Is it possible that the greatest album never released is seeing the light of day this week? Being a Springsteen fan means you've always taken it on faith that of the more than 50 songs recorded between 1975's Born to Run and 1978's Darkness at the Edge of Town, there was a tremendous album to be had. And with the double CD release of The Promise on Tuesday, we finally have confirmation of that.
To celebrate the great collection* of lost material, Bruce Springsteen will be taking over Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Tuesday night, sitting down to be interviewed as well as play multiple selections from the release. It's not known yet if the E Street Band will be on hand, but even if they are, it's certainly in the realm of possibility that The Roots could be backing him on one or two of these songs. Certainly "Fire" (which The Pointer Sisters made into a hit) is in The Roots wheelhouse, but I'd also love to hear the doo-wop vocals and fun of "Ain't Good Enough For You" translated by The Best Band in Late Night's backing. And really, it just doesn't matter who he's got backing him on "Because the Night," as that will burn regardless (see video of performance from 1978).
*The Promise comes in a couple packages. One is just the double CD featuring the remastered lost recordings, and the other deluxe package is a 3CD-3DVD collection with a reissue of the original Darkness on the Edge of Town, HBO-aired documentary (The Promise: the Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town), special 2009 concert of Bruce & the E Street Band along with a DVD collecting live performances from 1976-78.
But Fallon and The Roots didn't stop with the Boss coup this week. They managed to capture pretty much every band I'd normally feature as the lede for this weekly column. On Monday, it's the heady Nick Cave's primal outlet Grinderman, who's second album Grinderman 2 continues where their debut left off: employing mid-life crisis to melt my face off. On Thursday, it's Ireland's The Frames, the original band for The Swell Season's Glen Hansard. Seeing the success of both The Swell Season and Mumford & Sons, a comeback for The Frames feels like a no-brainer, but you can't account for the fickle taste of today's music consumer.
Finally, for Fallon on Friday, critic's darling Sufjan Stevens makes a rare television appearance in support of his epic The Age of Adz. The concept album loosely tracks the life of freak painter Royal Robertson and features a broadening of Stevens intricately arranged tracks. Stevens has been putting on quite a show thus far on his tour, and it looks like we might expect some theatrics for his appearance on Fallon.
Picks for the week
Monday, November 15
Tuesday, November 16
Wednesday, November 17
Thursday, November 18
Friday, November 19
VH1: Kid Rock: Born Free: Kid Rock
Saturday, November 20
Sunday, November 21
curator of the music/soundtrack blog thus spake drake