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Revisiting the Wrecking ball album


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On release I thought it a brilliant album and still do.  In his top 3 this century: Rising, Magic and this. I remember being in an HMV a couple of days before the release day and they were advance-playing it on repeat.  I only popped in to kill 5 minutes and stayed an hour until the shop closed and I was told to leave.  The songs were immediate to me and much better than Working On A Dream – for me Bruce’s albums after Tunnel Of Love were split almost 50:50 between great and so-so.

There are a clutch of truly exceptional songs that go in my best of playlist: We Take Care Of Our Own, Wrecking Ball, Rocky Ground, Jack Of All Trades, This Depression but 9 out of the main 11 are great.

Admittedly I thought the inclusion of LOHAD was unnecessary, and worse than the version on Live In NYC, but perversely I loved the (bonus) new American Land.  There were only two songs that I thought missed the very high bar: You’ve Got It and I’m Alive.

However, after seeing my first show of the tour, my view of I’m Alive changed dramatically – as the main set closing track, with Jake playing the marching drum, it knocked me off my feet and made me revisit my view of the recorded version and I realised my ears had deceived me and it too was a great track.  It became the song I looked forward to most in the other shows I saw. 

And the clincher….I still play the album.  [Devils & Dust, Working On A Dream, High Hopes never get anywhere near my turntable.]

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Thanks for the post Daisey, always good to get a nudge and be reminded of just how good this album really is. Having been fortunate to take my kids to their very first gig on this tour the album holds some amazing memories. The songs stand the test of time and I still find that Rocky Ground, Jack of all Trades and This Depression surprise me each time I return to the album. We take care of our own and  Wrecking Ball were live favourites but I still prefer the LINYC version of Land of Hope and Dreams as it always takes on a huge life of it's own when played live.

Might not be high on everyone else's list but it is an album that still ranks highly and needs a revisit every now and again as a reminder of how good it is.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, muscum said:

On release I thought it a brilliant album and still do.  In his top 3 this century: Rising, Magic and this. I remember being in an HMV a couple of days before the release day and they were advance-playing it on repeat.  I only popped in to kill 5 minutes and stayed an hour until the shop closed and I was told to leave.  The songs were immediate to me and much better than Working On A Dream – for me Bruce’s albums after Tunnel Of Love were split almost 50:50 between great and so-so.

There are a clutch of truly exceptional songs that go in my best of playlist: We Take Care Of Our Own, Wrecking Ball, Rocky Ground, Jack Of All Trades, This Depression but 9 out of the main 11 are great.

Admittedly I thought the inclusion of LOHAD was unnecessary, and worse than the version on Live In NYC, but perversely I loved the (bonus) new American Land.  There were only two songs that I thought missed the very high bar: You’ve Got It and I’m Alive.

However, after seeing my first show of the tour, my view of I’m Alive changed dramatically – as the main set closing track, with Jake playing the marching drum, it knocked me off my feet and made me revisit my view of the recorded version and I realised my ears had deceived me and it too was a great track.  It became the song I looked forward to most in the other shows I saw. 

And the clincher….I still play the album.  [Devils & Dust, Working On A Dream, High Hopes never get anywhere near my turntable.]

Sorry, but...*We Are Alive. :ph34r:

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I think it was the last Bruce album i was allowed  to play in the car and it was before Moncton so it was a long time ago 

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3 hours ago, stillilllife said:

We Are Alive

Doh! (turns red)

1 hour ago, Daisey Jeep said:

allowed  to play in the car

LOL.  I think many of us can relate to points in time when our Bruce obsession crosses a line with people we are with.

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After the reunion of the E Street Band, Bruce released three masterpieces in my opinion:

The Rising

Magic

Wrecking Ball

Especially on tour the Wrecking Ball tunes were fantastic live.

A great and wonderful album which I still listen a lot to today and a great tour especially the 2012 run.

