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Thursday, 31 March 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 91 - Bruce Springsteen




Four and a half years of album silence was shattered on this day in 1992 when Bruce Springsteen not only a released a new album but he released two albums on the same day!

Human Touch was recorded mainly in Los Angeles and came about after Springsteen heard three songs that Roy Bittan had been working on and that led Bruce to write lyrics for those tunes and to set about writing himself. Bittan was the only member of the East Street Band in touch at this time after Bruce had called them and told them after the Tunnel of Love Tour that it was all done and dusted and he was breaking up the band!

A considerable number of songs were recorded for the album, way more than the 14 that showed up on the release. Some of those outtakes ended up being released on the Tracks Box Set, B-Sides, and one on a Children's Album.

Human Touch was going to be released earlier (maybe in 1991) but was held back by Springsteen as he had another creative burst recording 11 songs (he would end up releasing ten, the eleventh, Happy, turned up on the Tracks Box Set). These tracks would form another album and became Lucky Town.

I don't quite know how or why they came to the conclusion to release both albums on the same day but they did and there was a rather mixed reception regarding both albums.

Now, I've read, and heard many Springteen fans totally dismiss Lucky Town and Human Touch and it is often deemed his worst album (personally speaking I think Working On A Dream fits that criterea). Others have said he should have picked the best songs from each and gone with a single album. Whatever the case made for or against the release of the albums they are out there, bear his name and there's precious little anyone can do about it!

For me, I actually like both albums, I maybe prefer Lucky Town a little more but some of the tracks from Human Touch did sound pretty great live I thought (and the live playing of these songs is another area of great contention, not necessarily for me because I loved the band he went out on the road with, yes they were different but maybe that's exactly what Bruce needed at that point). Almost a year later (infact on this very day in 1993) we went to see him play at the SECC in Glasgow and he was absolutely brilliant.

The Set list for the night was:
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN / MANSION ON THE HILL / THIS HARD LAND / BETTER DAYS / LUCKY TOWN / ATLANTIC CITY / 57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON) / TRAPPED / BADLANDS / IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND / MY HOMETOWN / LEAP OF FAITH / MAN'S JOB / ROLL OF THE DICE - EVERYBODY NEEDS SOMEBODY TO LOVE / HUMAN TOUCH / BECAUSE THE NIGHT / BRILLIANT DISGUISE / THE RIVER / SOULS OF THE DEPARTED / THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER - BORN IN THE U.S.A. / REAL WORLD / LIGHT OF DAY / GLORY DAYS / BOBBY JEAN / THUNDER ROAD / BORN TO RUN / MY BEAUTIFUL REWARD / WORKING ON THE HIGHWAY

Lucky Town was filmed for Top of The Pops and Broadcast the very next night. It had been released as a single on the 29th March 1993.


I like the fact that Springsteen has often seen fit to return to some of the tracks from both albums in a live setting. It's funny that the haters of what came to be called as "The Other Band", (a name I think that is disrespectful to the musicians) who played these songs live over two years, are not so vocal in their opposition to the songs when The E Street Band play them!

Cue the music: 

Human Touch
Columbia
Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin and Roy Bittan
Released 31st March 1992
US Chart #2
UK Chart #1

Singles from Human Touch
    01. "Human Touch"
    Released: March 21, 1992
    02. "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)"
    Released: July 1992


Personnel
    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"

(Limited Edition of 2000 Copies in Austria. Both CD's are housed in a wooden box with a Metal Plate stating "Bruce Springsteen Limited Edition", inside was also a certificate that was numbered as well as the respective booklets for each album. Have seen this recently online for 299.99 €)

Lucky Town
Columbia
Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and Chuck Plotkin
 Released 31st March 1992
US Chart #3
UK Chart #2


Singles from Lucky Town
    01. "Better Days"
    Released: March 21, 1992
    02. "Leap of Faith"
    Released: October 12, 1992
    03. "If I Should Fall Behind"
    Released: December 1992
    04. "Lucky Town"
    Released: March 29, 1993

 Personnel
    Bruce Springsteen – guitar, lead vocals, keyboards, bass guitar, harmonica, percussion
    Gary Mallaber – drums
    Roy Bittan – keyboards on "Leap of Faith", "The Big Muddy" and "Living Proof"
    Patti Scialfa – backing vocals on "Better Days", "Local Hero" and "Leap of Faith"
    Soozie Tyrell – backing vocals on "Better Days", "Local Hero" and "Leap of Faith"
    Lisa Lowell – backing vocals on "Better Days", "Local Hero" and "Leap of Faith"
    Randy Jackson – bass guitar on "Better Days"
    Ian McLagan – organ on "My Beautiful Reward"

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!
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