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Born in the U.S.A.

369 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Product Description

1984 album from the New Jersey rocker, the blockbuster album that made him a bona-fide international superstar. The album yielded an amazing seven Top 10 singles: 'Born In The U.S.A.', 'Cover Me', 'I'm on Fire', 'I'm Goin' Down', 'Glory Days', 'Dancing In The Dark' and 'My Hometown' .

Born in the U.S.A. is an album painted in big, broad strokes. But it was still too subtle for some--namely politicians who tried to tap the title track as a jingoistic anthem when it is in fact a bitter diatribe by a Vietnam War vet whose country forgot him. The rest of the album is a glorious grab bag of radio-ready populist anthems--his best display of pure pop songwriting ever--including "No Surrender," "Dancing in the Dark," "Bobby Jean," and "Glory Days" alongside more circumspect numbers such as "My Hometown" and "I'm On Fire." It's not true that there's no arguing with success, but in this case Springsteen's widespread acclaim was warranted. With Born in the U.S.A., all those predictions from a decade earlier--that Springsteen was the future of rock--had come true. --Daniel Durchholz
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000025UW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (369 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,615 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

136 of 147 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Born In The U.S.A. is the album where Bruce Springsteen made the leap from a popular rock 'n' roller to megastar and cultural icon. The songs were all over the radio in '84 & '85 and his concerts were four hour marathons. It produced 7 top ten singles (tied for the most in history with Michael Jackson's Thriller & Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation) and was in Billboard's top ten for 84 straight weeks. People could relate to him as he seemed to be just a regular hard-working, blue collar guy. The songs had the appearance of being about fulfilling the American Dream and overflowing with American pride. They have an upbeat, radio-friendly sound that helped it sell 15 million copies and become one of the most popular and misunderstood in rock history. Beneath the bouncy music and optimistic titles they are actually tales of desperation, unfilled dreams and an America that had let its characters down. The title track typifies this as it seems to be a ringing declaration of the pride to be from America, but is about a Vietnam vet whose country has kept him down from birth and never let him get up. He questions why he fought and had a brother killed in a war that he didn't understand and came back to country that welcome back as a hero, but look down upon him. Despite risking his life for it, America gave him nothing in return. "Dancing In The Dark" is the most pop-oriented song Bruce has ever recorded. Behind the dancable synthes lies a the story a man who is down and out. He is desperately looking for someone to pull him out of rut and appears to be suicidal. "Glory Days" is about life sliding away from you and failing to meet the goals and high expectations of your youth.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Is Born in the U.S.A. too commercial? A sellout? No way! If you remember the 1980s like I do, the songs from Born in the U.S.A. (1984) were like lifelines to authentic rock n' roll on the radio for us die-hard 1960-70s rockers. Sure, the album had an updated sound that now sort of makes it a product of it's times, but that's one of the things that makes this album so special. Born in the U.S.A. plays a big part in defining the life and times of the 1980s in many people's memories. And clearly, Bruce Springsteen is still The Boss here.

The album is Springsteen's most commercially successful by a long shot, and it's also one of the most successful albums in history (it had seven top ten singles which tied the all-time record for a single album). While Born in the U.S.A. isn't quite the masterpiece that Born to Run is, it still is a masterpiece and one of the best albums of Springsteen's career.

The anthemic title song starts things off and lays the foundation for the rest of the album. A song about a Vietnam veteran who, after going overseas and fighting in a war for the U.S.A., is forgotten by his own country when he returns home. It's an angry and disgusted battle cry against the injustice of it all.
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 11, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This is really an incredible album. I rate it one of the very best of the rock and roll era. It's right up there with Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" and The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper."
It's hard to believe now, but when this album came out back in 1984 Bruce Springsteen was not yet a superstar. Certainly he had a cult following (in fact, a very sizeable cult following), but no one was yet calling him one of the greatest rock 'n rollers of all time. "Born in the USA" changed all that. Big time.
Some people criticize this album because they say it was made to appeal to the "lowest common denominator." I've never bought the argument. It took tremendous talent to make "Born in the USA," not just bubble-gum appeal. Springsteen took the lyrical power of a Dylan, the basic "fun, old fashioned rock 'n roll" appeal of The Beatles, the heavier/harder rock style of the '80s and combined them all together to create...a masterpiece.
An earlier reviewer here criticed this album because you can still hear this stuff "24/7" on the radio. You know, there's a reason for that...
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51 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Rod Chase on July 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This album at first glance seems to be a supercharged set list of songs with upbeat melodies and catchy beats. You ask most people what they think of when you mention "Dancing in the Dark" and they'll mention that horribly eighties looking video. But so much more lies underneath this seemingly mindlessly catchy album. It is all too easy to mistake these songs for pop, Ronald Reagan did it when he chose Born in the U.S.A. as his campaign song, completely missing the fact that it is a harshly anti-republican anthem about a Vietnam vet trying to find work during a recession. In fact, not one of the songs on this album is about a happy story or a successful life. They all end in jail, out of love, or still struggling. These themes are nothing new to anyone who has listened to Springsteen's other albums, he has always championed the fighting yet doomed loser. It is just that on this album the lyrics are sugar coated in upbeat music, making it easy to forget that Dancing in the Dark is not about some guy out partying around, but an out of place misfit who just wants one sign anywhere that somebody is still alive. I do not know whether it is the time that has passed since his first albums, or what made Bruce decide to back his usual cast of characters with such upbeat catchy tunes, but don't be fooled by your first listen. This is still the brooding, touching, operatic Springsteen of former albums, and his characters are still losers, yet they're all still trying, they're all pulling out of here to win.
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Topic From this Discussion
About to turn 25....
The Single CD 2015 remaster is being released JUNE 16th.
Jun 7, 2015 by RegF |  See all 3 posts
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