Lyric: If you’re rough enough for love, Honey, I’m tougher than the rest
Song: Bruce Springsteen – “Tougher Than the Rest”
Album: Tunnel Of Love (1987)
Background: Few rock icons have experienced the monumental success that Bruce Springsteen did in the 1980s. “Tougher Than The Rest” was the second track of the The Boss’ 1987 album Tunnel Of Love, and sets the tone and sound that pervade throughout the rest of the record. Heavy drums introduce simple yet elegant lyrics as Springsteen tells the tale of a man’s passing fascination. Springsteen understands that love is a beautiful thing, but it can take treading down a rough and messy road to find it – sometimes it takes having “been around a time or two.” “Tougher Than The Rest” is not necessarily so tough after all; it is a tender and vulnerable story of being ready to take on love’s challenges and walking a “thin, thin line.” Over time, the song has been covered countless times by both men and women. Artists like Travis Tritt, Chris LeDoux, and Midland have all performed or recorded covers that evoke a certain grit, while renditions by Angel Olsen and Emmylou Harris spotlight the song’s enduring gentle nature.