Bruce Springsteen: The Boss Of Hopes And Dreams

A look back at the 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year honoree's storied GRAMMY history

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

(Bruce Springsteen will be honored as the 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year on Feb. 8 at a special tribute performance and dinner in Los Angeles, recognizing his accomplishments as an artist and humanitarian. MusiCares' mission is to ensure that music people have a compassionate place to turn in times of need while focusing the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community.)

In the fall of 1975 a single voice seemed to blast from nearly every college dorm stereo in the United States. "Tramps like us," its messenger exuberantly shouted, "Baby, we were born to run!"

That was the year Bruce Springsteen's third album, Born To Run, landed him simultaneously on the covers of Time and Newsweek. It was the year that music fans all over the country (and eventually the world) discovered what East Coasters already knew: this working-class young man raised in Freehold, N.J., was incredibly adept at telling stories of teenage passion and angst, and every generation's hopes, fears and dreams.

With his top-notch E Street Band, the Boss has created some of the most enduring anthems in rock history, and he's far from finished. A 20-time GRAMMY winner, with two albums (Born To Run and 1984's Born In The U.S.A.) enshrined in the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, Springsteen released his 17th studio album, Wrecking Ball, in March. That same month he launched his worldwide Wrecking Ball tour and delivered what has been hailed as the best South By Southwest keynote speech in the conference's 26-year history. And Peter A. Carlin's Bruce, Springsteen's first authorized biography, debuted in November at No. 4 on the New York Times best-sellers list.

Yet the Kennedy Center Honors recipient, who performed with early inspiration Pete Seeger at President Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009, also took time to campaign for the president's re-election, while never tiring from helping those in need. Springsteen has supported a wide range of charitable causes including organizations that work to alleviate homelessness and hunger. He donated $1.5 million in funds from the final concert of his 1992–1993 world tour to endow the Kristen Ann Carr Fund, which was created after co-manager Barbara Carr's daughter died of cancer. In December, he performed at the 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in New York to raise funds for areas devastated by the hurricane, including his home state. 

This February, the 20-time GRAMMY winner looks to add to his golden résumé at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, with nominations for Best Rock Album, Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song. Following is a chronology detailing Springsteen's impressive legacy to date, providing historical context around his GRAMMY wins, his recordings earning GRAMMY Hall Of Fame induction and current 55th GRAMMY nominations.


"Dancing In The Dark"
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male: 27th Annual GRAMMY Awards

The sultry "Dancing In The Dark," a last-minute addition after manager Jon Landau cajoled Springsteen into writing a hit, was one of seven Top 10 tracks from Born In The U.S.A. Inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 2012, Born In The U.S.A. was Springsteen's second big breakout, catapulting him from arenas to stadiums worldwide and becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time. Its title track, an indictment of America's treatment of its returning Vietnam War veterans, was widely misinterpreted for years as a patriotic anthem. Springsteen's other GRAMMY Hall Of Fame entry, 1975's Born To Run, was inducted in 2003.


"Tunnel Of Love"
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo: 30th Annual GRAMMY Awards

Released two years after Springsteen's rapid courtship and marriage to actress Julianne Phillips, the song is the title track from an introspective and personal album that examines the harder realities of commitment, and questions trust and honesty in romantic relationships. The album is considered a foreshadowing of Springsteen's subsequent divorce to Phillips in 1988. Springsteen followed the tunnel of love to fellow E Street Band member Patti Scialfa, with whom he celebrated his 21st wedding anniversary in June.


"Streets Of Philadelphia"
Song Of The Year, Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Song Written Specifically For A Motion Picture Or For Television: 37th Annual GRAMMY Awards

When director Jonathan Demme requested a song for his 1993 film about a lawyer (played by Tom Hanks) who is fired for contracting AIDS, Springsteen, an expert at drawing sympathy for those shunned by society, wrote this haunting, elegiac tune. At the time, the disease was still misunderstood and evoked much prejudice against its then-mainly gay sufferers. One of the most moving ballads of his career, which Springsteen delivered to Demme as an unfinished demo, the song became a Top 10 hit, earning four GRAMMY Awards as well as a Golden Globe and Academy Award. In accepting his Oscar for Original Song, Springsteen said, "You do your best work and you hope that … some piece of it spills over into the real world and into people's everyday lives, and it takes the edge off of fear and allows us to recognize each other through our veil of differences." 


The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Best Contemporary Folk Album: 39th Annual GRAMMY Awards

Inspired by John Steinbeck, Woody Guthrie, a motorcycle trip through the Southwest, and topics such as immigration and the growing Rust Belt, Springsteen once again focused on downtrodden, outcast and unlucky souls in folk songs evocative of 1982's Nebraska. This time, he made sure his characters and their stories were clearly drawn, even launching a solo acoustic tour that included a stop in Youngstown, Ohio, the city used as the title and setting of his song about a displaced steel worker. "I knew that The Ghost Of Tom Joad wouldn't attract my largest audience," Springsteen wrote in his 2003 book Songs. "But I was sure the songs on it added up to a reaffirmation of the best of what I do. The record was something new, but it was also a reference point to the things I tried to stand for and be about as a songwriter."


