Bruce Springsteen has been at it for over fifty years. As one of the originators of Heartland Rock, The Boss has become more than just a rock star. He and his music are cultural touchstones. So, far Springsteen has added to the soundtrack of America with 20 studio albums. Earlier today, he announced his 21st album.
Bruce Springsteen will release Only the Strong Survive through Columbia Records on November 11th. This album sees Springsteen and his band treading new ground. They’re stepping away from the working-class rock that fans are used to and dipping into the deep well of soul music for this cover album.
According to Jambase, Bruce Springsteen went straight to the sources of soul for the songs on this album. The Boss browsed the catalogs of Motown Records, Stax Records, Gamble & Huff, and more. Additionally, he tapped a handful of soul singers to round out his sound. The album will feature guest vocals from Sam Moore and backup vocals from Soozie Tyrell, Lisa Lowell, Michelle Moore, Curtis King Jr., Fonzi Thornton, and Dennis Collins.
Bruce Springsteen on Only the Strong Survive
“I wanted to make an album where I just sing,” Bruce Springsteen said in a statement. “And what better music to work with than the great American songbook of the sixties and seventies?”
Springsteen also opened up about some of the people who inspired him to cut this album. “I took inspirations from Levi Stubbs, David Ruffin, Jimmy Ruffin, the Iceman Jerry Butler, Diana Ross, Dobie Gray, and Scott Walker, among many others,” he said. “I’ve tried to do just to them all – and to the fabulous writers of this glorious music.”
Bruce Springsteen then revealed what he hopes listeners will get from Only the Strong Survive. “My goal is for the modern audience to experience its beauty and joy, just as I fave since I first heard it. I hope you love listening to it as much as I loved making it.”
“Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)”
Bruce Springsteen came out swinging with the lead single from Only the Strong Survive. He released his cover of Northern Soul great Frank Wilson’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” from 1965. With this single, The Boss walks the line between honoring Wilson’s original and making the song his own. As a result, it sounds like a seamless marriage of Springsteen’s usual sound and mid-60s soul. The big backing vocals, horns, and driving beat feel like a throwback to the past. At the same time, Bruce’s timeworn signature vocals fit the arrangement, especially when he slips into his higher register.
If this is any indication of what we can expect, Only the Strong Survive will be a ton of fun to listen to.
Only the Strong Survive Tracklist
- Only the Strong Survive
- Soul Days featuring Sam Moore
- Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
- The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore
- Turn Back the Hands of Time
- When She Was My Girl
- Hey, Western Union Man
- I Wish It Would Rain
- Don’t Play That Song
- Any Other Way
- I Forgot to Be Your Lover featuring Sam Moore
- Rooms of Gloom
- What Becomes of the Brokenhearted
- Someday We’ll Be Together