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The Official Letter to You album and documentary thread


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My 'early days track-by-track' review...

One Minute You're Here - best song on the album. A real anomaly on 'Letter To You', but this album's 'Moonlight Motel' or 'The Last Carnival'. I hope he pulls this thread for the next record (with Rick Rubin, perhaps...). 

Letter to You - feels a bit like a WOAD leftover, but sounds a helluva lot better in the context of the album. Lyrics aren't great, but maybe their universal appeal is the point. Great singing.

Burnin' Train - good song, great recording and performance. Will fly live. Happy with this.

Janey Needs a Shooter - great chorus and singing, again. Fits the record. Nice. 

Last Man Standing - a big one for Bruce and one of the better songs on the album. Cracking tune. 

The Power of Prayer - a little E Street nostalgia. Puts me in mind of 'I'll Work For Your Love', too. Nice. 

House of a Thousand Guitars - the stinker. Lyrics and melody are shocking. Someone should have talked him out of the idea he'd obviously got lost in. No tune. 

Rainmaker - my favourite upon first listen. Still like it. Sticks out a touch on the record (and shares a little too much space with 'Into The Fire' & 'Easy Money') but is no worse for it. The most modern sounding song on the album. 

If I Was the Priest - wild and innocent story and sound. Great recording of a very good song. Sounds the most like what non-fans think Springsteen sounds like... because he usually doesn't, that's where its strength is. Be another flyer live. Singing is great again. 

Ghosts - wasn't a fan of the single, but works perfectly on the album. Magnificent E Street sound. Tour opener without a doubt. Can it stay the distance? 

Song for Orphans - one look back too many. Not as strong as 'Priest' or 'Janey'... and shares their sound too. Similar to 'Easy Money'/'Shackled & Drawn' on WB, someone should have told him 'we've already got one of these'. 

I'll See You in My Dreams - lovely. The song he's been writing since the Reunion tour. Great closing song. 

7/10 for me. All this will probably change in a few weeks. Enjoy all the activity everyone! 

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2 hours ago, alanio said:

Letter to You - feels a bit like a WOAD leftover, but sounds a helluva lot better in the context of the album. Lyrics aren't great, but maybe their universal appeal is the point. Great singing.

As much as I dislike WS, I believe this is left over from that recording session . Just a rocked up version. Just to show you what WS could have been! 

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On 10/28/2020 at 3:13 AM, PaleGreenEyes said:

A little disappointed there was no download code with the vinyl. I guess the site never said it came with one but it's usually a given for new vinyl releases. I always like to have a digital copy along with a physical (but without having to pay twice).

People on the Hoffman site saying the vinyl pressing isn't great.  Some looking for exchanges.

I don't have the ears that these people have, and although I have a nice audio set up it's nowhere near high end, but I have to agree about the sound quality.  Something isn't right.

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To be honest I did not have high hopes this time. I think «Western Stars» is his worst album besides Seeger Sessions. And the E-Street stuff after Magic have mostly bored my ears.

So I was just hoping for a good Janey-version and maybe one classic. But I’m very positive surprised with Letter To You!! Really love One Minute, Burning Train, Janey, Priest and Ghost. And the rest is very good, except for House Of Guitars and Rainmaker. And I love the sound/mix/production on this album!

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2 hours ago, Jimmy James said:

As much as I dislike WS, I believe this is left over from that recording session . Just a rocked up version. Just to show you what WS could have been! 

Do you think people who regard WS as a true  classic will like it when theu rock out with the WS tracks ?

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1 hour ago, Promise61 said:

People on the Hoffman site saying the vinyl pressing isn't great.  Some looking for exchanges.

I don't have the ears that these people have, and although I have a nice audio set up it's nowhere near high end, but I have to agree about the sound quality.  Something isn't right.

Compaired to the first  remixed box set? 

I just assumed everything would be that quality after that ? 

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18 hours ago, Jimmy James said:

As much as I dislike WS, I believe this is left over from that recording session . Just a rocked up version. Just to show you what WS could have been! 

I seriously doubt this sort of lyrics could have been on WS. The songs on that album have very crafted lyrics. 'Letter to you', is pretty simple in this respect, and it sounds like something written pretty quicky (i.e. the 'mongrel trees', the 'iiiink and blood', the raw lines, etc), which makes perfect sense in the specific context of the album genesis (but wouldn't make any, if the song were a leftover from a project honed over seven years). If you think about it, what is said in Letter to you would border the "nonsense", if it were really a letter. Why do you have to describe somebody what's in the letter you sent them? That's why you sent it in the first place. What I really think Letter to You stand for, is the fifty years conversation Bruce has had with his fans and with his band. The letter is basically what he thinks of this conversation. As if he were talking about what he put in his book 'Born to run' rather than in a single letter. Letter to you, as a song makes me think of the "call" mentioned in the last verse of Blood Brothers, another song anticipating a reunion of the E Street Band. Something that is alien to WS and its themes.

