Devils & Dust

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disco_devilsanddust.jpg
Commercially Released: April 25, 2005
Label: Columbia
Produced* by Bruce Springsteen, Chuck Plotkin, Brendan O'Brien
Recorded by Nick Didia, Toby Scott, assisted by Tom Tapley, Billy Bowers, Karl Egsieker at Thrill Hill East
 and Thrill Hill West (1996 - 2004), Horns at Southern Tracks Studios (2004), Strings at Masterphonics Studios (2004)
Mixed* by Brendan O'Brien, Toby Scott
Mastered by Bob Ludwig
Design by Dave Bett, Michelle Holme, Chris Austopchuk
Photography by Anton Corbijn
Horn and string arrangements by Eddie Horst

* "All The Way Home" and "Long Time Comin'" produced by Springsteen-Plotkin-O’Brien. "Matamoros Banks", "Leah", "Black Cowboys" and "Jesus Was An Only Son" mixed by Toby Scott.

Overview

Springsteen completed The Rising tour in early October 2003. He then took a few months break, performing only a handful of guest appearances during this period. Sessions for the Devils & Dust album were very low-key and spanned about a six-month period, from March thru August 2004. Indications are that all recording was completed (except for mixing and string/horn overdubs) prior to Springsteen undertaking the Vote For Change mini-tour (September - November 2004). However, the final mixes for the Devils & Dust material weren’t completed until January 2005.

Three of the compositions on the album were known to fans for many years beforehand because they had been performed at concerts. However shortly before Devils & Dust was released Springsteen mentioned to Jon Parales of the New York Times that nearly all the songs on the album were recorded by him sometime during the 1995 to 1997 era (probably mostly during the Ghost Of Tom Joad Tour or immediately after, but the exact dates are not known), but later said that he did not want to issue another acoustic album so soon after The Ghost Of Tom Joad. Springsteen has noted that he didn’t want to see these songs “fall through the cracks”. He hasn't given an itemized background of each composition on the album, although this info may come to light with time. One composition (“All The Way Home”) dates from as far back as 1990. The only composition on the album that has been positively confirmed as having been written after The Rising sessions (early 2002) is the title track, "Devils & Dust". Bruce has described the Devils & Dust album as a thematic sequel to the Ghost Of Tom Joad album. Others have noted that these songs could potentially have constituted part of a fifth disc in the Tracks box set.

These are not 100% re-recordings of older Springsteen compositions made from scratch in 2004. Rather it appears that producer Brendan O’Brien was called into service to enhance, embellish and/or otherwise spice up and flavor whatever core recordings Springsteen had already made. The album's liner notes do not delve into the kind of exacting session detail that's needed to unravel some of the timeline and overdubbing mysteries. There is, however, enough telltale tidbits in the liner notes and in comments by those involved in the sessions to deduce that parts of nearly all of these recordings had been in the vaults, in varying stages of completion, for seven or eight years.

Released

# Song Title Running Time Release
1. DEVILS & DUST 1 4:58 DEVILS / 2005 single
2. ALL THE WAY HOME 3:38 DEVILS / 2005 single
3. RENO 1 4:08 DEVILS
4. LONG TIME COMIN' 1 4:17 DEVILS
5. BLACK COWBOYS 4:08 DEVILS
6. MARIA'S BED 5:35 DEVILS
7. SILVER PALOMINO 3:22 DEVILS
8. JESUS WAS AN ONLY SON 2:54 DEVILS
9. LEAH 3:31 DEVILS
10. THE HITTER 5:53 DEVILS
11. ALL I'M THINKIN' ABOUT 1 4:22 DEVILS
12. MATAMOROS BANKS 1 4:20 DEVILS

Total Running Time: 50:51

1: These studio recordings tracks, also come in a video live version with the bonus-package.
These were filmed live by director Danny Clinch in February 2005 in New Jersey.

Additional Information

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