“Gonna be some sweet sounds // Comin’ down, on the nightshift,” sings Bruce Springsteen on his latest single and, indeed, this does sound so sweet. Beginning and ending with a bulb’s atmospheric glow, the Thom Zimny-directed video for ‘Nightshift’ is a brilliantly shot and edited full-band performance with a huge amount of talent on display, fronted by Springsteen, whose voice sounds truly soulful. Produced by Ron Aniello and engineered by Rob Lebret, this version of the classic song by The Commodores has a real warmth and fullness to it, helped by layers of strings, horns and keys and insistent percussion.
‘Nightshift’ was one of the early songs chosen for Springsteen’s forthcoming album of soul classics, due out on 11th November. Such was their love for it that Springsteen, Aniello and Lebret took to calling themselves ‘The Nightshift’ while recording the record. Featuring contributions from the likes of Sam Moore, Soozie Tyrell, Lisa Lowell, Michelle Moore, Curtis King Jr., Dennis Collins and Fonzi Thornton, as well the E Street Horns and as string arrangements by Rob Mathes, it’s a record oozing quality and confidence. Springsteen says of the project: “I wanted to make an album where I just sang. And what better music to work with than the great American songbook of the Sixties and Seventies? I’ve taken my inspiration from Levi Stubbs, David Ruffin, Jimmy Ruffin, the Iceman Jerry Butler, Diana Ross, Dobie Gray and Scott Walker, among many others. I’ve tried to do justice to them all—and to the fabulous writers of this glorious music. My goal is for the modern audience to experience its beauty and joy, just as I have since I first heard it. I hope you love listening to it as much as I loved making it.”
Springsteen continues to deliver outstanding new music and this, his 21st studio album, takes us in another new direction with some of the classy, beautiful songs that have inspired him. Start your week with a ‘Nightshift’.
I could’ve done without hearing this – now there’s yet another Springsteen album I have to buy!
This has been on my playlist every day (more than once) since it came out a few weeks ago. The best rock singer (of all time?) singing one of the best songs of one of the best funk/soul groups (of all time?) in a tribute to two of the best soul/R&B singers (of all time) with amazing baking and production. I’m just out of superlatives. Play it again, Sam (Bruce).
I suspect the amazing is even beyond Bruce….