What’s really the most amazing thing about this vast collection is that there really isn’t a bad song on it – Bruce Springsteen’s outtakes and leftovers are better than most artists’ released album tracks.
When we first started this task of finding the 20 best tracks off Tracks I was sure it would be an enjoyable but easy endevour. Not so.
They’re all so goddam good!
It took a lot longer than expected, and it was much more fun!
You got your book baby with all your fears
Let me, honey, and I’ll catch your tears
I’ll take your sorrow if you want me to
Come tomorrow that’s what I’ll do
Listen to me
Recorded June 16 in 1983. Great track from the Born in the USA sessions. Steve Van Zandt on guitar and background vocals. When the song was being readied for release as the B-side to “I’m Goin’ Down” in 1985, Nils Lofgren went into a studio and replaced Van Zandt’s vocal track.
Like “My Love Will Not Let You Down,” this was also on side two of Landau’s suggested track listing for Born in the U.S.A. “Janey” has been played in concert ten times (5 times on the Rising tour). Clarence Clemons’ name is not on the credits on the box set but obviously he participates, and he magnificently plays on the song.
Live in Los Angeles 1985:
Here’s a great version from the Devils and Dust tour (2005) solo/piano:
Bruce told Rolling Stone Magazine this four years before the set was released:
“We record a lot of material, but we just don’t release it all… I always tell myself that some day I’m gonna put an album out with all this stuff on it that didn’t fit in. I think there’s some good material there that should come out. Maybe at some point, I’ll do that.”
Bruce Springsteen to Mojo Magazine:
“So it began just with that idea and we listened to about 250 songs, maybe more, I made quick notes in a notebook and put it away. A year went by, more maybe, and I came off the Tom Joad tour and I began to write acoustically again and I wrote about half a record. Then I got stuck and said, ‘Well, I’m going to put this aside for a while.’ Then I wrote half of an electric record, and hit the same place. So I thought, instead of waiting for another year to put something out I’ll put some of this music together. So once again I went back to the archives.”
He told Billboard that the songs were chosen from 2-300 songs. A legal battle concerning the rights to Greetings from Ashbury Park NJ sessions, made these tunes unavailable for release.
The Tracks Box set was inteded as a 6 cd release, but it was cut down to 4 cds before the official release. This means that there’s still a ton of unreleased songs in “The Springsteen Vault”. The rumours of a second Tracks box set is strong on the web.
This post will focus on Concerts & my “Bob Dylan’s Village” tour.
Less planing required for this part.
Find the right websites (Village Voice is a good start for NYC), check their calender (what’s on).. and plot in your dates.
In addition you should visit the websites of important theatres & Music venues.. just to be sure.
I was very lucky to land a concert with 2 of my “Top 25 albums of 2011” artists: The Deep Dark Woods & Robert Earl Keen.
This was pure luck, but when visiting a place like NYC.. there are usually great names performing..
The Venue was “Irving Plaza“: My advice: don’t show up to early.. the bar is… expensive.. 🙂
The Concert was a great experience. Deep Dark Woods delivered the goodies, a dark and moving sound.. that pulls you in and holds a good grip. If you dig Townes Van Zandt’s “No Deeper Blue” (I love that album), you really need to check out their music. I managed to write down 7 out of 10 songs on my mobile phone (forgot pen & paper.. grrrr) of their setlist:
The Banks of Leopold Canal, Westside Street, Back Alley Blues, The Place I Left Behind, Sugar Mama, The Man In Me (Dylan cover), Two Time Loser
This is a glimpse into how I always plan & execute my visits to important cities/sites where great art resides.
Great art to me is many things.. but primarily music, paintings, sculpture & architecture.
My goal is always to maximize experience and having a great time. I do plan very rigidly.. and am truly convinced that spontaneity is ok… as long as it is well planned.
So.. on my planning lists are: Museums, Concerts, “Music related sites”, churches, buildings, … and secondary: hotels, restaurants, bars/pubs..
This article will hopefully contain some tips for travellers visiting NYC
Time: arrive late Thursday – 19 of January, leave Sunday from Hotel around 1530
Main focus (decided early on): Bob Dylan’s Greenwich Village, The MET, MoMA, and as much live music as possible….
Social circumstances: four pals as travelling companions, not interested in art.. but did at least (under some mild pressure) join me for the concerts 🙂
Movie everbody has to see (again) before visiting NYC: Woody Allen’s – Manhattan
This is how it went.. (everything here was planned upon arrival, except the bonus of some “Sunday Jazz” at our Hotel)
~2300 – @Washington Square Hotel in Greenwich Village
~2400 – at Café Wha? for live music and drinks House band was OK, played Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire, Stones – Miss You, some U2, A-Ha, Pearl Jam’s Better Man.. +
~0100 – @Bed
These are the 25 chosen albums from 2011. The list is a collaboration between Egil and Hallgeir, and has been decided through discussion and mathematics. The Math have had second place, our feelings comes first. We both presented our individual lists as a starting point, the result is the list we present here, the best list of the best albums from a good year!
Click on the album cover or the link to get our descriptions of the album and a list of our chosen tracks for each record.