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Tunnel of Love (album)

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Title: Tunnel of Love (album)  
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Subject: Bruce Springsteen, Tunnel of Love Express Tour, Tougher Than the Rest, Bruce Springsteen discography, Chimes of Freedom (EP)
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Tunnel of Love (album)

Tunnel of Love
Studio album by Bruce Springsteen
Released October 9, 1987
Recorded January - July 1987
Genre Pop, pop rock
Length 46:25
Label Columbia
Producer Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band chronology
Tunnel of Love
Chimes of Freedom (EP)
Singles from Tunnel of Love
  1. "Brilliant Disguise"
    Released: October 3, 1987
  2. "Tunnel of Love"
    Released: October 17, 1987
  3. "One Step Up"
    Released: February 27, 1988
  4. "Tougher Than the Rest"
    Released: June 1988
  5. "Spare Parts"
    Released: October 1988
Brilliant Disguise (1987)

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Tunnel of Love is the eighth studio album by Bruce Springsteen. The album was originally released on October 9, 1987. Although members of the E Street Band were used occasionally on the album, Springsteen recorded most of the parts himself, often with drum machines and synthesizers. Although the album's liner notes list the E Street Band members under that name, Shore Fire Media, Springsteen's public relations firm, does not count it as an E Street Band album[1] and 2002's The Rising was advertised as "his first studio album with the E Street Band since 'Born in the USA'".

In 1989, the album was ranked #25 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Best Albums of the Eighties"[2] while in 2003, the same magazine ranked it at #467 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. "Brilliant Disguise", "Tunnel of Love", "One Step Up", "Tougher Than the Rest", and "Spare Parts" were all released as singles.


  • Background 1
  • Music videos 2
  • Critical reception 3
  • Track listing 4
  • Unreleased outtakes 5
  • Personnel 6
    • The E Street Band 6.1
    • Additional musician 6.2
    • Production 6.3
  • Charts 7
    • Peak positions 7.1
    • Year-end charts 7.2
  • Certifications 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The album is one of Springsteen's least performed set of songs. The New York Times' Jon Pareles wrote that Tunnel of Love "turned inward, pondering love gone wrong. His first marriage, to the actress Julianne Phillips, fell apart; he also decided to part ways with the E Street Band."[3] According to Pareles, most of the album's songs are pop rock paeans or midtempo ballads.[4] "Brilliant Disguise" has been called "a heart wrenching song about never being really able to know someone,"[5] and "a song about the doubts and struggles of married life."[6]

On the B-sides of vinyl and cassette singles, outtakes like "Lucky Man", "Two for the Road" and a vintage 1979 track, "Roulette" were included. On the mini-album that accompanied the 1988 tour, Springsteen included album cut "Tougher Than The Rest", but included another River outtake, "Be True" a rearranged, acoustic "Born To Run", and the Bob Dylan cover, "Chimes of Freedom".

Commercially the album went triple platinum in the US, with "Brilliant Disguise" being one of his biggest hit singles, peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Tunnel of Love" also making the Top 10, reaching #9, and "One Step Up" just falling short.

The 1988 Springsteen and E Street Band Tunnel of Love Express tour would showcase the album's songs, sometimes in arrangements courtesy of The Miami Horns.

Music videos

Irish filmmaker Meiert Avis directed the music videos for "Brilliant Disguise", "One Step Up", "Tougher Than the Rest", and "Tunnel of Love". The videos were shot on locations in New Jersey, including Asbury Park. The intensely personal "Brilliant Disguise" video broke new ground on MTV, being a single shot without edits. The video was nominated for four MTV Awards, including Video of the Year and, paradoxically, Best Editing.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [7]
Chicago Tribune [8]
Q [9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide [10]
The Village Voice A[11]

In a contemporary review for Playboy, music critic Robert Christgau wrote that, apart from the humorous opening track and the clichéd track that follows, Tunnel of Love is "convincing, original stuff—it zeroes in on fear of commitment as a pathology and battles it."[12] He particularly praised the album's introspective second half in his consumer guide for The Village Voice, saying that it showed Springsteen's decency and ability for self-examination.[13] Rolling Stone magazine's Steve Pond said that Tunnel of Love is "a varied, modestly scaled, modern-sounding pop album" rather than a rock and roll album and felt that its unromantic tales of love are similar to Springsteen's socially conscious work about broken promises and dreams in America:

On Tunnel of Love, Springsteen is writing about the promises people make to each other and the way they renege on those promises, about the romantic dreams we're brought up with and the internal demons that stifle those dreams. The battleground has moved from the streets to the sheets, but the battle hasn't changed significantly.[14]

In 1989, the album was ranked #25 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Best Albums of the Eighties"[15] while in 2003, the same magazine ranked it at #467 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1998, Q magazine readers voted Tunnel of Love the 91st greatest album of all time.

