One of the most iconic album covers ever to be sold is that of Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen. It features the artist himself from the back wearing a pair of traditional American blue jeans and white T-shirt with a red baseball cap in his back pocket. In the background are the red and white stripes of the American flag. As a style icon you would certainly expect to see him in Tommy Hilfiger Menswear, like that from www.ejmenswear.com/men/tommy-hilfiger. It has proven to be one of the most popular albums ever recorded selling over 30 million copies since it was last recorded in 2012. These are impressive sales as it was first released in 1984. It has also been hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time and has won several awards.
What is the story behind this incredibly iconic album? It was Bruce Springsteen’s 7th studio recording in a career that has established itself in the 1970s. Springsteen was seen as a man of the people. He was able to sing ballads of common American folk and the trials and tribulations that they experienced in their everyday lives. Having come from a similar background, he was well placed to be able to tell their stories. He was not from the posh New York or LA set; he was more of a manufacturing worker in Missouri or Ohio. He spoke for farm workers in the midwest States and told the tales that no one had really cared about before. Essentially he sang of America’s poor and working class.
During this early ‘80s period, Springsteen was at his most creative point in songwriting. While he may not have originally been part of the Hollywood set he certainly made full use of the Los Angeles home he had purchased to write the songs for the album. He hails from New Jersey, the less fashionable state of the New York area, however this has given him an insight into the poorer elements of American society. His father was a bus driver but also took on other positions and suffered with mental health problems while his mother was a legal secretary who basically earned the family’s money.
One of the subjects he sings a lot about, and features heavily in the song ‘Born in the USA’, was the Vietnam War. Springsteen, although of an age to go, did not. A motorcycle accident he sustained meant he was declared medically unfit. The young Springsteen had always felt something of an outsider in education and society but it was seeing the Beatles perform that inspired him to take up his guitar, which he had briefly studied in primary school, and try and forge a musical career.
In the early 1970s he was able to form the E Street Band who have played with him ever since despite a brief hiatus. Together they would create some of the most socially conscious rock music of the 1970s. He also got his famous nickname “the Boss” at this time. This was due to the fact that he made it his personal responsibility to collect the band’s pay of an evening and distribute them fairly. The story also goes that he was particularly good at playing Monopoly and would win regularly.