Between DVR & online I'm well into the double-digits of playing this over the weekend plus passed it along.
Tunnel Of Love is maybe Springsteen's most underrated middle-period album, much better than Born In The USA to me because it's so steeped in the personal rather than the prior album's sweeping statements & occasionally borderline cheesy mid-eighties synths/anthemic tones.
The Tunnel of Love album still has a bit of that seemingly unavoidable mid-eighties production sheen but the songs are so much darker/introverted & the instrumentation is bordering on sparse for a big rock record of the era.
'Brilliant Disguise' I guess is the biggest hit off it but still doesn't get the kind of "big song" love from hardcore fans or the mainstream public, it charting that high was probably more a testament to being the first follow-up single to his most commercially successful period of the prior couple years.
That being said, it's a beautifully lyrical testament to a man realizing he & the woman he chose to marry don't really know each other anymore, perhaps never did or even really could.
While I kind of lose track of Elvis Costello's career a bit after the celebrated trilogy of records he started with in the 70's, messy relationship songs are the kind of material he can fully inhabit when he's on & with the help of our boys he really hits the mark here.
Everything about the arrangement is perfect: James on keys, Kirk's harmony vocals and of course 15 holding it all together on the kit.
That moment after the bridge where the band drops out & it's just Quest drumming with Elvis singing you can audibly hear at least two or three people in the audience letting out those involuntary bursts of sound that only come when the music is digging so deep into you that you're almost uncomfortable with how good it's making you feel.
I'd imagine if I was in that studio I'd be feeling similarly because even just watching the camera focused on Quest locked in over Elvis' shoulder & then giving James that glance to say 'you're coming back in on the next measure' got things a little dusty in my place last night and the maid was just here the day before.
For all my original fears of The Legendary becoming just a TV house band when the Fallon announcement first came as well as some of the more indie-rock leanings on some of the Def Jam albums like How I Got Over, these kind of moments serve as a reminder of how proud I am of these guys even though they barely resemble the group I was going to see at the Middle East or other spos in the mid-to-late-90s when their focus was much more about putting more straight-ahead hip-hop into a band setting.
I can understand their need to drift into other milieus after twenty years of playing together and I'm happy for them that they're comfortable enough in their own space to do so while still having a real career without having to tour 250 dates a year playing Drexel/Penn Spring Flings nowadays.
The version of 'Fire' with them doing that ska-bounce & Staple Singers 'I'll Take You There' horn intro/outro is cool as well, as was the slow-burner jazzy version of 'Dancing In The Dark' with John Legend.
Of all the Late Night covers during Springsteen Week, I'd say Kenny Chesney's was the least interesting. Probably partly due to the lack of participation from Illadelph's Phinest but also because I can't understand why a Cowboy Crooner like Chesney wouldn't have the balls to go for that 'woohoohoo' coda.
But props to all the principles involved especially on this one for forming a perfect marriage out of a great divorce song.
1. "great post all around" In response to Reply # 0
I never catch the show so really appreciate hearing about special tunes on the boards to catch after the fact.
But this post is much more than that... you really give the songs and performances context on a bunch of levels. I read the whole thing, then watched the songs, then looked up the original, and got more out of it than I ever did in high school. Thanks for that.
3. "RE: great post all around" In response to Reply # 1
>I never catch the show so really appreciate hearing about >special tunes on the boards to catch after the fact. > >But this post is much more than that... you really give the >songs and performances context on a bunch of levels. I read >the whole thing, then watched the songs, then looked up the >original, and got more out of it than I ever did in high >school. Thanks for that.
nice, thanks for the good words brotha, I was half-expecting a Colin Powell reply to this one because this turned out longer than I originally intended but glad you got something out of it. peace.
7. "RE: finally got the chance to listen to both." In response to Reply # 6
>i listened to 'fire' first, which was a damn fine rendition - >but 'brilliant disguise'? > >holy shit. > >what a fantastic arrangement! > >the breakdown was tight and then i really dug the funk vamp >from poyser after the following chorus. > yup, that was sneaky good as well, James did his damn thing on this.