Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA (album) – 29th Anniversary – Released 4th June 1984

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Bruce Springsteen, an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, renowned for his poetic lyrics & emotive and honest rock has been releasing albums since his debut Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. in 1973.

Over the next decade, Springsteen delivered the following:

The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle – 1973

Born to Run – 1975

Darkness on the Edge of Town – 1978

The River – 1980

Nebraska – 1982

Which lead to the release of one of the most commercially successful longplayers in his career – Born In The U.S.A. on the 4th June 1984 – his 7th album, which saw 7 singles released from it:

1. Dancing In The Dark – http://wp.me/p3uHDF-ec

Released: May 4, 1984

2. Cover Me

Released: July 31, 1984

3. Born In The U.S.A. – http://wp.me/p3uHDF-e8

Released: October 30, 1984

4. I’m on Fire – http://wp.me/p3uHDF-e3

Released: February 6, 1985

5. Glory Days – http://wp.me/p3uHDF-dZ

Released: May 31, 1985

6. I’m Goin’ Down

Released: September 7, 1985

7. My Hometown – http://wp.me/p3uHDF-dV

Released: November 21, 1985

Full album – http://wp.me/p3uHDF-eg

“Like the guys in the songs, the music was born in the U.S.A.: Springsteen ignored the British Invasion and embraced instead the legacy of Phil Spector’s releases, the sort of soul that was coming from Atlantic Records and especially the garage bands that had anomalous radio hits. He’s always chased the utopian feeling of that music, and here he catches it with a sophisticated production and a subtle change in surroundings — the E Street Band cools it with the saxophone solos and piano arpeggios — from song to song.

The people who hang out in the new songs dread getting stuck in the small towns they grew up in almost as much as they worry that the big world outside holds no possibilities — a familiar theme in Springsteen’s work. But they wind up back at home, where you can practically see the roaches scurrying around the empty Twinkie packages in the linoleum kitchen. In the first line of the first song, Springsteen croaks, “Born down in a dead man’s town, the first kick I took was when I hit the ground.” His characters are born with their broken hearts, and the only thing that keeps them going is imagining that, as another line in another song goes, “There’s something happening somewhere.”

Though the characters are dying of longing for some sort of payoff from the American dream, Springsteen’s exuberant voice and the swell of the music clues you that they haven’t given up. In “No Surrender,” a song that has the uplifting sweep of his early anthem “Thunder Road,” he sings, “We made a promise we swore we’d always remember” no retreat, no surrender.” His music usually carries a motto like that. He writes a heartbreaking message called “Bobby Jean,” apparently to his longtime guitarist Miami Steve Van Zandt, who’s just left his band — “Maybe you’ll be out there on that road somewhere. . .in some motel room there’ll be a radio playing and you’ll hear me sing this son/Well, if you do, you’ll know I’m thinking of you and all the miles in between” — but he gives the song a wall of sound with a soaring saxophone solo. That’s classic Springsteen: the lyrics may put a lump in your throat, but the music says, Walk tall or don’t walk at all.

A great dancer himself, Springsteen puts an infectious beat under his songs. In the wonderfully exuberant “I’m Goin’ Down,” a hilarious song that gets its revenge, he makes a giddy run of nonsense syllables out of the chorus while drummer Max Weinberg whams out a huge backbeat. And “Working on the Highway,” whips into an ecstatic rocker that tells a funny story, hand-claps keeping the time about crime and punishment. Shifting the sound slightly, the band finds the right feeling of paranoia for “Cover Me,” the lone song to resurrect that shrieking, “Badlands”-style guitar, and the right ironic fervor for the Vietnam vet’s yelping about the dead ends of being “Born in the U.S.A.” Though there’s no big difference between these and some of the songs on Springsteen’s last rock LP,The River, these feel more delightfully offhanded.

The album finds its center in those cheering rock songs, but four tracks – the last two on either side — give the album an extraordinary depth. Springsteen has always been able to tell a story better than he can write a hook, and these lyrics are way beyond anything anybody else is writing. They’re sung in such an unaffected way that the starkness stabs you. In “My Hometown,” the singer, remembers sitting on his father’s lap and steering the family Buick as they drove proudly through town; but the boy grows up, and the final scene has him putting his own son on his lap for a last drive down a street that’s become a row of vacant buildings. “Take a good look around,” he tells his boy, repeating what his father told him, “this is your hometown.”

The tight-lipped character who sings “I’m On Fire” practically whispers about the desire that’s eating him up. “Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife, baby, edgy and dull, and cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my skull,” he rasps. The way the band’s turned down to just a light rattle of drums, faint organ and quiet, staccato guitar notes makes his lust seem ominous: you picture some pock-marked Harry Dean Stanton type, lying, too wired to sleep, in a motel room.

