New Springsteen Album "Western Stars" June 14*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by FingerPickin'Triumph, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. mikeja75

    mikeja75 Forum Resident

    With all of the issues being reported with the Barnes and Noble edition, it makes me wonder if the pressing available from was also riddled with these same quality issues -- and if perhaps these issues account for the delay in shipping out the product and the subsequent refund for all that pre-ordered their colored version.

    I'm playing the B&N version again (side 3) and it is absolutely full of massive pops and skips. It's likely the worst new album that I've ever purchased. I wonder if the test pressings had any of these issues.

    And throw me in the camp of those that confirms that the color shown on the web site is NOTHING like the actual product:


    My copy is more clear with bits of gray or dirty brown. It's fine, but its so far from 'clear with blue smoke' as advertised. It looks like they were trying to match the vinyl to the clouds in the cover image -- which would have been cool.

    The plant likely gave them a photo of "here's what it'll look like" and that's show on the site. Again, surprised that no one with Sony stepped up to say that they product image needed to be revised to better match the vinyl.

    The B&N issue seems like a rush job to me.
    Anyone have the .net album? Does it remotely come close to what's shown in the store:

  2. Etienne Hanratty

    Etienne Hanratty Forum Resident

    If you hang around Springsteen threads long enough, you’ll find pretty much every album he every recorded being cited as his best by someone. I’d say the closest to this one in musical terms are Devils And Dust (a personal favourite) and Working On A Dream (not a personal favourite).
    Alan57, graveyardboots and RSteven like this.
  3. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident

    Dorset, England.
    Working On A Dream? Really? If you say so.
  4. Etienne Hanratty

    Etienne Hanratty Forum Resident

    You can hear him beginning to explore, less successfully, some of the ideas which crystallised so brilliantly on the new one. WOAD is one of his weaker albums, but there’s an argument that, without it, we’d never have had Western Stars.
  5. DavidD

    DavidD Forum Resident

    My B&N is as advertised — clear with smoke blue streaks which is what is advertised, just not shown. Maybe if it was placed on a white background it may be more like the advertisement picture.

    As for sound, mine is great EXCEPT side C has five distinct pops in the opening track. Other than that, it is a good pressing. I've cleaned the album three or four times, but it's not repaired. And I don't know about returning it to B&N as I reside out of the USA and was lucky enough to get a copy in Savannah, GA when I was visiting. I'll likely live with the noise through avoidance, playing my standard pressing from Amazon which is problem-free; or playing the CD in my car. I love the options. ;)
  6. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City!

    Fonthill, Ontario
    I listen to a lot of LPs and CDs. A problem I see is continual exaggeration and generalization in our wonderful hobby :cheers:
    DavidD, JoeF. and art like this.
  7. willmatic

    willmatic Forum Resident

    I got the website edition, quite delayed but well pressed, flat, quiet, colored vinyl looks better in person.
    DavidD likes this.
  8. Talisman954

    Talisman954 Forum Resident

    Don’t get that at all

    Parts of this album reminds me of Magic which for me is his best album of the last 25 years, this comes close.
    Uncle Ernie and RSteven like this.
  9. JoeF.

    JoeF. Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    You're both right.

    Western Stars contains 13 songs recorded-apparently--during sessions over a number of years and probably "treated" more recently and there are musical and lyrical cues that echo many songs from several different albums across his career. Not everyone is going to hear the same things because a lot of the cues are subtle.

    Here are some of my impressions.

    The title track, "Western Stars" recalls both "Devils & Dust" and "All That Heaven Will Allow" from Tunnel of Love while "Tuscon Train" contains the DNA of the title songs of both Human Touch and The Rising.

    "Drive Fast (The Stuntman)" and "Stones" bring to mind --respectively--"Racing in The Streets" and the title track from Darkness on the Edge of Town.

    "Sundown" and "There Goes My Miracle" are where Magic and the best songs of Working on a Dream comparisons are most obvious--not surprising since Western Stars was begun the year after WoaD.

    Elsewhere on the album hovers the ghost of The Ghost of Tom Joad and the windswept plains of Nebraska.

    Bruce has been recording for nearly 50 years--he has a body of his own work--both released and unreleased -- to draw from whether intentionally, or on the subconscious level.
  10. hardknox

    hardknox Forum Resident

    I've got the B&N version and it plays perfectly; no pops, no skips, no static.

