“We struggle here but all of our love is in vain…”
At the time of its 1992 release, the album ‘Human Touch’ was considered one of Bruce Springsteen’s least inspired efforts. After the commercial peak of 1984’s ‘Born in the USA’ and 1986’s ‘Live’, Springsteen turned inward to reflect on love and divorce on 1987’s ‘Tunnel of Love’. The accompanying tours were massive world affairs supported by the E Street Band. By 1992, Springsteen had remarried, moved to LA and started a family. He wrote and recorded two albums during this time period, ‘Human Touch’ and ‘Lucky Town’, created as solo pieces with only a handful of studio vets providing backup. Roy Bittan was retained as pianist, the only E Street holdover. The resulting tour was a massive enterprise, as large in scope as the previous outings. While many fans still regard it as a mistake, touring sans the E Street band gave Springsteen room to grow and it shows in his latest, more eclectic, solo treks.
Many of the 1992 recordings have been ‘lost’ to music fans, never finding inclusion on many hits collections over the years. Sure, the ‘Human Touch’ single was a hit, but so much music has been forgotten from this era that one song deserves inclusion on this list. ‘I Wish I Were Blind’ has been played only a handful of times in concert, but would be a jewel of any other artists repetoire. The problem with an artist like Springsteen, and many others on this list, is that he has so many hit songs and classic albums that gems like this go missing and are never heard by casual music fans.
“I wish I were blind, when I see you with your man…”
The song chronicles the oft written scenario of unrequited love in a simple, yet elegant way. It would not be surprising to hear this from a Bobby Womack album. Familiar chord structures resound with purpose…using jazz chords on a soul excursion like this would not be appropriate, simplicity is the order of the day. The guitar solo is fiery, not the sound you would expect in a love song. But the chorus leaves you wanting more and has you humming the entire time. By listening to this song outside of the confines of a Springsteen album, you enjoy it for what it is…a soul song sung by a master songwriter and deserving another spin on the turntable.