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We Shall Overcome The Seeger Sessions [CD + DVD] [CD+DVD, Special Edition]

Bruce Springsteen Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Biographyby William Ruhlmann

In the decades following his emergence on the national scene in 1975, Bruce Springsteen proved to be that rarity among popular musicians, an artist who maintained his status as a frontline recording and performing star, consistently selling millions of albums and selling out arenas and stadiums around the world year after year, as well as retaining widespread ... Read more in Amazon's Bruce Springsteen Store

Visit Amazon's Bruce Springsteen Store
for 208 albums, 40 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 April 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD+DVD, Special Edition
  • Label: SonyBMG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,824 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Old Dan Tucker
2. Jessie James
3. Mrs. McGrath
4. O, Mary, Don't You Weep
5. John Henry
6. Erie Canal
7. Jacobs Ladder
8. My Oklahoma Home
9. Eyes On The Prize
10. Shenandoah
See all 13 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Exclusive 30 Minute Film About The Recording Of The Album (DVD)
2. Artist Commentary (DVD)
3. 2 Bonus Tracks (DVD)
4. John Henry (DVD)
5. Pay Me My Money Down (DVD)
6. Buffalo Gals (DVD)
7. Erie Canal (DVD)
8. O Mary Don't You Weep (DVD)
9. Shenandoah (DVD)

Product Description


The premise was simple. Bruce Springsteen invites a dozen or so New York City musicians--packing banjos, fiddles, accordions and the like--to his New Jersey farmhouse for a three-day hootenanny, and tape is rolling. The results are sublime, his 21st album featuring their versions of songs harvested from Springsteen's dog-eared LPs by Pete Seeger. Not all written by Seeger, the songs are how the American folk icon interpreted them, and these organic recordings, with no rehearsals or overdubs, pay tribute with the simplicity and spontaneity he intended. It's not hard to link Springsteen's dissatisfaction with American politics to the protest song "We Shall Overcome" or even the Irish ballad "Mrs. McGrath," where he alters the lyrics to read, "I'd rather have my son as he used to be/Than the King of America and his whole navy." But the beauty of these Seeger Sessions are pieces that underscore the mood of the bandleader, which borders on down-home amusement: the bluegrass outlaw ballad "Jesse James," the Dylanesque "Pay Me My Money Down" and the euphoric "Jacob's Ladder," a gumbo-and-whiskey-fueled romp that could pass for the closing hymn at the Church of Asbury Park. --Scott Holter

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A recording to treasure! 21 Mar 2007
Format:Audio CD
You know something, I'm not even that big a Springsteen fan: I've heard Born to Run and Born in the USA and Tunnel of Love and I even own a few cassettes and vinyl LPs (including the 5 lp Live '75-'85) but the truth is I don't much listen to them. They're 'good' but I simply don't connect with them the way most other fans do.

... Not so We Shall Overcome.

Misleadingly, many people are referring to this album as being in the same vain as "Nebraska" (1982), "The Ghost of Tom Joad" (1995) and Devils & Dust" (2005).

It's not, not even close. Sure, it's a 'folk' album but 'folk', like most music genres (or book genres for that matter), covers a lot of ground. If you don't believe me go into Starbucks next time and simply ask for "A coffee, please" and see how far it gets you!

The above three mentioned albums are all very low key, subdued somber affairs. Like knocking back a stiff whiskey whilst brooding at home on your own.

WE SHALL OVERCOME, however, is an old-fashioned foot-stomping, thigh-slapping New Year's street party.

It's a raw and rumbustious, rough and ready sprint across the sprawling landscape of Americana.

And the best of it? All involved sing and play not only like they're selling their souls to the devil, but are having a damn fine time while doing it!

There's almost a revelatory feel to the whole recording, like you get the sense that Springsteen has finally arrived at where he's always been trying to get to; that this is what he's ALWAYS wanted to do, only he just didn't consciously know it: gone are the endless rehersals and rerecordings and fine-tunings of so many of his studio albums. This, instead, is music on the hop - music being MADE, right there, live! - and we're all of us the better for it.

Thanks, Bruce.

The Boss? Hell, on this recording he's a circus Ringmaster kicking up a ruckus!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be shy 16 Nov 2006
Format:Audio CD
Ok so we all Know the classics. Born to run, Born in the USA etc. I own countless Boss albums. They are all differant and all need to be given time to wash over you before you make a decision. None more so than this one. I heard the album and thought ok Bruce its a bit differant. Some good tracks, some bad(In my opinion) However on the whole I thought it was truly fantastic. Now being only 19 years old I have regretably missed the Bosses hey day. So when the offer of a ticket for his latest Wembley concert came along I thought what the hell, Why not. Along I went and some thing for you to all bear in mind....... The album is good, very good but it is a million times better performed on stage. It was possibly the most memorable night of my life to date. Has anyone ever heard the saying, There are good concerts, Bad concerts and Bruce Springsteen concerts. The man is a genius that could perform nursery rhymes and still entertain a crowd. Buy this album, you will be buying the amazing work of a living legend.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a good album! 25 Jun 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is such a good album. You cannot help but tap your feet along with each song and come off finishing the album with a big grin on your face It is good, simple, fun music. I love that you can hear the songs actually being performed and developing rather than a sterile studio album and it seems pretty obvious that a lot of fun was had making this music. The DVD is great to watch to soak up the atmosphere the music was played in and to see the group interaction. Bruce seems to be getting better and better and this is no exception.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What does Pete think of this, I wonder...? 18 Oct 2006
By jannert
Format:Audio CD
Does anybody know what Pete Seeger thinks of this CD?

