My Top 1000 Songs #284: Atlantic City
The serious Bruce Springsteen fans seem to have great love for 1982's stripped down, unplugged Nebraska. Me? Not so much. I like Bruce at his booming, arena-ready best--Born To Run, Darkness On The Edge Of Town, parts of The River. Sure, I appreciate the artistry of his more folk-oriented work, but it just doesn't click for me.
Except for "Atlantic City." That one's always blown me away for some reason. It's a little more melodic than much of the record, and it's got that amazing chorus, a big wall-of-sound sheet of howling, soulful anguish cloaked in reverb making it downright haunting. "Everything dies, baby, that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies some day comes back."
But I think part of my love for the song comes from a perfect cover. Much like we talked about a couple days ago, Dylan crafting a blueprint of a great song just waiting for someone (or someones) to give it the magic touch, this time we've got Austin, Texas jangle-pop band The Reivers turning "Atlantic City" into the riveting country rocker just hinted at on Nebraska. Contributing to a long-out-of-print 1986 Springsteen tribute album, vocalists John Croslin and Kim Longacre take that understated but haunting chorus and elevate it to true majesty (in this case giving me newfound appreciation for the original as well).The Reivers' cover:Bruce delivering a freakin' astounding full-band live version in 2018: