From the Vault...


Bruce Springsteen
"Another Side Of Bruce Springsteen"

© Columbus Records

Year of Release: 1994

track listing
  • Held Up Without A Gun
  • Be True
  • Roulette
  • The Big Payback
  • Pink Cadillac
  • Shut Out The Light
  • Johnny Bye Bye
  • Stand On It
  • Janey Don't You
    Lose Heart
  • Lucky Man
  • Two For The Road
  • I Ain't Got No Home
  • Vigilante Man
  • Viva Las Vegas
  • Chicken Lips And
    Lizard Hips
  • Part Man Part Monkey
  • Thirty Days Out
  • Streets Of Philadelphia
  • Gypsy Woman

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    Bruce Springsteen
    "Another Side Of Bruce Springsteen"

    Bruce Springsteen's latest release, the box set Bruce Springsteen: Tracks is due in stores this Tuesday (November 10, 1998), and as I patiently wait till this day; it's ironic that this week's album is similar to this box set. Another Side Of Bruce Springsteen contains 19 songs that are not featured on any major Springsteen release. The album cover, (likewise the title of the album) is very similar to the Bob Dylan album -- Another Side Of Bob Dylan. This was clever for the people who developed the album cover; when you listen to Springsteen's earliest material, everyone was quoted as saying that Bruce Springsteen would be the next Bob Dylan. Well, we all know how that comparison went....NOT!

    In looking at the track list for the upcoming box set, there are songs from Another Side... that are NOT included on the recent Tracks box set.

    Songs NOT on the box set, yet found on this Import...

  • "Held Up Without A Gun", originally the B-side to the single "Hungry Heart". It's Bruce rocking at his best, being a short song, under 2 minutes in length.

  • "The Big Payback" is a song that could of been from the Nebraska period, and I'm surprised it's not on the box set. It's similar to the tune found on Nebraska, "Open All Night".

  • "I Ain't Got No Home": a somewhat pop, yet folksy tune as heard on Nebraska and/or Ghost Of Tom Joad, it's another great ballad.

  • "Vigilante Man": a different kind of Bruce tune, it has a blues beat like songs found on John Fogerty's Blue Moon Swamp.

  • "Viva Las Vegas": yes, the Elvis Presley remake, and I believe this song was from a movie soundtrack based on Elvis Presley imitators (or was that ZZ Top's version?). Bruce's version is more rockin' than Elvis, and it is much better than ZZ Top's cover.

  • "Chicken Lips and Lizard Hips" definitely has a Bob Dylan style, where it is a story telling song, featuring singing and talking. Dylan recorded a huge assortment of songs like this in his early career. And, this song is another short one, under two minutes in length.

  • "Thirty Days Out" definitely has the pop sound of songs found on Tunnel Of Love. It has the same feel as the title track.

  • "Streets Of Philadelphia": The Award winning song from the movie Philadelphia, where Tom Hanks won an Oscar for Best Actor, where he portrays a gay man who has AIDS.

  • "Gypsy Woman" is the cover tune originally done by Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions, and also popular by Brian Hyland. Bruce's version was originally released as part of a Curtis Mayfield tribute album. It is quite different in sound than any of the well-known versions, it's slow and soulful.

    Songs FOUND on the Tracks box set, likewise on Another Side of Bruce Springsteen:

    "Be True" is a song that's similar to a song released on the album The River, "Out On The Streets". "Roulette" is a medium-paced rock song, and is unfamilar in sound compared to previous Springsteen songs. "Shut Out The Light" is obvious from the Nebraska period.

    "Pink Cadillac" is here, and obviously this song is a must for any Springsteen fan, and it's no surprise that this song is also found on the upcoming box set. Other artists have covered this song (Natalie Cole, for one), but Springsteen's version is the ultimate best.

    "Johnny Bye Bye" is another short song, and you kind of wish it was more. "Stand On It" is a bar-bouncing tune, and it has a somewhat country feel. "Janey, Don't You Lose Heart" has a pop sound, as heard on songs from the Tunnel Of Love album.

    "Lucky Man" was recorded in 1987, but it could of been a good track for the 1992 Human Touch album. It's rough vocal Bruce at his best, it's bluesy, it's Bruce. Also from 1987, "Two For The Road" is another pop-sounding tune that could of been added to the songlist of Tunnel Of Love.

    "Part Man, Part Monkey" has a reggae feel to it, and it sounds like a very slow version of Born In The USA's "Cover Me". If you do get the box set, this one is worth checking out.

    In observing the track list for the upcoming box set, obviously there are tunes not found from Another Side Of Bruce Springsteen. The songs that were chosen for the box set were from over 200 songs from Bruce Springsteen's Vault. One of the songs not listed in the box set is "The Fever", a song that I was hoping would be included. Other songs that didn't make the box set were his Christmas versions of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" and "Merry Christmas Baby". I'm sure he recorded some other Christmas songs too. Hmmm, with Christmas coming around the corner, wouldn't it be nice to see a Bruce Springsteen Christmas release????

    There are 66 songs on the box set, and since these songs were picked from well over the 200-300 songs from the vault, maybe there will be another release of Springsteen songs that did not make the box set. And for all the Springsteen fans like myself who collect his music, we will always ask the question: "Do I REALLY have the COMPLETE Bruce?" Well, after viewing the box set song list, the answer to that question is "NO."

    But for the die-hard Bruce fan, the box set will be a must. Likewise, if you find any bootleg/import CDs (like Another Side...) it's always a thrill to hear songs that were never released before. When I saw this import, I read through the list of songs, and saw the ones I knew, and those I didn't. There's only 19 songs on this import, but I wished there were more.

    Anything by Bruce Springsteen is an adventure. The songs on the box set are those that Springsteen felt "did not meet his high standards but because, they didn't fit in with the tone or themes he mined for each set (album)" 1 (How he came up with that idea for songs such as "Pink Cadillac" and "The Fever" amazes me; they should of been included.)
    1BILLBOARD MAGAZINE, "Springsteen Backtracks: Columbia Box Surveys Music Off The Record," 11/07/1998

    But every artist plays their best Judge and Jury. Songs that are not included are put on the shelf. And as the years go by, these songs are sometimes forgotten, and when it comes time for inventory, the dust is blown off the items found on the shelves, as artists will take another listen in what was recorded years gone by, and the timing would be perfect to share these songs with the millions of fans who have been waiting for years for it to happen. This is the case with Bruce Springsteen. The box set of unreleased material is long overdue, and I'm sure that every song will be enjoyed by many, many Springsteen fans.

    Another Side Of Bruce Springsteen is an excellent journey in hearing the songs that "didn't fit" in Springsteen's major releases. After hearing this album, you'll want to hear more, and on November 10th 1998, we can all rush to the local record stores and pick up the 4-CD box set, entitled Bruce Springsteen: Tracks.

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