In The Village Voice‍ '​s annual Pazz & Jop critics poll, Tunnel of Love finished second in the voting for the year's best album.[16] Christgau, the poll's creator, named it the third best album of the year in his own list.[17]

Writing for America Magazine, Catholic priest and sociologist Andrew Greeley argued that this album exemplifies the American Catholic imagination.[18]

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Bruce Springsteen. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Ain't Got You"   2:11
2. "Tougher Than the Rest"   4:35
3. "All That Heaven Will Allow"   2:39
4. "Spare Parts"   3:44
5. "Cautious Man"   3:58
6. "Walk Like a Man"   3:45
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Tunnel of Love"   5:12
2. "Two Faces"   3:03
3. "Brilliant Disguise"   4:17
4. "One Step Up"   4:22
5. "When You're Alone"   3:24
6. "Valentine's Day"   5:10

Unreleased outtakes

With over 80 songs said to have been recorded for the previous album, 19 songs are known to have been recorded for Tunnel of Love with twelve making the album's final cut while "Lucky Man" and "Two For the Road" were released as b sides and later on the Tracks along with other outtakes such as "The Honeymooners", "The Wish" and "When You Need Me". "Part Man, Part Monkey" was also recorded during these sessions and played live on the Tunnel of Love Express Tour although that version remains unreleased and it would be re-recorded during future album sessions and eventually released. "Walking Through Midnight" is the only other unreleased song which was co-written by Southside Johnny who recorded the song for his own album, 1988's Slow Dance.

  • Part Man, Part Monkey
  • Walking Through Midnight


The E Street Band

Additional musician

  • James Wood – harmonica on "Spare Parts"




Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[40] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[41] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[42] Gold 40,716[42]
France (SNEP)[43] 2× Gold 201,700[44]
Germany (BVMI)[45] Gold 250,000^
Japan (Oricon Charts) 128,400[25]
Netherlands (NVPI)[46] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[47] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Sweden (GLF)[48] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[49] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[50] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Bruce Springsteen's 'The Rising' Set for July 30 release on Columbia Records".  
  2. ^ "100 BEST ALBUMS OF THE EIGHTIES". Rolling Stone. 
  3. ^ Holden, Stephen (8 August 1992). "POP MUSIC; When the Boss Fell to Earth, He Hit Paradise". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  4. ^  
  5. ^ Pareles, Jon (14 July 2002). "MUSIC; His Kind of Heroes, His Kind of Songs". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  6. ^ Cavicchi, Daniel (1998). Tramps Like Us: Music and Meaning Among Springsteen Fans. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, via Google Books limited preview. p. 32.  
  7. ^ Allmusic review
  8. ^  
  9. ^  
  10. ^  
  11. ^  
  12. ^  
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (December 1, 1987). "Christgau's Consumer". The Village Voice. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  14. ^ Rolling Stone review
  15. ^ "100 BEST ALBUMS OF THE EIGHTIES". Rolling Stone. 
  16. ^ "The 1987 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. March 1, 1988. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  17. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 1, 1988). "Pazz & Jop 1987: Dean's List". The Village Voice. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b  
  20. ^ "Tunnel of Love" Bruce Springsteen – (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  21. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2012-04-06
  22. ^ "Tunnel of Love" Bruce Springsteen – (ASP). Hung Medien.  
  23. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). Retrieved 2012-04-06. Note: user must select 'Bruce SPRINGSTEEN' from drop-down
  24. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1987" (in Italian). Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  25. ^ a b Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005.  
  26. ^ "Tunnel of Love" Bruce Springsteen – (ASP). Hung Medien.  
  27. ^ "Tunnel of Love" Bruce Springsteen – (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  28. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE.  
  29. ^ "Tunnel of Love" Bruce Springsteen – (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 2012-04-07. 
  30. ^ -"Tunnel of Love"Bruce Springsteen – (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2012-04-06. 
  31. ^ "Tunnel of Love"Chart Stats: Bruce Springsteen – (PHP).  
  32. ^ > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))"Tunnel of Love"allmusic ((( . Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  33. ^ "Tunnel of Love"Album Search: Bruce Springsteen – (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  34. ^ "Top 100 Albums of '87". RPM. 1987-12-26. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  35. ^ a b "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1987" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  36. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1987 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  37. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 2012-01-06. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  38. ^ " - Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1988" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-01-11. 
  39. ^ "Billboard.BIZ: Top Pop Albums of 1988". Archived from the original on 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  40. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2008 Albums".  
  41. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love".  
  42. ^ a b "Bruce Springsteen" (in Finnish).  
  43. ^ "French album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and click OK
  44. ^ "Les Albums Double Or". (in French).  
  45. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Bruce Springsteen; 'Tunnel of Love')" (in German).  
  46. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love" (in Dutch).  
  47. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1979-1990". Iberautor Promociones Culturales.  
  48. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish).  
  49. ^ "British album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love".   Enter Tunnel of Love in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  50. ^ "American album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links

  • Album lyrics and audio samples
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