Bruce Springsteen – TOP56-songs: 44 – Loose EndsBruce Springsteen – TOP56-biisit: 44 – Loose Ends

From the album Tracks (1998).

Although 1980’s album The River was released as a double-LP consisting of 21 songs there were plenty of jewels to be left to vaults from those sessions as well. Loose Ends is one of the best ones as a song that on many other albums would have been a potential hit. In fact it was originally on the album that was nearly released named as The Ties That Bind in 1979, but Bruce decided to take it away and shape it to what we now know as The River.

Loose Ends is a description of love gone wrong. At the beginning everything’s wonderful but the magic tails away by time.

We met out on open streets when we had no place to go
I remember how my heart beat when you said I love you so
Then little by little we choked out all the life that our love could hold
Oh no

The narrator didn’t believe in the beginning’s intoxication that him and his partner could end up like many others. One easily believes that this is how it will go until the end.

We didn’t count tomorrows, we took what we could and baby we ran
There was no time for sorrow, every place we went I held your hand
And when the night closed in I was sure your kisses told me all I had to know
But oh no

The same thing is pondered on the last verse: this isn’t what was supposed to happen. “How did something so good turn to something bad” is a good question to be asked. There’s similar questions on some songs on The River-album as well. A great, great line.

Our love has fallen around us like we said it never could
We saw it happen to all the others but to us it never would
Well how could something so bad, darling, come from something that was so good
I don’t know

The refrain reveals the background of the song’s title. The relationship is described as a situation in which both sides of the couple have a loop around their neck and both pull it their way waiting for the other to let go. A strapping metaphor and description of a painful situation.

It’s like we had a noose and baby without check
We pulled until it grew tighter around our necks
Each one waiting for the other, darlin’, to say when
Well baby you can meet me tonight on the loose end

The magic of Loose Ends is in its atmosphere and feel. The lyrics and Bruce’s vocal performance are in the key role. The melody is also great (like on many River songs) and The E Street Band works convincingly. There’s the familiar glockenspiel in the intro and Clemons’ saxophone solo fits in with style.

This came to prominence after being released on Tracks and played during the Reunion Tour. It’s not played nearly every night but it’s always a big thing when Loose Ends gets its turn. It was also heard in Helsinki 2012, when a listener had written a sign for it and added that he had been to 32 Bruce shows and hadn’t heard “his” song. Bruce told the audience that he “couldn’t let the man go to over 30 shows without hearing his song” and counted to song to begin.

Albumilta Tracks (1998).

Vaikka vuoden 1980 The River-levy julkaistiin tupla-LP:nä joka koostui 21 biisistä, jäi tuonkin albumin äänityssessioista paljon helmiä varastoon albumikokonaisuuden tieltä. Loose Ends on yksi kirkkaimmista, joka monella muulla albumilla olisi ollut hyvinkin potentiaalinen hitti. Itseasiassa se oli mukana levyllä, joka jo liki valmistettiin nimellä The Ties That Bind vuonna 1979, mutta jonka Bruce veti pois ja muovasi sittemmin The Riveriksi.

Loose Ends on kuvaus rakkaudesta, jossa käy huonosti. Alussa kaikki on ihanaa, mutta hiipuukin matkalla pikkuhiljaa pois.

We met out on open streets when we had no place to go
I remember how my heart beat when you said I love you so
Then little by little we choked out all the life that our love could hold
Oh no

Eihän sitä alussa ja huumassa usko, että itselle ja ”meille” voisi käydä niinkuin monille muille. Siinä herkästi uskoo, että näinhän tämä jatkuu.

We didn’t count tomorrows, we took what we could and baby we ran
There was no time for sorrow, every place we went I held your hand
And when the night closed in I was sure your kisses told me all I had to know
But oh no

Samaa pohditaan viimeisessä säkeistössä: eihän tässä näin pitänyt käydä. Hyvä kysymys onkin, miten jostain niin hyvästä voi tulla jotain niin pahaa? Samankaltaisia kysymyksiä on muissakin Riverin biiseissä. Hienon hieno rivi.

Our love has fallen around us like we said it never could
We saw it happen to all the others but to us it never would
Well how could something so bad, darling, come from something that was so good
I don’t know

Kertosäe paljastaa biisin nimen taustan. Kuvattua suhdetta kuvataan tilanteeksi, jossa molemmilla osapuolilla on kaulansa ympärillä silmukka, jota molemmat kiristävät eri suuntiin odottaen milloin toinen päästää irti. Komea kielikuva tämäkin ja kuvaus kivuliaasta tunteesta.

It’s like we had a noose and baby without check
We pulled until it grew tighter around our necks
Each one waiting for the other, darlin’, to say when
Well baby you can meet me tonight on the loose end

Loose Endsin maagisuus piilee sen tunnelmassa. Teksti ja Brucen laulusuoritus ovat tässä avainasemassa. Melodia on myös hieno (kuten Riverin aikaisissa lauluissa useasti) ja E Street Band toimii vakuuttavasti. Introssa kuullaan tuttua kellopeliä ja Clemonsin saksofonisoolo istuu kokonaisuuteen tyylikkäästi.

Tämä nousi Tracksin julkaisun ja Reunion-kiertueen myötä myös keikkasuosikiksi, jota ei soiteta läheskään joka ilta mutta on aina tapaus. Kuultiinpa Loose Ends myös Helsingissä 2012, kun eräs keikalle tulija oli sen kirjannut toivekylttiin ja lisännyt, ettei ollut kuullut sitä yhdelläkään 32:sta aiemmasta käymästään Springsteen-keikasta. ”Emmehän voi antaa miehen kiertää yli kolmeakymmentä keikkaa kuulematta hänen biisiään”, totesi Bruce ja löi laulun tulille.