WESTERN STARS By Bruce Springsteen

Western Stars is like none of the other 18 Bruce Springsteen studio albums. With all the lush strings and orchestral flourishes, the songs on Western Stars sound like the music you would hear on an FM late-night Easy Listening radio station in the mid-1970s. Springsteen says he channeled Burt Bacharach and Glen Campbell on this Baker’s Dozen set of mellow songs. If you’re in the mood for some poignant songwriting with French horns, violins, and cellos listen to Western Stars to revel in listening to Bruce Springsteen’s best CD in a decade. GRADE: A
1. Hitch Hikin’
2. The Wayfarer
3. Tucson Train
4. Western Stars
5. Sleepy Joe’s Café
6. Drive Fast (The Stuntman)
7. Chasin’ Wild Horses
8. Sundown
9. Somewhere North of Nashville
10. Stones
11. There Goes My Miracle
12. Hello Sunshine
13. Moonlight Motel

14 thoughts on “WESTERN STARS By Bruce Springsteen

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    I would also give it an A. I would say it channels Jimmy Webb rather than Glen Campbell and I don’t hear Burt Bacharach here. His best in a decade? I am quite fond of his last CD High Hopes. But it doesn’t sound much like an E Street Band record and it is much more lush than his previous solo recordings like Nebraska which was pretty stripped down.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, you’re right about that possible Jim Webb influence on these Springsteen songs. Springsteen mentioned Campbell and Bacharach in connection to WESTERN STARS.

  2. wolf

    I already read somewhere that “The Boss” has a new album but haven’t listened to it yet, so thanks for that review.
    A bit OT – funny coincidence:
    We have in Hungary a tv music channel called “hit” – it often plays trivial crap, but sometimes they have classical rock stuff – yesterday a very good video:

    Born in the USA and Donald’s illegitimate use of it is also an interesting story.
    I’m not a real fan of Country music but for Glen Campbell I’ll make an exception. 🙂
    His 80s records made a lasting impression on me – so when I went to Texas to join Steve Winwood in his concerts of course I had to drive to Galveston …

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, Glen Campbell was also a session player in THE WRECKING CREW, the studio band that produced a long string of rock & roll hits. Campbell was a guitar virtuoso. Sadly, he suffered from Alzheimer’s in his later years and died in 2017.

      1. george Post author

        Steve, in his autobiography BORN TO RUN, Springsteen admits he’s had mental problems and anger management issues.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, yes Easy Listening radio stations were popular in the 1970s. They were also referred to as MOR (Middle-of-the-Road) music stations.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, I think Campbell tried to “self-medicate” as he was stricken with early-onset Alzheimer’s. That may have led to Campbell’s violence.

    2. Jeff Smith

      Steve, I don’t know that calling Glen Campbell a “wife beater” in his relationship with Tanya Tucker is really an accurate description. I think calling them two alley cats tied up in a canvas bag comes closer.


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