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|
|Robert Christgau||A− link|
|Melody Maker||(favorable) link|
|Rolling Stone||(favorable) 1980|
|Piero Scaruffi||(8.5/10) link|
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.
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.|Bruce Springsteen|Concert, 8th November 2009
Side Two: 1. "The River" 2. "You Can Look (But Don't Touch)" 3. "The Price You Pay" 4. "I Wanna Marry You" 5. "Loose Ends".
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."
"Hungry Heart" was Springsteen's first U.S. pop singles chart top ten hit single, reaching #5. (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. Sales faltered with "Fade Away", which only reached #20.
The album was followed by a lengthy tour of North America and Western Europe during 1980 and 1981. Several of the album's up-tempo rockers became concert staples for decades to come, including "Cadillac Ranch", "Ramrod", and "Out in the Street", as did "Two Hearts" (with Steven Van Zandt acting as the second 'heart').
"Stolen Car" and "Wreck on the Highway", the closing tracks on the original LP's sides three and four, bore quiet, haunted arrangements that presaged much of the musical direction Springsteen would take in the future.
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.
"Drive All Night" and "Stolen Car" played a key role in setting the tone of the 1997 film Cop Land.
"Drive All Night" and "Out in the Street" were used in the 2007 film Reign Over Me, and the album was mentioned multiple times throughout the movie.
All songs written by Bruce Springsteen.
- Side one
- "The Ties That Bind" – 3:34
- "Sherry Darling" – 4:03
- "Jackson Cage" – 3:04
- "Two Hearts" – 2:45
- "Independence Day" – 4:50
- Side two
- "Hungry Heart" – 3:19
- "Out in the Street" – 4:17
- "Crush on You" – 3:10
- "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)" – 2:37
- "I Wanna Marry You" – 3:30
- "The River" – 5:01
- Side three
- "Point Blank" – 6:06
- "Cadillac Ranch" – 3:03
- "I'm a Rocker" – 3:36
- "Fade Away" – 4:46
- "Stolen Car" – 3:54
- Side four
- Bruce Springsteen – lead vocals, guitar, acoustic 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 – saxophone, percussion, background vocals
- Danny Federici – organ, glockenspiel
- Garry Tallent – bass
- Steven Van Zandt – 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
|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^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- Kot, Greg (August 23, 1992). "The Recorded History of Springsteen". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Transcribed Bruce Springsteen Quotes
- Marsh, D. (1979, 1981). Born to Run. Dell Publishing Co. p. 247. ISBN 0-440-10694-X.
- Dave Marsh (2004). Bruce Springsteen: Two Hearts - The Definitive Biography, 1972-2003. Routledge. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-415-96928-4.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2012-04-04
- "dutchcharts.nl Bruce Springsteen – The River" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2012-04-04.Note: user must select 'Bruce SPRINGSTEEN' from drop-down
- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- "charts.org.nz Bruce Springsteen – The River" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "norwegiancharts.com Bruce Springsteen – The River" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "swedishcharts.com Bruce Springsteen – The River" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "Chart Stats: Bruce Springsteen – The River" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "allmusic ((( The River > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "Album Search: Bruce Springsteen – The River" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
- "Top 100 Albums". RPM. 1980-12-20. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "Les Albums (CD) de 1980 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 2011-10-03.
- "Top 100 Albums of 1981". RPM. 1981-12-26. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "Top Pop Albums of 1981". billboard.biz. 1981-12-31. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2008 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "Canadian album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – The River". Music Canada. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "French album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – The River" (in French). InfoDisc. Select BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and click OK
- "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "British album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – The River". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-04-04. Enter The River 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 – The River". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-04-04. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
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