Human Touch

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Human Touch
Bruce Springsteen - Human Touch - coverart - I.jpg
Studio album by Bruce Springsteen
Released March 31, 1992
Recorded September 1989 – March 1991
Studio A&M Studios
Genre Rock
Length 58:49
Label Columbia
Producer Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin, Roy Bittan
Bruce Springsteen chronology
Chimes of Freedom
(1988)Chimes of Freedom1988
Human Touch
Lucky Town
(1992)Lucky Town1992
Singles from Human Touch
  1. "Human Touch"
    Released: March 21, 1992
  2. "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)"
    Released: July 1992

Human Touch is the ninth studio album by Bruce Springsteen. The album was released on March 31, 1992. The album was co-released on the same day as Lucky Town. It was the more popular of the two, and it peaked at number two on the Billboard 200, with "Human Touch" (paired with Lucky Town's "Better Days") peaking at number one on the Album Rock Tracks chart and #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


Not long after Springsteen broke up the E Street Band in October 1989, pianist Roy Bittan played Springsteen's three instrumental songs he had written, "Roll of the Dice", "Real World", and "Trouble in Paradise".[1] Springsteen later added words to the songs, and liked them to the point where he began writing and recording more songs.[1] With the E Street Band gone – except for Bittan, who played the keyboards and co-produced the album – Springsteen assembled a band of studio musicians in Los Angeles, mostly using the services of Randy Jackson on bass guitar and Jeff Porcaro on drums.[1] A wide variety of background vocalists were used, including Sam Moore, Bobby Hatfield, and Bobby King. Overall, at least 25 or so songs were recorded, but the exact number is unknown.[1]

The album was originally set for a spring-summer 1991 release date, that being pushed back from early 1991, but was once again halted when Springsteen began recording Lucky Town later that year.[1] Springsteen ultimately decided to release Human Touch and Lucky Town on the same day, with Human Touch coming into the world on March 31, 1992– more than 2 years after starting the project.[1]

Porcaro was asked by Springsteen to join the band for the subsequent tour but he declined because he was engaged in his own band Toto. Porcaro died a few months later of a heart attack in his garden.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune 3.5/4 stars[3]
Christgau's Consumer Guide (1-star Honorable Mention)[4]
Entertainment Weekly B-[5]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[6]

Human Touch's release was met with a generally mixed critical reception. Allmusic described the album as "generic pop" and "his first that didn't at least aspire to greatness."[2] Rolling Stone gave the album 4 stars and noted that the songs "explore the movement from disenchanted isolation to a willingness to risk love and its attendant traumas again." The review also stated that the title track "stands among Springsteen's best work."

The album is generally disliked by Springsteen fans and in 2012 was ranked last among Springsteen's albums by the online magazine Nerve. Regarding the bad reputation of Human Touch and Lucky Town among his fans Springsteen said: "I tried it [writing happy songs] in the early '90s and it didn't work; the public didn't like it."[7]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Bruce Springsteen, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Human Touch"   6:31
2. "Soul Driver"   4:39
3. "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)"   2:28
4. "Cross My Heart"
5. "Gloria's Eyes"   3:46
6. "With Every Wish"   4:39
7. "Roll of the Dice"
8. "Real World"
  • Springsteen
  • Bittan
9. "All or Nothin' at All"   3:23
10. "Man's Job"   4:37
11. "I Wish I Were Blind"   4:48
12. "The Long Goodbye"   3:30
13. "Real Man"   4:33
14. "Pony Boy" Traditional 2:14

Unreleased outtakes[edit]

Springsteen's first album without the E Street Band featured numerous outtakes, many of which have been released. A cover of "Viva Las Vegas" was released as a b side and on The Essential Bruce Springsteen, "Chicken Lips and Lizard Hips" was released on a children's album, and "30 Days Out" was also a b side however never released anywhere else. "Part Man, Part Monkey", a track originally recorded during the Tunnel of Love session and performed on that tour, was re-recorded and released as a b side and on the Tracks along with other outtakes such as "Trouble In Paradise", "Sad Eyes", "Leavin' Train", "Seven Angels", "My Lover Man", "When the Lights Go Out", "Over the Rise", "Goin' Cali" and "Loose Change". "Trouble River" was released on 18 Tracks. Springsteen also recorded "Red Headed Woman", a sexually explicit tribute to his wife Patti Scialfa and a song performed often eventually being released as a live version on the MTV Unplugged album, "Secret Garden", which would later get re-worked with the reunited E Street Band in 1995 for Greatest Hits, and "All the Way Home", a song Springsteen gave to Southside Johnny and one that Springsteen would not release until 2005's Devils & Dust album.[8]

