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Music Notes, Part 2: Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Magic’

by Pamela Leavey

I’m an unabashed Springsteen fan, I must admit. I wasn’t always a fan… when The Boss drifted from the classic E Street Band/Asbury Park sound, so too went my interest. But then something magical was born from Bruce Springsteen, in the wake of 9/11. The Rising. Through The Rising, Springsteen and the E Street Band collectively took our nations pain and gave us hope. Somehow, having never seen The Boss perform live before The Rising was released, I managed to catch two shows from the tour, at the beginning and the end of the tour. I was hooked and he hasn’t let me down since. I’ve posted a couple of clips from Springsteen latest release, Live In Dublin in recent weeks. If you haven’t seen or heard it, and you’re a Springsteen fan… Well you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s magical.

And speaking of ‘Magic’… That’s the title of the latest from Springsteen and The E Street Band, set to be released on October 2. ‘Magic’ was produced and mixed by Brendan O’Brien, who also produced The Rising and Devil’s & Dust. It features eleven new Springsteen songs and “was cut over two months at Southern Tracks studios in Atlanta.”

We’ve been together since 1974 and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more excited than he is right now about this record,” says Jon Landau, Springsteen’s manager…

The E Street Band mostly flew down on weekends to record, while Springsteen and O’Brien spent weekdays cutting vocals and recording overdubs. “This album is E Street Band heavy,” Landau says. “Clarence [Clemons] has some great moments on it. You could say that it’s a little more sonically guitar-driven than any past Bruce album. There are a few sort of pop, romantic touches that haven’t shown up recently, but were very prominent on the very early records.”

The lead single will be “Radio Nowhere,” a track Landau says “has a real anthemic quality to it. If it doesn’t get you out of your seat, I don’t know what will.” Landau is particularly excited about “The Long Walk Home,” which was performed live on one occasion on the Seeger Sessions tour late last year. “It’s sort of the summational song of the album,” Landau says. “I think it’s one of Bruce’s great masterpieces.” Another track, “Girls in Their Summer Clothes,” Landau says has a “little bit of a Pet Sounds-type feeling mixed in with the sound of the E Street Band.”

The final track, “Devil’s Arcade,” is described as one of the only songs on the album that delves into politics. “He gets some images across that are very powerful and will certainly give you a feeling of where he’s coming from, but on balance [politics] is not the primary intention of this record.”

A world tour with the E Street Band is reportedly going to kick off in early October, but Landau remains tight-lipped on the details. “As we speak, the tour has not been fully decided,” he says. Springsteen is also planning to promote the album on television, including late-night talk shows.

I’m ready for the “Magic”… But until it’s release on October 2, here’s some classic Springsteen performed with The Sessions Band from Live In DublinGrowing Up:

5 Responses to “Music Notes, Part 2: Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Magic’”

  1. Pamela, let’s hope the album is better than the title. “Magic”? I keep thinking of the band America for some reason 😉

  2. Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band rules!!
    They´re the best ever!!

  3. The Seeger Sessions was a great CD/DVD also. The Boss did a great job covering some old classic folk gems.

  4. Elmercreek

    Seeger Sessions is awesome. But I have to say since I own both Seeger Session and Live in Dublin, Live in Dublin kicks is simply astounding. I went to the beach yesterday with two friends who are not Springsteen fans and they loved it.

    I’m looking forward to this new release. Everything since The Rising has been gems.

  5. Pamela

    Love Bruce Springsteen and have every studio release going back to Greetings from Asbury Park” in 1973. Totally agree about the Rising (though Born in the USA will always be my personal sentimental favorite). Can’t wait to hear the next Springsteen album (and learn how to play it on piano). His musicianship and songwriting are like his political outlook circa 2004 (fantastic).