Bruce Springsteen has gone from being a scruffy-bearded rocker from Freehold, New Jersey, to a rock ‘n’ roll’s working-class hero. He’s one of the world’s most recognizable musicians, known to fans worldwide as “The Boss.” (Think Springsteen is the most famous musician from New Jersey? Find out here: the most famous musician or band from every state.)
To determine Springsteen’s top charting albums, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on chart performance on the Billboard 200 album charts. Albums were ranked based on an inverse score, where a week at No. 1 is worth 200 points, a week at No. 2 worth 199 points, and so on, up to a week at No. 200 worth one point. Only studio albums were considered. Billboard data is current through the week of Aug. 20, 2022.
Springsteen has endeared fans with his socially conscious music and his legendary extended performances. He’s sold more than 150 million records over a career spanning over 50 years, and he won 20 Grammy Awards in that time.
Springsteen’s early songs drew on his experiences of growing up in dying industrial towns, adrift at Jersey Shore bars and clubs, as well as young romances and encounters with hustlers and those living on the margins. Music critic Jon Landau saw Springsteen perform at Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1974 and proclaimed in a review, “I saw rock and roll’s future and its name is Bruce Springsteen.” The following year, Springsteen landed on the cover of Time and Newsweek in the same week as the next big rock star.
His later music was influenced by Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger, and he became the heir to their populist messaging. Springsteen’s album “The Ghost of Tom Joad” references social concerns about poverty and child prostitution.
Nine of his 20 studio albums topped the charts on the Billboard 200, and 17 LPs have cracked the top 10. The top five Springsteen albums resided in the Billboard 200 for at least 45 weeks. (Despite having tremendous success, Springsteen is not among the artists with the most top 10 hits.)
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