|Studio album by Bruce Springsteen|
|Released||September 30, 1982|
|Recorded||Mostly January 3, 1982 at Springsteen's Colts Neck, New Jersey bedroom|
|Bruce Springsteen chronology|
|Singles from Nebraska|
Sparsely-recorded on a cassette-tape Portastudio, the tracks on Nebraska were originally intended as demos of songs to be recorded with the E Street Band. However, Springsteen ultimately decided to release the demos himself. Nebraska remains one of the most highly regarded albums in his catalogue. The songs on Nebraska both deal with ordinary, blue collar characters who face a challenge or a turning point in their lives, but also outsiders, criminals and mass murderers, who have little hope for the future - or no future at all, as in the title track, where the main character is sentenced to death in the electric chair. Unlike his previous albums, very little salvation and grace is present within the songs. The album's uncompromising sound and mood, combined with its dark lyrical content has been described by a music critic as "one of the most challenging albums ever released by a major star on a major record label."
Initially, Springsteen recorded demos for the album at his home with a 4-track cassette recorder. The demos were sparse, using only acoustic guitar, electric guitar (on "Open All Night"), harmonica, mandolin, glockenspiel, tambourine, organ, synthesizer (on "My Father's House") and Springsteen's voice.
Springsteen then recorded the album in a studio with the E Street Band. However, he and the producers and engineers working with him felt that a raw, haunted folk essence present on the home tapes was lacking in the band treatments, and so they ultimately decided to release the demo version as the final album. Complications with mastering of the tapes ensued because of low recording volume, but the problem was overcome with sophisticated noise reduction techniques.
Springsteen fans have long speculated whether Springsteen's full-band recording of the album, nicknamed Electric Nebraska, will ever surface. In a 2006 interview, manager Jon Landau said it was unlikely and that "the right version of Nebraska came out". But in a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone, E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg praised the full band recording of the album as "killing." Somewhat different band arrangements of most of these songs were heard on the 1984-1985 Born in the U.S.A. Tour and have been played in various guises ever since.
Other songs demoed during the Nebraska sessions include "Born in the U.S.A.", "Downbound Train", "Child Bride" (which later evolved into "Working on the Highway"), "Pink Cadillac", "The Big Payback", "Johnny Bye Bye", and "Losin' Kind". Some have leaked on bootlegs.
The album begins with "Nebraska", a first-person narrative based on the true story of 19-year-old spree killer Charles Starkweather and his 14-year-old girlfriend, Caril Ann Fugate, and ends with "Reason to Believe", a complex narrative that offers a small amount of hope to counterbalance the otherwise dark nature of the album. The remaining songs are largely of the same bleak tone, including the dark "State Trooper," influenced by Suicide's "Frankie Teardrop". Criminal behavior continues as a theme in the song "Highway Patrolman": even though the protagonist works for the law, he lets his brother escape after he has shot someone (this became the basis for the Sean Penn-directed film The Indian Runner). "Open All Night", a Chuck Berry-style lone guitar rave-up, does manage a dose of defiant, humming-towards-the-gallows exuberance.
A music video was produced for the song "Atlantic City"; it features stark, black-and-white images of the city, which had not yet undergone its later economic transformation. "Atlantic City" was released as a single in the UK, but not the U.S.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
In 1989, Nebraska was ranked #43 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s. In 2003, the album was ranked number 224 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Pitchfork Media listed it the 60th greatest album of the 1980s. In 2006, Q magazine placed the album at #13 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s". In 2012, Slant Magazine listed the album at #57 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".
Being a highly influential album, the songs of Nebraska has been covered numerous times. Notably, country music icon Johnny Cash's 1983 album Johnny 99 featured versions of two of Springsteen's songs from Nebraska: "Johnny 99" and "Highway Patrolman". Cash also contributed to a widely praised tribute album, Badlands - A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska, which was released on the Sub Pop label in 2000 and produced by Jim Sampas. It featured covers of the Nebraska songs recorded in the stripped-down spirit of the original recordings by a wide-ranging group of artists including Hank Williams III, Los Lobos, Dar Williams, Deana Carter, Ani DiFranco, Son Volt, Ben Harper, Aimee Mann, and Michael Penn. Three additional tracks covered other Springsteen songs in the same vein: Johnny Cash's contribution was I'm On Fire, a track from Springsteen's best-selling album Born In The USA.
Alt-country singer Steve Earle covered State Trooper on his Live album in 1996 in addition to including a live recording of it on the 2002 reissue of his debut album Guitar Town, and also included a live version of "Nebraska" as the B-side of the "Copperhead Road" single sent to radio stations.
Chris Cornell regularly includes a cover of State Trooper in his setlist, which involves looping the main guitar riff towards the end of the song and performing a solo over the top of the riff.
The short stories in Deliver Me From Nowhere, a book written by Tennessee Jones published in 2005, were inspired by the themes of Nebraska.
All songs written and composed by Bruce Springsteen.
|3.||"Mansion on the Hill"||4:08|
|8.||"Open All Night"||2:58|
|9.||"My Father's House"||5:07|
|10.||"Reason to Believe"||4:11|
Alternate Master (1st CD Master)
The first CD release of the album in Japan used a different master tape than the one used on the LP or U.S. and European CD releases. The tape speed appears to be slightly faster than the original master tape, leading to shorter track lengths. "My Father's House" feature an additional 28 seconds of synthesizer not included in other versions of the album. This version of CD, which was released twice in Japan, is now unavailable except on the collector's market.
- "Nebraska" – 4:25
- "Atlantic City" – 3:50
- "Mansion on the Hill" – 4:01
- "Johnny 99" – 3:41
- "Highway Patrolman" – 5:41
- "State Trooper" – 3:09
- "Used Cars" – 3:04
- "Open All Night" – 2:52
- "My Father's House" – 5:36
- "Reason to Believe" – 4:06
- Bruce Springsteen – vocals, guitar, harmonica, mandolin, glockenspiel, tambourine, organ, synthesizer
- Mike Batlin – recording engineer
- David Michael Kennedy – photography
- Dennis King - mastering
- Andrea Klein – design
|Canada (Music Canada)||Gold||50,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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- AllMusic review by William Ruhlmann: http://www.allmusic.com/album/nebraska-mw0000650804
- The Rock Radio: Springsteen looking at archival releases
- Max Weinberg on His Future With Conan and Bruce | Music News | Rolling Stone
- Kurt Loder (December 6, 1984). "The Rolling Stone Interview: Bruce Springsteen". Retrieved December 30, 2009.[dead link]
- "State Troop" song review fra Thomas Ward, Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/song/t256857
- The New York Times - Howard Zinn, Historian, Dies at 87 "...Bruce Springsteen said the starkest of his many albums, "Nebraska," drew inspiration in part from Mr. Zinn's writings." Retrieved April 29, 2010
- Allmusic Review
- Kot, Greg (August 23, 1992). "The Recorded History of Springsteen". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Robert Christgau Review
- PopMatters Review
- Rolling Stone Review
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- Sputnikmusic Review
- Yahoo! Music Review
- Q August 2006, Issue 241
- [Amazon.com page about "Deliver Me From Nowhere":http://www.amazon.com/Deliver-Me-Nowhere-Tennessee-Jones/dp/193236059X "Kelly in Control – Music – EW.com"]. Entertainment Weekly.
- http://www.softskull.com/detailedbook.php?isbn=1-932360-59-X[dead link]
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- "British album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-04-04. Enter Nebraska in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
- "American album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-04-04. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH