It's pretty bizarre, actually, that Bruce Springsteen's nickname is The Boss, given that for 40 years he's been the unwavering Voice of the Working Man, an arena-rock populist you figure would have nothing but disdain for upper-management types. Eh, maybe it's ironic. But irony isn't really his thing, either. From the jubilant street anthems of Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. to the titanic enormo-rock of Born to Run and Born in the U.S.A., from the downcast Americana of Nebraska to the invaluable post-9/11 uplift of The Rising, from the stark proletariat hymns of The Ghost of Tom Joad to the far more bombastic populist bromides of this week's Wrecking Ball, the guy means what he says.
Springsteen's is a startling, monolithic body of work. Here's a humble attempt at an introduction to it, unavoidably tilted toward the early stuff (that initial seven-album run has very few peers in rock history), but don't sit on later jams like the exuberant, underrated We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. The playlist above digs in even deeper: "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" is probably his single best song since The Rising, and ah, damn it if "Tunnel of Love" doesn't still get us every time. Dude is a national treasure. It would be an honor to work for him.