Tunnel of Love (album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Tunnel of love.
Tunnel of Love
Studio album by Bruce Springsteen
Released October 6, 1987 (U.S.)
Recorded January - July 1987
Genre Pop, pop rock
Length 46:25
Label Columbia
Producer Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band chronology
Tunnel of Love
Chimes of Freedom (EP)
Singles from Tunnel of Love
  1. "Brilliant Disguise"
    Released: October 3, 1987
  2. "Tunnel of Love"
    Released: October 17, 1987
  3. "One Step Up"
    Released: February 27, 1988
  4. "Tougher Than the Rest"
    Released: June 1988
  5. "Spare Parts"
    Released: October 1988

Tunnel of Love is the eighth studio album by Bruce Springsteen. The album was originally released on October 9, 1987. Although members of the E Street Band were used occasionally on the album, Springsteen recorded most of the parts himself, often with drum machines and synthesizers. Although the album's liner notes list the E Street Band members under that name, Shore Fire Media, Springsteen's public relations firm, does not count it as an E Street Band album[1] and 2002's The Rising was advertised as "his first studio album with the E Street Band since 'Born in the USA'".

In 1989, the album was ranked #25 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Best Albums of the Eighties"[2] while in 2003, the same magazine ranked it at #467 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. "Brilliant Disguise", "Tunnel of Love", "One Step Up", "Tougher Than the Rest", and "Spare Parts" were all released as singles.


The album is one of Springsteen's least performed set of songs. The New York Times' Jon Pareles wrote that Tunnel of Love "turned inward, pondering love gone wrong. His first marriage, to the actress Julianne Phillips, fell apart; he also decided to part ways with the E Street Band."[3] According to Pareles, most of the album's songs are pop rock paeans or midtempo ballads.[4] "Brilliant Disguise" has been called "a heart wrenching song about never being really able to know someone,"[5] and "a song about the doubts and struggles of married life."[6]

On the B-sides of vinyl and cassette singles, outtakes like "Lucky Man", "Two for the Road" and a vintage 1979 track, "Roulette" were included. On the mini-album that accompanied the 1988 tour, Springsteen included album cut "Tougher Than The Rest", but included another River outtake, "Be True" a rearranged, acoustic "Born To Run", and the Bob Dylan cover, "Chimes of Freedom".

Commercially the album went triple platinum in the US, with "Brilliant Disguise" being one of his biggest hit singles, peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Tunnel of Love" also making the Top 10, reaching #9, and "One Step Up" just falling short.

The 1988 Springsteen and E Street Band Tunnel of Love Express tour would showcase the album's songs, sometimes in arrangements courtesy of The Miami Horns.[7]

Music videos[edit]

Irish filmmaker Meiert Avis directed the music videos for "Brilliant Disguise", "One Step Up", "Tougher Than the Rest", and "Tunnel of Love". The videos were shot on locations in New Jersey, including Asbury Park. The intensely personal "Brilliant Disguise" video broke new ground on MTV, being a single shot without edits. The video was nominated for four MTV Awards, including Video of the Year and, paradoxically, Best Editing.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[8]
Chicago Tribune 4/4 stars[9]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[10]
MusicHound Rock 4/5[11]
Q 4/5 stars[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars[13]
The Village Voice A[14]

In a contemporary review for Playboy, music critic Robert Christgau wrote that, apart from the humorous opening track and the clichéd track that follows, Tunnel of Love is "convincing, original stuff—it zeroes in on fear of commitment as a pathology and battles it."[15] He particularly praised the album's introspective second half in his consumer guide for The Village Voice, saying that it showed Springsteen's decency and ability for self-examination.[16] Rolling Stone magazine's Steve Pond said that Tunnel of Love is "a varied, modestly scaled, modern-sounding pop album" rather than a rock and roll album and felt that its unromantic tales of love are similar to Springsteen's socially conscious work about broken promises and dreams in America:

On Tunnel of Love, Springsteen is writing about the promises people make to each other and the way they renege on those promises, about the romantic dreams we're brought up with and the internal demons that stifle those dreams. The battleground has moved from the streets to the sheets, but the battle hasn't changed significantly.[17]

In The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll, Tunnel of Love finished second in the voting for the year's best album.[18] Christgau, the poll's creator, named it the third best album of the year in his own list.[19] In 1989, the album was ranked #25 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Best Albums of the Eighties"[2] while in 2003, the same magazine ranked it at #467 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1998, Q magazine readers voted Tunnel of Love the 91st greatest album of all time.[citation needed]

