CSX Classic Cuts

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: Bruce Springsteen performs onstage at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

WCSX Classic Cuts

Bruce Springsteen: “Streets of Philadelphia”

The Hook: Bruce says it wasn’t what he normally does, but he was a fan of director Jonathan Demme, so he “gave it a swing.”

Albums: Philadelphia soundtrack and Springsteen’s Greatest Hits

Years: 1994 (soundtrack) and 1995 (Greatest Hits)

Writers: Bruce Springsteen

Stats: Peaked at number-nine on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background: Director Jonathan Demme was actually looking for a hard rocking song to open his movie Philadelphia. That’s not where Bruce Springsteen ended up going with his heart-wrenching ballad “Streets of Philadelphia.” But he won an Oscar for it, so it worked out okay. Following that victory, Springsteen spoke about his decision to write the song.

Bruce Springsteen on writing the Oscar-winning opening theme for Jonathan Demme’s movie Philadelphia. OC: …the picture. :21

“Jonathan asked me and I was a fan of his pictures and I knew a little bit about the picture. And I sort of said, ‘Well, if I can do it.’ I’m generally not particularly good at writing when someone says, ‘Gee, I could use a song that’s sort of like this.’ And I said I’d give it a swing. And he gave me a general idea of what emotionally he might be looking for. And I took a shot at it and he liked it and I’m glad it ended up in the picture.”