July 30: Bruce Springsteen Released “The Rising” in 2002

A brave and beautiful album of humanity, hurt and hope from the songwriter best qualified to speak to and for his country…. A towering achievement.
-Uncut Magazine (Album of the Month, Sep 2002)

Impassioned and bold, this record is a triumph.
billboard.com

Over the years, it might not stand up to classics such as Nebraska or The River, but the The Rising gives us something more important right now: a reason to believe.
E! Online

Bruce Springsteen has gathered many a superlative over the years. His most resonant works stand as milestones in the lives of millions of fans. Even for him, though, The Rising, with its bold thematic concentration and penetrating emotional focus, is a singular triumph. I can’t think of another album in which such an abundance of great songs might be said to seem the least of its achievements.
-Kurt Loder (rollingstone.com)

Released July 30, 2002
Recorded January–March 2002
Genre Rock, heartland rock
Length 72:52
Label Columbia
Producer Brendan O’Brien

 

Wikipedia:

The Rising is the twelfth studio album by American recording artist Bruce Springsteen, released in 2002 on Columbia Records. In addition to being Springsteen’s first studio album in seven years, it was also his first with the E Street Band in 18 years. Widely believed to have been based on Springsteen’s reflections during the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the album is predominantly centered upon themes of relationship struggles, existential crisis and social uplift.

Upon its release, The Rising was a critical and commercial success, and hailed as the triumphant return for Springsteen. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of over 520,000 copies. The album also garnered a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2003; although nominated for the Album of the Year award as well, it was beaten by Norah Jones’ debut album Come Away with Me. Title song “The Rising” was also a Grammy recipient.

The Rising was released as a single in 2002. Springsteen wrote the song in reaction to the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City. It gained critical praise and earned Grammy Awards for Best Rock Song and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, as well as a nomination for Song of the Year. Rolling Stone named it the 35th best song of the decade. VH1 placed it 81st on its list of the “100 Greatest Songs of the ’00s”.

The Rising (official video)

The title track is one of Springsteen’s greatest songs. It is an anthem, but not in the sense you usually reference in regard to his work. This anthem is an invitation to share everything, to accept everything, to move through everything individually and together. Power-chorded guitars and pianos entwine in the choruses with a choir, and Clemons wails on a part with a stinging solo. With The Rising, Springsteen has found a way to be inclusive and instructive without giving up his particular vision as a songwriter, nor his considerable strength as a rock & roll artist. In fact, if anything, The Rising is one of the very best examples in recent history of how popular art can evoke a time period and all of its confusing and often contradictory notions, feelings, and impulses. There are tales of great suffering in The Rising to be sure, but there is joy, hope, and possibility, too. Above all, there is a celebration and reverence for everyday life. And if we need anything from rock & roll, it’s that. It would be unfair to lay on Bruce Springsteen the responsibility of guiding people through the aftermath of a tragedy and getting on with the business of living, but rock & roll as impure, messy, and edifying as this helps.
-Thom Jurek (allmusic.com)




Worlds Apart

His most inspired gesture comes in “Worlds Apart,” a track that writhes with the sounds of qawwali, the intense, God-conjuring, life-affirming vocal music of the mystical Sufi sect of Islam — a branch of the faith much detested (and often suppressed) by death-trumpeting fundamentalist imams. Hearing ecstatic qawwali ululations underpinning a song in which Springsteen sings “May the living let us in/Before the dead tear us apart” is a truly soul-stirring experience.
-Kurt Loder (rollingstone.com)

..and a GREAT live version – Atlantic City, March 7, 2003:

The musical palette employed during “Worlds Apart” — the tablas and the vocals delivered by Asif Ali Khan and Haji Nazir Afridi — was almost shocking. This is a Bruce Springsteen song?! But as the East-meets-West (or is it East vs. West?) story unfolded, everything began to make perfect sense. Two lovers from opposite sides, dealing with the world’s realities that would force them apart.
It’s a moving vignette made that much more powerful by the collision of musical worlds: the song begins in that very non-Western, very non-rock and roll way, but later explodes into guitar fireworks. When I first heard “Worlds Apart,” I had to put it in repeat mode for quite a while, as that transition from East back to West placed a mysterious hold on my attention.
-Mark Saleski (somethingelsereviews.com)

Track listing

All tracks written by Bruce Springsteen.

No. Title Length
1. Lonesome Day 4:08
2. “Into the Fire” 5:04
3. Waitin’ on a Sunny Day 4:18
4. “Nothing Man” 4:23
5. “Countin’ on a Miracle” 4:44
6. “Empty Sky” 3:34
7. “Worlds Apart” 6:07
8. “Let’s Be Friends (Skin to Skin)” 4:21
9. “Further On (Up the Road)” 3:52
10. “The Fuse” 5:37
11. “Mary’s Place” 6:03
12. “You’re Missing” 5:10
13. The Rising 4:50
14. “Paradise” 5:39
15. My City of Ruins 5:00

 

Personnel

Waitin’ on a Sunny Day – official video:

Full Album – youtube playlist

Spotify:

-Egil

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