Tunnel of Love (album)
|Tunnel of Love|
|Studio album by Bruce Springsteen|
|Released||October 6, 1987 (U.S.)|
|Recorded||January - July 1987|
|Genre||Pop, pop rock|
|Producer||Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin|
|Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band chronology|
|Singles from Tunnel of Love|
Brilliant Disguise (1987)
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Tunnel of Love is the eighth studio album by Bruce Springsteen. The album was originally released on October 9, 1987. Although members of the E Street Band were used occasionally on the album, Springsteen recorded most of the parts himself, often with drum machines and synthesizers. Although the album's liner notes list the E Street Band members under that name, Shore Fire Media, Springsteen's public relations firm, does not count it as an E Street Band album and 2002's The Rising was advertised as "his first studio album with the E Street Band since 'Born in the USA'".
In 1989, the album was ranked #25 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Best Albums of the Eighties" while in 2003, the same magazine ranked it at #467 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. "Brilliant Disguise", "Tunnel of Love", "One Step Up", "Tougher Than the Rest", and "Spare Parts" were all released as singles.
The album is one of Springsteen's least performed set of songs. The New York Times' Jon Pareles wrote that Tunnel of Love "turned inward, pondering love gone wrong. His first marriage, to the actress Julianne Phillips, fell apart; he also decided to part ways with the E Street Band." According to Pareles, most of the album's songs are pop rock paeans or midtempo ballads. "Brilliant Disguise" has been called "a heart wrenching song about never being really able to know someone," and "a song about the doubts and struggles of married life."
On the B-sides of vinyl and cassette singles, outtakes like "Lucky Man", "Two for the Road" and a vintage 1979 track, "Roulette" were included. On the mini-album that accompanied the 1988 tour, Springsteen included album cut "Tougher Than The Rest", but included another River outtake, "Be True" a rearranged, acoustic "Born To Run", and the Bob Dylan cover, "Chimes of Freedom".
Commercially the album went triple platinum in the US, with "Brilliant Disguise" being one of his biggest hit singles, peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, "Tunnel of Love" also making the Top 10, reaching #9, and "One Step Up" just falling short.
Irish filmmaker Meiert Avis directed the music videos for "Brilliant Disguise", "One Step Up", "Tougher Than the Rest", and "Tunnel of Love". The videos were shot on locations in New Jersey, including Asbury Park. The intensely personal "Brilliant Disguise" video broke new ground on MTV, being a single shot without edits. The video was nominated for four MTV Awards, including Video of the Year and, paradoxically, Best Editing.
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Village Voice||A|
In a contemporary review for Playboy, music critic Robert Christgau wrote that, apart from the humorous opening track and the clichéd track that follows, Tunnel of Love is "convincing, original stuff—it zeroes in on fear of commitment as a pathology and battles it." He particularly praised the album's introspective second half in his consumer guide for The Village Voice, saying that it showed Springsteen's decency and ability for self-examination. Rolling Stone magazine's Steve Pond said that Tunnel of Love is "a varied, modestly scaled, modern-sounding pop album" rather than a rock and roll album and felt that its unromantic tales of love are similar to Springsteen's socially conscious work about broken promises and dreams in America:
On Tunnel of Love, Springsteen is writing about the promises people make to each other and the way they renege on those promises, about the romantic dreams we're brought up with and the internal demons that stifle those dreams. The battleground has moved from the streets to the sheets, but the battle hasn't changed significantly.
In The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll, Tunnel of Love finished second in the voting for the year's best album. Christgau, the poll's creator, named it the third best album of the year in his own list. In 1989, the album was ranked #25 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Best Albums of the Eighties" while in 2003, the same magazine ranked it at #467 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1998, Q magazine readers voted Tunnel of Love the 91st greatest album of all time.
Writing for America Magazine, Catholic priest and sociologist Andrew Greeley argued that this album exemplifies the American Catholic imagination. In a 2014 article for Grantland, Steven Hyden said Tunnel of Love remained Springsteen's "most underrated record" among fans but in his own opinion Springsteen's best lyrically. "You really shouldn’t be allowed to hear this record until you’ve been married for a few years", Hyden wrote, "though at that point it might strike a little too close to home. If Ingmar Bergman had been born in Freehold and cut his artistic teeth at the Stone Pony, he would’ve made this record in place of Scenes From a Marriage. Totally ’80s production aside ... this album represents the heaviest blues of Springsteen’s career. The songs are about men and women who flirt, have sex, fall in love, get married, get bored, have sex with other people, and wind up stuck in the middle of that dark night from the second disc of The River."
All tracks written by Bruce Springsteen.
|1.||"Ain't Got You"||2:11|
|2.||"Tougher Than the Rest"||4:35|
|3.||"All That Heaven Will Allow"||2:39|
|6.||"Walk Like a Man"||3:45|
|1.||"Tunnel of Love"||5:12|
|4.||"One Step Up"||4:22|
|5.||"When You're Alone"||3:24|
With over 80 songs said to have been recorded for the previous album, 19 songs are known to have been recorded for Tunnel of Love with twelve making the album's final cut while "Lucky Man" and "Two For the Road" were released as b sides and later on the Tracks along with other outtakes such as "The Honeymooners", "The Wish" and "When You Need Me". "Part Man, Part Monkey" was also recorded during these sessions and played live on the Tunnel of Love Express Tour although that version remains unreleased and it would be re-recorded during future album sessions and eventually released. "Walking Through Midnight" is the only other unreleased song which was co-written by Southside Johnny who recorded the song for his own album, 1988's Slow Dance.
- Part Man, Part Monkey
- Walking Through Midnight
- Bruce Springsteen – lead vocals, backing vocals, guitar, mandolin, bass guitar, keyboards, harmonica, percussion, drum machines
- Roy Bittan – piano on "Brilliant Disguise", synthesizers on "Tunnel of Love"
- Clarence Clemons – backing vocals on "When You're Alone"
- Danny Federici – organ on "Tougher Than the Rest", "Spare Parts", "Two Faces", and "Brilliant Disguise"
- Nils Lofgren – guitar solo on "Tunnel of Love", backing vocals on "When You're Alone"
- Patti Scialfa – backing vocals on "Tunnel of Love", "One Step Up" and "When You're Alone"
- Garry Tallent – bass guitar on "Spare Parts"
- Max Weinberg – drums on "All That Heaven Will Allow", "Two Faces" and "When You're Alone"; percussion on "Tougher Than the Rest", "Spare Parts", "Walk Like a Man", "Tunnel of Love", and "Brilliant Disguise"
- James Wood – harmonica on "Spare Parts"
- Bob Clearmountain – mixing
- Jay Healy – mixing assistant
- Bob Ludwig – mastering
- Mark McKenna – mixing assistant
- Roger Talkov – engineer
|Canada (Music Canada)||3× Platinum||300,000^|
|France (SNEP)||2× Gold||201,700|
|Japan (Oricon Charts)||128,400|
|Netherlands (NVPI)||2× Platinum||200,000^|
|Spain (PROMUSICAE)||2× Platinum||200,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||3× Platinum||3,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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