Bruce Springsteen Ditched ‘Entire Record’ of Covers
He’d settled on the idea of paying tribute to some of his favorite singers – but found himself unhappy with the results of his first attempt.
“Initially, it was really hard,” Springsteen said in a recent interview (via Exclaim). “I was picking material and I'm going, ‘It’s hard to sing somebody else’s songs, and get them to sound authentic and [feel like] it’s coming out of you.’ So I made an entire record that I threw out, and it’ll show up in different places, and there were some good things on it but didn't feel quite right.”
He found a better direction when he chose Frank Wilson’s song “Do I Love You,” which he described as a “Motown rarity,” explaining: “[In] the States, I guess, no one had heard it. And I wanted to try that. And so my producer, Ron Aniello, created the track and the track was really good, really strong. I said, ‘Well, if I can get up near Frank Wilson’s range, I’m going to take a swing at it.’
“And we cut that – that felt great. I said, ‘Well, maybe I’ll orient myself towards soul music,’ because it’s how I grew up, and all my great mentors were soul men that came, Sam Moore and, of course, James Brown, Smokey Robinson as a writer. I mean, just so many… They were all my masters and I said, ‘Well, let me try and sing some of this material.’”
Springsteen admitted that, since then, he’d “been getting a lot better at picking them,” continuing: “[I]nitially it was the trial and error of, ‘What can I sing well?’ So that was the process… but at the end of the day I think the main thing [about] the record is it’s joyful, and a lot of fun; [it] tips my hat, and is a tribute to, like I say, all my mentors and masters, and all those great records and those great productions.”
Watch Bruce Springsteen’s Video for ‘Do I Love You’