"Hungry Heart" is a song written and performed by Bruce Springsteen on his fifth album, The River. It was released as the album's first single in 1980 and became Springsteen's first big hit of his own on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
When Springsteen met Joey Ramone in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Ramone asked him to write a song for The Ramones. Springsteen composed "Hungry Heart" that night, but decided to keep it for himself on the advice of his producer and manager, Jon Landau. Previously, upbeat and catchy Springsteen songs such as "Because the Night" and "Fire" had been given away and become hits for others, and Landau was anxious that the trend did not continue.
The song is catchy, as the verses and the choruses have the same underlying music. However, as with several of Springsteen's pieces, the song's lyrics don't quite match the mood of the music:
The title is drawn from a line in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's famous poem "Ulysses": "...always roaming with a hungry heart...."
Springsteen's voice was slightly sped up on the recording, producing a higher-pitched vocal. (Bob Dylan had done the same thing on 1969's "Lay Lady Lay", as well as Dire Straits on 1978's "In The Gallery".)...