Friday, October 23, 2020

Bruce Springsteen Letter to You released

Letter to You

Bruce Springsteen

Released: October 23, 2020

Peak: 2 US, 11 UK, 2 CN, 11 AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.1 UK, 0.23 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: rock


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. One Minute You’re Here [2:57]
  2. Letter to You [4:55] (9/10/20, 1 AA)
  3. Burnin’ Train [4:03]
  4. Janey Needs a Shooter [6:49]
  5. Last Man Standing [4:05]
  6. The Power of Prayer [3:36] (11/23/20, --)
  7. House of a Thousand Guitars [4:30]
  8. Rainmaker [4:56]
  9. If I Was the Priest [6:50]
  10. Ghosts [5:54] (9/24/20, --)
  11. I’ll See You in My Dreams [3:29] (3/3/21, --)

All songs written by Bruce Springsteen.

Total Running Time: 58:17

The Players:

  • Bruce Springsteen (vocals, guitar, harmonica, production)
  • Steven Van Zandt (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Max Weinberg (drums, backing vocals)
  • Roy Bittan (piano, backing vocals)
  • Nils Lofgren (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Garry Talent (bass, backing vocals)
  • Patti Scialfa (backing vocals)
  • Jake Clemons (saxophone)
  • Charles Giordano (organ, backing vocals)


4.250 out of 5.00 (average of 26 ratings)

Quotable: “One of the finest achievements of Bruce Springsteen’s career.” – Alex McLevy, The A.V. Club

About the Album:

For his 20th studio album, Bruce Springsteen reunited with the E Street Band for their first release since 2014’s High Hopes. However, it was the first time the band had worked in the studio together since 2009’s Woking on a Dream. AMG They assembled at Springsteen’s home in November 2019 and recorded live in the studio over just four days with no demos and minimal overdubs. WK

Three of the songs were written before the release of Springsteen’s debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., in 1973. Springsteen was assembling a compilation album and came across If I Was the Priest, Janey Needs a Shooter, and Song for Orphans. Allan Clarke had covered “If I Was the Priest” in the 1970s and Warren Zevon had reworked “Janey Needs a Shooter” for his 1980 album Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School. The old songs and the new come together to make Letter to You “often…sound like vintage E Street Band.” AMG

It was his 21st top-10 album in the United States. The group planned to tour in support of the album, but couldn’t because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The album was promoted via an online radio station, music videos, and a custom Twitter emoji. WK A documentary on the making of the album was released on Apple TV+.

In a sense, this is a sequel to Springsteen’s 2016 Born to Run memoir and accompanying Springsteen on Broadway show in 2017. The album addresses aging, mortality, and regret. Springsteen “reckons with the weight of the past…keenly aware he has more road in his rearview mirror than he does on the highway ahead of him.” AMG He had been experiencing writer’s block, but did some intense writing in April 2019, inspired in part by the death of former bandmate George Theiss. WK The Associated Press’ David Bauder thought it was “ironic that the composer of ‘Glory Days’ spends so much time looking back.” WK

Mark Richardson of The Wall Street Journal called it a concept album about music’s ability to give life meaning. WK The Boston Globe’s Ken Capbianco called the album “a celebration of life and a reminder of how rock ‘n’ roll can help transcend grief and loss.” WK Uncut’s Richard Williams said the album was “about Springsteen, his relationship with his band, and their relationship with the audience, particularly in their ability to interpret American culture, history, and politics.” WK

The A.V. Club’s Alex McLevy called the album “one of the finest achievements of Bruce Springsteen’s career.” WK Spin’s John Paul Bullock called it “one of the warmest and most reassuring records of [Springsteen’s] career.” WK

Resources and Related Links:

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First posted 8/29/2021.

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