Scenes From Jungleland

Combined, they are 17 minutes in duration. They are 2 different songs, but with very similar themes and musical compositions.

Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland” was released on his breakout album Born To Run in 1975.

Billy Joel’s “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” came out in 1977 on Joel’s watershed project, The Stranger.

A number of observations herein:

-Both songs are truly epic, in the actual sense of the word. “Epic” is far overused, but both of these songs fit the definition – a long work of art that covers an extended period of time. [plus they’re just really freaking good, which is how most use the word].

-Both songs were released in the mid-1970s, a moment in U.S. culture rife with change as the Vietnam war was ending, the country was adjusting to desegregation and women’s roles in society were drastically changing.

-Joel and Springsteen grew up 75 miles apart. Freehold, New Jersey for The Boss. Hicksville, Long Island, New York for The Piano Man.

-Although “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” is slightly more positive, both songs share detailed, realistic stories that don’t end well. One in divorce, the other in death.

-Both start quietly, pick up in the middle, have saxophone solos, then reprise where they started.

-Both songs feature the piano, which makes anything better.



2 thoughts on “Scenes From Jungleland

  1. I saw Billy during the Nylon Curtain tour at the Garden , good stuff he brought up all the Vietnam Vets during Good night Saigon. When I first saw Bruce was in West Point tickets were $5.00 that right FIVE DOLLARS. He was wearing Army cap till he broke into BTR, when he put on the cap he wears on the cover of BTR. So measuring it up, I’ve seen Billy 3 times and Bruce 32 times. No Surrender has been my anthem during by recent 3 month bout of Unemployment. Another great Bruce song This hard land.

  2. Hey Chefman, I really appreciate you reading. And I really appreciate you sharing about your concert experiences. Keep ’em coming.

    Please hang in there, and keep letting music be an encouragement.

    I’m listening to “This Hard Land” right now. Good call.

    John Clore

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