The Ghost of Tom Joad
|The Ghost of Tom Joad|
|Studio album by Bruce Springsteen|
|Released||November 21, 1995|
Thrill Hill Recording
|Genre||Folk, folk rock|
|Producer||Bruce Springsteen, Chuck Plotkin|
|Bruce Springsteen chronology|
|Singles from The Ghost of Tom Joad|
The Ghost of Tom Joad is the eleventh studio album, and the second acoustic album, by American recording artist Bruce Springsteen. The album was released on November 21, 1995, through Columbia Records. The album was recorded and mixed at Thrill Hill West, Springsteen's home studio in Los Angeles, California.
Following the 1995 studio reunion with the E Street Band and the release of Greatest Hits, Springsteen's writing activity increased significantly. He wrote and recorded the album between March and September 1995. The album consists of seven solo tracks and five band tracks.
Reception and composition
The Ghost of Tom Joad received mostly favorable reviews. Mikal Gilmore of Rolling Stone called it "Springsteen's best album in ten years," and considered it "among the bravest work that anyone has given us this decade." However, it reached only number 11 on the Billboard 200, breaking a string of eight consecutive Top 5 studio albums in the U.S for Springsteen.
The album is mainly backed by acoustic guitar work and the lyrics on many of the tracks are a somber reflection of life in the mid-1990s in America and Mexico. The character of Tom Joad entered the American consciousness in John Steinbeck’s 1939 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Grapes of Wrath, set against the economic hardships of the Great Depression. This spawned a film version starring Henry Fonda, which in turn inspired folk singer Woody Guthrie to pen "The Ballad of Tom Joad".
All tracks written by Bruce Springsteen.
|1.||"The Ghost of Tom Joad"||4:23|
|9.||"The New Timer"||5:45|
|10.||"Across the Border"||5:24|
|12.||"My Best Was Never Good Enough"||2:00|
Twelve of the twenty-two songs recorded during the album's sessions made the album's final cut while "Dead Man Walkin'" was released on the soundtrack for the movie Dead Man Walking and later on The Essential Bruce Springsteen and "Brothers Under the Bridge" was released on Tracks. "I'm Turning Into Elvis" and "It's the Little Things That Count" remain unreleased; however, they were performed live while "Idiot's Delight" and "I'm Not Sleeping" were also performed live and along with "1945" and "Cheap Motel" were co-written with Joe Grushecky, who recorded the four songs for his 1997 album Coming Home.
- "Tiger Rose"
- "I'm Turning Into Elvis"
- "It's the Little Things That Count"
- "Idiot's Delight"
- "I'm Not Sleeping"
- "Cheap Motel"
- Bruce Springsteen – guitar, keyboards, harmonica, vocals, producer
- Danny Federici – accordion, keyboards
- Gary Mallaber – drums
- Garry Tallent – bass
- Jim Hanson – bass
- Marty Rifkin - pedal steel guitar
- Soozie Tyrell – violin, background vocals
- Lisa Lowell - background vocals
- Patti Scialfa – background vocals
- Toby Scott – engineer
- Greg Goldman – recording assistant
- Terry Magovern – research
- Sandra Choron – art direction
- Eric Dinyer – cover art
- Pam Springsteen – interior photographs
|US Billboard 200||11|
- Mark Deming (1995-11-21). "The Ghost of Tom Joad - Bruce Springsteen | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
- David Browne on Nov 24, 1995 (1995-11-24). "The Ghost of Tom Joad Review | Music Reviews and News". EW.com. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
- Christgau, Robert. "The Ghost of Tom Joad". Robert Christgau.
- Mikal Gilmore (1995-12-28). "The Ghost Of Tom Joad | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
- JERRY CROWE and ROBERT HILBURN (November 30, 1995). "Something to Twist and Shout About : Pop music: Beatles' album sells more than 855,000 copies its first week--the third highest ever--and initial figures are believed to be a revenue record.". Los Angeles Times.
- "Bruce Springsteen - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
- Symynkywicz, Jeffery B. (2008). The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen: Rock and Redemption, from Asbury Park to Magic. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 0-664-23169-1. p. 122.
- "Bruce Springsteen – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Bruce Springsteen. Retrieved 2013-09-18.