Monday, 28 October 2019

Bruce Springsteen - Western Stars (Film Version) (2019)

I'm a wayfarer, baby....

  

This is a somewhat superfluous release. Bruce Springsteen and an orchestra run through his Western Stars album from a few months earlier live in a studio in front of what sounds like a very small audience, judging from the polite clapping in between the songs. There is no fuss made and no between song chat at all. It just starts, the songs are played, then it ends.

The songs are played pretty straight and authentic to their originals, therefore making it an unessential recording. For me, though, there is a nice bass punch to the live performances, more so than on the original studio versions. Springsteen's vocal performance is faultless and emotive from beginning to end. The orchestration is more subtle and the bass more pronounced in places, so it suits me. There are a few slight differences - a few more backing vocals here and there and more pronounced, such as on The Wayfarer, a little less strings, a bit more bass, a few little fetching new instrumental bits, but nothing incredibly discernible. For that reason it is an interesting listen but certainly not one of which I think "I have to own that..". I enjoyed it, however.

TRACK LISTING

1. Hitch Hikin'
2. The Wayfarer
3. Tucson Train
4. Western Stars
5. Sleepy Joe's Café
6. Drive Fast
7. Chasin' Wild Horses
8. Sundown
9. Somewhere North Of Nashville
10. Stones
11. There Goes My Miracle
12. Hello Sunshine
13. Moonlight Motel
14. Rhinestone Cowboy   

A bonus is Springsteen's version of Glen Campbell's Rhinestone Cowboy. Springsteen tackles it enthusiastically and the orchestration is dramatic and sweeping, as you would expect, but vocally, Glen Campbell did a much better job.

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