The Boss himself spoke to Desert Island Discs‘ Kirsty Young about his eight favorite tracks of all time. Check out the full audio interview, which originally aired on BBC 4 in December 2016. Don’t miss Springsteen’s reflections on his top song picks below, as well as a custom Spotify playlist.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN’S DESERT ISLAND DISCS.
1) ELVIS PRESLEY–”HOUND DOG”
“When I heard it, it just shot straight through to my brain. And I realized suddenly that there was more to life that I was living. I immediately went out and rented a guitar…”
2) THE BEATLES–”I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND”
“This was another song that just changed the course of my life. The harmonies were very unusual. It was a very raucous sounding record when it came out of the radio in 1964.”
3) THE ROLLING STONES–”IT’S ALL OVER NOW”
“‘It’s All Over Now’ had a special place for me because when I got thrown out of my first band I went home and learned the guitar solo. I went home that night and I was pissed off and went in my room and said, ‘alright, I’m gonna be a lead guitar player…”
4) VAN MORRISON–”MADAME GEORGE”
“‘Madame George’…Van Morrison…Astral Weeks is an extremely important record for me and a lot of other people. It made me trust in beauty; it gave me a sense of the divine. The divine just seems to run through the veins of that entire album…”
5) MARVIN GAYE–”WHAT’S GOING ON”
“This entire record from start to finish is a masterpiece. It was sultry and sexual while at the same time having a very political point of view – dealing with very street-level politics. That had a big influence on me.”
6) JAMES BROWN–”OUT OF SIGHT”
“Pure excitement. Pure electricity. Pure get-out-of-your-seat-and-move-your-ass.”
7) BOB DYLAN–”LIKE A ROLLING STONE”
“‘Like A Rolling Stone’ is a torrent that comes rushing, rushing towards you – floods your soul, floods your mind, alerts and wakes you up instantaneously to other worlds, other lives, other ways of being. It’s perhaps one of the most powerful records ever made…”
8) FOUR TOPS–”BABY I NEED YOUR LOVING”
“I had to have some Motown, because Motown was an incredible part of my youth. If you wanted to know how to write – how to structure successful pop records – you could learn it all from Motown…”
All Bruce Springsteen quotes taken from original BBC 4 Desert Island Discs interview.