October 23 – Letter To You – Bruce and The E Street Band’s first studio album since Born in the USA. The world’s biggest bar band live and raw – cut in four days – no overdubs. Records like they used to be made!
Here’s an edited, bootlegged version of Rolling Stone’s Brian Hiatt’s brilliant guide to the album.
- We’ve heard Letter To You – totally E Street – big organ, big piano intro, amazing sax from Clarence’s nephew Jake – a summation of Springsteen’s artistic output. A letter to the world where he “tried to summon all that my heart finds true”.
- We’ve heard Ghosts – I wrote about it a few days ago. An anthem to those who have died. “A beautiful part of living is what we’re left by the dead.” And this is revisited on the album’s final track – I’ll See You In My Dreams.
And what else is in store on October 23?
- Last Man Standing – an autobiographical nod of the head to his first breakthrough band The Castilles, where he is the last member alive.
- Three bootlegged but never released songs are ‘youthful ideas’ sung today with adult voices – crazy lyrics, insane fun – Song For Orphans, Janey Needs A Shooter, and the gleefully sacrilegious If I Was The Priest.
- Rainmaker – a big rocker. House Of A Thousand Guitars – one of Springsteen’s personal all-time favourites draws on the musical and spiritual world he’s been building for 50 years.
Could this be the last E-Street album? Maybe. Maybe not. The ‘I’m alive’ mantra from Ghosts implies there’s some road ahead.
And Thom Zimny’s movie of the Letter To You sessions will be out to accompany the album.
To rock and roll.