A few weeks back in the March 25 Friday Bruce Fix I speculated that Bruce's next album might be a solo album, and that perhaps his next tour might be a solo tour. I have no news whatsoever on that front, but I'm happy to keep speculating about the return of the great solo artist named Bruce Springsteen.
When we think Bruce, we quickly think E Street Band. We think about the epic arena and stadium concerts. We think about the great interplay between Bruce and his band mates, especially Steve Van Zandt and Clarence Clemons. We think about Bruce standing front and centre as band leader, ring leader and master of ceremonies. We think about a sweat soaked Bruce standing on the piano, climbing, leaping, scrambling all over the stage, dancing up a storm, gunslinger guitar hero, rocking all night long.
Yet, obscured by all of this is the fact that had he chosen to be, he may well have become one of the greatest solo artists of his time. Maybe he accomplished that as a sideline. Consider his solo output on 'Nebraska', 'Ghost of Tom Joad' and 'Devils and Dust', and I'll throw in 'Tunnel of Love' which is mostly a solo album. Any artist would be proud of that output if it represented his entire career. For Bruce, this almost seemed like what he did on his summer vacation, while away from the E Street Band.
This week's fix features two outstanding solo performances taken from his performances at the Shrine Auditorium in LA on November 16 & 17, 1990. First up from opening night is 'Brilliant Disguise'.
We close this week's fix with a brilliant version of 'Tougher Than The Rest' from the following night on the 17th. As an afterthought, maybe on the morning of the Royal Wedding it's appropriate to feature a couple of songs about love and relationships.