It’s not often that people cite a 63-year old man as a hero, legend or idol. 

Yet, these are words often bandied about when talking about the musical giant that is Bruce Springsteen. After all, it’s now 41 years since the release of “Greetings From Asbury Park” , his 1973 debut offering. Now in 2014, Bruce Springsteen released his 18th studio album, “High Hopes” earlier this month. 18 studio albums in 41 years means that he has put out a new record almost every 2 years; certainly a great achievement to try and match

He now belongs alongside a handful of artists who have managed to sustain a successful career that spans over 5 decades. The only difference is, where some fall short and only tour on anniversaries or on the nostalgia of heydays long gone playing on the hits, Springsteen has consistently produced new music throughout his extensive career and toured relentlessly to ensure his legion of fans worldwide get to experience his material live.

He’s known as one of the music industry’s greatest “good guys”. He’s a family man, married to Patti Scialfa since 1991, a member of his E Street Band, and is a father to three children. He’s still a mummy’s boys at heart and occasionally brings his mother, Adele onstage for a twirl. He sings about blue-collar life, the times of hard-working Americans (and perhaps, in retrospect, how much times haven’t really changed), the love and hardships of the working-class and everything in between

Springsteen’s humble attitude towards his life and home-land; something which he sings about more than he publicly speaks of, along with his admission of his faults and mistakes have served him well. That’s all before you start on the success he’s achieved!

With an ever-growing back catalogue, being able to play a choice of albums in full to an unsuspecting crowd who appreciate and sing along is a pretty amazing and impressive feat; one which can only be outdone by the length of the set itself and in turn, the sheer glowing work ethic The Boss has. With an average set time clocking past the three hour mark (bearing in mind the man is in his mid-60s), Springsteen always puts on a brilliant show for as long as he is allowed; his record stage time is 246 minutes, or four hours and six minutes! 

For all of you with the school of thought that it’s not the length of time, but what you do with it that counts; it’s an understatement to say that Springsteen certainly utilizes his time well, putting on the best possible show for his fans. This can consist of playing full albums, taking requests from the crowd, booty-shaking, crowd participation, guest appearances and reworked versions of some old classics, there is never a dull moment at a Bruce Springsteen show.

The Boss is one of the greatest and most influential artists of our time. You only have to look to other bands, from The Killers to Gaslight Anthem, to see that he’s regarded as an inspiration and influence to their work. Despite being so highly regarded, hugely successful and rich, he’s never really lost his blue-collar outlook on life. Yet, while he may not be struggling personally anymore, he recognises and gives a voice to the plight of others less fortunate, doing so in a way that is neither patronising or faux 

Springsteen’s songs stand the test of time and always remain of the highest calibre in a genre that he practically invented. For those of you who feel album number 18 with its live efforts that have undergone a re-jig, as well as versions of some left-field covers hint that Springsteen is running out of gas, he’s just showcasing yet another element of his great musical talent.

Long may it continue!

“High Hopes” is available now

“Springsteen & I”, a documentary biography of The Boss by his fans, is also available now

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