Writing for America Magazine, Catholic priest and sociologist Andrew Greeley argued that this album exemplifies the American Catholic imagination.[20] In a 2014 article for Grantland, Steven Hyden said Tunnel of Love remained Springsteen's "most underrated record" among fans but in his own opinion Springsteen's best lyrically. "You really shouldn’t be allowed to hear this record until you’ve been married for a few years", Hyden wrote, "though at that point it might strike a little too close to home. If Ingmar Bergman had been born in Freehold and cut his artistic teeth at the Stone Pony, he would’ve made this record in place of Scenes From a Marriage. Totally ’80s production aside ... this album represents the heaviest blues of Springsteen’s career. The songs are about men and women who flirt, have sex, fall in love, get married, get bored, have sex with other people, and wind up stuck in the middle of that dark night from the second disc of The River."[21]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Bruce Springsteen.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Ain't Got You" 2:11
2. "Tougher Than the Rest" 4:35
3. "All That Heaven Will Allow" 2:39
4. "Spare Parts" 3:44
5. "Cautious Man" 3:58
6. "Walk Like a Man" 3:45
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Tunnel of Love" 5:12
2. "Two Faces" 3:03
3. "Brilliant Disguise" 4:17
4. "One Step Up" 4:22
5. "When You're Alone" 3:24
6. "Valentine's Day" 5:10

Unreleased outtakes[edit]

With over 80 songs said to have been recorded for the previous album, 19 songs are known to have been recorded for Tunnel of Love with twelve making the album's final cut while "Lucky Man" and "Two For the Road" were released as b sides and later on the Tracks along with other outtakes such as "The Honeymooners", "The Wish" and "When You Need Me". "Part Man, Part Monkey" was also recorded during these sessions and played live on the Tunnel of Love Express Tour although that version remains unreleased and it would be re-recorded during future album sessions and eventually released. "Walking Through Midnight" is the only other unreleased song which was co-written by Southside Johnny who recorded the song for his own album, 1988's Slow Dance.

  • Part Man, Part Monkey
  • Walking Through Midnight




Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[41] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[42] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[43] Gold 40,716[43]
France (SNEP)[44] 2× Gold 201,700[45]
Germany (BVMI)[46] Gold 250,000^
Japan (Oricon Charts) 128,400[28]
Netherlands (NVPI)[47] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[48] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Sweden (GLF)[49] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[50] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[51] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^
Worldwide 4,790,816

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Bruce Springsteen's 'The Rising' Set for July 30 release on Columbia Records". Shore Fire Media. 2002-06-03. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  2. ^ a b "100 BEST ALBUMS OF THE EIGHTIES". Rolling Stone. 
  3. ^ Holden, Stephen (8 August 1992). "POP MUSIC; When the Boss Fell to Earth, He Hit Paradise". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  4. ^ Pareles, Jon (February 27, 1988). "Pop: Springsteen Starts First Tour in 2 Years". The New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ Pareles, Jon (14 July 2002). "MUSIC; His Kind of Heroes, His Kind of Songs". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  6. ^ Cavicchi, Daniel (1998). Tramps Like Us: Music and Meaning Among Springsteen Fans. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, via Google Books limited preview. p. 32. ISBN 0-19-511833-2. 
  7. ^ "Brucebase - 1988". brucebase.wikispaces.com. 
  8. ^ Allmusic review
  9. ^ Kot, Greg (August 23, 1992). "The Recorded History of Springsteen". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  10. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Bruce Springsteen". Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0857125958. 
  11. ^ Graff, Gary (1996). "Bruce Springsteen". In Graff, Gary. MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Detroit: Visible Ink Press. ISBN 0787610372. 
  12. ^ Q. London: 124. March 2000.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Bruce Springsteen". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). pp. 771–2. ISBN 0743201698. 
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (September 22, 1975). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  15. ^ Christgau, Robert (February 1988). "Playboy Music". Playboy. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert (December 1, 1987). "Christgau's Consumer". The Village Voice. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  17. ^ Rolling Stone review
  18. ^ "The 1987 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. March 1, 1988. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  19. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 1, 1988). "Pazz & Jop 1987: Dean's List". The Village Voice. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  20. ^ Andrew Greeley on the Catholic Imagination of Bruce Springsteen | America Magazine
  21. ^ Hyden, Steven (January 7, 2014). "Overrated, Underrated, or Properly Rated: Bruce Springsteen". Grantland. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 
  22. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  23. ^ "austriancharts.at Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  24. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2012-04-06
  25. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  26. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2012-04-06. Note: user must select 'Bruce SPRINGSTEEN' from drop-down
  27. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1987" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  28. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  29. ^ "charts.org.nz Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  30. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  31. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  32. ^ "swedishcharts.com Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  33. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love - hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  34. ^ "Chart Stats: Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  35. ^ "allmusic ((( Tunnel of Love > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  36. ^ "Album Search: Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  37. ^ "Top 100 Albums of '87". RPM. 1987-12-26. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  38. ^ a b "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1987" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  39. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1987 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  40. ^ "Hitparade.ch - Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1988" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-01-11. 
  41. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2017 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  42. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love". Music Canada. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  43. ^ a b "Bruce Springsteen" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  44. ^ "French album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and click OK
  45. ^ "Les Albums Double Or". infodisc.fr (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  46. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Bruce Springsteen; 'Tunnel of Love')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  47. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 2011-10-06. 
  48. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1979-1990". Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392. 
  49. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  50. ^ "British album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-04-06.  Enter Tunnel of Love 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
  51. ^ "American album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-04-04.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]