  • "Red Headed Woman"
  • "Secret Garden"
  • "All the Way Home"


  • Bruce Springsteen – guitar and lead vocals, bass on "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)"
  • Randy Jackson – bass
  • Jeff Porcaro – drums and percussion
  • Roy Bittan – keyboards
  • Sam Moore – backing vocals on "Soul Driver", "Roll of the Dice, "Real World" and "Man's Job"
  • Patti Scialfa – harmony vocals on "Human Touch" and "Pony Boy"
  • David Sancious – Hammond organ on "Soul Driver" and "Real Man"
  • Bobby King – backing vocals on "Roll of the Dice" and "Man's Job"
  • Tim Pierce – second guitar on "Soul Driver" and "Roll of the Dice"
  • Michael Fisher – percussion on "Soul Driver"
  • Bobby Hatfield – harmony vocals on "I Wish I Were Blind"
  • Mark Isham – muted trumpet on "With Every Wish"


Year Single Peak Chart Positions[9][10]
1992 "Human Touch"[A] 16 1 8 11 4 15 4 19 1 4 12 17 3
"57 Channels (And Nothin' On)" 68 6 32 26 9 32 39

Singles were released in both U.S. and UK/Europe, unless otherwise indicated:

  • A^ Charted as double A-Side with "Better Days" when released in the United States.



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[29] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[30] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[31] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[32] Gold 35,627[32]
Germany (BVMI)[33] Gold 250,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[34] Gold 116,000[35]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[36] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[37] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[38] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[39] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


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  2. ^ a b Human Touch at AllMusic
  3. ^ Kot, Greg (August 23, 1992). "The Recorded History of Springsteen". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Bruce Springsteen". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. p. 294. ISBN 0312245602. Retrieved September 6, 2015. 
  5. ^ Browne, David (April 3, 1992). "Human Touch Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  6. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony (April 3, 1992). "Human Touch | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Ranked: Bruce Springsteen Albums from Worst to Best". March 5, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ Brucebase – Human Touch – Studio Sessions
  9. ^ "Artist Chart History (Singles) – Bruce Springsteen". Allmusic. Retrieved December 15, 2008. 
  10. ^ "UK Chartlog". Archived from the original on March 22, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2009. 
  11. ^ " Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original (ASP) on March 28, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  12. ^ " Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch". Hung Medien (in German). Archived from the original (ASP) on March 30, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  13. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 1, 2014
  14. ^ " Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  15. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). Archived from the original on May 6, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2014. Note: user must select 'Bruce SPRINGSTEEN' from drop-down
  16. ^ "Album Search: Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1992" (in Italian). Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  18. ^ "マドンナ、洋楽女性初の快挙 アルバム2作同時初登場TOP10" [Madonna's two albums simultaneously enter the top-10]. (in Japanese). Oricon Style. April 3, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  19. ^ " Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch". Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original (ASP) on March 29, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  20. ^ " Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch". Hung Medien. VG-lista. Archived from the original (ASP) on December 4, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  21. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  22. ^ " Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch –". Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Archived from the original (ASP) on November 3, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Bruce Springsteen : Artist: Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  25. ^ "allmusic ((( Human Touch > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  26. ^ " – Jahreshitparade 1992" (in German). Hung Medien. Archived from the original on August 4, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1992 par InfoDisc" (in French). Archived from the original (PHP) on July 11, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  28. ^ " – Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1992" (in German). Hung Medien. Archived from the original on October 22, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  29. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2008 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved April 4, 2012.  Enter Bruce Springsteen in the field Interpret. Enter Human Touch in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  31. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch". Music Canada. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  32. ^ a b "Bruce Springsteen" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Bruce Springsteen; 'Human Touch')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Japanese album certifications – ブルース・スプリングスティーン – ヒューマン・タッチ" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan.  Select 1992年4月 on the drop-down menu
  35. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  36. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados 1991–1995". Solo Exitos 1959–2002 Ano A Ano. 
  37. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved April 6, 2012. 
  38. ^ "British album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 6, 2012.  Enter Human Touch in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  39. ^ "American album certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 4, 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]