Bruce Springsteen has just announced that he will be releasing a soul music covers album on November 11, 2022. Long known for surprising fans with sudden announcements of new releases, this one is a real surprise for fans of Bruce Springsteen’s music. Or is it? While some may be shocked that Bruce Springsteen will be releasing an album of soul covers, long-time hardcore fans of Bruce Springsteen do not really see this as shocking news. First off, while some may think that this is Bruce Springsteen’s first covers album, the Boss has already gone done the road of releasing a covers album. In 2006, Bruce Springsteen released the album We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. That album consisted entirely of cover songs by Pete Seeger. Springsteen also employed a separate group of musicians outside of the E Street Band to record that album.
What is even less surprising is that Bruce Springsteen is releasing an album of soul covers. The reason it’s no big surprise is that soul music has long been one of the driving forces behind Bruce Springsteen’s music and performances. While “Born To Run,” or “Born In The U.S.A,” may not seem like soul songs, one only has to go back to the album The Wild the Innocent & the E Steet Shuffle to hear the soul overtones in songs like “Kitty’s Back,” and “The E Street Shuffle.” Even during the 1970s’ tours, Bruce Springsteen would close his shows almost nightly with Gary US Bonds’ rock and roll soul classic “Quarter To Three.” He would often perform covers of Sam & Dave songs and many tracks from the Stax and Motown catalogs. Continuing on throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s there were always songs on each one of his albums that were fueled by soul music. Songs like “Fade Away,” “I Want To Marry You,” “Bobby Jean,” and “Brilliant Disguise,” were all clearly inspired by Springsteen’s love of 1960s soul music.
In 1993, Bruce Springsteen fired the E Street Band with exception of Roy Bittan and went on tour with an entirely new band to promote his two new albums Human Touch and Lucky Town. That new band had a distinctive soul sound to it, as Bruce Springsteen would often refer to the performances as his “rock and soul review.” While that band was eventually disbanded and the E Street Band returned at the end of the decade, Springsteen’s releases in the 2000s would define a new sound that often paid homage to the music of the 1960s. Songs on the album Magic like “Girls In Ther Summer Clothes,” “You’ll Be Comin’ Down” or Working On A Dream’s “This Life,” all sounded like songs that could have been released in 1967. Clearly, as Springsteen has aged, his music has continued to return to his roots as a teenager of the 1960s. Many of us have been right there with him for the ride. We are still buying those tickets.
Springsteen’s News Of Soul Music Covers Album Is No Big Suprise article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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