Having noticed the variety of musical interests in the comments section over the years, I didn’t really know what artist to choose. We have some people (myself included) who tend towards a more underground group of bands, we have our classic rockers, we have our popular music lovers, we have our hip-hop enthusiasts. I needed something that everyone would know, and something that everyone could debate. I think Springsteen is just about perfect. Everyone knows him, everyone respects him, and chances are, everyone has an opinion. Plus, he fits the bill because his catalog isn’t even close to perfect. So, as we have an entire work week to analyze the game on Friday, let’s get off track for a while.
5 Stars: Nebraska
I guess this one could spark a debate, but Nebraska really is the best Bruce record out there. Stark, acoustic, and recorded in a bedroom, this record is more “authentic” than any other record he made. Standout tracks: Johnny 99, Highway Patrolman, Reason to Believe
Udoka Azubuike. The big man (get it, Springsteen fans?) played so well that when he was on the court, KU was +21 and when he wasn’t, they were -17. If healthy, he can take this team pretty deep.
Malik Newman. Four of eight from downtown, but more importantly, Malik was perfect from the charity stripe in eight attempts. He was also one of the few guys that decided to drive the lane against a team that wanted no part of the contact down there.
4.5 Stars: Darkness on the Edge of Town
The record that many believe to be his masterpiece, 1978’s Darkness is in stark contrast to the five-star record- at least from a sonic perspective. The Boss still themes on the working class and how hard it is to get out of your given life, but the songs rock pretty hard. Standout songs: Badlands, Adam Raised a Cain, Darkness on the Edge of Town.
Only the KU players above were as good (better actually!) as this classic record.
4 Stars: Born to Run
The record that made him The Boss. I can’t write words that others haven’t already written for this masterpiece, but I will say that after you hear these songs live, the record loses its appeal somewhat. Recommended songs: Thunder Road, Born to Run, Jungleland.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk canned a huge three late in the game and was the only person other than Malik to drive against the Pirates. Finished with 16.
Update: Lagerald Vick. Sometimes you just get a hurry and leave a very important guy out of the ratings. Unlike this writer, Vick doesn’t look sped up or nonchalant or whatever he was in that phase of the season where he disappeared. Canned three very important threes. Seems to be coming around.
3.5 Stars: The River
I guess that Springsteen wanted to make a record that more resembled his live shows and The River was the product. It does sound like a party, and for those of us that were lucky enough to go see him play this double LP in its entirety on the last tour, it more than lived up to that proclamation. Top tracks: Two Hearts. Cadillac Ranch, Point Blank.
No other KU players rated as high as this rocking double record.
3 Stars: Born in the USA
I know, I know, but the three-star choice is supposed to be controversial. Unpopular opinion: Born in the USA is catchy, but it is far from a Bruce classic. There are far too many synthesizers. The stripped down version of Born in the USA is far better, at least to me. Best Songs: I’m on Fire, Working on the Highway, No Surrender.
Nope, the other Kansas players were not even worthy of a three star.
2.5 Stars: Greetings from Asbury Park, New Jersey
This is from way back, and the production quality suffers. Live however, these songs make an impression. Best songs: Blinded by the Light, Spirit in the Night, Growin’ Up.
Devonte Graham. Looked timid all game and only scored one basket from the field. Still had nine assists and made some free throws at the end. We expect so much more from Devonte, and I expect we’ll see it in Omaha.
Marcus Garrett. Looked pretty lost in the first half, but seemed to pull it together in the second stanza.
Silvio De Sousa. This just wasn’t the game to feature the big freshman. There was just too much going on.
2 Stars: Lucky Town/Human Touch
Now we’re getting into less than average Bruce. These two LPs were released simultaneously. He probably should’ve just made one record with the 12 best songs on it. Star tracks: Lucky Town, Better Days, Human Touch.
Mitch Lightfoot. It really wasn’t his fault that he couldn’t handle Angel Delgado.
1 Star: Working on a Dream/Magic
After The Rising, Bruce really hasn’t done much as far as good rock records go. I liked the more acoustic Devils and Dust and the folk remakes of Pete Seeger classics however. Two of the songs are called Girls in their Summer Clothes and Queen of the Supermarket. Come on man.
No players were as bad as these records.