For most of this week I’ve been listening to A) the new Doves album, which is awesome, and B) working through Steven Hyden’s The Best Bruce Springsteen Songs, Ranked list. As of Thursday night I am just past the mid-point of the list. I’ve discovered some songs that are new to me that I’ve really enjoyed while building more respect for and knowledge of The Boss’ full catalog.

Because of that, I haven’t listened to much new music. So a slightly different format this week.

“Celebration” – Kool & the Gang
Last week Ronald Bell, one of the founding members of Kool & The Gang and writer/co-writer of some of their biggest hits, died at age 68. This stone-cold classic was his. I had no idea he wrote it after picking up a Bible in a hotel room.

“Pressure Drop” – Toots and the Maytals
A couple days after Bell’s death we lost “Toots” Hibbert to Covid-19. Toots was one of the absolute giants of reggae music. Where Bob Marley was the heart of reggae, Hibbert was its soul. This song has been covered dozens of times, most notably by the Clash. Their version introduced me, and a million other white boys, to Toots’ unforgettable voice.

“She’s the One” – Bruce Springsteen & The E. Street Band
One of the joys of the streaming age is how you can find songs you missed. I’ve loved “Born to Run” the song for 35-40 years now. But I never listened to the entire Born to Run album until sometime in the early 2010s, when I could easily queue it up and listen at my leisure. I still remember the first time I did that, which would have been the first time I ever heard this song. Coming immediately after “Born to Run,” in a spot you might think reserved for a song that allowed you to catch your breath, it totally blew me away. And this live performance is pure fire, as the kids today might say. Look at Clarence and Little Steven!