Bruce Springsteen

Spare Parts

Composed by Bruce Springsteen

Song Review by

"Spare Parts" is one of the least emotionally engaging songs on Tunnel of Love, yet it is not without its charms and is certainly the most flat-out rock song on the disc, although it lacks the use of subtlety and understatement that is central to the success of the album. The song's themes highlight alienation and terror in love; the song opens with "Bobby says he'll pull out, Bobby stays in/Janey had a baby, wasn't any sin/They were set to marry on a summer's day/Bobby got scared and ran away," powerfully sang by Springsteen. In fact, the whole song works well musically, with a wonderfully driving guitar figure and Weinberg's trademark huge drum sound propelling the song forward. It is just hard for the listener to care about what happens to the song's characters, and the chorus of "Spare parts and broken hearts/Keep the world turnin' around" is rather bland. Although one of the weaker songs on the album, it is not without its charms, and has benefited from a souped-up live version that Springsteen performed on his Tunnel of Love tour of 1988. However, no major artists have chosen to record the song.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Tunnel of Love 1987 BMG / Columbia / Sony Music Entertainment 3:44
No Image 1988 CBS Records
The Complete Video Anthology 1978-2000 2001 Col
Nebraska/Tunnel of Love/The Ghost of Tom Joad 2002 Sony Music Distribution
The Collection [#2] 2004 Sony Music Distribution 3:39
Tunnel Vision: The Classic 1988 Stockholm Broadcast 2016 Refractor Records
Sweden Broadcast 1988 2017 Hobo 5:16
blue highlight denotes editor's pick