The Rising (album)
|Studio album by Bruce Springsteen|
|Released||July 30, 2002|
|Genre||Rock, heartland rock|
|Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band chronology|
The Rising is the 12th studio album by American recording artist Bruce Springsteen, released in 2002 on Columbia Records. In addition to being Springsteen's first studio album in seven years, it was also his first with the E Street Band in 18 years. It is centered around Springsteen's reflections on the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Upon its release, The Rising was a critical and commercial success, and hailed as the triumphant return for Springsteen. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of over 520,000 copies. With this, Springsteen became the oldest person to achieve a first-week sales of over a half of a million copies in the United States. The album also garnered a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2003; although nominated for the Album of the Year award as well, it was beaten by Norah Jones' debut album Come Away with Me. Title song "The Rising" was also a Grammy recipient.
For the year 2002, The Rising was one of only two albums to receive Rolling Stone's highest rating – five stars – the other being Beck's Sea Change. The magazine also ranked the album #15 on its list of 100 Best Albums of the Decade. In 2012, it was rated #424 on the 500 Greatest Albums.
History and Influence
While most of the songs were written after September 11, 2001, a few of them pre-date the attacks. It's been rumored that Springsteen got the inspiration for the album a few days after the 9/11 attacks, when a stranger in a car stopped next to him, rolled down his window and said: "We need you now." Springsteen also told this story to journalist Mark Binelli in the August 22, 2002 issue of Rolling Stone. "My City of Ruins" was originally performed in, and written about, Asbury Park, New Jersey. After its performance by Springsteen on the post-September 11 America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon, however, the song took on an expanded meaning. "Further On (Up the Road)" was performed live in Madison Square Garden during the summer of 2000 at the end of the Springsteen-E Street Reunion Tour, and was professionally recorded, although it was not included in the HBO, DVD, or CD versions of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: Live in New York City. "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" was originally written in the early- or mid-1990s and played in at least one soundcheck during the Reunion Tour. Springsteen has commented that "Nothing Man" was originally completed in 1994 but re-recorded for this album. "Worlds Apart" is the most experimental song on the album, featuring a heavy Middle Eastern along with Qawwali singers in the introduction. "The Fuse," another experimental track features a subtle Hip-Hop beat and vocal looping. A re-recorded version of the song, with an orchestral backing features in the Spike Lee-directed film 25th Hour.
"Mary's Place" is directly inspired by Sam Cooke's "Meet Me at Mary's Place"; "Let's Be Friends" takes musical form from John Mellencamp's "Cherry Bomb" and Mariah Carey's "Dreamlover"; and the gospel-like "My City of Ruins" is organized around the melody line of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready".
Helped by a substantial marketing campaign — pre-release promotion was the biggest of Springsteen's career  — and the concurrent Rising Tour, The Rising went on to become Springsteen's first #1 album on the U.S. pop albums chart since his 1995 Greatest Hits album and would go on to sell about 2,100,000 copies in the United States (with 520,000 in the first week alone), making it Springsteen's best-selling and highest charting album of new material since 1987's Tunnel of Love.
Initial critical response to The Rising was overwhelmingly positive. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 82, based on 21 reviews. In their five-star review, Rolling Stone said of the album: "With his new album, The Rising, Springsteen wades into the wreckage and pain of that horrendous event and emerges bearing fifteen songs that genuflect with enormous grace before the sorrows that drift in its wake." Rolling Stone also ranked "The Rising" #15 on its list of 100 Best Albums of the Decade. Uncut called the album: "A brave and beautiful album of humanity, hurt and hope from the songwriter best qualified to speak to and for his country.... A towering achievement." On the other hand, the Village Voice had a very mixed response to the album, saying: "September 11 affected us all in different ways, and the way it affected Bruce Springsteen was this—as the second tower toppled from the sky, he was plunged into a world of eternal vagueness."  Piero Scaruffi also offered a mixed view of the album, stating that "The album aimed to be a faithful reproduction of the mood of middle-class Americans in the wake of that tragedy, but instead seemed to forgo the sense of loss and focus on rebuilding the American spirit. It sounds more like a national anthem than a requiem." He concluded that "Springsteen needs little more than his voice to connect with the soul of America. The lyrics read like a summary of TV news, talk shows and interviews with survivors of the World Trade Center. The Rising is more a social artifact than a musical one."
