Bruce Springsteen, Tunnel of Love

Tunnel of Love Bruce Springsteen

 

Bruce Springsteen’s long, illustrious career came equipped with myriad, easy comparisons to the long, illustrious career of Bob Dylan, but rarely with as much as ease as one could compare Tunnel of Love to Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks.  At the tail end of his marriage to actress Julianne Phillips, Tunnel is a rough, uncompromising recount of the fear, alienation, and uncertainty rampant in trying to keep any marriage going.  Caught between the rock of certain loneliness and the hard place of commitment, Springsteen wrote 12 of the strongest, most personal and tortured songs of his career, songs that, like the marriage itself, were hard fought, emotionally taxing, and unforgettable.  The triumph of Tunnel, which seems to run from one end of a relationship, pure necessity, to its tail, surrender, is its unforgettable title track that perfectly depicts the impossibility of getting a relationship right in a haunted house.  Bruce brings out those demons like his life depends on it, and let us all hope for a while that there was a way to figure it out.  His inevitable divorce and the album’s commercial underperformance are themselves indications of the importance of his experiment – sometimes marriages fail, and it doesn’t make the work any easier.

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