“Baltimore” – Randy Newman

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One of Newman’s best … from 1977’s “Little Criminals.” A beautiful, but despairing look at a city in crisis, very similar in tone to Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” Also highly recommended (thought I can’t find it on YouTube) is Mink Stole’s recent cover from her album “Do Re Mink”.

“Atlantic City” – The Band

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Here’s a cover I never expected … though the more I think about it, I’m not sure why that was my first reaction. While “Atlantic City” is about New Jersey mobsters and casino rats down on their luck, this Bruce Springsteen classic is a folk song at heart. And if anyone can do a folk song right, it’s The Band (with Levon Helm on vocals).  A beautiful, beautiful cover.