Badlands: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska

Badlands: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska

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The Boss' darkest, most introspective album has long been a favorite of folks who wouldn't be too likely to fire up the Bic for "Born to Run" -- including the impressive array of artists gathered for this tribute cum replication of the seminal disc. You don't need to be a Springsteen die-hard to appreciate the emotional depth andSee more details below

Overview

The Boss' darkest, most introspective album has long been a favorite of folks who wouldn't be too likely to fire up the Bic for "Born to Run" -- including the impressive array of artists gathered for this tribute cum replication of the seminal disc. You don't need to be a Springsteen die-hard to appreciate the emotional depth and unblinking intensity of the songs redone here, although immersion in its dark waters might just turn a few naysayers into fans. Using the same running order as the original Nebraska, Badlands leads listeners on a journey that's dark, but ultimately redemptive with performances ranging from the sullen (Hank Williams III's take on "Atlantic City") to the serene (Aimee Mann and Michael Penn's version of "Reason to Believe"). The best songs here retain the stripped-down single-mindedness Bruce put into his four-track recordings -- notably Ani DiFranco's riveting "Used Cars" and Los Lobos' edgy "Johnny 99." In an effort to flesh out Nebraska's ten terse songs, the producers added three similarly-toned Springsteen favorites, including "Downbound Train" (given an appropriately hushed reading by the Mavericks' Raul Malo) and "I'm on Fire," which, in the hands of Johnny Cash, becomes the disc's finest moment.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Nebraska is probably the album that has more critical respect, from both writers and musicians, than any other Bruce Springsteen project. It's likely that no other Springsteen album could have brought together the mainstream and indie acts on this track-by-track re-creation of the record, the cast including Chrissie Hynde (dueting with Adam Seymour), Los Lobos, Ani DiFranco, Son Volt, Ben Harper, Aimee Mann (dueting with Michael Penn), Johnny Cash, and Raul Malo. The challenge faced by all tribute projects? To pay homage to the spirit of the original, yet vary the arrangements and vocal interpretation enough so that the covers are interesting in their own right. This is more successful than most tribute albums in those regards, though like virtually all tribute albums, it's uneven. When the vibe is at its most minimal, the covers can be pretty successful, like Chrissie Hynde's subdued phrasing against spectral backing on the title cut, Crooked Fingers' use of dense circular ambient backup on "Mansion on the Hill," and Ani DiFranco's deployment of the kind of low booming bass heard on the Twin Peaks soundtrack on "Used Cars." Ben Harper projects more soulfulness than most do on Springsteen covers with his acoustic cover of "My Father's House." On the other hand, Hank III's hoedown country version of "Atlantic City" doesn't suit the mood, and the harder-rocking efforts (Los Lobos' "Johnny 99," Malo's "Downbound Train") are kind of neutral cruises. In addition to versions of the ten songs on Nebraska, the disc is intelligently supplemented by covers of three compositions recorded and written during the Nebraska sessions, though released on subsequent albums: "I'm on Fire" (done by Cash), "Downbound Train" (done by Malo), and "Wages of Sin" (done by Damien Jurado and Rose Thomas).

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/07/2000
Label:
Sub Pop
UPC:
0098787052527
catalogNumber:
525

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Johnny Cash   Track Performer
Michael Penn   Track Performer
Ani DiFranco   Track Performer
Aimee Mann   Track Performer
Dar Williams   Track Performer
Ben Harper   Track Performer
Chrissie Hynde   Track Performer
Lobos   Track Performer
Raul Malo   Track Performer
Adam Seymour   Track Performer
Deana Carter   Track Performer
Son Volt   Track Performer
Damien Jurado   Track Performer
Hank Williams   Track Performer
Crooked Fingers   Track Performer
Rosie Thomas   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Greg Calbi   Mastering
Jeff Kleinsmith   Art Direction
Jim Sampas   Producer
Robert Santelli   Liner Notes
C. W. Kalb   Composer

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