Bruce Springsteen has had a strange relationship with videos. As someone who came into prominence before the MTV era, he’s always seemed to be a bit uneasy in clips and a little embarrassed to be there at all. Plus, as he is very well aware, no video is going to capture the magic that is the Boss as much as a live performance.

For  “Rocky Ground,” the second single from “Wrecking Ball,” he stays with the black and white motif he used for the album’s first single/clip, “We Take Care of Our Own”: black and white, stark images unified to tell a story rather than any kind of linear narrative.

[More after the jump...]


Similarly to “Wrecking Ball,” he combines the best of a lyric video and a concept clip. In addition to footage of a lower middle-class neighborhood whose best days may be behind it, the video consists of different hands shown writing the lyrics of the song, as well as some isolated sketches. Unlike “Wrecking Ball,”  we don’t Springsteen at all in this one... at least not his face. Plus, his singing partner in song, Michelle Moore, is also nowhere to be seen.

For Bruce obsessives, his only appearance seems to be his hand at the beginning and the end-- and writing a few of the lyrics. If you’re a big fan, suggest below which lyrics you think he’s writing. I identified three lines that I thought were his handwriting. He’s also a doodler, so some of the drawing may be his.

It’s a stark clip that reflects the feel of the rough terrain that we’ve been traveling on.

In the meantime, Springsteen continues his tour through Europe and returns stateside in for a stadium tour in late August.

What do you think of the video for “Rocky Ground?”