Bruce Springsteen’s new single, “Letter to You,” is a moody, mid-tempo rock song, recorded with the E Street Band. It’s a song about unburdening yourself through communication, something Springsteen obviously has been doing throughout his career. You could even look at the song as him summing up the music he has made over the decades: “Things I found out through hard times and good/I wrote ’em all out in ink and blood/Dug deep in my soul and signed my name true/And sent it in my letter to you,” he sings.
You can see the black and white video for the song below.
The album will be released Oct. 23.
“I love the emotional nature of Letter to You,” said Springsteen in a press release. “And I love the sound of the E Street Band playing completely live in the studio, in a way we’ve never done before, and with no overdubs. We made the album in only five days, and it turned out to be one of the greatest recording experiences I’ve ever had.”
The album was produced by Ron Aniello with Springsteen, and features E Street Band members Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren, Patti Scialfa, Garry Tallent, Stevie Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, Charlie Giordano and Jake Clemons. Three tracks are new recordings of songs that were written in the ’70s but not included on Springsteen’s prior studio albums: “Janey Needs a Shooter,” “If I Was the Priest,” and “Song for Orphans.”
Warren Zevon completed a version of the first song as “Jeannie Needs a Shooter” and included it on his 1980 album Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School (see video below), but it is not known how close this new recording will be to Zevon’s version. I have also included videos below for a live version of “Song for Orphans” and a demo for “If I Was the Priest.”
The press release says there are “nine recently written Springsteen songs” as well as the three older songs, so this seems to indicate that “House of a Thousand Guitars” is NOT a cover of the Willie Nile song of that name. I am trying to get confirmation on that and will update this if I do.
Here is the track listing:
“One Minute You’re Here”
“Letter to You”
“Janey Needs a Shooter”
“Last Man Standing”
“The Power of Prayer”
“House of a Thousand Guitars”
“If I Was the Priest”
“Song for Orphans”
“I’ll See You in My Dreams”
The cover photo is by Danny Clinch, who has worked with Springsteen many times before, and the full shot, taken at New York’s Central Park in 2018, can be seen at dannyclinch.com/bruce-shop/bruce-springsteen-central-park-2018.
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