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4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Oct. 25 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0000025T6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,431 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Nebraska
2. Atlantic City
3. Mansion On The Hill
4. Johnny 99
5. Highway Patrolman
6. State Trooper
7. Used Cars
8. Open All Night
9. My Father's House
10. Reason To Believe

Product Description

Product Description

1982 release, the first proper solo album from the singer, songwriter and leader of The E-Street Band. Sparsely-recorded on a cassette-tape Portastudio, the tracks on Nebraska were originally intended as demos of songs to be recorded with the E Street Band. However, Springsteen ultimately decided to release the demos themselves.

Hot on the heels of The River, his commercial breakthrough, Springsteen's decision to release the stark, demo-quality Nebraska seems downright perverse. But the genius of the album is unmistakable--with just an acoustic guitar and his howling harmonica to back him, Springsteen tells the stories of characters walking on both sides of the law, some of them directly on the line in between. The effect is that of a powerful series of black-and-white photographs--the details are bleak in and of themselves, but they ignite the imagination in ways that are more satisfying than full-color shots would be. "Mansion on the Hill," "Highway Patrolman," "Atlantic City," and the frightening "Nebraska" are among the most sharply rendered and memorable works of Springsteen's career. --Daniel Durchholz

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Raw and unrelenting, Nebraska is a shock to the casual Bruce fan's system. Alike nothing he had created before, it was a true testament of Bruce's artistry. He rarely gets enough credit for the chances he took musically through the years--Nebraska being probably his biggest one. This album could have been awful. It could have cemented the notion that Bruce could never be anything close to "Dylanesque." This could have done to him what going electric did to Dylan. didn't. Not only does Nebraska prove Bruce's lyrical talent, but it also proves that he is not just the electric guitar wielding, theatric stage performer that we all know and love.

Recorded on his own tape recorder, in his bedroom, it's just Bruce and his acoustic guitar yearning for redemption, deliverance, and a reason to believe. The lyrics on this album will get inside you immediately, within the first few lines of the title track. They will pull you into the desolate world of his disparaged and lonely characters. Bruce is a master at painting portraits of life in his words by creating characters you can feel, see, and love. On 'Nebraska', he creates antiheroes for the common man. In "Johnny 99" you start to empathize with the main character as he descends toward madness after losing his job at the plant in Mahwah late last month. In "Highway Patrolman" Bruce displays the moral ambiguity of an honest man torn between his duty as a law officer and his own flesh and blood. Others like "Used Car" and "Mansion on the Hill" are Bruce's retelling of his childhood memories. They will leave you feeling lost in time, like you are looking into the soul of an old black and white portrait.
"State Trooper" is a song like no other.
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Format: Audio CD
I always preferred when artists go acoustic, and record a low-quality album. Albums like Nebraska capture an artist at their most intimate. This was Bruce Springsteen's stark, low-key acoustic record. It was very dreary, as it was beautiful. His tales of suffering and being on the wrong side of the law was profound and you can feel it in his howl and his singing. He already had the reputation of being a high-energy, bombastic satdium act but Nebraska captured him in a whole new light. It was more reserved than Born to Run, and it had more personality than many of his albums. Songs like "Atlantic City," "State Trooper," and "Highway Patrolman" send chills down my spine, whereas other songs like "Nebraska," "My Father's House" and "Used Cars" express Springsteen in a more vulnerable, yet very striking voice, particularly Nebraska's tale of a serial killer. Even non-fans of The Boss can appreciate this album for its sense of intimacy and depth. Springsteen would never be this bare after this album, although certain subsequent works do show his profound side (particularly Tunnel of Love and the Rising).
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By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 4 2008
Format: Audio CD
The atmospheric sound of this classic album is made up of only voice, guitar and harmonica. The stories are told in compelling imagery over stately melodies. Although the sentiment is deeply melancholic, the promise of redemption is never entirely absent. Places like Lincoln, Atlantic City, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey, Johnstown, Wyoming and Linden Town provide the setting for these tales of nostalgia, trouble and heartbreak.

If you've seen the 1973 movie Badlands (Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen) you'll have a more profound understanding of the title track. Both it and Mansion on the Hill are slow and mournful whilst Atlantic City has a lilting beat and Johnny 99 is edgy with its nervous guitar riffs that also infuse State Trooper, a song that thematically relates to Highway Patrolman.

Springsteen's characteristic car and road imagery surfaces in Used Cars with its poignant childhood recollections as well as in Open All Night, an uptempo rock song, the only one on the album. The line "radios jammed up with gospel stations, lost souls callin' lost distance salvation" reminds me of Far Away Eyes by the Stones, a tongue-in-cheek country song on Some Girls. For some reason, it also makes me think of Hank Williams.

Guilt, remorse and the yearning for redemption are expressed in vivid oneiric imagery on the haunting track My Father's House. Reason to Believe concludes this outstanding album on an uplifting note with the observation that people ultimately do find meaning. It echoes a similar hope earlier expressed in Atlantic City, the notion that perhaps everything that dies someday comes back. Its simplicity, profundity and power make Nebraska a masterpiece and a highly influential work.
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Format: Audio CD
I think this is an amazing album... & I can't stand alot of Springsteen's stuff. Believe me, I understand the appeal. He's a truelly gifted songwriter, but the cult of his personality & all of the "The Boss" ... & "speaking for the working man" just leaves me cold.
Rather than waste anymore breath on that front, I am sincerely moved by this record. It took balls to put this out when he did. If you ask me, the bombastic likes of Born To Run just pales in comparison. Or anything else he has done, before or since.
I love outlaw songs & the sparseness of the title track is enough to raise the hairs of your neck. It's the sonic equivalent of Charles Starkweather (Badlands serial killer) & Truman Capote's In Cold Blood all rolled into one. Next to the original, only Johnny Cash has done justice to "Highway Patrolman". Cash tried again with, "Johnny 99" but to little avail. One simply can't surpass what Springsteen has laid down here. From the small town yearning of "Atlantic City" to the grey sky imagry of "Reason To Believe", Springsteen reigns all those impending storm clouds in with his intimate, hoarse whisper.
In my humble opinon, this guy works best in a stark setting. But even if he did all his albums like this, Nebraska would still outshine them all. There just comes a time when it all comes together & for Springsteen Nebraska was it. Even more rocking numbers like "Johnny 99" are enhanced by the lack of production. If he sicked the East Street Band on this one, it wouldn't be nearly as powerful.
A thousand bands have since taken their cue from this record but have never come close. Despite all the good intentions of "The Rising", this one casts a longer shadow in my book. In terms of commercial Rock's bleaker moments, Nebraska is right up there with Neil Young's Tonight's The Night. Stark, harrowing & heartbreaking.
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