This Week's R E V I E W ...

Bruce Springsteen
18 Tracks

© Columbia

December 27, 2020 - January 2, 2021

Year of Release: 1999
Rating:
  • Growin' Up
  • Seaside Bar Song
  • Rendezvous
  • Hearts Of Stone
  • Where The Bands Are
  • Loose Ends
  • I Wanna Be With You
  • Born In The U.S.A.
  • My Love Will Not Let You Down
  • Lion's Den
  • Pink Cadillac
  • Janey Don't You Lose
    Your Heart
  • Sad Eyes
  • Part Man Part Monkey
  • Trouble River
  • Brothers Under The Bridge
  • The Fever
  • The Promise

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    Bruce Springsteen is an artist that has alot of recorded music. That is, when he is getting ready to release a new studio album, he has alot of songs to choose from. For those songs that were chosen for the final release, the remaining are placed back in his vaults. In this case, many of these unchosen tracks, as well as demos and other recordings of songs that would appear on his studio albums, the 4-CD box set, Tracks was released. However, because there were MORE songs that did not make the Tracks box set, a smaller version of this box set was released, as 18 Tracks. 18 tracks, consisting of songs from the box set, plus songs that were not included from the original Tracks box set release. (Get the picture or pattern? Highlights from Tracks, and three songs NOT from it; bonus tracks.) So, for the die-hard Bruce fans, you just had to get BOTHthe box set, and the 3 bonus tracks, with the remaining of the 18 you already had, from the box set.

    18 Tracks starts with an acoustic version of "Growin' Up" (1972), where the full-fledged band version appeared on Bruce's debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. "Seaside Bar Song" (1973), a song rockin' in Bruce form. (There are many.) "Rendezvous" is a live recording, from an LA Remote, at the Record Plant. "Hearts Of Stone" (1977), is a slower-paced than the previous rockers, yet, another good Bruce tune.

    "Where The Bands Are" (1979) kicks it back in the great rockin' Bruce style. The opening of "Loose Ends" (1979) reminds me of a song from the movie Eddie And The Cruisers, which many thought Bruce was the singer from songs of this movie -- it was John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band. More of the typical rockin' Bruce from 1979, "I Wanna Be With You."

    The version of "Born In The U.S.A." (1982), is very, very different than what we are used to. It's slower, and acoustic. I'm sure this version was in the working stages, before it would be "rocked up" for the final release. Another song from 1982, "My Love Will Not Let You Down," which would become a live recording, from Bruce's Live In New York release. 1982 continues with "Lion's Den," another typical Bruce rocker. Then there's "Pink Cadillac" (1983) -- How did this song NOT be part of a studio album? It is truly one of the bes5 songs Bruce recorded.

    Now, where did I hear "Janey Don't Lose Your Heart" (1983) ?? -- From another compilation of unreleased Bruce songs, an import -- Another Side Of Bruce Springsteen Janey is another great tune. Surprised this one didn't make the final cut on a studio album. (Born In The U.S.A. ?) Jumping next to the year 1990, "Sad Eyes" is a slower-paced tune, as Bruce hits some high notes. (Not your typical singing Bruce, of course, therefore, it's easy to see how this song was dropped.) "Part Man, Part Monkey" (1990) was another song from Another Side Of Bruce Springsteen -- a reggae sounding tune, and another great one.

    "Trouble River" (1990) is another typical Bruce rocker, and one of the three songs NOT from the original Tracks box set. "Brothers Under The Bridge" (1995) is a song that would have fit Bruce's Nebraska album.

    Then we go back to 1973, and another great Bruce song, that never made the cut for a studio album. In fact, "The Fever" didn't make the cut for the Tracks box set. Maybe it was too long in length? Regardless, it took years, decades, for this song to get on CD. This is my personal favorite from the 18 Tracks, as it is one of my favorite, favorite Bruce Springsteen songs of all-time. 18 Tracks ends with another non-Tracks song, "The Promise" (1999), a nice piano-driven slow tune. The title "The Promise" would be another future compilation of unreleased Bruce songs. One of those songs on The Promise was Bruce's original studio recording of "Fire." This song would be a hit for the Pointer Sisters, and Bruce would include this song in his live album, Live/1975-85.

    Another mention to add: Not all the songs from Another Side Of Bruce Springsteen made the Tracks/18 Tracks list. Another Side Of Bruce Springsteen was a collecion of B-sides, unreleased tracks from CD compilations, and movie soundtracks. Click here for more info. I also explain this in my review, see link earlier. And, if the album cover of Bruce's Another Side looks familiar, it was based on Another Side of Bob Dylan, and how some called Bruce when he first appeared in the music scene, as the "next Bob Dylan."

    As mentioned, for the die-hard fans of Bruce Springsteen, having both Tracks and 18 Tracks is a given. "The Fever" is worth it. Finally, "The Fever" is released on a Bruce Springsteen compilation, 18 Tracks. Basically, any Bruce compilation of rare, unreleased tracks are a treat. Some of these tracks would be an argument as to why they did not get released on a studio album. Yet, these tracks and more gets released on a future compilation down the road, in the upcoming years. Bruce Springsteen has a lot to offer. 18 Tracks is that.





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