Point Blank

Album: The River (1980)

Songfacts®:

  • The title came from a 1967 movie starring Lee Marvin. "Thunder Road" and "Badlands" also got their titles from movies.
  • This was the last song recorded for The River.
  • This was one of Springsteen's first "Story" songs. He would write more narrative ballads for Nebraska and The Ghost Of Tom Joad.

Comments: 12

  • Yvonne Murphy from BcDoes anyone have the original lyrics?
  • Bill from Ft. Thomas, Ky"Point Blank" dealt with the breakup of Bruce's relationship with photographer Lynn Goldsmith.
  • Ricky from Ohsweken, -francois, A welfare check is Financial support given (usually by the government to those who apply who are unemployed) to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need.
  • Marty from Milwaukee, WiScott, I have a bootleg from 1978 at the Roxy and you are right the lyrics are very different.
  • John from New Haven Ct, CtI heard a different story of where the title Thunder Road came from. Bruce was on a road trip to California and came upon a secluded house in the desert with the sign Thunder Road and a warning not to enter. So bruce stopped, got out of the car and went into the house alone. He came out some time later and said nothing to the other people in the car. The song has nothing to do with that stop except for the title. This was told to me by a friend who was in that car back in the early 70's.
  • Francois from Lyon, Francehi. could someone please explain me exactly what means "welfare check" ? thanks in advance.
  • P from Chicago, IlWhat a writer Springsteen is. This song is so powerful it's almost painful to listen to.
  • Ben from Wellington, New ZealandBruce is a genius this has to be one of his best songs
  • Marilynn from Milwaukee, WiI'm right there with ya, Steve in MO! In my opinion, it's one of Springsteen's most moving songs...the kind of melody and lyrics that still give me goosebumps when I hear 'em.
  • Scott from Chicago, IlIt's interesting how some songs, like any writing, evolve. I've got a 1978 bootleg record of a Springsteen concert in Passiac, N.J., in which he introduces "Point Blank" two years before he put it on "The River." The Passiac version is very different. It starts with the same opening verse and has that same haunting piano melody throughout, but the tempo changes are different, the chorus is arranged differently and the lyrics, after the opening, are almost all different, telling a different story. There's no bar scene, no avenue, no welfare check. Instead there's a much more intimate story about a girl losing faith and turning to drugs. "Shot you point blank" refers to a needle... I love both versions. I think they could be the same story, but it would be a very different story than most people know. It could work great. I don't know if Springsteen ever performed the song with the combined lyrics. It would be long, but it would be powerful.
  • Conor from Dublin, Irelandspot on Steve an absolute gem from Bruce with a powerful lyric bang bang baby your dead
  • Steve from Fenton, MoI can't believe nobody has commented on this song. This is absolutely one of Bruce's best.
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