    However, the two non-spine corners of the album jacket arrived trashed; creased and bent because of the crappy shipping carton they sent it in. :cussing:
  11. Working On A Dream is his worst album.He tried to move into some of the areas he covers so brilliantly on Western Stars.There were 2 problems.The songs were poor with a cringeworthy lyric coming out nearly every time he opened his mouth.Also the E St Band as fantastic as it is doesn’t have the subtlety to make this kind of music work.For this reason I sort of hope they never try to play Western Stars songs live.
    Record Rotator and JoeF. like this.
  12. JoeF.

    JoeF. Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    Totally agree about the E Street Band. Sometimes they are just too big and unwieldy— and I think that’s by design, for they are mainly a vehicle for Springsteen’s live shows.
    OptimisticGoat, budwhite and The MEZ like this.
  13. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing

    Western Stars...brilliant. Pure Springsteen - Bruce has mellowed with age, yet still with that Wild Innocent E Street magic. Back to very focused form.
  14. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    I'm betting Bruce still has that talent for re-arranging songs to work perfectly with the band. If he does any of this live, I think it will be radically re-fitted and the new arrangement could stand on its own.
    lemonade kid and Rockford & Roll like this.
  15. JoeF.

    JoeF. Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    I think the only songs that lend themselves to the E Street Band treatment are "Tuscon Train", " Sundown" and "There Goes My Miracle." I can see him doing a few more solo on guitar--or with minimal accompaniment from Patti and Suzi Tyrell.

    When he does do solo stuff with the band, it's usually radically reworked---"Youngstown" and "The Ghost of Tom Joad" come to mind. But the songs on Western Stars doesn't seem to lend themselves to being radically reworked.

    Besides, that would kinda ruin the point of Western Stars,wouldn't it?
  16. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    It keeps the songs out there for folks to hear and perhaps re-assess the album..........more sales
    JoeF. likes this.
  17. JoeF.

    JoeF. Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    True, but --by Bruce's own words--there will be an album of new material for the E Street Band to tour behind. And frankly, the bulk of the audience who attend arena and stadium shows want to hear the old stuff anyway.

    If he wants to juice up sales for Western Stars, now is the time--not 2020.
    OptimisticGoat and RSteven like this.
  18. HarvG

    HarvG Forum Resident

    Chicago Suburbs
    Will never happen, but imagine hearing Bruce perform the entire album live with full instrumentation at a theater similar to where he performed 'Springsteen On Broadway' (the Walter Kerr Theatre). Would be a revelation in my opinion.
  19. Phil147

    Phil147 Forum Resident

    York UK
    Fully agree this needs a quiet environmnet. It does make for good background music if you are on your own but really needs listening too properly, with a nice glass of red in my case.
  20. Hawkman

    Hawkman Supercar Gort Staff

    New Jersey
    I have it. It's close. My copy is a bit more of a slate blue, almost a gun metal blue, with wisps of white and black.
  21. J_D__

    J_D__ Forum Resident

    Huntersville, NC
    Here's how I'd rank my favorite Springsteen albums now:

    01. Darkness on the Edge of Town
    02. Born to Run
    03. The River
    04. Western Stars
    05. Tunnel of Love
    06. Born in the USA
    07. The Wild.....
    08. Nebraska
    09. Greetings from Asbury Park
    10. Magic

    And Western Stars may climb higher as I'm enjoying it more and more.
  22. DavidD

    DavidD Forum Resident

    As a preface, I am really enjoying the album. But I can't help but wonder if, and how, the album might be improved.

    All else being the same, I think this album could be better if Somewhere North Of Nashville was deep-sixed.

    It's Devils and Dust material, and it simply does not acoustically fit the feel (or the flow) of the record, not for me anyhow.

    Why would they decide to steer away from the symphonic sound that literally makes the album for this single cut? Or, alternatively, why didn't they record it in the same vein acoustically? It's such a sore thumb on this otherwise quality record.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    JoeF. likes this.
  23. sunking101

    sunking101 Forum Resident

    Yorkshire, England
    I'd put it below Tunnel Of Love and Born In The USA. It's one of the better later period Bruce albums for sure but it will never challenge his classic albums for me.
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  24. JoeF.

    JoeF. Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    I agree with you. It's not a bad song. And while lyrically it kind of fits, musically it just doesn't. Also, as the songs on Western Stars were not recorded at the same time, my hunch--going by the vocals--is that "Somewhere North of Nashville" is a fairly recent recording.

    "Sleepy Joe's Cafe" doesn't fit either--I always skip it.
    OptimisticGoat likes this.
  25. ToddH

    ToddH Forum Resident

    Mansfield, Texas
    my website vinyl was great and I hadn't cleaned it yet. Throw in the fact that We all got a full refund and a poster shipped to us....I have zero complaints.
    kouzie and OptimisticGoat like this.

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