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Anybody remembering that mass press conference in Paris, Champs Elysée February 2012

 

At a Paris press conference on Thursday night, Bruce Springsteen was asked whether he was advocating an armed uprising in America. He laughed at the idea, but that the question was even posed at all gives you some idea of the fury of his new album Wrecking Ball https://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/feb/17/bruce-springsteen-wrecking-ball

 

Among the revelations here: Bruce was originally working on a gospel record before Wrecking Ball came together. "I spent on-and-off about a year on that one before I threw it out, which is something I do every once in a while," he said, later adding, "I wrote 30 or 40 songs before these songs." http://www.backstreets.com/paris.html

 

"Previous to Occupy Wall Street, there was no push-back to what was basic theft that struck at the heart of what America was about, the American sense of history and community. My work... is about judging the distance between American reality and the American Dream." https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/first-listen-bruce-springsteen-wrecking-ball-theatre-marigny-paris-6989037.html

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6 hours ago, el sergio said:

Anybody remembering that mass press conference in Paris, Champs Elysée February 2012

 

At a Paris press conference on Thursday night, Bruce Springsteen was asked whether he was advocating an armed uprising in America. He laughed at the idea, but that the question was even posed at all gives you some idea of the fury of his new album Wrecking Ball https://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/feb/17/bruce-springsteen-wrecking-ball

 

Among the revelations here: Bruce was originally working on a gospel record before Wrecking Ball came together. "I spent on-and-off about a year on that one before I threw it out, which is something I do every once in a while," he said, later adding, "I wrote 30 or 40 songs before these songs." http://www.backstreets.com/paris.html

 

"Previous to Occupy Wall Street, there was no push-back to what was basic theft that struck at the heart of what America was about, the American sense of history and community. My work... is about judging the distance between American reality and the American Dream." https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/first-listen-bruce-springsteen-wrecking-ball-theatre-marigny-paris-6989037.html

Awsome to watch that again

Thank you

I did have a fly in my eye when he talked about missing C

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The themes of the album were very topical to us at that time

Honestly things were pretty sweet durring WOAD but then for the first time in his working life with a career in the building trade in the capital city (where prevouse recessions  and down turns had had little effect on building work) Gary didn't have a job 

Things were tight on my retail wage and we wern't entitled to any govt help so Gary just kept selling stuff to pay the bills

I got a $20 p/week raise and the landlord coincidentally put the rent up $25

I wasn't sure which one of us, Gary or I, were Jack from Jack of all trades 

The Jeep was a very exspensive hobby, we loved her the best but as we started to get semi serous in club conditions repairs and modifications were an expensive ongoing cost

Mopar parts all had to come out of Mexico via Singapore and that old Chrysler straight six loved petrol 

So we sold her

I knew if i didn't use my half on the money it would just get whittled away on bills 

So Moncton became a reality 

It was fitting because Daisy the Jeep Wrangler had been my motivation for wanting BITUSA for Christmas the year we got her (when record stores and departments were still a thing, we couldn't find it because i didn't know to look in the rock section - so i got the DVD LINYC instead)

Anyway back to the album at hand, Bruce sings hard times come and hard times go and hard times come again and here we are again except its me who didn't have a job and Gary is retired 

There is indeed lots of relevance in that album still 

 

 

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To me he was trying to do a Rising part 2  but with times moving on didn't think it worked then again The Rising is some of his best work and was just what was needed at the time and he delivered in buckets so was a hard act to follow.   

You wont get anything like the two albums ever again from him as a full  political album from anybody is dead.

then again Jack of all trades  on listening to it from the front row physically and mentally drained me at the time.

right I'm off to play the album in full . 

      

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I view it as a good but not great album. We Take Care of Our Own could have been a great song but is overproduced IMO. I like lot of the songs, but the only classic to me is Jack of All Trades. Prefer the live version of Wrecking Ball. In the minority, it seems, as not a fan of Rocky Ground.  I don't mind LOHAD, although I agree that the LINYC version is superior. The studio version of LOHAD is better than the awful American Skin that appears on High Hopes.  I would give it 3.5 stars. Prefer both LTY and WS. In that order. 

 

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I liked the title track

LOHD is ok just as long as you don't spend too much time pondering the lyrics - if we've learnt anything over the last decade it's that one person's hope and dreams is another's nightmare. So it's a nice piece of music, well sung, sounds good in performance but is a bit vague and daft really.

I liked Swallowed Up. 

I liked the studio American Land and the Human Touch era sounding You Got It. 

I thought the rest of it was complete garbage and still do. 

The album is choc full of poor lyrics (at times verging on what we would later call Trumpisms) where Bruce describes what he thinks is the typical mindset of early 20th century Everyman as he gets screwed over by The Man. Yawn . 

