5. “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)”
Bruce Springsteen (1992)
Springsteen’s classic, about the emptiness of the TV universe, seems quaint with its titular chant. We now have hundreds of channels, and there’s always something good on if you have a DVR or computer. But Springsteen’s larger point transcends the facts: TV, like money and mansions, promises gratification and then fails to gratify. To dramatize the speaker’s frustration, Springsteen cites an oft-told story about Elvis Presley shooting up his TV: “I just let it blast /Till my TV lay in pieces there at my feet / And they busted me for disturbing the almighty peace.”
Pictured: Bruce Springsteen at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York, Aug. 29, 2002.