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Badlands:Tribute to Bruce... Compilation

3.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 37.07
Only 1 left in stock.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 21 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Compilation
  • Label: Sub Pop-Internation.
  • ASIN: B00004Z0M0
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #102,299 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Nebraska - Chrissie Hynde And Adam Seymour
2. Atlantic City - Hank III
3. Mansion On The Hill - Crooked Fingers (Eric Bachman, ex Archers of Loaf)
4. Johnny 99 - Los Lobos
5. Highway Patrolman - Dar Williams
6. State Trooper - Deanna Carter
7. Used Cars - Ani DiFranco
8. Open All Night - Son Volt
9. My Father's House - Ben Harper
10. Reason To Believe - Aimee Mann And Michael Penn
11. I'm On Fire - Johnny Cash (Bonus Track)
12. Downbound Train - Raul Malo of the Mavericks (Bonus Track)
13. Wages Of Sin - Damien Jurado And Rose Thomas (Bonus Track)

Product Description

There was a time when nobody besides Manfred Mann really bothered to cover Bruce Springsteen songs. All that changed once Born To Run turned the singer-songwriter into an American pop icon. Still, it was in the bleak character studies of 1982's Nebraska that he reaffirmed himself as a literate everyman steeped in the tradition of John Steinbeck, Flannery O'Connor, Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. And that's the side of Springsteen that clearly appeals to Johnny Cash, Los Lobos, Hank Williams III and the dozen other artists who participate in this remake of Nebraska. Chrissie Hynde, Ani DiFranco and Deana Carter all deliver haunting performances, but as far as the menfolk go, the album's most striking covers are "bonus" tracks that were recorded for but not released on Nebraska: "I'm On Fire" sounds even creepier with Cash's craggy vocal; the Mavericks' Raul Malo brings out the pop sheen of "Downbound Train"; and "Wages of Sin", in the hands of Damien Jurado and Rose Thomas, shows just how depressing Springsteen can be. All of this makes this a fine companion to the original recording. --Bill Forman

Album Description

Interesting and eclectic collection of artists on this tribute to Springsteen's 6th album, Nebraska. Like the original the tracks are recorded on four track at Bruce's request. Artists include, Chrissie Hynde & Adam Seymour, Hank Williams the third, Los Lobos & Son Volt. And 3 bonus tracks recorded during the Nebraska sessions by, Johnny Cash, Raul Mal o if the Mavericks and Damien Jurado with Rose Thomas. 2000 release. Standard jewel case.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It takes quite a talent when a tribute album can be made of just one piece of work. Such is the awesome body of work that is Bruce Springsteen's. And to have the songs so strong that, except in a few cases, they come across well shows how good this material is.
Doing covers can be tough for several reasons. First, you have to be at least somewhat musically adept, which is the case for everyone on "Badlands". Second, it would help if you at least had a vague idea of what the original was trying to communicate, which is not the case for everyone here.
One time in my life I actually listened to a Jim Nabors album. Yep, ol' Gomer Pyle himself can sing. In this listening, the voice was certainly there. But song after song, you got the idea that ol' Gomer hadn't the slightest idea what they were about, and the whole thing came out as an awkward embarrassment.
When I heard the first two numbers of "Badlands", this is what went through my mind, and thought this was going to be a train wreck. It starts off with Chrissie Hynde, normally a great singer, attempting the title. In it, she's basically just wording out the song, with very little emotion. Even worse was "Atlantic City", as done by Hank Williams III. The stark original is turned so much into a hillbilly hoe-down song I actually wonder if the artist wasn't making fun of the song. My heart was sinking at this point.
But then, it takes a big upswing. To the producers' credit, they do take the stark, minimal musical background on most of the original numbers, and keep the same spirit here. One could argue that the Los Lobos version of "Johnny 99" was a bit TOO rocking, but it sounds great, and on the original album, it was one of the more fast-paced numbers.
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Format: Audio CD
This one is for Springsteen fans. It's for those
who think that Nebraska is the best album that Bruce ever made. It's for those who make that claim but, in reality, find it too stark and brooding to actually listen to, so they opt for Born to Run or, if they are daring, Tunnel of Love instead. It's for those who think that Nebraska is bad and only like Bruce when he is performing his anthems...well, no, maybe this is not for them. This tribute to Nebraska(and a few bonus cuts) by a diverse and simpatico group of artists(including Johnny Cash, Los Lobos, and Chrissie Hynde) does contain several outstanding tracks and provides a more colorful pallette for Bruce's austere hymns of struggle and dread. On the other hand, most of these performances do not match the raw power and passion, barebones as as they may be, of the original versions.
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Format: Audio CD
This album highlights why Springsteen chose to keep his demo tracks in the first place - there's something that must be said for the starkness and steely beauty of the original Nebraska, something that just struck like a genius bolt of lightning. That's not to say this album isn't good, it is quite revealing into the earthiness and life-inspired themes Springsteen wrote about. There are some misses, surely; Hank III's "Atlantic City" robs the song of its day-to-day fatigued dejection and desperation, and adds little to the intended meaning. Crooked Fingers delivers quite an unexpected take of "Mansion on a Hill" and I think it works to a good effect. If nothing else, a good cover should at least make you think twice about the original, and "Mansion" achieves that and more. I thought the women-sung songs on the album were particularly striking. Dar Williams' near-whispered "Highway Patrolman" hits the small-town familial atmosphere right on the nail, plus her voice is so lovely. Deana Carter surprised me big time on "State Trooper" - I've never heard her sound this way, makes me wish she'd leave off the happy stuff at least for a bit and do stuff like this. Her voice provides such a contrast it adds a new kind of bleakness to the song, an angry rumbling searching motif. I didn't really care for Ani Difranco's "Used Cars"; the song sounds very thoughtful and introspective at this pace, but the version doesn't carry through on this or any other direction. Son Volt's "Open All Night" is one of those covers where you know it was well done, but you long for the original anyway.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
An interesting album insofar that, here, some of the best singer-songwriters of our own time (Ani DiFranco excluded) offer such misguided insight into the darkest moods of Bruce Springsteen. This album is an embarrassment. Hank III's version of 'Atlantic City' actually made me quite angry. (Only someone like Levon Helm can really do justice to the song.) Chrissie Hynde manages to turn 'Nebraska' into some kind of menopausal trip-hop. Ben Harper's contribution is limp and whiny.
Please note that I have tremendous respect for all of the singer-songwriters singled out above (except Ani DiFranco), as well as Aimee Mann, Son Volt, and Damien Jurardo. Buy this album if you think that 'Born in the U.S.A.' was a celebration of Reaganomics...or think that it would be a good idea to pay homage to Walt Whitman at a poetry slam.
This 'tribute' gets one star for Crooked Fingers' sensitive rendition of 'Mansion on the Hill' and Johnny Cash's timeless and suave 'I'm on Fire' (which, incidentally, is available elsewhere).
N.B. Cash is the man. He knows that none of the songs on 'Nebraska' are to be trifled with!
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