Friday, December 13, 2019

Bruce Springsteen - Cover Songs, Volume 8: 1988-1990

Here's the next Bruce Springsteen live covers album. Technically, this one covers 1988 to 1990, but in fact all the songs are from 1988, except for the last one, which is from 1990. (He didn't tour in 1989 or 1990, but did two benefit concerts in 1990.)

For the last album in this series, a few of the songs had rather rough sound quality, because they came from audience bootlegs recorded at small clubs. This time around I'm happy to say, pretty much every song sound fantastic. In fact, it may have the best overall sound quality in the series so far. It helps that eight out of the 12 songs have been officially released, which is a high ratio. But even the ones from bootlegs sound great.

By the way, you might think the first song, "For Your Love," is a cover of the famous Yardbirds hit from 1965. That's exactly the sort of song Springsteen would cover, and he played it when his musical career was just starting out in the mid-1960s. But in fact it's a more obscure song by Ed Townshend from 1958. The other songs are all the usual suspects.

Springsteen has played all of "Born to Be Wild" in concert a few times. But the bootlegs I heard were of poor quality. So instead I've used a version that was played as part of a medley. I've extracted it from the medley and given it a finish with audience noise in the end. But it's rather short, at only two minutes long. I figured meeting basic sound quality standards was more important than getting a version that lasted a minute or two longer.

I've specified that "Bad Moon Rising" is the "acoustic version," because I'm including a full-band rocking version in a later volume in this series. It's exactly the same for "Highway 61 Revisited." I include acoustic and electric versions like that for just two more songs in the entire series. (There are other acoustic performances in this album series, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" on this album, but I don't feel the need to point that out unless there's more than one version of the same song across the series.)

By the way, it was pointed out to me today that I'd overlooked the cover song "Trapped," which had some official releases in the early to mid-1980s. So I've just added that to volume 6 of this series (1981-1984). If you've downloaded that, you might want to do it again, to grab that song too.

01 For Your Love (Bruce Springsteen)
02 Lonely Teardrops (Bruce Springsteen)
03 Born to Be Wild [Edit] (Bruce Springsteen)
04 Vigilante Man (Bruce Springsteen)
05 Blowin' in the Wind (Bruce Springsteen)
06 Bad Moon Rising [Acoustic Version] (Bruce Springsteen)
07 Who Do You Love (Bruce Springsteen)
08 Boom Boom (Bruce Springsteen)
09 Quarter to Three (Bruce Springsteen)
10 Chimes of Freedom (Bruce Springsteen)
11 Every Breath You Take (Sting & Bruce Springsteen)
12 Highway 61 Revisited [Acoustic Version] (Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne & Bonnie Raitt)

I don't know the date or location of the cover art photo. It's clearly from the 1980s, probably the mid-1980s. But it's such a great pose that I decided to use it here even if it doesn't exactly fit. Also, I didn't find any really good photos specifically dated to the late 1980s.


  1. Thanks a million for this amazing series of cover songs by the Boss. What a wonderful Christmas present!!!!

    1. You're welcome. As I think I mentioned in the first album in the series, think of it like your Bruce advent calendar, with a new little gift to open every day before Christmas. :)

  2. These really are albums that should exist- thank you! One that might have been missed is "I Ain't Got No Home" by Woody Guthrie and covered on the "A Vision Shared" album along with Vigilante Man. Not sure if you are going to have more songs from 1990 in Vol. 9, his cover of Viva Las Vegas from the album "Last Temptation of Elvis" came out in 1990. Thank you again for all your efforts!

    1. Those are al studio tracks. This series just deals with live versions. But I believe all three of the songs you mentioned were played live eventually, and they do feature in albums in the series that I'll be posting later.

    2. Upon closer inspection, Vigilante Man is on this volume, Viva Las Vegas is on the next one, and I Ain't Got No Home doesn't show up until 2009. But as I said, all those are live versions.