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New Springsteen Album "Western Stars" June 14*

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

  1. Claudio Dirani

    Claudio Dirani A Fly On Apple's Wall

    São Paulo, Brazil
    Finally got hold of Western Stars - the film - and, needless to say, this live version of the record is quite an improvement to the studio's counterparts.
    Hard to pick any favourites. It's really an album that ranks among Bruce's best.

    The title track sounds even more fantastic on its live clothes, imho. It picks up where Over The Rise (from Tracks) left off.
  2. Rockford & Roll

    Rockford & Roll Forum Resident

    Midway, KY
    They did a great job of pulling off that special sound that Western Stars has.
  3. Lombardi

    Lombardi Forum Resident

    Revisited this for the first time since Letter To You came out.

    I still think this is the better work as a full-scale piece. I think the ESB could figure out a way to play some of this material live, like the title track, Tucson Train, and Moonlight Motel.

    Bruce having two strong new albums to pull from for future shows is pretty exciting.
  4. Lombardi

    Lombardi Forum Resident

    ...maybe not "Sleepy Joe's Cafe," though. Ha!
  5. gazzaa2

    gazzaa2 Forum Resident

    It was a shame he didn't tour behind this in 2019 with arena shows. If he had the hindsight of what was to come in terms of the pandemic he no doubt would.

    It's a more even piece of work than LTY which I like but is quite fragmented as an album.

    Sleepy Joe's Cafe is a bit out of place but was probably on there as a bit of light relief. Funnily enough it'd have been the song out of the album he'd have most likely played live.
  6. DolphinsIntheJacuzzi

    DolphinsIntheJacuzzi Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    I liken "Sleepy Joe's Cafe" to "Old King" from Neil Young's Harvest Moon, or of any Andy Summer's songs from Police albums. They're intended to lighten the mood, but instead, they jarringly disrupt the flow of what would otherwise be perfect albums.

    Interestingly, though, I think that in the right context, both "Sleepy Joe's Cafe" and "Old King" could be fun songs that really worked on the right albums. Just not where they are.

    And yeah, I could actually see "Sleepy Joe's Cafe" working pretty well live with the ESB. It would be one of those fun live songs like "Crush On You" or "Sherry Darling." YMMV.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  7. GMfan87'

    GMfan87' Forum Resident

    These two albums greatly differ so I don't think you can compare.
    Western Stars is an impressive work for an artist at the latter stage of his career but many of the melodies are similar.
    I think the songs in LTY all sound different and it would be one to play more often, where the former is more of a mood record.
    Syscrusher and Rockford & Roll like this.
  8. Lombardi

    Lombardi Forum Resident

    For sure, they are very different works, and they're both very strong.

    I guess what I mean is that Western Stars - being a composite of different eras, crafted over several years - still has a more coherent "voice" than LTY. I love the 70s tracks the ESB cut for the album - but the lyrical approach is so different from the general tone Bruce has settled into (as reflected on the newer LTY material). It's fine, but it isn't as seamless a listening experience, imo. Not a bad thing, I just think it speaks to how finely crafted an album WS came to be.

    Agreed that LTY is a more diverse album, melodically.
  9. RubenH

    RubenH Forum Resident

    S.E. United States
    Greetings, how does it sound now? Thank you.
    willy likes this.
  10. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Eastern Shore
    You didn't ask me, but, one year down the road, I think Western Stars is one of his best albums ever. Truly an exceptional release.
    It so holds up as an album and by its individual tracks, standing alone. It was a true change of pace from Springsteen's body of work, but a welcomed one. Could have done without the film, though. We could have figured out what he was trying to say, all by ourselves.
    I don't think that Letter to You will have such status in a year or so. While some of the tracks are great, particularly the three based on older compositions, many strike me as just falling back on the old E Street Band formula. Unlike Western Stars, it smacks as product for this year's holiday season.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
  11. This! You absolutely nailed it.

    Western Stars is a classic album and my favourite Springsteen record. Letter To You is a very good album overall but not distinctive or consistently strong enough to set it apart from Springsteen's other albums from the past 33 years.
  12. Wildgift

    Wildgift This is the modern world that I've heard about...

    Agreed. His best record of the century by far. I love it, and the film cd is also well worth owning.
  13. RubenH

    RubenH Forum Resident

    S.E. United States
    I'll take it though! Always interesting to step back a bit after initial hearings, let some time pass, and revisit. Everyone is different, of course, but I often find that albums I did not much care for at first seem to "improve" over time.
  14. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Senior Member

    New York
    Forgot about this thread as well as this album. Gonna spin it later. Good stuff, gave it a few months to go back to it and let it further sink in with more listens.
  15. chickendinna

    chickendinna Homegrown’s All Right With Me

    Was I dreaming or mistaken but I read somewhere that Bruce was working on another Western-styled album. However, I don't want to call it WS II although I'd be thrilled with something like that. What I love about it was that it was a bit of a departure for him while still maintaining his sound. Whereas Letter to You while a good album, was the state of Bruce and ESB in 2020.
    jeremylr and Rockford & Roll like this.
  16. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident

    Dorset, England.
    Funnily enough, I gave this a play just a couple of days ago. An album that only improves with age.

    Western Stars, gets the full Five Stars. A true classic. My wife adores this album too, despite the sad ending.
  17. fishcane

    fishcane Dirt Farmer

    Finger Lakes,NY
    This one still pales in comparison to Bob Weirs similar concept “Blue Mountain” from a couple years earlier. Imho
  18. Davido

    Davido Forum Resident

    "Blue Mountain" is a truly great album, thanks for the reminder. And I say this as someone with only a passing interest in the Dead or Weir in terms of how much time I spent listening to their catalogues.
    fishcane likes this.
  19. chickendinna

    chickendinna Homegrown’s All Right With Me

    Moonlight Motel really tugs at my heartstrings. It's a stunning finish to a wonderful album. Someone said this and I agree wholeheartedly, Bruce makes the personal universal. He feels a lot of the same things we do and expresses it in our voice.
  20. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing

    love Western Stars...

    The Bishop likes this.
  21. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing

    And Sleepy Joe's Cafe...love the steel drums, squeezebox and island beat -- makes me want to go to Joe's an kick up my heels.

    Bossyman, jeremylr, The Panda and 3 others like this.
  22. lemonade kid

    lemonade kid Forever Changing

    Stones & There Goes My Miracle...a perfect medley if they were performed live. Brilliant and heart tugging.
  23. The Bishop

    The Bishop Forum Resident

    Dorset, England.
    Yeah, me too. I’ll see you there.
  24. Rockford & Roll

    Rockford & Roll Forum Resident

    Midway, KY
    I am loving seeing a little love for Sleepy Joe's Cafe. Often derided, I like it too. It's a nice little break in the record. I've always thought it's what the protagonist sees and hears when he walks into this little joint. Kind of like a Holiday Inn band doing a Buffet song. And your summation is perfect!
  25. AppleCorp3

    AppleCorp3 Forum Resident

    Glad to see this thread flare up again. I still enjoy the tracks, but I only consume them via shuffle mode on my iPhone. I think it’s time to sit down and listen start to finish again.
    Bossyman and Rockford & Roll like this.

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