Bruce Springsteen will release a new studio comprised of 15 soul music covers on Nov. 11 on Columbia Records. Titled “Only The Strong Survive,” the album features songs from the catalogs of Motown and Stax Records, the songwriting duo of Gamble and Huff and more. The tracklist, which appears below, is like a set from a classic ’60s-early ’70s specialty soul radio show.
The album, Springsteen’s 21st studio outing, will also feature guest vocals by soul great Sam Moore, as well as contributions from the E Street Horns, string arrangements by Rob Mathes and backing vocals by Soozie Tyrell, Lisa Lowell, Michelle Moore, Curtis King Jr., Dennis Collins and Fonzi Thornton.
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In a written statement, Springsteen commented: “I wanted to make an album where I just sang. And what better music to work with than the great American songbook of the ’60s and ’70s? I’ve taken my inspiration from Levi Stubbs, David Ruffin, Jimmy Ruffin, the Iceman Jerry Butler, Diana Ross, Dobie Gray and Scott Walker, among many others. I’ve tried to do justice to them all — and to the fabulous writers of this glorious music. My goal is for the modern audience to experience its beauty and joy, just as I have since I first heard it. I hope you love listening to it as much as I loved making it.”
In the video below, he speaks at length (and humorously) about the album’s origins, and how he felt his singing voice had always been constrained by his songwriting and arrangements, and how he had underrated it. But here, he says he wanted to “Make some music that is centered around singing, around challenging my voice,” and that recording the album made him realize that even at the age of 73, “My voice is badass!”
Watch Springsteen’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” video directed by Thom Zimny here:
“Only The Strong Survive” was tracked at Thrill Hill Recording in New Jersey, produced by Ron Aniello, engineered by Rob Lebret and executive produced by Jon Landau. The release will mark Springsteen’s first studio album since 2020’s “Letter To You.”
Springsteen will reunite with the E Street Band in February for his 2023 international tour, which to date has sold over 1.6 million tickets across the United States and Europe. See the tour dates here.
ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE
1. Only the Strong Survive
2. Soul Days feat. Sam Moore
4. Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
5. The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore
6. Turn Back the Hands of Time
7. When She Was My Girl
8. Hey, Western Union Man
9. I Wish It Would Rain
10. Don’t Play That Song
11. Any Other Way
12. I Forgot to Be Your Lover feat. Sam Moore
13. 7 Rooms of Gloom
14. What Becomes of the Brokenhearted
15. Someday We’ll Be Together
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