Bruce Springsteen Announces New Album 'Only The Strong Survive'


October 01, 2022

Bruce Springsteen will release a new album of soul covers titled 'Only The Strong Survive' on November 11th. The album's forerunner is 'Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)', originally recorded by Frank Wilson.

The album focuses on classic soul tracks, both known and unknown, released from the 60s to the 80s. Its title comes from the song 'Only The Strong Survive' by Jerry Butler released in 1969.

'Only The Strong Survive' also features 'Soul Days' by Dobie Gray, 'Nightshift' by the Commodores, 'I Wish It Would Rain' by The Temptations and 'Somebody We'll Be Together' by Diana Ross and of the Supremes.

"I wanted to make an album where I just sang," Bruce Springsteen explained in a statement.

“And what better music to work with than the great American canon of the 60s and 70s? I was inspired by Levi Stubbs, David Ruffin, Jimmy Ruffin, Iceman Jerry Butler, Diana Ross, Dobie Gray and Scott Walker, among many others. I tried to live up to all of them - and the wonderful creators of this glorious music," he continued.

“My goal is for the modern audience to enjoy its beauty and joy, just as I have since I first heard it. I hope you enjoy listening to this album as much as I enjoyed making it,” he said.

The album features vocalist Sam Moore of Sam & Dave, as well as The E Street Horns on string arrangements by Rob Mathes. Voiced by Soozie Tyrell, Lisa Lowell, Michelle Moore, Curtis King Jr, Dennis Collins and Fonzi Thornton.

'Only The Strong Survive was recorded at Thrill Hill Recording Studio in Thrill Hill, New Jersey, produced by Ron Aniello, engineer by Rob Lebret and executive produced by Jon Landau.

It is Bruce Springsteen's next album after 2020's 'Letter To You', which debuted at the top of the charts in 11 countries.

Covers of classic soul songs have been part of Bruce Springsteen's live repertoire since his early days as a live performer, but he has never performed any of these songs in concert.

In a video he posted on YouTube, Bruce Springsteen explained that he recorded an entire album and put it in the drawer before starting the preparation of 'Only The Strong Survive'.

“As in the past, never deterred, I continued to record. In my second attempt, I found a theme I wanted to explore,” he said.

The issue was an entire record centered around the song: "I had spent my professional life with my voice in the service of my songs, limited by my arrangements, by my melodies, by my compositions and by my constructions," he said. .

“My voice always came second, third or fourth to those elements… On this album, I put my own touch on the song and my team mastered and sonically modernized some of the most beautiful songs in the American pop canon. I had so much fun recording this music,” he added.

The album cover reads 'Covers Volume 1', hinting that other cover albums like 'Only The Strong Survive' may be released in the future.

'Only The Strong Survive' is Bruce Springsteen's first cover album since 2006's 'We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions'.

Bruce Springsteen did a world tour to promote that record, but there are no plans for a special 'Only The Strong Survive' tour. In February 2023, he will embark on a new tour with the E Street Band, with which he will travel throughout North America and Europe.

'Only The Strong Survive' tracklist

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