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The Year in Pop


3. The Boss and His Banjo
So Bruce Springsteen heads into the studio with a bunch of tuba players and banjo slingers to record hoary old folk songs favored by Pete Seeger, including goofy numbers like “Froggie Went a’ Courtin’.” A lark, right? No: It sold more than half a million copies, and the hootenanny-style live shows ranked right up there with Bruce’s best. Folkies also got a fix later in the year, with the less-popular but equally compelling The Harry Smith Project: Anthology of American Folk Music Revisited, in which Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, David Johansen, and Beth Orton, among others, covered songs immortalized by Smith’s seminal anthology.


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