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2012 Reissue wish list / Day 8 / Bruce Springsteen: Tunnel Of Love

Bruce Springsteen / Tunnel Of Love / 25th Anniversary EditionAfter the stadium bombast and Arthur Baker remixes of Born In The USA, Bruce Springsteen released a very different record, three years later in October 1987.

His marriage to Julianne Phillips (they wed in 1985) was falling apart – denied at the time of release – and the songs on new album Tunnel Of Love would reflect this with meditations on love, self-doubt and disappointment.

The difficulty in loving someone and maintaining a relationship was clear to see in some great lyrics from ‘The Boss’ on songs like Tunnel Of Love:

“The lights go out and it’s just the three of us
You, me and all that stuff we’re so scared of”

and;

“It’s easy for two people to lose each other
In this tunnel of love”

The album had quite a low-key feel to it, with plenty of acoustic guitars and harmonica and Springsteen also making subtle use of drum machines and keyboards while recording, largely alone, in his home studio. Some members of the E-Street Band made occasional appearances on the record (notably Max Weinberg on drums and percussion), but this is not regarded as a ‘band’ album.

Despite the intimate nature of the material, and the songs of fractured relationships and cautious men, the singles released from the album performed well, with Tunnel Of Love and Brilliant Disguise (with it’s superb one-shot video) both hitting the Billboard Hot 100 top ten.

Although not released in the US, Tougher Then The Rest and Spare Parts were released in the UK (and other territories) and both were top 40 hits, rather surprisingly bettering the no. 45 peak of Tunnel Of Love in Britain.

The various single formats contained some at-the-time unreleased outtakes, including Roulette from The River (1979) and Lucky Man and Two For The Road from the Tunnel Of Love sessions. All would reappear on 1998’s Tracks box set.

Sadly, the rumours proved correct and Phillips and Springsteen’s split was announced in 1988 during the tour. Bruce then became romantically involved with backing singer Patti Scialfa, and their relationship endures to this day (they married in 1991).

A 25th Anniversary Edition of Tunnel Of Love would most likely be a 2CD+DVD affair and look something like this:

CD1 – Album remastered + Tunnel Of Love Outtakes

CD 2Tunnel Of Love Express live show recording

DVD – Videos, TV appearances, interviews

ALBUM: Tunnel Of Love by Bruce Springsteen
ANNIVERSARY: 25th
WHY REISSUE?: Superb record, period live version should be released.

Tomorrow> Day 9> Lou Reed: Magic And Loss

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7 responses to 2012 Reissue wish list / Day 8 / Bruce Springsteen: Tunnel Of Love

  1. Pingback:2012 Reissue wish list / Day 7 / Prince: Sign O’ The Times | superdeluxeedition

  2. Hedley says:

    I did see the Tunnel of Love tour and I seem to remember Springsteen emerging holding a dozen roses which he promptly smashed.

    The biggest problem with a Bruce super deluxe is that you cannot trust the integrity of the product. Darkness was an absolute disaster because Bruce could not resist the temptation to go back and rerecord vocals and even add Patti. Bootlegs from the Darkness era remain vastly superior to the dross that was offered.

    I am a big Bruce fan and can even claim to have been at the two Hammersmith shows in 75 but…..

  3. Lee says:

    ah, the album that came out but never quite escaped the shadow of Born In The USA before it.

    Am I right in thinking that the CD of this in the 80s was one of the first to be a “picture disc”? I seem to recall an advert for this and George Michael’s Faith showing off “look! we can put a picture on it now!”.

  4. Paul Sinclair says:

    Haha well remembered Lee! They really did give it the big sell, with those ‘picture disc’ CDs.

    Bruce did the only sane thing, and that was not to try to do a Born In The USA part 2.

  5. Paul says:

    At the time of its release in 1987, Tunnel Of Love’s majesty and merits were overshadowed by the mega success of Born In The U.S.A. It is one Springsteen’s most personal (and BEST) albums since it chronicled the dissolution of his marital relationship to Julianne Phillips. It would be great to see Tunnel reissued in a deluxe format its 25th anniversary this year. However, realistically speaking, I’m sure that Bruce and his manager (“Colonel” Jon Landau) have many other reissue projects in the pipeline before they even attempt to deal with Tunnel Of Love. We still haven’t seen the release of deluxe editions for The River (1981); Nebraska (1982) and of course, the 15 x Platininum Born In The U.S.A. (1984). Maybe, they’ll finally consider a Tunnel deluxe set when the 35th or maybe 40th Anniversary rolls around?

  6. Robert says:

    Great idea but I don’t see how a Tunnel live show (or almost any Brce show for that matter) would fit on a single CD!
    As for the DVD, I don’t think there were too many TV appearances or interviews around this time. Some European shows were broadcast on TV although the tour had sort of changed by that time…

  7. Salvatore Patane says:

    I look forward in seeing this 2 x cd, dvd package come to light.
    The Born in the USA tour ’85 (Aus) blew me away as my first international concert and wished I could of seen the Tunnel of Love tour, as this album to this day remains my favourite. Not only that the last song Valentines Day was my wedding song two years ago but I can connect and having exact experiences with relationships to each song and I’m sure there are many people can also relate to this album.

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