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American Beauty [12" Vinyl]

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • American Beauty [12" Vinyl]
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Total price: £57.89
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Product details

  • Vinyl (19 April 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia Records
  • ASIN: B00IR1V09O
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,372 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

Four previously unreleased songs

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Red on Black TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 April 2014
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
3.5 Stars

"American Beauty" is a brand new EP that has been released by the Boss to coincide with Record Store Day and presents the listener with four "new" songs. Perhaps the term "unreleased songs" makes more sense than "new" since this falls into that scouring of the vaults approach which Springsteen took in terms of this January's full album "High Hopes". Indeed all the songs present on this EP were in the running for that release even though some go back to the earlier "Magic" Sessions

So what of the songs? The title track is clearly a close relative of the "High Hopes" anthem "Frankie fell in Love". It is a sort of "draft" for the song with the same melody but different lyrics. If you love "Frankie" then this track will sail your boat, however it is largely a standard Springsteen rocker and one of those songs that may not be subject to regular inclusion in the live act. Much better is the acoustic "Mary Mary" a charming song with an understated string backing and firm vocals from Springsteen. "Hurry up Sundown" is one of those "wall of sound" productions that is aimed at the onset of summer and the celebration of the working man. As a piece of power pop it is fine but by no means a Springsteen classic. "Hey Blue Eyes" alternatively is head and shoulders above the other EP tracks and is further evidence of Springsteen's continual penchant for holding back great songs. Its purpose is to launch a political pot shot at the Bush era and in particular what Springsteen describes as "a shadow we as a country have yet to emerge from", namely the naked abuse of power that characterised the scandal of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
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songs that were left off the last album high hopes.
these would have been the b sides a few years ago.
only available as a pricey 12" or a download.
think of the collectors bruce.
this should have been a cd ep.
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Is this what Record Store's about then; sweeping together a bunch of second-rate leftovers and packaging them together as some kind of `exclusive'? The fact that these tracks weren't even good enough for High Hopes, which was itself a collection of outtakes, speaks volumes. Springsteen has been an idol of mine since childhood (I'm now 33) and criticism of him doesn't come naturally at all, but I found listening to American Beauty to be a thoroughly disheartening experience. The first three tracks sound like retreads of existing songs - especially the title track, which is musically indistinguishable from 'Frankie Fell in Love' off High Hopes (as Red on Black rightly points out in his review). Mary Mary sounds like a half-baked version of something off Working On A Dream to me, I can't place it - less offensive but pretty nondescript and with a fairly futile string section; it sounds unfinished. The third track, Hurry Up Sundown, is the real nadir; I can't even make it through a full three minutes - dreary, glossy, pumped-up, totally generic and self-consciously 'current'-sounding corporate pop-rock, with Springsteen's vocals subjected to some weird equalising treatment (particularly terrible backing vocals too; as with Mary Mary). Listening to these first three songs provoked in me a host of emotions that I wouldn't normally associate with listening to Springsteen: boredom, frustration, embarrassment. The last song, Hey Blue Eyes, is the only half-decent thing here, a slow, shuffling, (relatively) stripped-back rumination on Iraq, although I'm now wondering whether it's actually all that great or just sounds good compared to the dirge that precedes it: at least it sounds like he tried...Read more ›
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As long as you buy this knowing that these are 4 outtakes from the High Hopes album you won't be disappointed. Those fans complaining that these songs are not that great are not fans at all and shouldn't buy releases like this. Obviously outtakes are not going to be the greatest songs ever, as they would have been released originally and not be outtakes in the first place. Also lets not forget back in the 80s us fans would have killed for him to release some outtakes to save us buying all those bootlegs, so now we are in such times when Bruce does release such material, we should appreciate it and not be so picky and blasé. Finally, lets not forget that outtakes from Bruce are head and shoulders above releases by most other artists. 4 decent songs for genuine fans to buy. Nuff said.
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First these 4 tracks are (were) only available to support Record Store Day as a limited 10" or 12" vinyl single for circa £10 - £15 (depending upon where one bought it).

Then less than a week later it is available to legally download, all 4 tracks for £2.07.

All very frustrating for fans who in the end actually want it on a CD.

Record Store Day is a very worthy cause and I can understand the creating of rarities to support the few remaining independent record stores. But the fact is that by then it was already on sale on eBay, by the dozen, at prices well above £15 and also, at the same time, available from many (illegal ?) sites to download.

What was wrong with selling this as a 4 track CD. It's all a bit of a confusing mess.

It would not surprise me if shortly there is a deluxe edition of High Hopes that contains these 4 tracks just to really cheese off hard core fans.

It would be interesting to know what the artists themselves think of all this.

That aside, the music is great and these track would all have fitted nicely on to High Hopes.
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