Personally I love it to bits.

I'm an old folkie from way back, who grew up listening to recordings by Pete Seeger. I've also seen him perform in person, read his books and his articles in Sing Out magazine. I learned the words to all of the songs on this CD a long time ago. I am delighted to hear Bruce Springsteen give them such new life and a new musical dimension.

Pete tended to emphasize the meaning of folk songs he chose to sing, the stories behind them, and something of their origins and political relevance. Bruce Springsteen takes the same songs and bumps the musical presentation up a gear or two (or ten), while still retaining Pete's sense of relevance, respect and humour. Couldn't ask for more. really. This CD effectively introduces these songs to another generation, which I trust has made Pete Seeger a happy man indeed.

Me--I've been dancing around the house for days!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful expression of rich tradition! 19 April 2006
Format:Audio CD
I was lucky to hear a preview copy of this album a few days before its release. If you're looking for songs in the Born in the USA or Born to Run mode then don't buy this. What I'm saying is that although those songs are magnificent, this is Springsteen at his most versatile best. He rocks on this record, but in a folky way. This album is superb! The songs are diverse. The musicianship is second to none. The whole album overflows with energy and fun. From the rocking horn section in songs such as 'Oh Mary, don't you weep' through to the simple beauty of 'Shenandoah', this album is an absolute classic. It reflects the richness of American folk music and I can't recommend it enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This is a fantastic album of old folk standards given a faithful rendition from Springsteen the devotee but with that distinctive Springsteen treatment as well, and it works a treat on every single track.

If you don't like folk music - it's all fiddles and banjos (a friend described it as "a bit lumberjack-y"!) - you won't enjoy it, but there is a zest and joy to these songs that is exhilarating.

It comes from the spirit of the old songs themselves, Springsteen's infectious enthusiasm and passion, and from the genuinely improvised vibe of the performances: you hear the man himself instruct the musicians on whose solo he'd like next, and you can watch him do so on the accompanying DVD. (For a non-musician music fan like myself, eeing how the songs were arranged on the DVD was instructive, and fascinating.)

But for me the real thrills come from the brass section that adds a fabulous extra layer and flavour. According to reviews I've read, Springsteen was astute and knowledgeable enough to notice that when Pete Seeger was living and playing his folk music in New York in the 1920s and 1930s that big-band jazz would have been playing in venues nearby, and so he added trumpet and trombones to the fiddles, banjos, mandolin and honky-tonk piano. The blend is magical. When they blow hard for the first time on, for example, "Jacob's Ladder" - heralded with big cymbal crashes - the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, every time. The result is a fabulous hybrid big band/folk knees-up.

There isn't a duff track on the CD, and the extra DVD of the recording sessions is great.

But, have a look first at the 'American Land' edition before buying, as you get 5 extra tracks and some live concert footage that isn't on the original release (why, I don't know - was Springsteen himself in on this rip-off? I hope not.)

Tremendous stuff. They don't make 'em like this anymore. Trust Springsteen to breathe new life into old songs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Album
OK. Not his best but worth a listen.
Published 2 months ago by Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Boss in a different mood
This album is great if you like Mr Springsteen then you can hear the boss in fine voice, the BAND are really up for this album and all in all great to listen to catchy tunes that... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Terry Lavender
4.0 out of 5 stars Springsteen
Heard some of this cd on the radio and bought it ! Some old tracks made good by the Boss!!
Published 10 months ago by MR M P RYCE
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old fasioned Music
Bruce Springsteen does it Jewels Holland style brining together talented musicians, and singing some revamped old favourites, Quite uplifting and fun
Published 11 months ago by MR A VALLANCE
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure for the ages! Thank you Bruuuuuuce!
These are great classic songs performed with a fervor and heart that reveals another dimension to Bruce Springsteen's musical talent. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars The Boss
A very good live album from "The Boss" They play with joy.
Let there be many more albums like this one
Published 12 months ago by Jan Atle Steinsland
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Dual
Once in awhile an album comes along that stands out from mainstream and stands alone in its own right. Read more
Published on 15 Mar 2012 by j o'sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Top class CD/DVD
This must rate as one of the best CD/DVD's I have ever purchased.Bruce at his very best.The Seeger Sessions backing group must rate as one of the most talented backing groups... Read more
Published on 24 Jan 2012 by Turboprop
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD picky about players
Very finiky DVD does not work on most players, Only works on 1 computer out of three tried and does not work in any of the 4 DVD players
Published on 2 Jan 2012 by Ja Nicolson
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Classy CD
Another Springsteen special it is very well put together and one to be played over and over again can't say much more if you like classy music this is one for your collection.
Published on 2 Oct 2010 by Flowers
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