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Revisiting the Wrecking ball album


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Inspired by @zzcoolness who was just talking about Tommy's contributions to DTMHT

I got to thinking about wrecking ball 

It came out to such fan wide acclaim and approval  after a less than enthusiastic reception to working on a dream from some quarters (still one of my favourite records btw)

It waa banded a classic by many posts around these parts back then

We had just lost C

The tour was always going to have to be different and i enjoyed the village who had to step in for the Big Man 

But how has the album stood up for you ?

I still prefer my LINYC version of LOHAD but i did enjoy the WTCOOO video i saw recently 

I thought thanks to Cindy shackled and drawn became far superior in concert 

Remember when we heard there was going to be a rap on the album  ?

Michelle Moore got positively aggressive with it at one point on tour but thankfully Bruce toned it down 

I do think its rather lovelly on the record

When was the last time you played the albun?

With all the praise heaped on WS how do you think WB is holding up to those high accolades of 2012 ?

Do you prefer it to LTY ?

Its such a completly different animal to those last two records 

The world still seems kinda stuffed right now, i think President Biedon used WTCOOO durring his presidential campaign

Is the album a product of its time at the ripe old age of 9 (the last year does feel like a decade just in itself) or is WB still absolutly  relevant to you in today's covid ravaged world?

 

Anyway

What do you think of WB 9 years latter ?

 

 

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And do we want to know what happened to the now lost gospel record rumoured around these times?

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Good post Daisey!

Wrecking Ball never really took hold for me.  “We Take Care Of Our Own” may be great, but for a E Street Band venture, the album strays too far off the reservation to my ears.  The rap, the celtic folk sounds, the tin whistle, the plodding ballads, and the recycling of songs that he had already been performing for years.  (By the way, I prefer the 2009 live performances of “Wrecking Ball” to the studio version).

“Magic” and arguably “Working On A Dream” were the last studio albums to feature all original members of the E Street Band, right?  Coincidentally any Bruce studio albums post-2009 rank low on my list.  ”Letter To You” was a long-awaited return to what I call an E Street sound, but alas that album is plagued by other issues (for example reaching back nearly 50 years for song material).

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I mean no disrespect to our Irish freinds (or indeed Gary's dad and his family) but i don't enjoy the irish influence - the Celtic folk songs and tin whistle that @badlands78 refers to also not enjoying

 

I think if i sent my spit away to ancestry.com i might have actually have  negative Irish blood :D

But Bruce identifies with both his Italian and his Irish side so i guess its just something im missing 

Although i really enjoyed American land on the extended Seagers session cd ( was it?) I loved it on Hyde Park 

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Still think it's a great album.

It's beautifully balanced as well with the first half of the record  basically a state of the union thing, rage, anger at the way ordinary citizens lives had been affected and changed forever by unethical money people in high places and the system in general...then the second half of the record, starting with Wrecking Ball, offering defiance, redemption and hope for the future. I thought it was the right record for the right time.

In terms of songs, the only one I was not too keen on was You've got it. The rest were great especially Rocky Ground, We take care of our own, Death to my hometown and We are alive. The album also contains a genuine Springsteen classic in Jack of all Trades...one of he most beautiful, powerful and moving songs he has ever written as far as I am concerned.

Loved that version of Land of Hope and Dreams as well.

Tour with the horns and backing singers was the best E Street Band tour of my lifetime as well. Saw 5 shows on that tour, the most I have seen on any tour.

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His last relevant album for me with quite some political and social statemants and what was going on in the world. 

High Hopes and the American Beauty EP were ok but  could also be one album.

The Broadway thing was not my thing. I had the feeling i was listingen / looking at Bruce visiting his psychiater.

Western Stars every time i try to play it i fall a sleep so i give up. Even not i a listening a couple of songs

Letter to you is good record but i missed a little bit the relevance wat WB has. It´s more for me a kind of farewell album. A tribute to everyone who doesn´t live anymore and were precious for heim

 

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I became a Bruce fan around 2015/16, so in a way WB was always one of the "old" albums to me and I didn't really see it as any different than the other post-reunion albums. Because of that maybe I think more strongly of it than some. Also Bruce's vocals, experimentation and overall production on the record were more accessible to a younger fan like me than, say, Greetings.

