“Man, there’s an opera out on the Turnpike”

All 314 Bruce Springsteen songs ranked at Vulture

Whew. I won't quibble with anyone else's listmaking—preferences being deeply personal and totally inscrutable to outsiders—but "Thunder Road" would be at the top of mine, and "Jungleland" would come in second. I used to dial up that "Born to Run" cassette on my bitchin' Sony Walkman on the band bus on the way home from basketball games, watching the night sky fly by as those "Jungleland" violins swept in and feeling very sophisticated re: my classy taste in music. No crowd-pleasing "Dancing in the Dark" for this hot dog.* Bruce meant something everlasting and true for me back then, and now he's a through line—a thread stretching across 30 years, a collapsing measure of time and space—and here we are still.

Hey, baby! Here we are still.

*A bald-faced lie. To this day my entire personal aesthetic is based on Courteney Cox in the "Dancing in the Dark" video: