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"Atlantic City"
Single by Bruce Springsteen
from the album Nebraska
Released 1982
Format 7"
Recorded 1982
Genre Rock, Folk
Length 4:00
Label Columbia Records
CBS 2794 (UK, 7")
Producer Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen singles chronology
"Cadillac Ranch" (UK)
(1981)
"Atlantic City" (UK)
(1982)
"Open All Night" (UK)
(1982)

"Atlantic City" is a song written and recorded by rock musician Bruce Springsteen, which first appeared on Springsteen's 1982 solo album Nebraska, considered to be one of Springsteen's darker albums in tone.

Contents

History

Springsteen writes in his Greatest Hits sleeve notes, he recorded the track in his bedroom, ".....for $1050 ( the cost of the 4 track Tascam recorder), mixed through an old Gibson guitar unit to a beat box...."

The song depicts a young couple's romantic escape to the New Jersey city Atlantic City, but also wrestles with the inevitability of death as the man in the relationship intends to take a job in organized crime once arriving in the city. The opening lines of "Atlantic City" refer to mafia violence in nearby Philadelphia, with Springsteen singing: "Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night, now they blew up his house too." (The "chicken man" was a mafia boss named Philip Testa, who was killed by a bomb planted at his house in Philadelphia in March 1981.) The song also evokes the widespread uncertainty regarding gambling during its early years in Atlantic City and its promises to resurrect the city. This uncertainty and the man's uncertainty about taking the less-than-savory job are echoed in the lyrics "Everything dies, baby, that's a fact, but maybe everything that dies someday comes back."

The song version is included on his 1995 Greatest Hits album and on the 2003 compilation The Essential Bruce Springsteen.

This was one of nine songs that was featured an episode of the television series Cold Case, and played during its climatic murder scene.[1]

Although the song came out around the same time as the film of the same name, the two works are entirely unrelated. Springsteen does, though, partially quote the film's Hare Krishna character Chrissie, who says, "Everything comes back," when discussing reincarnation.

Music video

A music video was produced for "Atlantic City", which received some play on MTV in the United States. This was a non-representational video, meaning Springsteen did not appear in it. The video featured stark, black and white images of the city, which had not yet undergone its later transformation, and was still rather bleak and depressing.

Live performances

From the Born in the U.S.A. Tour on, "Atlantic City" has made fairly regular appearances in Springsteen's band concerts, with a soft-hard-cycle arrangement very similar to that of "Darkness on the Edge of Town". Such live versions appear on Springsteen's In Concert/MTV Plugged (1993) and Live in New York City (2001) albums. For the 2006 Bruce Springsteen with The Seeger Sessions Band Tour, "Atlantic City" was drastically rearranged and featured multiple outros; as such it appears on the Live in Dublin (2007) album.

Covers

The song "Atlantic City" has been covered by other artists, here presented in chronological order:

Sources

References

External links








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