It hasn't been since the "Born In The USA" sessions where Bruce and the band have all been in a professional recording studio, at the exact same time, to do all of the basic tracking and overdubs for an album. A record like "The Rising," for instance, had different musicians flying in and out of Atlanta to record their parts and such. It is to my understanding that every E Street Band record since has been recorded like this. They recorded the new songs on the 1995 "Greatest Hits" album live, but it wasn't a new studio record.
For this new project, I'd like to see Bruce and the band record like they used to: LIVE. Everyone in the band is to be there at the same time, facing each other, to cut the basic songs and to do all of the overdubbing. I miss the way they used to make records. How you would hear Bruce and Steve in the background hooping and hollering like they did during "Darlington County." There was an excitement in the playing that I feel has been lost on the post-"BITUSA" albums, even if the albums contained some outstanding songs.
I would like to see Bruce rent what is now called The Power Station At BerkleeNYC, the amazing studio that Bruce chose to record "The River" and part of "BITUSA." The studio is as good as ever. It still has one of the best drum sounds of any studio. It was bought and is now managed by the Berklee School of Music. No home recording!!! And I repeat, not a single piece of music should be recorded unless every member is present, either playing or offering input. If they need to take a break from recording to attend to family affairs or what not, so be it. They can have the odd day off. But I don't like the business of people flying in and out and recording their parts without the special magic that comes from musicians playing live at once.
The members of the band are much older, and most if not all their kids are grown. Steve doesn't have the Sopranos. Max isn't doing late night TV shows. It's time to get back to the basics and make a killer E Street band record like they used to. It's not going to kill everyone to live in or around New York City for 4-6 weeks.
Lastly, most of the recent E Street Band records have been super guitar oriented. I feel Roy has been pushed to the background somewhat. I am not saying that I want to hear a "Born To Run Part II" kind of album, but even on "Darkness," it seemed as if Roy's playing was more present than on the recent records. I would like to have Roy stick out more. To hear a few more amazing intros and outros, and to just hear his playing more during the songs.
Anything that you'd like to see on the new E Street Band album that will be recorded this autumn? This is a big one. The band doesn't have much longer to go, so it would really be nice to get a great record out of the group. I really do feel that some of the music since 2000 has suffered due to the way it was recorded.