Bruce Springsteen – ‘Wrecking Ball’: The Bonus Tracks

March 12, 2012

Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball - Bonus Tracks

By Kenneth E. Oquist

Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking BallThe bonus tracks from Bruce Springsteen’s new release Wrecking Ball are intriguing. If you are bonus track cuckoo, such as I am, you will consider these tracks essential. Artists such as Alan Parsons Project, Electric Light Orchestra, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and in Elton John’s case b-side mania, have made available to their fans a growing list of bonus material to compliment their original album releases. We must not forget alternate versions and outtakes as well. Box sets are yet another way to tantalize the obsessed.

On Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball we have the bonus track “American Dream”, which is even more Celtic than anything on the 11 songs proper. It is one of the best of the total 13 song bonus track package, and quite a Saint Patrick’s Day American Party. If this makes no sense, who cares — the song kicks it big time. “Swallowed Up (In the Belly of the Whale)” is an eerie acoustic song, which builds as it goes. This is as good as any of Wrecking Ball’s 11 songs proper. It lyrically sings the song of the bottom 10% of the working man.

Possibly the most bloated bonus track release of all time would be the 30 plus song version of ‘Cheap Trick at Budokan’. It’s like two more albums worth of the original 40 minutes of music. Look at the madness for the songs “Free as a Bird” or “Real Love” from the Beatles Anthology discs. Box sets exploding from single classic releases are a recent development. If all this did not make sense, it would not continue to go on in a maddening, but quite addictive fashion. If music is your obsession, these two songs are must have and do not in any way detract from the five star rating I gave in my original review of Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball.

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