That you get such a vivid sense of these characters is because Springsteen gives them voices a playwright would be proud of. In “Working on the Highway,: all he says is “One day I looked straight at her and she looked straight back” to let us know the guy’s in love. And in the saddest song he’s ever written, “Downbound Train,” a man who’s lost everything pours his story, while, behind him, long, sorry notes on a synthesizer sound just like heartache. “I had a job, I had a girl,” he begins, then explains how everything’s changed: “Now I work down at the car wash, where all it ever does its rain.” It’s a line Sam Shepard could’ve written: so pathetic and so funny, you don’t know how to react.

The biggest departure from any familiar Springsteen sound is the breathtaking first single, “Dancing in the Dark,” with its modern synths, played by E Street keyboardist Roy Bittan, and thundering bass and drums. The kid who dances in the darkness here is practically choking on the self-consciousness of being sixteen. “I check my look in the mirror/I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face,” he sings. “Man, I ain’t getting nowhere just living in a dump like this.” He turns out the lights not to set some drippy romantic mood but to escape in the fantasy of the music on the radio. In the dark, he finds a release from all the limitations he was born into. In the dark, like all the guys trapped in Springsteen’s songs, he’s just a spirit in the night”.

***** Debby Miller – Rolling Stone

Credits:

Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Harmony Vocals – Steve Van Zandt

Band – The E-Street Band

Bass, Backing Vocals – Garry Tallent

Drums, Backing Vocals – Max Weinberg

Guitar, Lead Vocals, Written By – Bruce Springsteen

Organ, Glockenspiel – Danny Federici

Saxophone, Percussion, Backing Vocals – Clarence Clemons

Synthesizer, Piano, Backing Vocals – Roy Bittan

Recorded at the Power Station and The Hit Factory.

Mixed at the Power Station.

Producer – Bruce Springsteen, Chuck Plotkin, Jon Landau, Steve Van Zandt

Recorded By – Bill Scheniman, Toby Scott

Mixed By – Bob Clearmountain

Mastered By – Bob Ludwig

Art Direction, Design – Andrea Klein

Photography By – Annie Leibovitz

Crew [Roadwork] – Doug Sutphin, Mike Batlan

Management – Jon Landau

Management [Associate] – Barbara Carr

Management [Office Manager] – Denise Sileci

Tracklisting:

1. Born In The U.S.A. 4:39
2. Cover Me 3:26
3. Darlington County 4:48
4. Working On The Highway 3:11
5. Downbound Train 3:35
6. I’m On Fire 2:36
7. No Surrender 4:00
8. Bobby Jean 3:46
9. I’m Goin’ Down 3:29
10. Glory Days 4:15
11. Dancing In The Dark 4:01
12. My Hometown 4:33

23rd May – The Number One Album in Australia – 1998 (Jeff Buckley – Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk)

Jeff_Buckley_-_Sketches_for_My_Sweetheart_the_Drunk

The Number One album in Australia on the 23rd May, 1998 was Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk by Jeff Buckley.

Jeffrey “Jeff” Buckley (November 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997), an American singer-songwriter and guitarist was the son of musician Tim Buckley (February 14, 1947 – June 29, 1975) who released a string of critically acclaimed albums throughout his career including Goodbye and Hello (August 1967), Starsailor (November 1970) & Greetings from L.A. (October 1972).

The Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk album – a collection of four-track demos & studio tracks – was recorded across Summer 1996 in New York & Spring 1997 in Memphis; and was the follow up to his successful debut release Grace.

Jeff Buckley’s response to the question posed by Richard Kingsmill (Triple J) about what was planned for Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk?

“… a really radical evolution from Grace, just because we’ve been together as a band for so much longer than that. On Grace, we had just been together for maybe five weeks and Michael [Tighe] wasn’t even in the band. And now everybody really has a really integral part in the way the music’s made. It’ll be better.”

Buckley’s captivating voice is a shining light, the focus on the emotional and raw material across the two discs demonstrating his innate songwriting talent.

The producer for Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk was Tom Verlaine – best known as the frontman for the art rock band Television from New York; whose debut album Marquee Moon (February 1977) inspiring many guitar bands including Joy Division, U2, R.E.M., & Sonic Youth.

Verlaine connected with Jeff Buckley when they met each other in 1996 when they had both made guest appearances on Patti Smith’s Gone Again.

Though when Buckley and the band did a third recording stint with Verlaine, in Memphis, there was dissatisfaction with the sessions and Buckley contacted Andy Wallace (who has worked with marquee recording artists ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Nirvana), the producer of Grace, to come onto the project as Verlaine’s replacement

Buckley commenced recording 4 track demos – songs such as Murder Suicide Meteor Slave, Back In N.Y.C., Demon John, Your Flesh Is So Nice & Jewel Box – in preparation for a forthcoming session with Andy Wallace.

