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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"Independence Day"

Ebet Roberts/Redferns

The River, 1980

This pensive ballad was one of several from this period that detailed Springsteen's famously fraught relationship with his father. "He was always just sitting at the kitchen table at night, drinking too much, or off at work," Springsteen told an audience in 1981 when introducing the song. "It took us 30 years to be able to tell each other that we loved each other." Clemons' brief solo adds a powerful blast of emotional catharsis.

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