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Devils & Dust

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{{Album reviews
MC = 81/100
rev1 = Allmusic
rev1score =
rev2 = Robert Christgau
rev2Score = A−
rev3 = PopMatters
rev3score =
rev4 = Rolling Stone
rev4score =
rev10 = Tom Hull
rev10Score = A–
Devils & Dust is the thirteenth studio album by American recording artist Bruce Springsteen, and his third acoustic album (after Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad). It was released on April 25, 2005 in Europe and on April 26, 2005, in the United States. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 album chart.

Background

Springsteen was very open about the fact that many of the songs from Devils & Dust dated back a decade or more. Springsteen wrote the song "All the Way Home" for Southside Johnny to use in his album Better Days which was released in 1991. The songs "Long Time Comin'" and "The Hitter" were written and performed during Springsteen's solo Ghost of Tom Joad Tour in 1996. "Devils & Dust" is also known to have been written previously, and was featured in soundchecks during The Rising Tour beginning in the summer of 2003 and the following year during the Vote for Change Tour in late 2004. (Springsteen had "Devils & Dust" on his set list for at least one Vote for Change show, but at the last moment decided to perform a 12 string guitar rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner", which he would later release for free through his official website).

Release and promotion

Devils & Dust received acclaim from music critics. On March 28, 2005, the title track was featured as an exclusive "first listen" on AOLmusic.com. The next day it was released for purchase on the iTunes music store. The album was also released in the DualDisc format. This puts the regular album on one side of the disc, and special content, like 5.1 surround sound and videos on the other side of the disc in DVD format. The DVD side of the disc features Springsteen performing and commenting on the writing/creation of "Devils and Dust", "Long Time Comin'", "Reno", "All I'm Thinkin' About", and "Matamoros Banks". Lyrics to the songs accompany the playing of the Surround Sound portion in a karaoke style. Springsteen's solo Devils & Dust Tour commenced upon the release of the album.
The marketing was successful. It granted Springsteen his seventh number one—and fourth number one debut—on the Billboard album chart, his second for an album containing only previously unreleased content and his first ever without the E Street Band. After the initial release period, however, sales quieted down; as of February 2006 it had attained gold status in the United States, where it had sold 650,000 copies as of November 2008.
Starbucks had been considered a possible retail outlet for the album, as it had accounted for about a quarter of all sales for the recently successful Ray Charles's Genius Loves Company. Starbucks, however, declined to sell copies of Springsteen's new album, sparking some headlines. Starbucks rejected the album not only because of the song "Reno", but because of stances that Springsteen had taken on corporate politics and Springsteen not granting approval for a cobranded disc and promotional deal that prominently featured the Starbucks name. Springsteen's label, Columbia Records, balked when the idea was floated, citing the blue-collar champion's well-known opposition to merchandising his music. "There were a number of factors involved...Lyrics was one of the factors, but not the only reason," Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment, told Reuters. At a concert at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia, Springsteen introduced "Reno" by joking that the album would be available "at Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme stores everywhere."
Springsteen received five Grammy Award nominations for this work, three for the song "Devils & Dust", Song of the Year, Best Rock Song, and Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, and two for the album as a whole, Best Contemporary Folk Album and Best Long Form Music Video. His sole award
came for Best Solo Rock Vocal, an award he garnered in previous years for "Code of Silence" and "The Rising". During the February 8, 2006, Grammy telecast, Springsteen gave a live solo performance of "Devils & Dust", adding on "Bring 'em home" at the finish, then immediately turned and left the stage without staying to receive his partial standing ovation.

Track listing

All songs are written by Bruce Springsteen.

Personnel

  • Bruce Springsteen – vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass guitar, drums, harmonica, tambourine, percussion
  • Brendan O'Brien – hurdy-gurdy, sarangi, sitar, bass guitar, tambora
  • Steve Jordan – drums
  • Patti Scialfa – backing vocals
  • Soozie Tyrell – violin, backing vocals
  • Marty Rifkin – steel guitar
  • Lisa Lowell – backing vocals
  • Chuck Plotkin – piano
  • Danny Federici – keyboards
  • Nashville String Machine – strings
  • Brice Andrus, Susan Welty, Thomas Witte, Donald Strand – horns
  • Mark Pender – trumpet
  • Danny Clinch – cover art

Charts

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Certifications and sales


{{Certification Table Entryregion=Italytype=albumnocert=trueartist=Bruce Springsteentitle=Devil and duSTrelyear=2005salesamount=120,000note=sales in 2005salesref=
{{certification Table Entrytype=albumregion=Spainartist=Bruce Springsteentitle=Devils & Dustaward=Goldrelyear=2005relmonth=4certref=
Category:2005 albums
Category:Bruce Springsteen albums
Category:Albums produced by Brendan O'Brien (record producer)
Category:Columbia Records albums
 
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