bruce Springsteen". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2004-01-06. 
  7. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Australian Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Austrian Charts (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Ultratop (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Finnish Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Les "Charts Runs" de chaque Album Classé" (PHP). InfoDisc (in French).  Search for "Bruce SPRINGSTEEN" on the drop-down menu to see results.
  12. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 13 November 2003" (JSP). GfK Chart-Track. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Italian Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Dutch Charts (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Norwegian Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Portuguese Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Swedish Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Swiss Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Chart Archive: Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive – 22nd November 2003". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  20. ^ a b "The Essential Bruce Springsteen – Bruce Springsteen". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Ultratop (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Danish Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – The Essential (Album)" (ASP). Spanish Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 21, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Chart Archive: Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive – 22nd June 2013". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 16, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Norwegian album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – The Essential" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. 
  26. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2003" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  27. ^ "British album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – The Essential Bruce Springsteen". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 14, 2013.  Enter The Essential Bruce Springsteen in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  28. ^ "American album certifications – Springsteen, Bruce – The Essential Bruce Springsteen". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]