Wrecking Ball - Studio Sessions - Overview

Overview

Following the conclusion of 2009's Working On A Dream Tour, Springsteen started to work on new material. It appears that "We Take Care Of Our Own" was among the earliest of the new songs to be written, in late 2009 / early 2010. "Shacked And Drawn" and "Rocky Ground" followed soon after. Springsteen has said that these three songs "came along for almost a gospel album package I was thinking about." Bruce has indicated that he wrote 30-40 songs in this period.

Initially, his focus was on solo material; "just me and a guitar singing these songs", as Bruce put it. The subject matter of these songs was similar to the overall tone of Wrecking Ball - greed, corruption and the current state of America. In January 2011 he started to work with producer Ron Aniello and the focus moved away from a solo album: "Then Ron brought a large library of sound that allowed me to explore – like maybe a hip-hop drum loop or country-blues stomp loop. The actual drums came later. There was no preconceived set of instruments that needed to be used, I could go anywhere, do anything, use anything. It was very wide open." While the album utilises loops, all the instruments are real - there are no computer generated instruments on the album.

Unlike the previous two albums that were recorded with the E Street Band, Wrecking Ball features an extensive list of guest musicians. In fact, there are only three songs that feature the E Street Band - "Wrecking Ball", "Land Of Hope And Dreams" and the bonus track "American Land". The rest see Springsteen and Aniello accompanied by Sessions Band members, choirs, strings and horns. Roy Bittan and Garry Tallent do not appear at all, and Steve Van Zandt only lends vocals to two tracks. At present it is unclear exactly how and when the album was recorded, hopefully this will become clearer in the future. Aniello has said that four songs were cut from the album. "American Man" is likely one of these, "American Skin (41 Shots)" may be another, so at least two titles remain unidentified.

Please note that Ron Aniello has stated that the album credits are "a mess", and any errors will be fixed for future re-issues.
The information below is based on the current album credits and, as such, will contain the same errors.
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