Crappy Album Covers #68 — Bravely Crappy: The Record Covers of Bruce Springsteen

What I mean by the title of today’s blog is these covers were neither crappy to please an audience, nor were they crappy by way of poor judgement. They are here because it would appear that Springsteen would rather get out a crappy album cover if it meant it would help him get his artistic point across rather than just record whatever sells with the most attractive packaging. You have to respect that. They are not crappy for the wrong reasons, indeed they are crappy for exactly the right reasons. They are not negatively crappy. Oh, no my dear readers. They are positively crappy.

album-cover-crap-86_springsteen_1 This kind of cover would not be out of place on the cover of Sinclair Ross’s 1941 book “As for Me and My House”. Anyone having to endure a class on Canadian lit knows of the devil I speak. A story about a preacher’s wife, living on a bleak stretch of Saskatchewan prairie during the Dust Bowl days of the Great Depression. The book didn’t actually sell in its day. It was a bleak book, bleakly written, about bleak times and bleak relationships. But it has made the canon of Canadian Lit courses, and this cover with its stretch of dirt road across a seemingly endless flat plain reminds me of that.This was his sixth album, recorded with voice, guitar and harmonica, came out in between his two monster albums “The River” and “Born in the USA”. It peaked on Billboard at #3, and yielded 2 top-40 singles.
album-cover-crap-87_springsteen_2 This cover was chosen because it takes the name and rallying cry of folk legendĀ  PeterĀ  Seeger and pretty much puts it on a beer label.”Come to the Springsteen Bar, we have Seeger Stout on tap. You’ll love the way it gets you drunk!”But looking at this cover reminds me of how a lot — maybe most — of Springsteen’s biggest hits sound like beer commercials. Or given the weightiness of the mark Springsteen has left on Music, perhaps the Beer commercials are trying to sound like Springsteen.

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