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Springsteen's Letter To You thread (second try)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by FingerPickin'Triumph, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    I don’t have sales numbers or any of that stuff. But I was a huge fan in the 70s and 80s, and I can tell you that he absolutely faded in the 90s. To the point where it seemed he *might* be heading towards retirement. He wasn’t on the radio much, he’s wasn’t on tv much, and his biggest tour of the decade was a very subdued solo acoustic tour in theaters. They tried to re start things with greatest hits, but that fizzled pretty quick too.
    89-99 was pretty quiet.

    Human Touch and Lucky Town got a lot of attention for about 2 weeks, then faded really fast. The whole thing just didn’t click with many people. There were a fair number of empty seats on the last leg of that tour.
     
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  2. kevywevy

    kevywevy Forum Resident

    Yep, just like every other Springsteen thread here it eventually devolves into the same few people telling us yet again that Springsteen has mostly sucked since 1984. You would think they'd be boring themselves by now.
     
  3. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    Tom Joad is one of my favorite albums.
    I love Letter to You too.
    How do you like it?
     
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  4. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    Location:
    The Southwest
    I think some of the songs that do not quite reach their potential (e.g. 1000 Guitars, Power of Prayer, etc) still maintain interesting musical and/or melodic qualities. I still stand by my original assessment that the albums starts off consistent and strong, enters a phase of mediocrity, and then finishes off strong. Not a great album, but a good one.
     
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  5. kevywevy

    kevywevy Forum Resident

    I quite like Letter. I had a big smile on my face all through the first listen. I've enjoyed every listen since. I wasn't sure he was capable of an album like that anymore and I think the decision to record live off the floor was excellent and a practice he should have returned to much earlier.
    As for Joad, I lean the opposite way. Loved Nebraska, mostly bored by the lack of melody on Joad.
     
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  6. One of the saddest songs I ever heard.
     
  7. graveyardboots

    graveyardboots Resident Patient

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    Me too, although that wasn't my initial impression. I was a college student when Greatest Hits was released and, having been a fan for a solid decade at that point, I was really hoping the next release would be an E Street album followed by an E Street tour. Instead, we got The Ghost of Tom Joad, which was about the furthest item on my Springsteen wish list at that point. But then I caught the final night of the first leg of that tour (Atlanta's Fox Theatre...on Super Bowl Sunday, no less) and was completely mesmerized. I never listened to the album the same way after that and it's only grown in stature in my brain since then.

    Magic and Letter to You are neck-and-neck for my favorite E Street albums since then but Western Stars is better than both and, in my opinion, is the strongest Springsteen album since Tunnel of Love.
     
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  8. Mike M

    Mike M Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maplewood
    To me, might be his greatest (along with Thunder Road).

    On the Darkness Box set, I love the video where they do the whole album live, and on that one he keeps Max doing the drum rolls at the end, again and again.
     
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  9. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    From what I recall, Tom Joad kind of came out of nowhere, and quickly returned there. As much as I liked it, I kinda figured Springsteen had become a Neil Young-like figure. A legendary artist that was going to make oddball solo albums from now on.
     
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  10. Mike M

    Mike M Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maplewood
    I kind of wish they were more "oddball". He's been so tightly contained/constrained for so long, I like it when he gets looser and maybe a lot more weirder.
     
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  11. Rockford & Roll

    Rockford & Roll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midway, KY
    Rainmaker has grown on me, it had a Wrecking Ball vibe on first listen but it's OK. The album is still in rotation for me and that's a good sign.
     
  12. davebush

    davebush New Test Leper

    Location:
    Fonthill, ON
    In my opinion, the best song her ever wrote.
     
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  13. Mike M

    Mike M Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maplewood
    Not a wasted syllable in those lyrics.
     
  14. Rockford & Roll

    Rockford & Roll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midway, KY
    I'm not sure how you define oddball but Western Stars was certainly a different tack. I'd be happy if he continues with strong E Street records like Letter and if he does the occasional busman's holiday for a side project - cool! Just no chasing trends and what he thinks might be hip.
     
    Mike M likes this.
  15. JohnB

    JohnB Forum Resident

    I'd say that's a fair assessment of the album. The potential is there to be better, but it falls short in some places. Like you said, a good album but not a great one.
     
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  16. Mike M

    Mike M Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maplewood
    I liked Western Stars a lot. Before it came out it was kind of described as him paying homage to Jimmy Webb, and other mid to late 60's LA songwriters, so I had high expectations. I would love to see him return to the harmonic complexity of his early 70's piano written songs.
     
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  17. windfall

    windfall Senior Member

    Location:
    UK
    I've said it before, but for me one of the key highlights of the Darkness box is the performance of Something in the Night from the Paramount. It looks and sounds like a band facing down mortality. Danny was a year gone. Clarence two years out. Bruce can't quite get or sustain the notes like he used to but by God he's going to try.
     
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  18. Rockford & Roll

    Rockford & Roll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midway, KY
    Maybe I don't care for Joad because I didn't see it live. As someone else mentioned, I struggled to find songs that stayed with me melody-wise. I think I was expecting another Nebraska-like record and Joad is not that.
     
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  19. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    Location:
    The Southwest
    I always suspected that Landau encouraged the Joad project once Springsteen started putting together the initial batch of songs, realizing the need for an artistic resurgence after the relative failure of HT/LT. Had the ‘94 “other band” album been released, it could have been another nail in the coffin. Landau was savvy, and it is probably not coincidental that in ‘95, instead of Human Touch, Vol. 2, Springsteen released Greatest Hits and Joad.
     
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  20. Dr. Zoom

    Dr. Zoom Forum Resident

    Location:
    Monmouth County NJ
    Joad live was mesmerizing. A revelation.
     
  21. davebush

    davebush New Test Leper

    Location:
    Fonthill, ON
    Ugh - "he" ever wrote. Damn.
     
  22. It's my favorite Springsteen song (along with Darkness On The Edge Of Town and dare I say it, If I Was The Priest).

    My favorite Racing In The Street performance is on the Nugs CD of Tempe 1980, mixed by Bob Clearmountain :love:.
     
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  23. musicaner

    musicaner Forum Resident

    I was underwhelmed by the Reunion tour as well.
     
  24. boe

    boe Forum Resident

    Location:
    buffalo ny
    I guess it depends on the show. I saw the final night at the Boston Garden stand and despite being somewhat of a “you had to see him before BITUSA” snob I really loved the show. Had chills when the walked out individually and then blasted into Candy’s Room. And one of the encores had Peter Wolf joining on Raise Your Hand.
     
  25. musicaner

    musicaner Forum Resident

    A lot of people didnt stand up until the very end of the set, which I think pissed off Bruce. The shows I saw were OK nothing special, at times I wished they were shorter, with what seemed like a half hours worth of Tenth Ave Freezout.
    But when he started bringing in kids to sing, thats when I said "basta".
     

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