Wednesday, March 21, 2012

224 Nebraska. The way Bruce should be

Album: Nebraska
Artist: Bruce Springsteen
Year: 1982
Genre: Rock

  1. Nebraska
  2. Atlantic City
  3. Mansion on the Hill
  4. Johnny 99
  5. Highway Patrolman
  6. State Trooper
  7. Used Cars
  8. Open All Night
  9. My Father's House
  10. Reason to Believe

Regular readers of this blog will know that I really want to like Bruce. My experiences with Bruce have been lukewarm but I'm pleased to say Nebraska is the best thing I've heard him do. And I can put my finger on why.

Bruce wrote the songs for Nebraska and recorded them at home as what people in the industry like to call demos. He then brought then into what we like to call a studio where what we like to call a band buggered them up. They took Bruce's heartfelt demos and recorded full instrumentation over the top and probably a sax solo and keyboards and handclaps and for all I know a couple of bassoons, an oboe and a blind and deaf children's choir (how do they get them all to face in the right direction? I've always wondered.)

Then when the sessions were over and the fat lady had sung (she did some overdubs on track three) Bruce sat down to listen to what he'd recorded and realised the full band album wasn't nearly as good as his original demos. So the final album that hit the shops was made up of the tracks he recorded alone in his home as a reference for the full band.  And it's actually really good. I've always said Bruce has a great voice and when he's just singing a song and not trying to raise the roof or compete with a band he's really very good. Nebraska might not be his strongest set of songs but it's his best collection of recordings. It made me wish every Springsteen release was accompanied by a second disc made up of the demos. I'd love to hear stripped down recordings of the albums I've been so Meh about in the past.

Highlight: Bruce's voice
Lowlight: Did we really need the Glockenspeil?

Influenced by: Dylan
Influenced: A group of musicians who wasted their efforts.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "This album is about a time in Bruce's life when he longed to pump his fist, but circumstances prevented him from doing so."

-Don't you hate it when you want to pump your first but those damn circumstances prevent it?

So do you miss the E-street band or wish they'd stay away? Let me know below.

1 comment:

  1. Signs the apocalypse is upon us.... 500 horizons finally appreciates Broooooooce!!