So there’s another Bruce Springsteen album coming. Like a lot of huge ’70s and ’80s musicians, his output has been spotty in the ’90s and the oughts. The new single “Radio Nowhere” is about as radio friendly a song he’s made in twenty years. Hummable, catchy….all that stuff. Of course, it will get little airplay where it matters most. We could argue forever if radio even matters anymore, but that’s not the point of today’s post.

Today I’m taking it back to 1973-ish, when Springsteen was young, poor, hungry and prolific. He sent a set of demos to Columbia Records, largely solo acoustic/piano stuff, trying like all the countless other bands to find a record deal. Somehow, 30+ years later, this stuff got out and while you’ll never find it in a record store, you can find it if you look hard enough. Here’s one of those stunning songs, called “Prodigal Son.” Listen to this song and I think you’ll realize that musicians are not like wine. They do not get better with age. Arguably, of course.