Hungry Heart

Album: The River (1980)
Charted: 28 5
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  • This was Springsteen's first Top 10 hit. Born To Run was a big album five years earlier, but did not have any hit singles. This song proved that Springsteen could not just sell concert tickets and albums, but could record hit pop songs. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • This song explores a man's wanderlust contrasted with his desire for a stable family life. Many of Springsteen's songs are about wanting to get away, and in this song the main character concludes that he does not want to be alone.
  • When Springsteen met Joey Ramone in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Ramone asked Bruce to write a song for his band, The Ramones. Springsteen wrote "Hungry Heart" that night but decided to keep it on the advice of his producer and manager, Jon Landau.
  • Springsteen's voice was slightly sped up on the recording, producing a higher vocal. Bob Dylan did the same thing on "Lay Lady Lay." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alan - Wappingers, NY
  • This was used in the Tom Cruise movie Risky Business. It was the first time a Springsteen song was used in a film.
  • In the 1981 Rolling Stone reader's poll, this was voted best single. Springsteen also won for Best Artist, Album, and Male Singer.
  • Bruce has the audience sing the first verse and chorus when he performs this live.
  • The single was backed with "Held Up Without A Gun." This started a tradition of using songs that did not appear on his albums as B-sides.
  • Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan of The Turtles sang backup.
  • This went to #28 when it was Reissued in England in 1995. The first time it was released it only went to #44.
  • Springsteen performed this with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at Young's first annual Bridge School benefit concert in 1986.

Comments: 27

  • Pearson Hamm from St Simons Island GaBruce is the boss!!
    This is definitely an uplifting road trip song!
    I think about the Torrance family on their way to the overlook hotel in the vulkswagon in the shining same year 1980!
  • Brianm from Charlotte, NcHungry Heart was a perfect Ramones structured song. Bruce hit it on the head. Three chords and a simple memorable hooky chorus. It was the bridge that was very non-Ramones. Had the Ramones taken the bones of the song and amped it up in terms of speed and toughness, it would have been as big a song as Sheena or Rockaway Beach. Just my .02
  • Sludge From JerkwaterYes, let’s celebrate a man deserting his wife and child.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 31st 1980, Bruce Springsteen performed at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York...
    'The River' tour concert lasted 4 hours and 38 minutes and covered 38 songs; the sixteenth song in the set was "Hungry Heart", at the time it was in its second of four weeks at #5 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, and that was also its peak position the chart.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 21st 1980, "Hungry Heart" by Bruce Springsteen peaked at #5 (for 4 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on November 2nd and spent 18 weeks on the Top 100...
    It also reached #5 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart...
    'For always roaming with a hungry heart' (Ulysses by Lord Alfred Tennyson).
  • Noah from Trenton, NjI have a fear of needles, so when I was a junior in high school, I decided to try and get over that fear by donating blood at my school's blood drive. I didn't quite make it, I passed out when the nurse pricked my finger to test my blood, I was really scared when I couldn't get up at all, and I couldn't hear or see anything, but all of a sudden the radio a nurse had on started playing Hungry Heart, and it snapped me out of it and I quickly was able to groggily get up, from that day on, I am sure I have a guardian angel, and he or she is as big of a Springsteen fan as I am
  • Sten from Gentofte, DenmarkThe danish band Malurt had the joy of playing this song with Springsteen at a Malurt cocert in Forum, Copenhagen 1.may 1981. The Leadsinger, Michael Falch spotted Bruce in center of copenhagen, invited him to the concert but dit not at all expect him to show up. But he did, and made the day and the show outstanding for both the band and the fans. Bruce was in Copenhagen with The E-street band on there River tour.
  • Mark from Ruapehu, New ZealandMike Love from the Beach Boys did a cool version of this song.
  • Joel from Baltimore, MdThis song was also used in a episode of Homicide
  • Joel from Baltimore, MdI liked this song only for one reason:It mentions Baltimore and Kingstown. The problem though is that they played it too many times and I really got sick of it. Raining in Baltimore by Counting Crows is much better. That having been said I do like Springsteen just not a rabid fan.
  • Ken from Edmonton, AbWill, this song was one of the first tracks recorded for The River. The title track was written and recorded some 4-5 months later.
  • Caitlin from Upper Township, NjBruce is an American Legend
  • Max from Laconia, NhThe piano in the chorus is coolness. I know it's just a plain ol' tap,tap,tap,tap, but it's still cool!
  • Josh from Torontooh my dad was at one of his concerts, he said the first chorus was prbly the best part of a concert...I wanna be there :(
  • Will from Schoharie, NyDoes anyone know if this song was written before or after the title track to "The River?"

    Listening to the album, I think of the two songs as perfect counterparts: one is about a man forced into a loveless marriage, the other describes a husband who simply walks out on his wife and kids. I wonder if that's what Bruce intended.
  • Tom from Oxford, MiThe song 'Hungry Heart' is about a middle-aged man who leaves his wife and kids. Later in the song, Bruce says how he meets a woman in a bar, but their relationship falls apart.
  • Scott from Columbus, OhI just had to add:
    To me this song describes an underlying desire some of us have to make our strive for something better.
  • Scott from Columbus, OhThis song gives me goosebumps as well.... Bruce pours out his soul in such a brief time that is this song and you can feel the very emotion and sincerity within it.
    Such a simple way of describing the complex desires/needs of a "rolling stone".
    I especially love the verse:
    "We fell in love I knew it had to end
    We took what we had and we ripped it apart"

    It just says SO least to this listener.
  • Ruben Rodriguez from Miami, FlThis song was covered by Rod Stewart on his 84/85 Camouflage tour.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI'm Suprised about that for Piano Man.
  • Kevin from Yorba Linda, CaThis is my favorite song of all time. It is such a grand and elaborate song, and it gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it.
  • Billy from Albany, GaI just watche the Ramones move "End of the Century"
    and Joey says in a radio interveiw that he and Johnny meet Bruce and Little Steven at a show and asked bruce to write a song for them like he had for Patti Smith (Because the Night).When Bruce played it for his manager he said it was to good to give away.
    This was arouind the same time Fire(written by Bruce) was a hit for the Pointer Sisters.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyLike Billy Joel's "Piano Man", Springsteen no longer has to sing the chorus when performing this song on stage. He lets the audience do it.
  • Don from San Antonio, TxThis is one of those songs I wish I wrote. How DO you wirte a song that gives you goosebumps & makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? Do you start with an anthem and just start changing stuff around? This song rocks devastatingly. When this, "Ties That Bind" and "Two Hearts" rally together, buildings fall.
  • Tom from Hartford, CtSong is about middle age - the narrator is a guy in a bar talking to regular "Jack"
    Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack
    I went out for a ride and I never went back
    Like a river that don't know where it's flowing
    I took a wrong turn and I just kept going

  • Ken from Louisville, KySpringsteen started a trend with this song in having a non-title song mention the albuim's title in the lyric ("Just like a river that don't know where it's flowin'"). This song is from the album The River.

  • Charles from Charlotte, NcShortly before he was murdered in New York City, John Lennon praised Springsteen and this song in particular.
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