OK, so here's what we think we know so far about this fall's rumored Springsteen release:
It will be a collection of soul covers;
It could be a double-disc's worth of tracks;
There's a possibility for a few East Coast shows in support of the release;
It will cost Five Thousand Dollars.
Ha! We kid our old pal Bruce with that last one. (Although prices for those alleged support shows should be interesting.) But the other items, according to the None But The Brave podcast and other Internet buzz, are sounding fairly possible as these things go.
The question is, though: Should Bruce Springsteen be doing an album of soul covers? Yes, the days of him laboring meticulously over his albums for years, jettisoning track after amazing track until it's pared down to its most perfect essence, are long over. (Exhibit A: "High Hopes.") But there's still something a bit off-putting about the idea of Bruce committing a bunch of soul chestnuts to wax. It seems, I dunno ... frivolous?
The most analogous release in the Springsteen ouvre would of course be 2006's "The Seeger Sessions," his rollicking reinterpretations of songs made famous by Pete Seeger. That album was notoriously divisive, and a fair number of fans opted to sit it out, along with the tour that followed, and wait until the next "real" release. (Being that turned out to be "Magic," it's a fair argument that it was worth the wait.)
Personally, while I rarely revisit the album, I'm on record as loving the tour — mainly for its folky/folksy reinterpretations of Springsteen's own back catalog. The odd slowed-down acoustic version aside, it's something that Bruce had rarely dabbled in, and it was frankly thrilling to hear him reinterpret songs we knew by heart, like "Growin' Up" and "Open All Night," in ways we never heard them before. (Worth noting that Bob Dylan, who has more than a few covers albums under his own belt, does that with his old songs pretty much every time a new album comes out.)
So if it puts Bruce in an experimental mood and inspires the soul-ifying of some Springsteen classics at those small shows or during next year's tour, I could get behind that. And there's a good argument that at this point, we should be grateful for anything we get from an artist we've been incredibly lucky to have so productive into his eighth decade.
But what do you think? Does the idea of a soul covers album and mini-tour get your blood pumping? Or does it leave you cold? Answer the Blogness poll below.
Got further opinions on why or why not Springsteen should release a soul covers album, what he should be doing, and/or what songs you'd like to see on the album? Post them in the comments!