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Bruce Springsteen - Letter To You

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Letter To You

Bruce Springsteen

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The arc of creative genius is predictable. In popular music, the simple answer is no one writes great songs forever. Success tends to dull raging emotions and satiate once endless hunger. In popular music few outside the Beatles can claim a run of success like that of Bruce Springsteen. From 1973's Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. to 1987's Tunnel of Love, The Boss wrote album after album's worth of truly great songs. His muse returned on 1995's acoustic The Ghost of Tom Joad and 2002's 9/11 influenced triumph The Rising but has been sporadic ever since.

Always a searcher, Springsteen has now been re-energized as a songwriter by the twin calamities of loss and mortality. Letter To You, his 20th album, bears the impact not only of Clarence Clemons' passing but also the recent revelation that he is now the last man alive from his first band, The Castiles. The man who once launched himself off PA towers with wild abandon, proclaiming his stone desire, has become a 71-year-old who's finally played the ace card he's had all along: a return to the studio with the E Street Band.

Recorded live with the band at his Stone Hill Studio near his New Jersey home, Letter To You—unlike marathon Springsteen sessions from the past—was tracked in a mere five days. The sound is not the crisp digital world of his solo projects but the full-bodied band sound chock-full of guitar chords, organs, glockenspiels, harmonicas, Roy Bittan's piano and the welcome pounding of the mighty Max Weinberg. Clarence's nephew Jake Clemons provides ghostly echoes of his uncle's horn.

After opening with the acoustic solo number "One Minute You're Here" with the singer laying his penny down on the tracks, the E Street vibe floods in on the title track. The acoustic piano-led "House of a Thousand Guitars," speaks for "good souls near and far," while "Rainmaker" hints at politics where "folks need to believe in something so bad." Three old songs written in the '70s anchor the album. "Janey Needs a Shooter," written for Darkness on the Edge of Town and later loosely covered by Warren Zevon, has long been one of the strongest Bruce outtakes. He reaches back further, all the way to Greetings, for "If I Was the Priest," and "Song for Orphans." Both are solid and Dylanesque, filled with the dense often jabberwocky wordplay of his long-ago debut. Once exhilarating signs that a great talent was rising, these songs now indicate that after exploring many artistic sideroads, that same virtuoso has taken a step forward by returning to his roots. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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Letter To You

Bruce Springsteen

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1
One Minute You're Here
00:02:57

Ron Aniello, Producer, Engineer, Strings - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - TOBY SCOTT, Engineer - Ross Petersen, Engineer - Bruce Springsteen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Max Weinberg, Drums - Rob Lebret, Engineer, Mixing Engineer

(P) 2020 Bruce Springsteen

2
Letter To You
00:04:55

Ron Aniello, Producer, Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixing Engineer - Brandon Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Ross Petersen, Engineer - ROY BITTAN, Piano - Bruce Springsteen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Organ, Percussion, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Charlie Giordano, Organ - Garry Tallent, Bass - Max Weinberg, Drums - Stevie Van Zandt, Guitar - Rob Lebret, Engineer - Jake Clemons, Saxophone

(P) 2020 Bruce Springsteen

3
Burnin' Train
00:04:03

Ron Aniello, Producer, Engineer, Guitar - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixing Engineer - TOBY SCOTT, Engineer - Brandon Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Ross Petersen, Engineer - ROY BITTAN, Piano - Bruce Springsteen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Charlie Giordano, Organ - Garry Tallent, Bass - Max Weinberg, Drums - Stevie Van Zandt, Guitar - Rob Lebret, Engineer

(P) 2020 Bruce Springsteen

4
Janey Needs A Shooter
00:06:49

Ron Aniello, Producer, Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixing Engineer - Brandon Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Ross Petersen, Engineer - ROY BITTAN, Piano - Bruce Springsteen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Electric Guitar, Tambourine, Harmonica, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Charlie Giordano, Organ - Garry Tallent, Bass - Max Weinberg, Drums - Stevie Van Zandt, Guitar - Rob Lebret, Engineer

(P) 2020 Bruce Springsteen

5
Last Man Standing
00:04:05

Ron Aniello, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Synthesizer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixing Engineer - Brandon Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Ross Petersen, Engineer - ROY BITTAN, Piano, Celeste - Bruce Springsteen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Charlie Giordano, Organ - Garry Tallent, Bass - Max Weinberg, Drums - Stevie Van Zandt, Guitar - Rob Lebret, Engineer - Jake Clemons, Saxophone

(P) 2020 Bruce Springsteen

6
The Power Of Prayer
00:03:36

Ron Aniello, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Synthesizer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixing Engineer - Brandon Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Ross Petersen, Engineer - ROY BITTAN, Piano - Bruce Springsteen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Organ, Tambourine, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Charlie Giordano, Organ - Garry Tallent, Bass - Max Weinberg, Drums - Stevie Van Zandt, Guitar, Background Vocal - Rob Lebret, Engineer - Jake Clemons, Saxophone

(P) 2020 Bruce Springsteen

7
House Of A Thousand Guitars
00:04:30

Nils Lofgren, Background Vocal - Ron Aniello, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Piano - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixing Engineer - Brandon Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Ross Petersen, Engineer - ROY BITTAN, Piano, Celeste, Background Vocal - Bruce Springsteen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Background Vocal, Vocal - Charlie Giordano, Organ, Background Vocal - Garry Tallent, Bass, Background Vocal - Max Weinberg, Drums, Background Vocal - Stevie Van Zandt, Guitar, Background Vocal - Rob Lebret, Engineer - Jake Clemons, Saxophone

