100 Greatest Bruce Springsteen Songs of All Time

An expert panel of writers and artists pick Springsteen's best songs, from "Rosalita" to "Wrecking Ball"

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"Adam Raised a Cain"

bruce springsteen
Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Darkness on the Edge of Town, 1978

"I don't make 'em up," Springsteen said in reference to the songs he's written about conflicts with his father, Douglas – a withdrawn working-class guy who shared Bruce's struggles with depression. "Adam Raised a Cain" is a pile driver, featuring a remarkably heavy groove and some of Springsteen's most searing guitar work. The bitter lyrics (partially inspired by Elia Kazan's 1955 film East of Eden) give father-son tension an almost biblical depth: "You're born into this life paying for the sins of somebody else's past," he sings. Before his death in 1998, the elder Springsteen was asked which of his son's songs he liked best. "The ones about me," he answered.

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