Although "The Rising" was a response to 9/11, many see it as a more universal anthem of resilience and hope. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Dan DeLuca of the Philadelphia Inquirer said: "The songs make contextual sense in the aftermath of 9/11, but the specific details that give them power are allusive. 'Lonesome Day,' 'You're Missing,' and 'My City of Ruins' are about the hollowing devastation of that day, but the language is universal, so the sentiments are by no means frozen in time."  The song "My City of Ruins" has been used in response to tragedies other than 9/11, such as the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. In 2006, while on tour supporting his We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions album, Springsteen performed the song at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The song received an emotional response from the crowd given its refrain of "Come on rise up!" "The Rising", given its message of hope in the face of adversity, was used by President Barack Obama as his official campaign song after Springsteen endorsed him in April 2008.
All songs written and composed by Bruce Springsteen.
|2.||"Into the Fire"||5:04|
|3.||"Waitin' on a Sunny Day"||4:18|
|5.||"Countin' on a Miracle"||4:44|
|8.||"Let's Be Friends (Skin to Skin)"||4:21|
|9.||"Further On (Up the Road)"||3:52|
|15.||"My City of Ruins"||5:00|
Tour edition bonus DVD
- "The Rising" [live, 2002 MTV Video Music Awards performance]
- "Waitin' on a Sunny Day" [live, The Rising Tour, Barcelona, Spain, 2002]
- "Lonesome Day" [music video]
- "Mary's Place" [The Rising Tour, Barcelona, Spain, 2002]
- "Dancing in the Dark" [The Rising Tour, Barcelona, Spain, 2002]
|2002||UK Albums Chart||1|
E Street Band
- Bruce Springsteen – lead guitar, vocals, acoustic guitar, baritone guitar, harmonica
- Roy Bittan – keyboards, piano, mellotron, Kurzweil, pump organ, Korg M1, crumar
- Clarence Clemons – saxophone, background vocals
- Danny Federici – Hammond B3, Vox Continental, Farfisa
- Nils Lofgren – electric guitar, Dobro, slide guitar, banjo, background vocals
- Patti Scialfa – vocals
- Garry Tallent – bass guitar
- Steven Van Zandt – electric guitar, background vocals, mandolin
- Max Weinberg – drums
- Soozie Tyrell – violin, background vocals
- Brendan O'Brien – hurdy gurdy, glockenspiel, orchestra bells
- Larry Lemaster – cello
- Jere Flint – cello
- Jane Scarpantoni – cello
- Nashville String Machine
- Asuf Ali Khan and group
- Alliance Singers
- The Miami Horns
- Hiatt, Brian (2002-06-03). "'Born' Again?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
- Patrick Kelly (2001-09-11). "'The Rising' of Bruce Springsteen". America Magazine. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- "American Routes ~ Mr. Soul: A Tribute to Sam Cooke". Americanroutes.publicradio.org. 2007-08-01. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- Symynkywicz, Jeffery B. (2008). The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen: Rock and Redemption, from Asbury Park to Magic. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 147. ISBN 0-664-23169-1.
- 411mania.com: Music - Quick ‘n’ Dirty Music News: 04.04.08
- 9/11 Culture: America Under Construction, Jeffrey Melnick, John Wiley and Sons, 2009. ISBN 1405173718. p. 57.
- "Springsteen's 'Magic' Sitting Outside Grammy's Window: Might A Back Door Plot Be Devised?". Variety. August 16, 2007.
- Blender Review
- Allmusic Review
- Rolling Stone Review
- Scaruffi, Piero (1999). "Bruce Springsteen". pieroscaruffi.com. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
- "Bruce Springsteen:Tim Hecker (2002): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
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