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Bruce Springsteen, 18 Tracks (1999)

This compilation of rarities and B-sides is especially interesting to us because it includes the radically stripped-down, all-acoustic original version of "Born in the USA." The more familiar chart-topping full-band version is probably a better song, but this one is haunting in its understated intensity.

Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska (1982)

If Born in the USA recorded Springsteen at his arena-rocking, radio-friendly finest, this album captured a very different side of the artist. The sparse arrangements (usually just Springsteen's voice and an acoustic guitar) and the harrowing lyrics result in a bleak, even haunting, record. You won't soon forget the desperate stories told in "Reason to Believe," "Johnny 99," or "Atlantic City."

Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA (1984)

This is it, the multiplatinum album that made Bruce Springsteen the biggest force in American music in 1984. Anthemic cuts like the title track, "Glory Days," "My Hometown," and "Bobby Jean" remain huge crowd-pleasers today.

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