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2. 'Tunnel of Love' (1987)
Sure, Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” chronicles the breakdown of relationships, but “Tunnel of Love” takes the concept of marriage (or Springsteen’s first union to Julianne Phillips to be exact) and guts it, leaving all of our hopes and fears and darkest thoughts exposed. Recorded largely as a solo effort, “Tunnel” features finely drawn characters, all desperate for love, and all coming up short in some way in each song, from the howling “Spare Parts” to the yearning “All The Heaven Will Allow” and the world-weary, yet promising “Tougher Than The Rest.” One haunting line after the next from “Tunnel of Love’s” “You’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above” to “Brilliant Disguise’s” “God have mercy on the man who doubts what he’s sure of.”