With just over two weeks until release day.. can't we just try again. Yeah no politics. not sure what he dust up was all about that got Letter To You's first thread locked and closed.. but hey lets give this another try. Lots to be excited about - did you imagine an E Street record recorded live in the studio in just 4 days with minimal overdubs? Here are the two videos and a first person account of someone who watched the movie (set to be released on Apple +).. that gives a solid overview of the songs, sounds, etc. Letter to you video: Ghosts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo5QNcFioZ4 Two takes on the film and song descriptions - both taken from a BTX thread 10 of the 12 songs are performed in the doc. I’m currently rewatching it and will add more notes accordingly. edit: First things first, this is a BAND RECORD. No doubt about it. Even Bruce mentions at some point “what a group sound we got going on these songs.” Max’s drums BOOM like in no other E-Street album since BITUSA. This is also the most piano-driven record since probably THE RIVER. There is also a reason why Bruce chose IF I WAS A PRIEST and SONG FOR THE ORPHANS, this is an ingenious way for him to go back to his folk-rock roots and the Dylan comparisons that used to irk him in the early ’70s and pay tribute to those roots. These two songs are the most Dylan-esque he’s ever sounded on record. Of note: Janey Need a Shooter and Rainmaker are not featured at all. -It starts off with Bruce telling the band “Gentlemen get your notepads” as he shows the band LETTER TO YOU on acoustic guitar. Steve actually jokes around that the 5-day schedule for recording the album is basically playing by the Beatles rule of “recording one song every three hours.” -Uncle Frank, who was the first person to teach Bruce the guitar is there for all five days and he’s a rather quiet but amusing presence throughout. -There are shot glasses toasts after every recording session ends. There’s a particularly touching toast to Danny and Clarence on day four of the recording sessions. -Also, a great scene where the band members reminisce about Italian crowds and toast “to four nights at San Siro” when they take this new record on the road. - Nice little moment, Bruce to Roy “Roy, in the spirit of Danny Federici, play that glockenspiel” I’ll try to give a song-by-song assessment based on my notes: LAST MAN STANDING I would be shocked if this isn’t the third single released. This is all about Bruce being the last living member of the Castiles “I’m the last man standing now” Starts off with Nils feverishly strumming an acoustic guitar There’s a great Sax Solo and booming Max drumming A great riff which mixes Roy’s Piano with Steve’s 12 string guitar THE POWER OF PRAYER Beautiful piano intro and, really, this is a piano-driven song (one of many on this new album). Charlie’s organ work here is stunning One of those romantic rock ballads ala NONE BUT THE BRAVE. The sax solo is done in combination with Steve’s guitar ala Radio Nowhere Nils-Clarence. There’s also a sax outro. The best way to describe this song would be MELANCHOLIC rock. Very much a FULL BAND arrangement. Particular lyric: “The Bouncer shuts down the door, magic fills the floor, As Ben E. King’s voice fills the air, baby that’s the power of prayer” HOUSE OF 1000 GUITARS A major highlight of the album. Another piano-driven song. Piano Intro with lyrics is almost Jungleland-esque. Blatant Trump lyric: “The criminal clown has stolen the throne, he steals what he could never own” Patti adds background vocals to the chorus sung by Bruce “yeah it’s alright, yeah it’s alright, meet me darling come Saturday night” Lyric: “From the stadiums to the small-town bars, we’ll light up the house of 1000 guitars” The riff to this one is catchy. Ends with Bruce singing “a thousand guitars” six times IF I WAS A PRIEST FULL BAND and way better than the acoustic version. Guitar-driven. This is totally in the style of BOB DYLAN AND THE BAND’s late 60s sound Al Kooper-esque Organ and piano drive the song. Barroom piano playing. Harmonica solo An Awesome, Mike Bloomfield-esque outro guitar solo courtesy of Little Steven GHOSTS we all know the song, but what we additionally learn is how much Steve assisted Bruce and the band in molding the whole tune together. We see Steve arranging the verses and choruses as well as the musical cues. No surprise, this song sounds like it belong on Disc 2 of Tracks. SONGS FOR THE ORPHANS Dylan-esque Harmonica intro and outro Again, MASSIVE Bob Dylan and the Band influence. Even Bruce’s singing is Dylan-esque. This sounds like it could have easily belonged on Blonde on Blonde FULL BAND and done in Pure folk-rock fashion Nils on slide guitar Of note; Bruce has to put on his reading glasses when singing this and Priest, no doubt due to the litany of words he has to read in the lyrics. ONE MINUTE YOU’RE HERE Echo, slapback vocals, ala Roy Orbinson. Dreamy, surreal meditation on death. soft percussion, organ, and piano. the chorus goes: “one minute you’re here, next minute you’re gone” I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS I cried during this one. Also, there’s a closeup of Landau closing his eyes, hearing the song for the first time and just bawling like a baby afterwards. “I’ll meet you in my dreams, for death is not the end, we’ll meet and live and laugh again” This is quite clearly a song about Danny, Clarence and Terry. Starts off slow but the whole band kicks in for some rock and roll “We’ll meet live and laugh again, I’ll see you by the river bed, for death is not the end, i’ll see you in my dreams” BURNING TRAIN Candy’s Room-esque drumming. A driving beat. It also sounds like an above-average outtake from Tracks disc 4, even Bruce’s vocals sound like his ’90s stuff. Blazing guitar solo to the tempo of Max’s drums CONCLUSION It all ends with the final shot and a toast at the end of the final day of recording. Bruce “We’re taking this thing until were all in the box” Bruce on electric guitar alone plays BABY I during the credits. And Take 2 - the documentary is very much in the format of the western stars film, in that each song is introduced by some thoughts from Bruce underneath artistic shots of winter and old video/photos. - a funny observation I had is Bruce is only wearing glasses while performing the songs he wrote 50 years ago... cause of all the lyrics?? - the footage makes it clear that patti and jake were not a part of most of the live sessions. They recorded later, though Jake appears to have been there for one day (and Bruce notes it’s his first time in studio with the band). Soozie makes an appearance during the band introductions but is otherwise absent from the movie (Soozie shot probably just b roll) - One Minute You’re Here feels like an outtake from another album. During this performance you only see a close up of Bruce (which to me suggests E Street didn’t record it last year), plus strings are in this one. This song feels like Devils and Dust Bruce. - Last Man Standing is one of my favorite new songs off the album. Bruce’s vocals on this one are really impressive, and by the way, there are really great vocals throughout the album. - I’ll See You in my Dreams is really special in the context of the doc. Speaking of that, Bruce opens up to the band a couple times in the doc which is really nice to see, and aligns nicely with the themes of the album. It’s very cathartic for fans like us. ..