Bruce Springsteen releases new material after decades out of the spotlight

The singer surprises fans with previously unreleased music

Bruce Springsteen releases new material after decades out of the spotlight

Bruce Springsteen photo used for his autobiography book cover.


"Gallery ~ Bruce Springsteen" by e r j k . a m e r j k a is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 

Bruce Springsteen has released three songs that he wrote before his 1973 debut album, “Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” These songs deal with nostalgia, loss and self-reflection, which is apt for most of 2020, as many have reflected on canceled events, lost loved ones and personal care. 

The previously unreleased songs appear on his new album, “Letter To You.” The album was released on Oct. 23, and is his first album with the E Street Band since 2014’s “High Hopes.” “Letter to You” is an introspective album that contains the punch Springsteen’s previous albums had. In an interview with Apple Music, Springsteen said making the album consisted of single live takes for each song with minimal overdubbing. “It was a great project for us because I don’t think we’ve ever played live in the studio and then kept everything we did on the full take,” Springsteen said. 

His previously unreleased songs are titled “Janey Needs a Shooter,” “If I Was the Priest,” and “Song for Orphans.” “Janey Needs a Shooter” contains slow guitar and rhythm parts which provide fans with a flashback to Springsteen’s early sound at the very beginning of his career. 

Song for Orphans” features the musical style of the “Born to Run" album released in 1975. Roy Bittan’s keyboard along with Steven Van Zandt’s guitar make the melody and pulse of the song. Springsteen said in his Apple Music interview that he wanted to give Bittan more freedom on the keyboard — like he used to have on the early material. 

In the album’s 10th track, “Ghosts,” Springsteen pays tribute to his late bandmates, Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons. The song’s lyric video combines old clips of Springsteen, Federici, and Clemons in concert and recent clips of Springsteen by himself. Springsteen’s voluminous, raspy voice combined with the E Street Band’s instrumentation make “Ghosts” the introspective and energetic song that it is. 

A documentary will also accompany the album’s release, showing the making of each song on the album. “I love the emotional nature of ‘Letter to You,’” Springsteen said in a statement published by USA Today. A trailer for the album and its accompanying documentary can be found on YouTube, along with a teaser

This year, Springsteen has released live albums as part of his series “The Live Series.” In the series, he has included unreleased live performances from the 1970s to the 2000s. He released a live album, “The Live Series: Songs of Summer” on May 15 that features live versions of hit songs such as “Born to Run,” “Thunder Road” and “Girls In Their Summer Clothes.” 

Other albums included in “The Live Series” are “The Live Series: Songs of Love” and “The Live Series: Songs of Friendship.”

Between “Letter to You” and “The Live Series,” Springsteen fans should definitely be entertained during the pandemic despite not being able to enjoy his legendary three to four hour-long live concerts. 

trecchio@theeagleonline.com

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