guaTimed to the release of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3, where the song plays over the final bit of the credits, rock icon Bruce Springsteen recently released a lyric video for his 1978 classic “Badlands.” The song had never had an official music video released, although Springsteen’s YouTube account had made a number of professionally-shot live performances available over the years, including one taken from a 2003 concert video filmed in Barcelona, Spain. While “Badlands” just barely missed cracking the top 40 during its initial release, it has become a staple of Springsteen’s live shows and is widely regarded as one of “The Boss’s” best songs.
While neither Springsteen nor Columbia Records have acknowledged that it was Guardians of the Galaxy that led to the song getting a brand-new video, it stands to reason. The Guardians franchise has helped reinvigorate the digital sales and streaming numbers for a number of decades-old hits over the course of the last 9 years, most notably giving “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede its best-ever week on the iTunes charts by more than doubling its previous record.
You can see the video below.
In a 2014 Rolling Stone article, “Badlands” was named the second-best Bruce Springsteen song of all time, second only to “Born to Run” and beating out every other fan-favorite track on Darkness on the Edge of Town, the album “Badlands” came from. Of course, that list also has “Jungleland” at #13 rather than the top 10, so its credibility is dubious.
“I came up with titles, and I went in search of songs that would deserve the title,” that article quotes Springsteen as describing his Darkness creative process. “‘Badlands’ – that’s a great title, but it would be easy to blow it! But I kept writing, and I kept writing, and I kept writing and writing until I had a song that I felt deserved that title.”
Springsteen is one of the most acclaimed rock and roll singer-songwriters of all time, with dozens of awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, given to him by former U.S. President Barack Obama, who used Springsteen’s “No Surrender” as his campaign anthem and who co-hosted a podcast with Springsteen in 2021.
Springsteen and the E Street Band, his touring band for most of the last 50 years, are currently on their first world tour since 2016. “Badlands” has been a regular part of the setlist, and was last played on Thursday in Ferrara, Italy. His 2023 concerts are all available for sale and streaming, including a recent show in Spain, where former First Lady Michelle Obama joined him on stage to sing backup and play tambourine.