Barack Obama Gets One of the First Copies of Bruce Springsteen’s Updated ‘Born In the U.S.A.’

Barack Obama award the Medal of Freedom to Bruce Springsteen, 2016 (photo: Ron Cogswell CC 2.0)
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Barack Obama award the Medal of Freedom to Bruce Springsteen, 2016 (photo: Ron Cogswell CC 2.0)
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Barack Obama award the Medal of Freedom to Bruce Springsteen, 2016 (photo: Ron Cogswell CC 2.0)

Bruce Springsteen’s updated ‘Born In the U.S.A.’ is pretty damn good, according to former president Barack Obama.  But it may also carry a more somber tone.

Theatergoers and Springsteen fans alike are clamoring for tickets to the ultra-hot musical, Springsteen on Broadway.  And those who’ve scored a $1,000+ ticket have heard the Boss’ updated version of ‘Born In the U.S.A.’  Die-hard Springsteen fans may also be familiar with the modern-day rendition.

The bluesy, slowed-down version might be more fitting for the times, and will soon be released to the masses.

Ahead of that, Springsteen arranged to have one of the first copies personally delivered to former president Barack Obama.  That made an impression: earlier today, Obama included the unreleased cut as one of his favorite songs of 2017.

Apparently, the more somber, ‘Broadway blues’ edition of ‘Born In the U.S.A.’ pretty damn good.  “[It’s] not out yet, but the blues version in his Broadway show is the best,” Obama said.  The ex-president included the track at the end of his list of favorites.

In terms of the song itself, we’re not sure how much the original has been altered.  Presumably, this is a more somber and reflective version, one that fits the times — and Springsteen’s view of America these days.  Springsteen has been a sharp critic of the current administration, and feels that America’s working class acted out of desperation in the most recent presidential election.

As for the rest of Obama’s list — well, let’s just say Springsteen was on the more ‘seasoned’ side.

Here’s Obama’s top songs of 2017, as blasted on Facebook earlier today.

(You’ll see the Springsteen shout at the end).

‘Mi Gente’ by J Balvin & Willy William

‘Havana’ by Camila Cabello (feat. Young Thug)

‘Blessed’ by Daniel Caesar

‘The Joke’ by Brandi Carlile

‘First World Problems’ by Chance The Rapper (feat. Daniel Caesar)

‘Rise Up’ by Andra Day

‘Wild Thoughts’ by DJ Khaled (feat. Rihanna and Bryson Tiller)

‘Family Feud’ by Jay-Z (feat. Beyoncé)

‘Humble’ by Kendrick Lamar

‘La Dame et Ses Valises’ by Les Amazones d’Afrique (feat. Nneka)

‘Unforgettable’ by French Montana (feat. Swae Lee)

‘The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness’ by The National

‘Chanel’ by Frank Ocean

‘Feel It Still’ by Portugal. The Man

‘Butterfly Effect’ by Travis Scott

‘Matter of Time’ by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

‘Little Bit’ by Mavis Staples

‘Millionaire’ by Chris Stapleton

‘Sign of the Times’ by Harry Styles

‘Broken Clocks’ by SZA

‘Ordinary Love (Extraordinary Mix)’ by U2

*Bonus: Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen (not out yet, but the blues version in his Broadway show is the best!)

A lot of these songs are already huge hits.  But a few are lesser-known, including ‘La Dame et Ses Valises’ by Les Amazones d’Afrique (feat. Nneka).  That track is definitely worth checking out.

Also making the list is the fast-rising SZA, whose ‘Broken Clocks’ grabbed a mention.  Just recently, SZA appeared on Saturday Night Live before playing a string of sold-out shows.  It’s been a pretty good year for the r&b singer.

As for Bruce, Obama’s nod is part of a long-running friendship.  ‘The Boss’ has long supported Barack Obama’s campaigns and initiatives, and the favor has been returned.  In 2016, Obama happily awarded Springsteen a Medal of Honor alongside other accomplished luminaries like Bill Gates.



5 Responses

  1. Bill A

    Bruce has been playing this version of Born in the USA in concert for many years. The song was always meant to be somber, contrary to the mistaken believe that it’s a patriotic anthem. Listen to the lyrics, it is far from it.

    • Dave Goetz

      Spot on, Mark. You can hear the acoustic version on “Live from NY,” 2000 and perhaps elsewhere. It was originally going to go on “Nebraska” in the original form, but Bruce was convinced to let E Street rock it out. Both versions are stellar, in my opinion, though totally different. I’m wondering if there are new lyrics in the B’way version.

  2. LC

    Correction — it wasn’t a Medal of Honor that Obama awarded Springsteen. That’s a military honor. He awarded Springsteen with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor.

  3. Silvio Dante

    The original, acoustic blues version was recorded for Nebraska in the early 80’s, it has already been released on TRACKS in 1998, a 4 CD outtakess compilation. Only version you’ll ever need. Obama is clueless and Bruce, just rehashing old stuff.