(P) 2020 Bruce Springsteen

8
Rainmaker
00:04:56

Nils Lofgren, Dobro - Ron Aniello, Producer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Organ, Synthesizer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixing Engineer - TOBY SCOTT, Engineer - Brandon Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Ross Petersen, Engineer - Bruce Springsteen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Synthesizer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Charlie Giordano, Organ - Garry Tallent, Bass - Max Weinberg, Drums - Stevie Van Zandt, Guitar, Background Vocal - Rob Lebret, Engineer - Jake Clemons, Saxophone

(P) 2020 Bruce Springsteen

9
If I Was The Priest
00:06:50

Patti Scialfa, Background Vocal - Nils Lofgren, Acoustic Guitar - Ron Aniello, Producer, Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixing Engineer - Brandon Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Ross Petersen, Engineer - ROY BITTAN, Piano - Bruce Springsteen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Electric Guitar, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Charlie Giordano, Organ - Garry Tallent, Bass - Max Weinberg, Drums - Stevie Van Zandt, Guitar, Background Vocal - Rob Lebret, Engineer

(P) 2020 Bruce Springsteen

10
Ghosts
00:05:54

Ron Aniello, Producer, Engineer, Synthesizer, Clapping - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixing Engineer - Brandon Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Ross Petersen, Engineer - ROY BITTAN, Piano, Celeste, Clapping - Bruce Springsteen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Clapping, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Charlie Giordano, Organ, Clapping - Garry Tallent, Bass, Clapping - Max Weinberg, Drums, Clapping - Stevie Van Zandt, Guitar, Clapping, Background Vocal - Rob Lebret, Engineer - Jake Clemons, Saxophone, Clapping

(P) 2020 Bruce Springsteen

11
Song For Orphans
00:06:13

Patti Scialfa, Background Vocal - Nils Lofgren, Acoustic Guitar - Ron Aniello, Producer, Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixing Engineer - Brandon Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Ross Petersen, Engineer - ROY BITTAN, Piano - Bruce Springsteen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Electric Guitar, Harmonica, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Charlie Giordano, Organ - Garry Tallent, Bass - Max Weinberg, Drums - Stevie Van Zandt, Guitar - Rob Lebret, Engineer

(P) 2020 Bruce Springsteen

12
I'll See You In My Dreams
00:03:29

Patti Scialfa, Background Vocal - Ron Aniello, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Percussion, Piano - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer - BOB CLEARMOUNTAIN, Mixing Engineer - Brandon Duncan, Assistant Engineer - Ross Petersen, Engineer - ROY BITTAN, Piano - Bruce Springsteen, Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, Vocal - Charlie Giordano, Organ - Garry Tallent, Bass - Max Weinberg, Drums - Stevie Van Zandt, Guitar, Background Vocal - Rob Lebret, Engineer

(P) 2020 Bruce Springsteen

Album Description

The arc of creative genius is predictable. In popular music, the simple answer is no one writes great songs forever. Success tends to dull raging emotions and satiate once endless hunger. In popular music few outside the Beatles can claim a run of success like that of Bruce Springsteen. From 1973's Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. to 1987's Tunnel of Love, The Boss wrote album after album's worth of truly great songs. His muse returned on 1995's acoustic The Ghost of Tom Joad and 2002's 9/11 influenced triumph The Rising but has been sporadic ever since.

Always a searcher, Springsteen has now been re-energized as a songwriter by the twin calamities of loss and mortality. Letter To You, his 20th album, bears the impact not only of Clarence Clemons' passing but also the recent revelation that he is now the last man alive from his first band, The Castiles. The man who once launched himself off PA towers with wild abandon, proclaiming his stone desire, has become a 71-year-old who's finally played the ace card he's had all along: a return to the studio with the E Street Band.

Recorded live with the band at his Stone Hill Studio near his New Jersey home, Letter To You—unlike marathon Springsteen sessions from the past—was tracked in a mere five days. The sound is not the crisp digital world of his solo projects but the full-bodied band sound chock-full of guitar chords, organs, glockenspiels, harmonicas, Roy Bittan's piano and the welcome pounding of the mighty Max Weinberg. Clarence's nephew Jake Clemons provides ghostly echoes of his uncle's horn.

After opening with the acoustic solo number "One Minute You're Here" with the singer laying his penny down on the tracks, the E Street vibe floods in on the title track. The acoustic piano-led "House of a Thousand Guitars," speaks for "good souls near and far," while "Rainmaker" hints at politics where "folks need to believe in something so bad." Three old songs written in the '70s anchor the album. "Janey Needs a Shooter," written for Darkness on the Edge of Town and later loosely covered by Warren Zevon, has long been one of the strongest Bruce outtakes. He reaches back further, all the way to Greetings, for "If I Was the Priest," and "Song for Orphans." Both are solid and Dylanesque, filled with the dense often jabberwocky wordplay of his long-ago debut. Once exhilarating signs that a great talent was rising, these songs now indicate that after exploring many artistic sideroads, that same virtuoso has taken a step forward by returning to his roots. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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