I mostly listen to Bruce's live material (Nugs, boots, etc.) because a lot of that earlier material seems to come alive on stage. Wrecking Ball was different in the sense that it very much seemed like a studio album. With the exception of maybe Shackled And Drawn, every song felt perfected on the album itself.

I have very fond memories of listening to the album, and was one of the few Bruce albums I had on repeat when I first became a fan. The Tempe concert film was the thing that got me into Bruce (seeing it on YouTube), so the first album I listened to in full was The River. I think the very next album I listened to was Wrecking Ball, because I saw it was one of the newest at the time and had much better reception than High Hopes.

The River remains my favorite album by any artist (a bummer really that I became a fan right as the River tour was coming to a close). Wrecking Ball is probably somewhere in my Top 5 still, but not number 2. I don't actively list these things, but if I did, it would be in there.

I'm not sure if I prefer WB to LTY yet. WB had a great tour following it, but no film. LTY had an emotional film accompanying it, but no tour. So hard to compare.

I will say though I prefer Western Stars to WB, even though it took a while to warm up to Western Stars as opposed to the immediate "I like this!" of WB.

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I enjoy it but don't think it's quite as good as Bruce thought it was. It doesn't help that it's not really an E Street album but became the basis for a massive E Street world tour. I suspect it would otherwise have emerged as a solo album with guests had we not lost C and Bruce then understandably felt the need to re-establish E Street again for himself and his audience. Some good to great tracks (We are Alive, Jack of All Trades) but such a mixture of styles that you suspect it was pulled together from a range of projects he may have worked on over a long period of time, including the lost "gospel" album. Not only the rapping for the fanbase to deal with but use of samples as well, almost as if he was trying too hard to consciously be "current".  And like American Skin on High Hopes I can't see why they should feel the need to record a studio version of the decade-old LOHAD - in previous times if Bruce had felt an album needed a certain type of song to fit the album's theme he would have written a new one.

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First, I think it's a pity he chose to call the album "Wrecking Ball", as that title had already been used for albums more than once.  He could have come up with something original, didn't need to be the title of any of the songs.

Love 'We Take Care Of Our Own', real classic Bruce song, although like BitUSA some people misinterpreted it.   Also love 'Wrecking Ball' and LOHAD which I think deserve their places on the album even if they had been heard before.

Like the gospel songs and was sorry that 'Rocky Ground' didn't feature at any of the shows I was at.  

The slow songs are OK.  Apart from 'You've Got It' - no, Bruce, you haven't, not with this trite badly-sung plodder.  Dreadful.

Hate the faux Irish songs.  Plastic Paddy territory.

Unpopular opinion, I don't like 'We Are Alive'.  Don't like the obvious sampling, absolutely no need to do that.  And the whole thing gives me the creeps with voices coming out of graves like the people were buried alive.  The stuff of my nightmares, horrific.

And a horrible sleeve design, as we have come to expect.

 

 

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We Take Care Of Our Own, Death To My Hometown, Land of Hope and Dreams, Wrecking Ball, This Depression, there is enough great songs to be considered a Great album! 

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10 hours ago, MacBruce said:

Still think it's a great album.

It's beautifully balanced as well with the first half of the record  basically a state of the union thing, rage, anger at the way ordinary citizens lives had been affected and changed forever by unethical money people in high places and the system in general...then the second half of the record, starting with Wrecking Ball, offering defiance, redemption and hope for the future. I thought it was the right record for the right time.

In terms of songs, the only one I was not too keen on was You've got it. The rest were great especially Rocky Ground, We take care of our own, Death to my hometown and We are alive. The album also contains a genuine Springsteen classic in Jack of all Trades...one of he most beautiful, powerful and moving songs he has ever written as far as I am concerned.

Loved that version of Land of Hope and Dreams as well.

Tour with the horns and backing singers was the best E Street Band tour of my lifetime as well. Saw 5 shows on that tour, the most I have seen on any tour.

Love Jack of all trades.

 

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13 hours ago, Daisey Jeep said:

When was the last time you played the album?

Years ago, which really says it all.

