The Commodores’ “Nightshift,” Frank Wilson’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do),” and Ahmet Ertegun and Betty Nelson’s “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)” are among the soul covers on Bruce Springsteen’s new album Only The Strong Survive, which was released this week.
This week, he admitted that before making the final cut, he’d scrapped a “entire record.” Springsteen told Edith Bowman that the early decisions “didn’t feel quite right.” Here is the complete quotation from Exclaim:
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At first, it was very challenging. It’s difficult to sing someone else’s songs and make them sound like they are coming from you, I said while I was choosing my material. There were some good things on the record, but it didn’t feel quite right, so I made a complete record that I tossed out. It will appear in different places.
So I stumbled into this Frank Wilson Motown oddity called “Do I Love You,” and I suppose nobody had ever heard of it in the United States. I want to give that a go. Thus, the tune was made by my producer, Ron Aniello, and it was incredibly amazing and powerful.
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I responded, “Well, I’m going to take a swing at it if I can get up close to Frank Wilson’s range.” We then chopped that, which felt wonderful. I responded, “Well, maybe I’ll focus on soul music since that’s how I grew up and all my great mentors were soul men who came, Sam Moore and, of course, James Brown, as well as Smokey Robinson as a composer.” Just so many, I suppose.
Levi Stubbs and David Ruffin, two legendary singers, are all masters. They were all my masters, so I thought I’d give singing some of their material a shot. Columbia Records has just released the album Only The Strong Survive.