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6 hours ago, doesthisbusstop said:

Film highlight....Garry’s face when giving it plenty on his backing vocals in Thousand Guitars....

02E2A3C8-1A43-46E4-B606-4C0B027BA51B.jpeg

Its great to see Garry credited with backing vocals 

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3 hours ago, MacBruce said:

What I like the most about this album is that there is something for everyone on it. Depending on what era you prefer, what style of song you prefer, whether you like acoustic Bruce, rock Bruce, pop Bruce, 70's Bruce, 80's Bruce, Bruce the balladeer, Bruce the passionate rocker. It's all there. It's like he has made a record to pay tribute and thank the fans for their love and support throughout all the years, decades, and eras, and to thank them for being on this fabulous train ride with him and the band. It looks back and it looks forwards. It also pays tribute to lost bandmates, friends and relatives, but never gets too melancholy. 

From a purely personal point of view, I have loved all the eras, all the styles, all the musical experiments he has tried, and of course all the E Street Band albums, and he has now came full circle back to E Street in the twilight of an astonishing career...that willingness to try other things (and in my opinion make them work) is what made him so unbeatable for me. That's the reason I can't compare Letter to you with previous albums and say with any accuracy "this is the best one since....."  In my opinion, barring one or two aberrations in the early 90's, they have all been fabulous, none more so than Western Stars from last year.

I think there is yet more to come from this man, and certainly more archive material.

Wonferful post @MacBruce

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Managed to get round to watching the film. The first half I found a bit pedestrian, then it warms up around If I were a priest which is superb in the film . Towards the end his elegies were beautiful, poetic and moving . I’ll See you in my dreams was quite frankly stunning and very emotional . Jon Landau’s reaction was most appropriate and Bruce seemed genuinely moved by that moment too. 
 

Finishing on BurninTrain was perfect . 
 

I was very happy to hear his desperation to get back out there on a stage until they put him in a box- puts all the final album theories some people have alluded to to bed  :D

 

 

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On 10/31/2020 at 5:13 PM, MacBruce said:

What I like the most about this album is that there is something for everyone on it. Depending on what era you prefer, what style of song you prefer, whether you like acoustic Bruce, rock Bruce, pop Bruce, 70's Bruce, 80's Bruce, Bruce the balladeer, Bruce the passionate rocker. It's all there. It's like he has made a record to pay tribute and thank the fans for their love and support throughout all the years, decades, and eras, and to thank them for being on this fabulous train ride with him and the band. It looks back and it looks forwards. It also pays tribute to lost bandmates, friends and relatives, but never gets too melancholy. 

From a purely personal point of view, I have loved all the eras, all the styles, all the musical experiments he has tried, and of course all the E Street Band albums, and he has now came full circle back to E Street in the twilight of an astonishing career...that willingness to try other things (and in my opinion make them work) is what made him so unbeatable for me. That's the reason I can't compare Letter to you with previous albums and say with any accuracy "this is the best one since....."  In my opinion, barring one or two aberrations in the early 90's, they have all been fabulous, none more so than Western Stars from last year.

I think there is yet more to come from this man, and certainly more archive material.

Agree!

 

And I noticed that Greetings, the first album is a postcard, the last one is a letter, full circle.

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6 hours ago, baertb said:

And I noticed that Greetings, the first album is a postcard, the last one is a letter, full circle.

It won't be the last album, though.   At least there's no reason to think so at present.

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48 minutes ago, Rizla said:

It won't be the last album, though.   At least there's no reason to think so at present.

It won't be the last album, indeed. Maybe he meant last album with the ESB. Even that is doubtful.

It is said this could be the last dance on E Street; but that is said since the last night of the Reunion Tour.

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9 minutes ago, Jimmy James said:

No full circle would be "An E-Mail to You" 

WhatsApp Message To You?

Something else. After the Greetings show in Buffalo 2009 it was rumoured -as after every ESB Tour in the Reunion Era-this could have been the last tour, so Buffalo the last show;  and if so, closing the ESB chapter with a full album performance of the first album was a nice 'full circle'.

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If vaccine roll out goes as well as hoped, we might yet see the LTY tour begin before the end of 2021. I’m not expecting a tour to come to Europe before summer 2022 but a Magic ‘07 style arena run from November 2021 might, just might, be possible. I guess we will see how rescheduled 2020 tours from other artists go next summer before any provisional tour plans are considered. You would expect economic factors to keep a lid on concert ticket prices too. 

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