Wrecking Ball is Bruce Springsteen's most overrated album. To my ears it all sounds too much like 'I am Bruce Springsteen and I am supposed to preach to the converted by making an album about the economic recession'. [In other words: maybe Bruce was just trying too hard]. No great songs on it. Most songs are good songs but nothing more than that. Some of them are not even good songs.

The exceptions are We Take Care Of Own, the title song and -especially- Rocky Ground. This one a contender for the most untypical Bruce Springsteen song ever, Bruce getting really out of his comfort zone to try something new, adventurous and different, and also the closest the Wrecking Ball album comes to including a great song on it.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Daisey Jeep said:

And do we want to know what happened to the now lost gospel record rumoured around these times?

Oh yes, and Rocky Ground could be an indication of how it might sound like. Or maybe not.

Not really on top of the 'wish list' (that is the 1994 album, and also the 1987 country album); but curious anyway.

 

 

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I love the album! I find the production great and the flow of the tracklist is terrific, in my opinion. Great songs (We Take Care, Wrecking Ball, Death To My Hometown, Shackled, LOHAD...) and great instrumentation.

I wouldn't put it in my top 5, but I do think it's one of his stronger efforts post-Reunion!

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Love the first 3 songs...and this might be my favorite American Land ....Has a lot of cool production flourishes  ....but the highlight for me might be the choir sample on DTMHT.....I was on a celtic kick when this came out.....Magic and LTY are my post reunion albums though ...

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It is a middle of the road album by his standards. This Depression is my favorite song that he wrote for the album. I really appreciate that he is so open about his mental health. I prefer the rock version of American Land on this album as opposed to the folk, Seeger version. Easy Money had potential to be a great rock song. I wish he would have ended it with a guitar solo as opposed to La la la la la las. I am not a huge fan of the rest of it. LOHAD from LINYC is far superior. I thought Jack of All Trades was good when it first came out, but it has not aged well in my opinion. 

Out of the 3 albums, WS is the best (I would rate WS as the 2nd best album of this century after Magic) followed by LTY and then WB.

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4 hours ago, Early North Jersey said:

Love the first 3 songs...and this might be my favorite American Land ....Has a lot of cool production flourishes  ....but the highlight for me might be the choir sample on DTMHT.....I was on a celtic kick when this came out.....Magic and LTY are my post reunion albums though ...

Me too, I enjoyed the Celtic vibe it got me into Dropkick Murphy's

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No one has mentioned  swallowed up 

Hope that's on the next solo tour

Love Jack of all trades

I think its still in my top 10

Also quite enjoyed you've got it 

We are alive 

Shackled and drawn

This depression 

Rocky ground

I guess its a pretty good album 

I should really play it more often

 

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7 hours ago, zzcoolness said:

Me too, I enjoyed the Celtic vibe it got me into Dropkick Murphy's

I went the other way ..... I had a much younger friend at work.... He got me into celtic ....I got him into Bruce ..... And it was crazy synchronicity that Bruce guested with Dropkick on Peg Of My Heart ..... And Bruce wrote American Land...

And to ramble a little....We saw A Seeger Show at MSG in 2006....of course that was well into the internet age and i was following the setlists ....So i expected O Mary or John Henry ...... Instead i got a WTF ...... I remember Backstreets the next day when they published the setlist the opener was listed as ???????. But of course in retrospect being there for the initial performance ever is a cool memory

And As much as i loved Magic and the tour ...one of the things i was most excited about was the chance to hear AL again and know what i was listening to and sing along to the best of my ability....

 

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I personally always loved WB and still do. Love the sound, love the different music styles. It's one of my favourites of the post-reunion after with Western Stars and Magic.

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22 hours ago, Rizla said:

And a horrible sleeve design, as we have come to expect.

 

 

I think it's one of his best from recent years. Compared to quite a few of his other album covers it's stylistically pure. It's simple and I definitely mean that as a compliment.

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3 hours ago, stillilllife said:

I think it's one of his best from recent years. Compared to quite a few of his other album covers it's stylistically pure. It's simple and I definitely mean that as a compliment.

Oh, there are worse one, I don't dispute that.  It's still not very good though.

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