EasyMoney, Jack of All Trades, Shackled and Drawn and Death to My Hometown are particulary dire.  Does Bruce really think this how ordinary people reacted to the crash of 2007/08? I'm not so sure. 

The music is pretty much generic alt.Americana. There's barely a tune you think you haven't heard before. 

We Take Care of Are Own has echoes of 90's Britpop songs by The Lightning Seeds and Pulp 

And how can a road of good intentions by as dry as a bone? Rubbish

Prior to release we were told that WB was Bruce's reaction to the 2007/8 crash. He was angy. In fact he was hoppin'. bloomin' of his trolley mad with rage. The album however came across as a deliberate attempt to revive his  American Blue Collar Icon status at a time of national crisis. Didn't work.

It seemed to me at the time that a lot people really liked this album because Bruce was back to singing about blue collar type guys losing their jobs etc but somehow lost sight of the fact the most of the content was at best average. WOAD was objectively superior on just about every level. 

Remamber that hilarious calvary/cavalry debate on this board? Pages and pages of people showing off their in depth theological knowledge, crediting Bruce with the same when it was pretty obvious from the context of the line he was singing 'Cavalry'. 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 5/28/2021 at 4:50 AM, Demos said:

I liked the title track

LOHD is ok just as long as you don't spend too much time pondering the lyrics - if we've learnt anything over the last decade it's that one person's hope and dreams is another's nightmare. So it's a nice piece of music, well sung, sounds good in performance but is a bit vague and daft really.

I liked Swallowed Up. 

I liked the studio American Land and the Human Touch era sounding You Got It. 

I thought the rest of it was complete garbage and still do. 

The album is choc full of poor lyrics (at times verging on what we would later call Trumpisms) where Bruce describes what he thinks is the typical mindset of early 20th century Everyman as he gets screwed over by The Man. Yawn . 

EasyMoney, Jack of All Trades, Shackled and Drawn and Death to My Hometown are particulary dire.  Does Bruce really think this how ordinary people reacted to the crash of 2007/08? I'm not so sure. 

The music is pretty much generic alt.Americana. There's barely a tune you think you haven't heard before. 

We Take Care of Are Own has echoes of 90's Britpop songs by The Lightning Seeds and Pulp 

And how can a road of good intentions by as dry as a bone? Rubbish

Prior to release we were told that WB was Bruce's reaction to the 2007/8 crash. He was angy. In fact he was hoppin'. bloomin' of his trolley mad with rage. The album however came across as a deliberate attempt to revive his  American Blue Collar Icon status at a time of national crisis. Didn't work.

It seemed to me at the time that a lot people really liked this album because Bruce was back to singing about blue collar type guys losing their jobs etc but somehow lost sight of the fact the most of the content was at best average. WOAD was objectively superior on just about every level. 

Remamber that hilarious calvary/cavalry debate on this board? Pages and pages of people showing off their in depth theological knowledge, crediting Bruce with the same when it was pretty obvious from the context of the line he was singing 'Cavalry'. 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack of All Trades I believe is worthy enough to be relevant AT specific TIMES now.

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On 5/28/2021 at 10:50 AM, Demos said:

WOAD was objectively superior on just about every level. 

Couldn't disagree more.  WOAD was only a little better than HH which is his worst album of this millennium. WOAD was probably full of forgettable songs.

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59 minutes ago, muscum said:

Couldn't disagree more.  WOAD was only a little better than HH which is his worst album of this millennium. WOAD was probably full of forgettable songs.

The following is only my opinion...

This Life, Kingdom of Days, Life itself, The Last Carnival, The Wrestler....there are a few great songs on WOAD.

A few OK ones, and a few clunkers.

WOAD is a 3 star album in my view. Not great, but not bad.

Wrecking Ball was better. Better songs, and the album had a better thematic range and balance to it.

A 4 star album for me.

High Hopes I don't even class as a proper Springsteen album, given that it is a mish mash of outtakes, re-recordings and cover versions. Even though it was for me the weirdest release of his career (still to this day not sure what the reasoning behind it was) it did give us three fabulous outtakes..The Wall, Hunter of invisible Game and Down in the Hole.

 

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Only High Hopes ranks below WB for me in the so-called Reunion era. I rarely listen to either of them anymore. However I often return to the melodies and brilliant bass lines of WOAD. To each their own.

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