Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Counting On A Package Deal, Part 6 - Born In The USA

Now, loyal readers of Counting On A Package Deal may be asking, "Hey Goober, where's Nebraska?"  Don't worry, I have a very good reason for not covering Nebraska: I don't own it.  Seriously, I didn't buy any of these albums - they were all given to me by a family friend.  If you want to help my collection, I will gladly accept donations.  But, sadly, this blog doesn't quite pay the bills (yet!).

Born In The USA is easily Springsteen's second most famous album cover.  This photo by Annie Leibovitz was destined to become iconic, and it seems like the Springsteen album design department knew it, because check out the back of the record:

Yup, just the same image again.  I mean, come on fellas.  That's just too much butt.  It's the first, and as far as I know, only time that the front and back of an album have been completely identical.  It makes me wistful for The River's horror show photograph. 

The inside sleeve isn't as good as The River's was, but that was a tough one to top.  However, for the first time, each individual E Street Band member gets their own spotlight photo, with the largest photos going to Clarence and, surprisingly, Garry Tallent.  On the reverse of the sleeve, we get an in-color photo of Bruce - the largest color photo showing Bruce's face since Darkness.  This would've been perfect for the back cover!

And there's a lyrics sheet.  These are fine.  Can't really say much about these.

And, that's it.  We've reached the end of Counting On A Package Deal until I get any more albums.  But what's that you say?  What does the record look like?  Is it just another red circle?  Well, you asked, and I shall deliver:

Remember, you asked.

Want to start your own record collection?  Buy it on Amazon!

Past installments: 
Greetings from Asbury Park
The Wild The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle
Born To Run
Darkness on the Edge of Town
The River

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bruce Alert: Ricki and the Flash

Attention, attention. This August 7th you can see Meryl Streep cover a Bruce Springsteen song. It's part of the upcoming movie Ricki and the Flash in which Streep plays a cover band lead singer reconnecting with her estranged family. Entertainment Weekly reports the film will feature a variety of covers that also includes sounds by Tom Petty and Lady Gaga. The Bruce song is "My Love Will Not Let You Down," which is an interesting choice since it's a lesser known song off the Tracks album (although according to Greasy Lakes it's been played live more than any other Tracks song).

Will Streep perform it as a rockin' proclamation to a lover or a poignant appeal for reconciliation to her family? We'll have to wait and find out on August 7. The film is directed by Jonathan Demme - who filmed great musical scenes in Stop Making Sense and Rachel Getting Married - and the "Streep Summer Movie" is always good counter programming from Hollywood, so consider us interested!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Clarence Clemons on The Weird Al Show

As previewed in the recent Strand of Oaks article, the Legends of Springsteen editors are still coming down from the high of seeing Weird Al Yankovic perform at the Governor's Ball in NYC. Anyone who has had the fortune of seeing The Weird One perform live knows that he has a showmanship and unstoppable energy akin to our beloved Springsteen.

While we'll still have to wait for a Weird Al / Bruce duet, we can at least enjoy an appearance by Clarence Clemons on The Weird Al Show from back in 1997. The entire episode is available to watch on YouTube. Taking a look at it now, it's amazing to think this show even exists. Keep an eye out for Michael McKean, too.

Many thanks to the Backstreets archive for bringing this to our attention!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cover Spotlight - "Used Cars" by Strand of Oaks

This weekend, I will be lucky enough to attend the Governor's Ball in New York City.  I will only be attending Sunday, as it has the one artist I need to see live once before I die: the legendary Weird Al Yankovic.  However, Sunday offers many other great artists, such as The War On Drugs, Noel Gallagher, and headliner the Black Keys.  However, if you show up early (which I hope to do), you can catch Strand Of Oaks, a singer-songwriter who I saw open for The Tallest Man On Earth a few years ago.  While his music is generally mellow (as you can see in his performance of "Used Cars" above), it will be interesting to see how he performs in front of a large festival crowd.  Personally, I think the man has some solid rock chops, as seen in his single "Goshen 97".  So, that's my humble tip for those going to Governor Ball early Sunday, although you can't go wrong with seeing most of the artists there.