Bruce Springsteen was born to sing.
A new Springsteen album, “Only the Strong Survive,” due Friday, Nov. 11, will have the Boss singing soul music classics and rarities. A single, “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do),” was released on Thursday, Sept. 29, with an accompanying performance video directed by Point Pleasant native and long-time collaborator Thom Zimny.
Springsteen is leading a largely unseen band in an upbeat celebratory rendition that recalls the classic '60s dance shows of Clay Cole and Lloyd Thaxton.
“I decided to do something I hadn't done before — make some music centered around singing, around challenging my voice,” said Springsteen in a video message on Instagram Thursday. “In my own memoir, I give my voice a little short shrift by saying I didn't think I had much of one. But once I started in on this project, after listening to some of the things we cut, I thought my voice is badass! I'm 73 years old, I'm kicking ass, I'm a good old man! Of course, the music that led to this epiphany and gifted me this insight was soul music!”
The album will feature guest vocals by Sam Moore, and contributions from the E Street Horns, full string arrangements by Rob Mathes, and backing vocals by Soozie Tyrell, Lisa Lowell, Michelle Moore, Curtis King Jr., Dennis Collins and Fonzi Thornton. Ron Aniello is the producer, Rob Lebret is the engineer and Jon Landau is the executive producer.
“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?” Springsteen said. “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.”
The single “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” is considered a gem on the Northern Soul circuit, which plays R&B and soul music for dancing in nightclubs.
“While this tune holds legendary status on the Northern Soul scene, it is positively obscure to an American audience, due in large part to the fact that only a handful of demos of the song even exist,” said Scott Belsky, deejay for the Philly Soul Syndicate. “Sadly, Frank Wilson has since passed, but it’s pretty thrilling to know that the Boss is a fan and will be breathing new life into an unsung classic.”
Springsteen and the E Street Band's last release was 2020's “Letter to You.” The band will go on tour starting with arena shows in the United States in early 2023. Visit brucespringsteen.net for more information.
'Only the Strong Survive' track list
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 (feat. Sam Moore)
7 Rooms of Gloom
What Becomes of the Brokenhearted
Someday We’ll Be Together
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bruce Springsteen announces new album 'Only the Strong Survive'