Out Now: Bruce Springsteen Covers Soul Classics on Spirited New Album, ‘Only the Strong Survive’ (Listen/Buy)

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Only the Strong Survive is a new collection of covers of soul classics from Bruce Springsteen, and after a few months of anticipation, the record is available today, Nov. 11.

This release comes with special significance for “The Boss,” and will be his first release since 2020’s Letter To You. As he said in a statement about the project:

“I wanted to make an album where I just sang. And what better music to work with than the great American songbook of the ’60s and ’70s? I’ve taken my inspiration from Levi Stubbs, David Ruffin, Jimmy Ruffin, the Iceman Jerry Butler, Diana Ross, Dobie Gray, and Scott Walker, among many others. I’ve tried to do justice to them all—and to the fabulous writers of this glorious music. My goal is for the modern audience to experience its beauty and joy, just as I have since I first heard it. I hope you love listening to it as much as I loved making it.”

Click here to pick up Only the Strong Survive on CD from our Rock Cellar Store — On SALE
Click here to pick up Only the Strong Survive on 2-LP from our Rock Cellar Store — On SALE

Only the Strong Survive was previewed with “Nightshift,” a song first released in 1985 by The Commodores — which itself was a tribute to soul/R&B singers Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, who had both passed away the previous year.

As well as “Don’t Play That Song,” originally a Ben E. King classic:

Consistent with that line about making an album “where I just sang,” the new collection  features vocals from Springsteen and instrumentation primarily from his longtime producer Ron Aniello. The album also features guest vocals from Sam Moore, as well as contributions from The E Street Horns, full string arrangements by Rob Mathes and backing vocals from Soozie Tyrell, Lisa Lowell, Michelle Moore, Curtis King Jr., Fonzi Thornton and Dennis Collins.

The track listing:

1. Only the Strong Survive
2. Soul Days feat. Sam Moore
3. Nightshift
4. Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
5. The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore
6. Turn Back the Hands of Time
7. When She Was My Girl
8. Hey, Western Union Man
9. I Wish It Would Rain
10. Don’t Play That Song
11. Any Other Way
12. I Forgot to Be Your Lover feat. Sam Moore
13. 7 Rooms of Gloom
14. What Becomes of the Brokenhearted
15. Someday We’ll Be Together

News of this project comes as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band prepare for their first tour since 2017, with a batch of North American gigs lined up for early 2023 (with more to come):

Feb. 1 Tampa, FL Amalie Arena
Feb. 3 Atlanta, GA State Farm Arena
Feb. 5 Orlando, FL Amway Center
Feb. 7 Hollywood, FL Hard Rock Live
Feb. 10 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Feb. 14 Houston, TX Toyota Center
Feb. 16 Austin, TX Moody Center
Feb. 18 Kansas City, MO T-Mobile Center
Feb. 21 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
Feb. 25 Portland, OR Moda Center
Feb. 27 Seattle, WA Climate Pledge Arena
Mar. 2 Denver, CO Ball Arena
Mar. 5 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
Mar. 7 Milwaukee, WI Fiserv Forum
Mar. 9 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
Mar. 12 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun
Mar. 14 Albany, NY MVP Arena
Mar. 16 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Mar. 18 State College, PA Bryce Jordan Center
Mar. 20 Boston, MA TD Garden
Mar. 23 Buffalo, NY KeyBank Center
Mar. 25 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
Mar. 27 Washington, D.C. Capital One Arena
Mar. 29 Detroit, MI Little Caesars Arena
Apr. 1 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
Apr. 3 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center Fri 7
Apr. 5 Cleveland, OH Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Apr. 7 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Arena
Apr. 9 Belmont Park, NY UBS Arena
Apr. 11 Belmont Park, NY UBS Arena
Apr. 14 Newark, NJ Prudential Center

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