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Devils & Dust Dual Disc

3.6 out of 5 stars 291 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Dual Disc, April 26, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Dual disc pressing. 2005 album from the singer, songwriter and Rock icon, his first studio album since the September 11th-themed, double-platinum certified The Rising (2002). Two of the album's songs, 'The Hitter' and 'Long Time Comin', were actually written and performed on The Ghost Of Tom Joad tour. On the DVD side of this Dual Disc is a special Devils & Dust film by noted photographer and filmmaker Danny Clinch, including rare, never-before-seen acoustic performances of 'Devils & Dust', 'Long Time Comin', 'Reno', 'All I'm Thinkin' About' and 'Matamoras Banks' plus Bruce's personal introductions to the tracks. Columbia.

The last time Bruce Springsteen ventured West for inspiration, the result was the desolate Nebraska and its tales of serial killers and used cars. On his first record in three years, Springsteen navigates barren deserts and Old West war fields for a dozen forlorn songs that co-star the artist and his acoustic guitar. Though he's always had a knack for carving out the hooks and melodies that make each journey memorable, this time around Springsteen relies on the lyrics to carry the tune-desperate tales of tragedy, heartbreak, and lust with a Latino twist, like the boxer coming home ("The Hitter"), a distressing border-crossing incident ("Matamoros Banks"), and the Nevada hooker with good intentions ("Reno," which led to the warning sticker Adult Imagery). With no E Street Band in the mix, the album is decorated with horns and strings and Springsteen’s novel falsetto on two his best efforts: "Maria’s Bed," where the narrator comes home to his woman after 40 nights on the road, and the fast-picking "All I’m Thinkin’ About," where he has more than Carolina on his mind. A decade from now this will be an underrated record in the Springsteen chronicles. --Scott Holter
The Best of Bruce
by guest editor Steve Perry
Steve is editor-in-chief of City Pages newspaper in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle (1973)
The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street ShuffleAfter a folk-rockish debut album that bubbled with ideas and dense lyrical play, this is where Springsteen began to find his voice as a rocker and as a songwriter. The prisoner-of-love romanticism of "Rosalita" and "Incident on 57th Street" hinted at what was coming, and this early version of the E Street Band--jazzier and more spare than later versions, thanks largely to David Sancious's piano--sounds great, if a little ragged, these many years later.

Born to Run (1975) and Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)
Born to RunDarkness on the Edge of Town These two records, which belong on any compilation of the top 100 rock albums of all time, sketched the themes that he would spend his whole career chasing, and defined the expectations fans would bring to his records ever after. The first chords of "Born to Run" sounded like freedom itself the first time I heard them on the radio, and the album lived up to them. "Thunder Road" is still the greatest rock & roll love song anyone's ever written. The record sounded so big and impassioned and propulsive it was easy to miss the dread running underneath it. Darkness... put the dread front and center. There are more of his best songs here than anywhere else, even if the sound is muddy and leaden at times.

Nebraska (1982)
NebraskaAfter The River (the best record that didn't make this list) and the ensuing tour answered his rock & roll prayers--he was a big star now, not just a perennial critics' favorite--Springsteen holed up in a rented house on the Jersey shore, where he wrote these songs and sang them into a four-track recorder in his living room. The tape was supposed to be a demo for the band, but after several false tries he concluded that the tape he'd been carrying around in his pocket was the record. Quiet and bleak, Nebraska nonetheless grabbed you by the collar and made you listen as surely as his rock & roll records ever had.

Tunnel of Love (1987)
Tunnel of LoveThe glare and hubbub surrounding the Born in the USA tour (the tour was great--the record itself overrated) made him pull back again, this time to write a cycle of songs about love and fear and self-doubt. After this, Springsteen's first marriage broke up, and he started a family with Patti Scialfa, disappearing for the better part of 10 years, notwithstanding the pair of not bad, just disappointing albums he released in 1992, Human Touch and Lucky Town.

The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995)
The Ghost of Tom Joad Some call it Nebraska II, but his second acoustic album was not a repeat of his first--the characters and settings had changed, and their circumstances were more expressly desperate, and social--though it did share the same interest in what happens to people whose isolation or marginal status renders them invisible.

The Rising (2002)
The RisingEverybody--including Springsteen himself--seemed to think it was a record about 9/11, but the subject was broader: death and loss as seen from more than halfway down life's road. Dave Marsh nailed it: "A middle-aged man confronts death and chooses life." Brendan O'Brien's production sounds great.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Devils & Dust
  2. All The Way Home
  3. Reno
  4. Long Time Comin'
  5. Black Cowboys
  6. Maria's Bed
  7. Silver Palomino
  8. Jesus Was an Only Son - The Song
  9. Leah
  10. The Hitter
  11. All I'm Thinkin' About
  12. Matamoros Banks

