Glory Days (Bruce Springsteen song)

"Glory Days" is a song written and performed by American rock singer Bruce Springsteen. In 1985, it became the fifth single released from his 1984 album Born in the U.S.A.

"Glory Days"
Single by Bruce Springsteen
from the album Born in the U.S.A.
B-side"Stand on It"
ReleasedMay 31, 1985
RecordedMay 5, 1982
StudioPower Station studio, New York City
  • 4:15 (album version)
  • 5:31 (alternate mix)
  • 3:49 (single version)
Songwriter(s)Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen singles chronology
"I'm on Fire"
"Glory Days"
"I'm Goin' Down"
Music video
"Glory Days" on YouTube


The song is a seriocomic tale of a man who now ruefully looks back on his so-called "glory days" and those of people he knew during high school. The lyrics to the first verse are autobiographical, being a recount of an encounter Springsteen had with former Little League baseball teammate Joe DePugh in the summer of 1973.[2]

The music is jocular, consisting of what Springsteen biographer Dave Marsh called "rinky-dink organ, honky-tonk piano, and garage-band guitar kicked along by an explosive tom-tom pattern".

The single peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles charts in the summer of 1985. It was the fifth of a record-tying seven Top 10 hit singles to be released from Born in the U.S.A.

Missing verseEdit

An alternate mix of the song includes an extra verse about the narrator's father, who worked at the Ford auto plant in Metuchen, New Jersey, for twenty years and who now spends most of his time at the American Legion Hall, thinking about how he "ain't never had glory days."[3] However, after Springsteen realized that this verse did not fit with the song's storyline, it was cut out.

Music videoEdit

The music video for the song was shot in late May 1985 in various locations in New Jersey, and was directed by filmmaker John Sayles, the third video he had done for the album. It featured a narrative story of Springsteen, playing the protagonist in the song, talking to his young son and pitching to a wooden backstop against an imaginary lineup (he eventually lost the game to Graig Nettles). The baseball field scene was shot at Miller Park Stadium in West New York, NJ. The field is inside a city block surrounded mostly by homes. Intercut with these were scenes of Springsteen and the E Street Band lip-synching the song in a bar. The bar performance scenes were filmed at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ.[4]

Although he had left the band the prior year,[5] Steven Van Zandt was invited back to perform in this video, but the two new members of the band, Nils Lofgren and Patti Scialfa, who had not been on the record at all, were also featured. Springsteen's then-wife Julianne Phillips made a cameo appearance at the baseball field at the end.

The video began airing on MTV in mid-June 1985 and went into heavy rotation. The music video received two MTV Video Music Awards nominations, Best Male Video and Best Overall Performance at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

Clips of New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden striking out a couple of batters in real games appear in the video.

Track listingEdit

  1. "Glory Days" – 4:15
  2. "Stand On It" – 2:30

The B-side of the single, "Stand On It", was a rocker occasionally brought out for encores at concerts. It was a late 1980s hit for country singer Mel McDaniel, and was also featured in the 1986 film Ruthless People and its accompanying soundtrack album.



Certifications and sales for "Glory Days"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[24] Platinum 70,000 
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Silver 200,000 
United States (RIAA)[26] Platinum 1,000,000 

  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Pollock, Bruce (2014). Rock Song Index: The 7500 Most Important Songs for the Rock and Roll Era (2nd ed.). Routledge. p. 122. ISBN 978-1135462963.
  2. ^ Coyne, Kevin. "Story Behind the Glory". Cape Cod Times, published July 10, 2011. Page C8.
  3. ^ Audio of the demo with the missing verse about his father on YouTube
  4. ^ "The Hoboken Sound: An Oral History of Maxwell's". Vulture. July 22, 2013.
  5. ^ Levy, Piet. "Years by Springsteen's side a gift for guitarist Nils Lofgren Archived March 27, 2017, at the Wayback Machine". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Gannett Company, Inc., 29 February 2016. Web. 26 March 2017.
  6. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  7. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  8. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  9. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0563." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Glory Days". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  11. ^ "Classifiche". Musica e dischi (in Italian). Retrieved June 1, 2022. Set "Tipo" on "Singoli". Then, with "Glory Days" in the "Titolo" field, click "cerca".
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Bruce Springsteen" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  13. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  14. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  15. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  16. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days". Singles Top 100. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  17. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  18. ^ "Bruce Springsteen: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  19. ^ "Bruce Springsteen The E Street Band Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  20. ^ "Bruce Springsteen The E Street Band Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  21. ^ " – Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 28, 1985". Archived from the original on July 12, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  24. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2017 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  25. ^ "British single certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  26. ^ "American single certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 26, 2022.