When I interviewed Bruce Springsteen a few weeks back for my book, among the many fond memories he shared of his friendship with Paul Nelson was how, in Paul’s review of The River, he had correctly identified the influence that London Calling had had on that album. Springsteen told me about the great affinity he’d always had for not just the Clash but punk rock as a whole. “I felt a deep connection to those things,” he said, “and it kinda runs right through [The River].”
It’s a connection that continues, as demonstrated by the recent release of the first single from Springsteen’s upcoming album, Magic. Following in the tradition of great radio songs like the Clash’s “Capitol Radio” and “Radio Clash,” Elvis Costello’s “Radio, Radio,” and Van Morrison’s “Wavelength,” “Radio Nowhere” is an all-out rock & roller that best describes itself:
I want a thousand guitars
I want pounding drums
I want a million different voices
Speaking in tongues
Flat out, “Radio Nowhere” is the best thing to hit the airwaves in years.