“Half of the art of making records is letting the whole thing go… even your mistakes. The nature of it is excruciating. Or, it’s obsessive. Because you’re dealing with ultimate things. You know? It’s not like a live show where you play it and it just disappears into the air like smoke. It’s like painting – sound painting” – Jeff Buckley, Everybody Here Wants You (Documentary)

Some of these demo tracks were sent to New York, where his band was residing; they were scheduled to return to Memphis on May 29 for recording and rehearsals sessions.

On that evening (May 29, 1997), Buckley went swimming in a channel of the Mississippi River, was caught in the wake of a passing boat and drowned; his death ruled as accidental with the autopsy showing no signs of alcohol or drugs in his system.

The posthumously released album received positive reviews around the world.

Tracklisting:

Disc One

The Sky Is a Landfill (Jeff Buckley, Michael Tighe) – 5:09

Everybody Here Wants You – 4:46

Opened Once – 3:29

Nightmares by the Sea – 3:53

Yard of Blonde Girls (Audrey Clark, Lori Kramer, Inger Lorre) – 4:07

Witches’ Rave – 4:40

New Year’s Prayer – 4:40

Morning Theft – 3:39

Vancouver (Jeff Buckley, Mick Grondahl, Michael Tighe) – 3:12

You & I – 5:39

Disc Two

Nightmares by the Sea (Original Mix) – 3:49

New Year’s Prayer (Original Mix) – 4:10

Haven’t You Heard – 4:07

I Know We Could Be So Happy Baby (If We Wanted to Be) – 4:27

Murder Suicide Meteor Slave – 5:55

Back in N.Y.C. (Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford) – 7:37

Demon John (Jeff Buckley, Michael Tighe) – 5:13

Your Flesh Is So Nice – 3:37

Jewel Box – 3:37

Satisfied Mind (Red Hayes, Jack Rhodes) (recorded 1992.10.11 WFMU) – 6:00

All tracks composed by Jeff Buckley; except where indicated

Credits:

Art Direction, Design – Gail Marowitz, Nicky Lindeman

Bass – Mick Grondahl

Drums – Eric Edel (tracks: 1-1, 1-8, 1-9), Parker Kindred (tracks: 1-1 to 1-7, 1-10)

Engineer [Assistant] – Jim Caruana (tracks: 2-3, 2-5, 2-6, 2-8 to 2-11), Joe Lizzi (tracks: 2-3, 2-5, 2-6, 2-8 to 2-11)

Guitar – Michael Tighe

Liner Notes – Bill Flanagan

Liner Notes [Mary’s Message To The Fans] – MG

Mixed By:

Andy Wallace (tracks: 1-1 to 1-9, 1-10),

Mary Guibert (tracks: 2-3, 2-5, 2-6, 2-8 to 2-11),

Michael J. Clouse (tracks: 2-3 to 2-6, 2-8 to 2-11),

Thom Cadley (tracks: 2-3, 2-5, 2-6, 2-8 to 2-11)

Columbia A&R  – Steve Berkowitz

Other [Il Dottore Di Musica] – Chris Cornell

Other [La Mano D’aiuto] – Don DeVito

Photography – Merri Cyr

Producer – Tom Verlaine

Recorded By – Jeff Buckley (tracks: 2-4 to 2-6, 2-8 to 2-11)

Research [Tape] – Jon Naatjes

Voice, Guitar – Jeff Buckley

Written By – Jeff Buckley (tracks: 1-1 to 1-4, 1-5 to 2-6, 2-8 to 2-10)

Notes:

* Haven’t You Heard

Recorded at 135 West 26th Street Studio, NYC (February 5, 1997).
Mixed at Sony Music Studios, NYC (February 5, 1998).
Additional assistance at GinStar, Inc.

* I Know We Could Be So Happy Baby (If We Wanted To Be

Recorded on 4-track in Memphis, TN (Spring 1997).
Mixed at GinStar Music Studio, Cresskill, NJ (Fall 1997).

* Murder Suicide Meteor Slave, Back In N.Y.C., Demon John, Your Flesh Is So Nice & Jewel Box

Recorded on 4-track in Memphis, TN (Spring 1997).
Mixed at Sony Music Studios, NYC (February 5, 1998).

* Satisfied Mind

Recorded live on The Music Faucet – WFMU-East Orange, NJ (October 11, 1992)
Produced for The Music Faucet

Jeff Buckley – Everybody Here Wants You (single) – Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk (album)

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Recorded – 1996

Producers – Jeff Buckley & Tom Verlaine

Released – May 1998

CD Single Tracklisting:

Everybody Here Wants You

Thousand Fold

Eternal Life (Road Version)

Hallelujah (live from the Bataclan)

Last Goodbye (live from Sydney)

New Order – Regret (single) – Republic (album)

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The first single – from the Republic album – released in April 1993.

The music video was directed by Peter Care – who has worked with a number of marquee artists including Depeche Mode, Bruce Springsteen and R.E.M.

The song appeared at number 34 on the Pitchfork – Top 200 Tracks of the 90s