Only The Strong Survive (Covers Vol. 1) - Studio Sessions


disco_onlythestrongsurvivecoversvol1.jpg
Commercially Released: November 11, 2022
Label: Columbia
Produced by Ron Aniello with Bruce Springsteen
Recorded by Rob Lebret and Ron Aniello at Thrill Hill Recording, Colts Neck, NJ
Mixed by Rob Lebret with Ron Aniello at at Thrill Hill Recording, Colts Neck, NJ
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME
Design by Michelle Holme and Meghan Foley
Photography by Danny Clinch, except the Night Shift Portrait by Rob DeMartin

Only The Strong Survive is the twenty-first studio album by Bruce Springsteen, featuring a collection of fifteen soul music greats. It was released by Columbia Records on November 11, 2022, and was tracked at Thrill Hill Recording in New Jersey, produced by Ron Aniello, engineered by Rob Lebret, and executive produced by Jon Landau. Featuring lead vocals by Springsteen, Only The Strong Survive celebrates soul music gems from the legendary catalogues of Motown, Gamble and Huff, Stax, and many more. The album also feature guest vocals by Sam Moore, as well as contributions from The E Street Horns, full string arrangements by Rob Mathes, and backing vocals by Soozie Tyrell, Lisa Lowell, Michelle Moore, Curtis King Jr., Dennis Collins, and Fonzi Thornton.

The primary sessions for the record took place at Springsteen's home studio, Thrill Hill Recording in Colts Neck, NJ, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Springsteen, producer Ron Aniello, and engineer Rob Lebret—together christened "The Night Shift"—lay down the core tracks for about 55 songs, which was cut down to 15 for the final release. It was after recording Frank Wilson's "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" that the soul record concept came into view. Horns, strings, and backing vocals were recorded later at the Power Station at BerkleeNYC in New York City, and were overdubbed onto the base tracks. The strings were arranged and conducted by Rob Mathes, with Sandy Park as contractor, and were recorded by Alec Venguer, Ian Kagey, and Lebret. Sam Moore's contributions were also recorded separately, at Bullseye Studios in Miami, FL, with Andres Bermudezat as engineer.

Released

Additional Recordings

Song Title Running Time Release
ALL I KNOW uncirculating
MY GIRL uncirculating
REACH OUT (I'LL BE THERE) uncirculating

Details

Song Title Running Time Release

7 ROOMS OF GLOOM 2:42 STRONGSURVIVE

Note: Written by Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, and Eddie Holland, and originally recorded by the Four Tops.

ANY OTHER WAY 2:57 STRONGSURVIVE

Note: Written and originally recorded by William Bell.

DO I LOVE YOU (INDEED I DO) 2:29 STRONGSURVIVE / 2022 single

Note: Written and first recorded by Frank Wilson. Springsteen's version includes a sample of Wilson's original Motown recording. Initially just one of a group of covers of various genres, it was this song that sparked the concept of Only The Strong Survive as a soul record, kicking off the recording of the rest of the album's songs.

DON'T PLAY THAT SONG 3:37 STRONGSURVIVE / 2022 single

Note: Written by Ahmet Ertegün and Betty Nelson, and originally recorded by Ben E. King. Springsteen covers Aretha Franklin's arrangement.

HEY, WESTERN UNION MAN 3:56 STRONGSURVIVE

Note: Written by Jerry Butler, Kenny Gamble, and Leon Huff, and originally recorded by Butler.

I FORGOT TO BE YOUR LOVER 2:31 STRONGSURVIVE

Note: Written by William Bell and Booker T. Jones, and originally recorded by Bell. Soul legend Sam Moore contributes harmony vocals to Springsteen's version.

I WISH IT WOULD RAIN 3:27 STRONGSURVIVE

Note: Written by Rodger Penzabene, Barrett Strong, and Norman Whitfield, and originally recorded by The Temptations.

NIGHTSHIFT 4:59 STRONGSURVIVE / 2022 single

Note: Written by Franne Golde, Dennis Lambert, and Walter Orange, and originally recorded by The Commodores. Briefly considered as the album title track before Bruce settled on Only The Strong Survive.

ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE 3:02 STRONGSURVIVE

Note: Written by Jerry Butler, Kenny Gamble, and Leon Huff, and originally recorded by Butler. This song was recorded late in the process of making the album—only after realizing it would provide an ideal title for the record did Springsteen cut his version.

SOMEDAY WE'LL BE TOGETHER 3:35 STRONGSURVIVE

Note: Written by Jackey Beavers, Johnny Bristol, and Harvey Fuqua, and originally recorded by Johnny & Jackey. Springsteen covers the Diana Ross & The Supremes arrangement.

SOUL DAYS 4:00 STRONGSURVIVE

Note: Written by Jonathan Kaye Barnett, and originally recorded by Dobie Gray. Soul legend Sam Moore contributes harmony vocals to Springsteen's version. Originally conceived as the title track to Only The Strong Survive.

THE SUN AIN'T GONNA SHINE ANYMORE 3:46 STRONGSURVIVE

Note: Written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, and originally recorded by Frankie Valli—Springsteen covers the Walker Brothers' arrangement.

TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME 3:10 STRONGSURVIVE / 2022 single

Note: Written by Jack Daniels and Bonnie Thompson, and originally recorded by Tyrone Davis. Springsteen's version includes samples from Davis's original recording.

WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKENHEARTED 3:34 STRONGSURVIVE

Note: Written by James Dean, Paul Riser, and William Weatherspoon, and originally recorded by Jimmy Ruffin.

WHEN SHE WAS MY GIRL 3:19 STRONGSURVIVE

Note: Written by Marc Blatte and Larry Gottlieb, and originally recorded by the Four Tops.

Other Only The Strong Survive-era Songs

Song Title Running Time Release

ALL I KNOW uncirculating

Note: Written by Jimmy Webb and first recorded by Art Garfunkel, "All I Know" was recorded during the sessions that ultimately led to Only The Strong Survive but was excluded from the tracklist once that album's soul music theme became clear.

MY GIRL uncirculating

Note: Written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White, and first recorded by The Temptations, "My Girl" was recorded during the Only The Strong Survive sessions, but was excluded from the album because Bruce didn't feel he successfully added anything new to the classic.

REACH OUT (I'LL BE THERE) uncirculating

Note: Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland, and originally recorded by the Four Tops, "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" was recorded during the sessions for Only The Strong Survive but was excluded in favor of the less familiar Tops songs "When She Was My Girl" and "7 Rooms Of Gloom".


Disclaimer | © 1996 - 2022 | Brucebase

icon_facebook.png icon_twitter.png icon_youtube.png
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License