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When the original announcement was made that "Western Stars" would be our new Springsteen album, I swear I read an article on the net, and I know I read a couple of tweets, that the album was written AND recorded around 2010, but then Bruce dumped the project and started working on "Wrecking Ball." As we know, it was around the time of "The River" box set that Bruce started talking about a "solo album" that was in the can and ready for release, and that this was intended to be his next project until the "2016 River Tour" took priority. He continued to talk about the solo album during the Broadway thing.  On the other hand, I have also read in other places that Bruce wrote "The Western Stars" material around 2010, but sporadically recorded the record between 2010-2018. And now a friend says he keep stumbling into information that the album was recorded over the last couple of years.....regardless of when the material was original written. My doctor (of all people) was surprised at how good Bruce's lead vocal sounded on "There Goes My Miracle."

Does anyone have an information? Any links? It's kind of a mystery to me. Thanks.

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An article from April 25, 2019 that at least supports the idea that Bruce composed the "Western Stars" material prior to "Wrecking Ball," and that the album was "in the can" at some point before the "2016 River Tour" started:

While the New Jersey native had been focusing on his 236-show Springsteen On Broadway from October 2017 to December 2018, Springsteen has been talking up a solo record in the press for a number of years. Longtime Springsteen collaborator Ron Aniello serves as co-producer for a project featuring material that pre-dates not only High Hopes but 2012’s Wrecking Ball. The album was in the can before 2016’s The River Tour as per Bruce’s 2017 chat with Jem Aswad of Variety. Bruce Springsteen noted in 2017 that this record “is influenced by Southern California pop music of the ’70s.”

But this still doesn't directly answer when "Western Stars" was RECORDED. It just indicates that Bruce had the songs written (or at least most of them) before he started "Wrecking Ball," and that the album was finished at some point before the "2016 River Tour."

I tend to be with you crookecrutch.....the vast majority of it was probably written and recorded before "Wrecking Ball," and the rest of the work was just overdubs and some spit and shine. Probably some remixing as well. I swear I read an article that had it all spelled out, and I just cannot find it.

I also saw a quote from Steve Hoffman's audiophile message board where the admin of Greasy Lake said that "Western Stars" was written and recorded prior to "Wrecking Ball."

I cannot seem to find the exact tweet.


Last edited by gunner
CrookedCrutch posted:

Well, it's like this - If you are going to go with "a friend says he keep stumbling into information" as opposed to trusting reliable sources, then you will end up in a middle that is not the truth.

I kind of like facts.

Gunner, does your friend have any links to this information he says he knows about? Can you share them?

I have asked him for some links. He has yet to get back with me. But you see, he is asking me for links as well which explicitly state that the album was written and recorded before "Wrecking Ball." I have been searching for two hours today, and all I can find are the two things I posted above. So I came here hoping to get some assistance. I know at least one person who said that he felt Bruce might've of auto-tuned his voice for this album. That there is no way Bruce could sing "There Goes My Miracle" these days. My reply, of course, is that the album was recorded about a decade ago.

If he sends anything along, I'll post. But I get the feeling this is a bunch of hearsay. As we know, we have a lot radio DJs who do these podcasts where they just go on and on about this or that, and 1/2 of what they say is speculation. Of course they all have "inside sources." Right!

Last edited by gunner

From a Ron Aniello interview from 2013 talking about High Hopes & in these two questions, it seems obvious to me that he can only be speaking of Western Stars.


Bruce said he wrote a whole bunch of songs before Wrecking Ball, but I suppose he didn’t want to dip into those for this album.
Those were about 30 or 40 songs. They were very unique for him, unlike anything I’d ever heard. That’s what I wanted to do originally, to help arrange those or give him ideas or look for some inspiration. Those are lovely songs, but none of them are on this record. 

How would you describe the sound of those songs?
I hope Bruce doesn’t slaughter me here, but I would compare them to Aaron Copland. It has a very open landscape feel and I guess . . . You wouldn’t call it country. It’s just very hard to describe. You’ll just have to wait. I’m actually working on some of the songs now and going through them. He’s looking for a way to approach that album.

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