Bruce Springsteen's '80s marriage plays out in 'One Step Up'

Published Dec. 11, 2013

Bruce Springsteen has built his reputation as someone who was not afraid of writing an autobiographical song. In 1988, Springsteen's marriage to model Julianne Phillips was crumbling and his not-so-covert description of the breakup was the forgotten single One Step Up.

One Step Up hit No. 13 on the singles, but never gets much airplay compared to the singles off the monster smash Born in the USA. The lyrics paint a sad picture of a doomed relationship with scenes like "Another fight and I slam the door on another battle in our dirty little war."

Julianne Phillips was a knockout model who first caught MTV viewer's eyes as the video vixen in 38 Special's If I'd Been the One and showed up as the ball and chain in Bruce's Glory Days video. In an ironic turn, the backup singer on One Step Up is Patti Sciafla, who might have contributed to the Springsteen-Phillips divorce and would eventually become Mrs. Springsteen herself in 1991.

On Jan. 14, 2014, Springsteen is back with his new album High Hopes.