Disc: 2

  1. Bruce Springsteen: Devils & Dust
  2. Devils & Dust -The Song
  3. All The Way Home
  4. Reno
  5. Long Time Comin'
  6. Black Cowboys
  7. Maria's Bed
  8. Silver Palomino
  9. Jesus Was an Only Son - The Song
  10. Leah
  11. The Hitter
  12. All I'm Thinkin' About
  13. Matamoros Banks
  14. Devils & Dust -The Song
  15. All The Way Home
  16. Reno
  17. Long Time Comin'
  18. Black Cowboys
  19. Maria's Bed
  20. Silver Palomino
  21. Jesus Was an Only Son - The Song
  22. Leah
  23. The Hitter
  24. All I'm Thinkin' About
  25. Matamoros Banks

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 26, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: April 26, 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Dual Disc
  • Label: Columbia / Sony
  • Run Time: 212 minutes
  • ASIN: B0007WF1WS
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (291 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,313 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Jonathan M. Calhoun on April 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Essentially there are two kinds of Springsteen fans. There are fans of "The Boss", who love Born to Run and Born in the U.S.A. and care more about the fist-pumping power of the E Street Band and massive hooks than Bruce as a songwriter. Then, there are Bruce Springsteen fans who love the "The Boss" characteristics as much as anyone but also come for the songwriting and lyrical depth. This album will be loved by fans of Bruce Springsteen, but those who want The Boss should steer clear.

First, this album is not exactly analagous to Tom Joad and Nebraska sonically. Though it doesn't sound a thing like Tunnel of Love it is similar in that the arrangements are sparse but electric guitars and big drums show up from time to time. There are a couple of outright rockers.

Many of the stories are an extension of Tom Joad and take place in the American Southwest, but there is enough variety to keep it from being a sequel. Virtually every song features people dealing with difficult circumstances, and there is little along triumph and celebration along the way. From the main character in "All the Way Home" looking for romantic redemption to the man in "Reno" seeking comfort in the embrace of a prostitute after true love failed him ("Somehow all you ever need's, never really quite enough you know/You and I, Maria, we learned it's so"), Devils and Dust is filled with people dealing with disillusionment and broken dreams. You may not retreat, you may not surrender, but that doesn't guarantee you'll win, either.

Fans of Springsteen's underrated guitar playing will be treated to his best acoustic rhythm playing to date.
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Format: Audio CD
Bruce Springsteen gives to us with his newest CD an outstanding collection of songs about REAL life. There are songs about the agony and bitterness of life not going as planned; confessions from people Bruce sings of that are painful yet very well done; and even a happy song about new life coming into this world. People are not always in peril! SMILE The overall effect of this CD is enhanced by Bruce's decision to create the songs with a distinct acoustic flavor and the album shines brightly for all seasons! This will go down as one of his more artistic CDs. Devils and Dust is also a "dual disc" CD; it has 12 CD tracks on one side and DVD features on the other side-awesome!

The album starts off strong with the title track, "Devils & Dust." This song is somewhat political (although the album as a whole is not). Bruce sings of a war in which both sides bitterly fight each other to the death-all supposedly in God's name. The album's producer, Brenden O'Brien, added some good extras to the musical arrangement for this song. You hear great piano playing and the electronic beats are perfectly timed! The next track, "All The Way Home," is equally well done. Bruce's intonation and voice are in fine shape here. Another song to look out for on this CD is entitled "Reno." Here Bruce sings about very graphic sexual relationships involving cheating and more. The song "Long Time Comin'" sports a fiddle and an awesome steel guitar! This song is a bit complicated. It has an element that is something practically anyone can relate to: Bruce sings of a person who is promising never to make a mess of things in life again. (Note: Bruce uses a strong word in this song; parents may want to make a note of this.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Devils & Dust" occupies a spot somewhere between "Nebraska" and "Tunnel of Love" in the Springsteen canon.

Yes, it is spare, when compared to some of the full-bodied arrangements of the E Street Band, but it's NOT just Bruce and a guitar, like "Nebraska".

Nor is it as monotonous and bleak as "The Ghost of Tom Joad". Not even close.

In fact, many songs have full guitar-bass-drums back-ups, with synths, horns and back-up vocals sprinkled throughout the entire disc. Many are up-tempo as well.

It's a serious and heavy record, but it has its' foot-stomping moments here and there. In the same way, "Nebraska" has a zippy tune or two, so does this. It most definitely moves.

What makes this more of a nakedly "confessional" album is not that Bruce is opening himself up, revealing more of himself. He instead is immersing himself in various other characters, and brings them breathtakingly alive in each of his songs...little vignettes...little movies.

Many songs have "protagonists", just like a novel or a film. Bruce occupies each character, and THEN opens them for us to examine, to experience. He sings in different "voices", one half-spoken, one more "southern", another in falsetto...all according to the person he's singing about. Or more correctly, the voice of the character singing.

Many things will be written about "Reno", but I guarantee you'll be fixated with his tale of a man and a hooker. Shoot...the lyrics read like a tight little short story.

You'll be haunted by "Matamoros Bank", one of the several songs dealing, either directly or indirectly, with the plight of immigrants in the U.S. He had covered this area before in Joad's "Across The Border" but nothing like this.
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