The River (Bruce Springsteen album)
|Studio album by Bruce Springsteen|
|Released||October 17, 1980|
|Recorded||The Power Station, New York
March 1979 – August 1980
|Genre||Rock, heartland rock|
|Producer||Jon Landau, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt|
|Bruce Springsteen chronology|
|Singles from The River|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
The sources of The River go back into earlier parts of Springsteen's recording career. "Independence Day", "Point Blank", "The Ties That Bind", "Ramrod", and "Sherry Darling" were leftovers from his previous album, Darkness on the Edge of Town, and had been featured on that 1978 tour, as had parts of "Drive All Night" as a long interpolation within "Backstreets." "The River" had premiered at the September 1979 Musicians United for Safe Energy concerts, gaining a featured spot in the subsequent documentary No Nukes.
Originally, the album was to be a single set entitled The Ties That Bind and released in late 1979. Springsteen added darker material after he'd written the title track. Indeed, The River became noted for its mix of the frivolous next to the solemn. This was intentional, and in contrast to Darkness, for as Springsteen said during an interview, "Rock and roll has always been this joy, this certain happiness that is in its way the most beautiful thing in life. But rock is also about hardness and coldness and being alone ... I finally got to the place where I realized life had paradoxes, a lot of them, and you've got to live with them."
On November 8, 2009, at a concert, Bruce Springsteen spoke about the album, saying: "The River was a record that was sort of the gateway to a lot of my future writing. It was a record we made after Darkness on the Edge of Town. It was a record made during a recession - hard times in the States. Its title song is a song I wrote for my brother-in-law and sister. My brother-in-law was in the construction industry, lost his job and had to struggle very hard back in the late 70s, like so many people are doing today. It was a record where I first started to tackle men and women and families and marriage. There were certain songs on it that led to complete records later on: "The River" sort of went to the writing on Nebraska, "Stolen Car" went to the writing on Tunnel of Love. Originally it was a single record. I handed it in with just one record and I took it back because I didn't feel it was big enough. I wanted to capture the themes I had been writing about on Darkness. I wanted to keep those characters with me and at the same time added music that made our live shows so much fun and joy for our audience. So in the end, we're gonna take you down to The River tonight."
"Hungry Heart" was Springsteen's first U.S. pop singles chart top ten hit single, reaching number five. (Springsteen had not intended the song to be for himself, having initially written it for The Ramones; manager/producer Jon Landau convinced Springsteen to keep the song for himself.) The album hit number one on the U.S. pop albums chart, a first for Springsteen, and sold 1.6 million copies in the U.S. between its release and Christmas. "Fade Away" reached number 20.
The album was followed by a lengthy tour of North America and Western Europe during 1980 and 1981. Since its release, The River has been certified quintuple platinum by the RIAA in the U.S., making it one of Springsteen's best-selling albums and his highest certified studio release after Born in the U.S.A. and Born to Run. In 2003, the album was ranked number 250 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In a December 2013 interview, Springsteen's manager Jon Landau said that they were currently working on a deluxe reissue box set of The River.
All songs written by Bruce Springsteen.
|1.||"The Ties That Bind"||3:34|
|2.||"Out in the Street"||4:17|
|3.||"Crush on You"||3:10|
|4.||"You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)"||2:37|
|5.||"I Wanna Marry You"||3:30|
|3.||"I'm a Rocker"||3:36|
|2.||"The Price You Pay"||5:29|
|3.||"Drive All Night"||8:33|
|4.||"Wreck on the Highway"||3:54|
Like with the previous album, Springsteen wrote a large amount of music during album sessions, many of which has been released, a lot still unreleased. Songs such as "Held Up Without a Gun", "Be True", and "Roulette" were featured as b sides on the album's singles. "Mary Lou", "I Wanna Be With You", "Bring on the Night", "Rickie Wants a Man of Her Own", "Loose Ends", "Dollhouse", "Where the Bands Are", "Living on the Edge of the World", "Restless Nights", "Take 'Em As They Come" were released on the Tracks box set with "From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)" on The Essential Bruce Springsteen collection. Prior the album being recorded, Springsteen had intended to release an album called The Ties That Bind. Of the songs recorded for that release, most made The River however an alternate version of "Stolen Car" was released on Tracks while a rockabilly version of "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)" and "Cindy" remain unreleased although both fully completed studio versions of the songs exist. During The River sessions, Springsteen also recorded "Jole Blon", "Dedication", "Your Love" and "This Little Girl", songs he would eventually give to Gary U.S. Bonds for two of his albums on which Springsteen produced and appeared on along with other members of the E Street Band. "Janey Needs a Shooter" was also given to Warren Zevon, which he re-worked and recorded.
- Little White Lies
- Janey Needs a Shooter
- The Man Who Got Away
- Chain Lightning
- Find It Where You Can
- Break My Heart
- Out On the Run (Looking For Love)
- Night Fire
- In the City Tonight
- Under the Gun
- I Don't Wanna Be
- Chevrolet Deluxe
- Slow Fade
- Jole Blon
- Party Lights
- Do You Want Me To Say Alright
- Time That Never Was
- Down In White Town
- A Thousand Tears (William Davis)
- I Will Be the One
- Stray Bullet
- I'm Gonna Treat You Right
- Your Love
- This Little Girl
- Bruce Springsteen – lead vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, 12-string electric guitar, harmonica, percussion, piano on "Drive All Night"
- The E Street Band
- Roy Bittan – piano, organ on "I'm a Rocker" and "Drive All Night", background vocals
- Clarence Clemons – tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, percussion, background vocals
- Danny Federici – organ, glockenspiel
- Garry Tallent – bass
- Steven Van Zandt – rhythm electric guitar, acoustic guitar, lead guitar on "Crush on You", harmony vocals, background vocals
- Max Weinberg – drums, percussion
- Flo & Eddie – on "Hungry Heart"
- Bruce Springsteen – producer
- Jon Landau – producer
- Steven Van Zandt – producer
- Neil Dorfsman – engineering
- Bob Clearmountain – mixing
- Chuck Plotkin – mixing
- Toby Scott – mixing
- Dana Bisbee - assistant engineer
- Frank Stefanko – cover art
- Jimmy Wachtel - cover art
|Australia (ARIA)||3× Platinum||210,000^|
|Canada (Music Canada)||2× Platinum||200,000^|
|France (SNEP)||2× Gold||442,400|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||5× Platinum||5,000,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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- Transcribed Bruce Springsteen Quotes
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