Photo by Joshua Mellin
A career in politics may not be in the cards for Bruce Springsteen, but there’s a side gig I’d gladly hire him for ASAP: professional mixtape curator. In a recent interview with Variety, the rock legend revealed some of the artists and songs that make up his iTunes playlist, and it’s a mighty hip bunch. Mom, dad, I hope you’re reading this.
The Boss highlighted Sufjan Stevens, who he described as “great,” as well as The National and Iron & Wine. He also mentioned Steve Earle, commenting, “One of the greatest. I listen to him a lot — he’s always writing songs I wish I’d written.”
(Read: The Top 50 Albums of 1987)
Lin-Manuel Miranda and his Hamilton soundtrack made it onto his digital mix, with Springsteen noting, “An incredible creation, the show was fantastic. High on the list, too, was Lana Del Rey, as the New Jersey native gushed over the extended “Paradise” version of Born to Die (“I love her”).
Springsteen also had some special remarks for Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo album, saying, “I thought that was an amazing creation, especially the arrangements.”
Elsewhere in his chat with Variety’s Jem Aswad, The Boss talked about meeting with renowned producer Rick Rubin, seeing Taylor Swift live with his daughter and her friends, and learning about Rage Against the Machine (“Tom [Morello] can really write”) and Against Me! through his “political/punk” son.
When asked about the surprisingly contemporary nature of his playlist (let’s just say “hipster”), he replied graciously:
“I go back and forth, but I’m always looking for something new that’s inspiring. I’m so well versed in all my old standards — you can always find something new in them — but I’ve mined them pretty well over the years. There’s a lotta good songwriting and tons of good music being made. Music still excites me and it’s an exciting time, but the trick today is you really have to search for it to find it. But I listen quite a bit and it still holds that sacred place in my life. A great song is always inspirational — it makes you want to be great. So I’m always on the lookout.”