Let us say, for the sake of conjecture, that I wanted to make my own collection that we will call "The Best of Bruce Springsteen" by downloading individual tracks that I am more likely to enjoy and avoiding some of his later work that I don't much care for. Using his two "Greatest Hits" albums as a starting point, and (in the beginning at least), using only songs from before 1984, here's a list that might work.
Blinded By the Light
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)*
Born to Run
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Dancing in the Dark**
*Songs I've never heard (that I know of) but fit the time frame.
**Songs from 1984 (Born in the U.S.A.) that I can still tolerate. Actually I quite like "Downbound Train," which according to Wikipedia, really came out of the Nebraska sessions.
I used to know someone who was a fan of Springsteen's older stuff but hated Born in the U.S.A., which he regarded as a "sell-out." Brer and Babel will know who I'm talking about. (We spoke at length about this one night when no one else was around--at the old place on Nance Street.) Lamentably, he is no longer with us, but I would like to put this together as my own small memorial to him.
Any recommendations for other songs that should go on this list? I'm thinking "Dancing in the Dark" is too upbeat and optimistic for the list. Any thoughts?