Songs You May Have Missed #180

bruce

Bruce Springsteen: “Girls in Their Summer Clothes” (2007)

Let’s get one thing straight at the outset: Bruce ain’t the boss of me.

The appreciation of an artist can be a very subjective thing, and this man has never really spoken for, or to, me. I can’t quite pinpoint what leaves me cold exactly, except that I perceive him as a guy who can’t get out of the way of his own songs.

But with “Girls in Their Summer Clothes” Bruce did something I can get behind: a Phil Spector homage brimming with nostalgic wistfulness–not to mention a meaty melody. Even the video is wrong, but the song is so right.

She went away/She cut me like a knife/Hello, beautiful thing/Maybe you could save my life

No chance. The song is meant to be a fantasy. The narrator can see the beauty in the aforementioned “girls”, but the look is not returned. It’s a sad thing. And it calls to mind other songs of fading summer and advancing years such as Henley’s “The Boys of Summer” and the Beach Boys’ “Breakaway”. If this type of song doesn’t feel real to you, well, give it a few years.

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“Girls in Their Summer Clothes” also brings to mind a couple other Spector homages I thought I’d mention:

Billy Joel’s “Until the Night” is pure Righteous Brothers melodrama:

And Alan Parsons Project’s “Don’t Answer Me” faithfully duplicates that Wall of Sound, complete with the percussive style of the Spector recordings: 

Oddly enough, all three songs are in the same key–they’d make a nice medley.

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