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"

51

"One Step Up"

Bruce Springsteen
Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Tunnel of Love, 1987

The dissolution of Springsteen's first marriage, to Julianne Phillips, which echoed through the pensive Tunnel of Love, is particularly present in this downcast ballad: "Another fight and I slam the door on/Another battle in our dirty little war," he sings. Adding to the mood of isolation, Springsteen played all the instruments himself on this track (which was recorded in Los Angeles in the summer of 1987), with only future wife Scialfa joining in to sing a lovely harmony. Of the songs he was writing at the time, Springsteen said, "I thought, 'OK, we're growing up together, me and my audience,' and I took that idea seriously."

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