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100 Best Albums of the Nineties

54

Bruce Springsteen, 'The Ghost of Tom Joad'


Bruce Springsteen, 'The Ghost of Tom Joad'
54/100

The grim ballads Bruce Springsteen purveys on The Ghost of Tom Joad make Nebraska seem like "Rosalita" — they veer perilously close to desperation. The title track is a prayer for revived idealism, and the album closes with "My Best Was Never Good Enough," a contemptuous dismissal of the Gump-style clichés people lean on, however irrationally, to get by. Surveying an American landscape littered with crushed hopes, Springsteen stares down the darkness but fights it only to a draw. That a rocker of this magnitude would make a folk album this forlorn spits in the eye of the rising Dow.

Photos: Bruce Springsteen Artifacts From His Four-Decade Career

Photos: The Darkness Sessions, Photographs of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band from 1978

Rolling Stone's 2002 Review


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