The Rising
Best Rock Album; Best Rock Song and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance ("The Rising"): 45th Annual GRAMMY Awards

It somehow fell to Springsteen and his reunited E Street Band to soothe a grief-stricken nation and express the complex emotions aroused by the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. In fact, much of The Rising was Springsteen's response to a fan's beseeching shout of "We need you!" upon spotting the Boss in a New Jersey parking lot. The Springsteen family was acutely aware of the impact of Sept. 11; many of the lives lost belonged to people from Monmouth County, N.J., where Springsteen lives with Scialfa and their three children. Though "Further On (Up The Road)," "My City Of Ruins," "Waitin’ On A Sunny Day," and "Nothing Man" had been in the works before the making of the album, according to The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen A To E To Z, they gained deeper meaning alongside the gospel-influenced title song and tracks such as "Into The Fire," "Mary's Place," "You're Missing," and "Lonesome Day."  In a 2002 piece on the album, Time wrote, "The songs are sad, but the sadness is almost always matched with optimism, promises of redemption and calls to spiritual arms. There is more rising on The Rising than in a month of church."


"Disorder In The House" (with Warren Zevon)
Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: 46th Annual GRAMMY Awards

Springsteen and Zevon, friends since the '70s, wrote two songs together. This one was included on The Wind, the album Zevon made as he was dying of cancer. The rollicking rocker features a driving guitar solo by Springsteen, whose six-string prowess has often gone underrated. "The thing about Springsteen is that he's the person that everybody hopes he would be," Zevon said in the documentary (Inside) Out: Warren Zevon.


"Code Of Silence"
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance: 47th Annual GRAMMY Awards

Featured in 2003's The Essential Bruce Springsteen, this song was co-written with Pittsburgh musical icon Joe Grushecky, who first met the Boss when E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt co-produced 1980's Have A Good Time But… Get Out Alive! by the Grushecky-fronted Iron City Houserockers. Growing up with similar blue-collar and musical influences, Grushecky's muscular, R&B-flavored rock also addressed working-class dreams and disappointments, and Springsteen often invited him onstage in Pittsburgh. Grushecky's 1995 album, American Babylon, was almost entirely produced by Springsteen, who also co-wrote two songs and performed on several.


"Devils & Dust"
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance: 48th Annual GRAMMY Awards

Though Devils & Dust is considered a folk album (and was nominated for Best Contemporary Folk Album), Springsteen picked up another GRAMMY in the rock category for its title song. Said to have been written as the United States verged on entering the Iraqi war, it voices a soldier’s fear and confusion as he waits for whatever’s coming. Springsteen ended his GRAMMY Awards performance of it with the words, “Bring ‘em home.” 


We Shall Overcome —The Seeger Sessions
Best Traditional Folk Album: 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards

We Shall Overcome —The Seeger Sessions, Springsteen's first covers album, is a celebration and homage to Seeger. Inspired by songs Springsteen had recorded in 1997 for a Seeger tribute album and rediscovered while working on a second Tracks collection, the album is a raucous affair recorded in two single-day sessions. E Street Band regulars Scialfa, violinist Soozie Tyrell and keyboardist Charlie Giordano are among the musical contributors to the CD/DVD, drawn mainly from traditional songs Springsteen learned from Seeger's versions.

Wings For Wheels: The Making Of Born To Run
Best Long Form Video: 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards

The loose, celebratory tracks on We Shall Overcome… couldn't contrast more with the subject of Springsteen's Born To Run making-of documentary. It captures the fanatic attention to detail and nearly unbearable pressure Springsteen was under to produce a hit album after two "failed" releases. (Today, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle are considered classics.)


"Radio Nowhere"
Best Rock Song, Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance: 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards

"Radio Nowhere," the opening track on 2007's Magic, laments what its author regards as increasingly soulless airwaves. "I want a thousand guitars," Springsteen sings. "I want pounding drums. I want a million different voices speaking in tongues." In a way, it continues the thread of "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)," his mass media indictment from 1992's Human Touch.

"Once Upon A Time In The West"
Best Rock Instrumental Performance: 50th Annual GRAMMY Awards

"Once Upon A Time In The West," which garnered Springsteen his only GRAMMY for an instrumental track, is his contribution to the tribute album, We All Love Ennio Morricone. Springsteen is known to be a fan of Italian director Sergio Leone's spaghetti Western films, for which Morricone provided the iconic soundtracks. The album is a conglomeration of contributors, from Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion to Yo-Yo Ma and Metallica, who also received a nomination for "The Ecstasy Of Gold."


"Girls In Their Summer Clothes"
Best Rock Song: 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards

Another track from Magic, the song recalls an earlier time, both lyrically and musically. With a melodic thread reminiscent of Frankie Valli's "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)," the pop tune contains a wisp of melancholy in the singer's observation that these pretty girls "pass me by." Also nominated for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, a "winter mix" of the song is available at iTunes [link].


"Working On A Dream"
Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance: 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards

Springsteen has achieved the remarkable feat of winning at least one GRAMMY in each of eight consecutive years. The title track from an album released just after Obama's inauguration, "Working On A Dream" tempers the optimism of hope with the fear that perhaps that dream is impossible. Optimism seems to win, but in the wake of losing longtime bandmate Danny Federici, it's not surprising that Springsteen didn't go for unbridled exuberance.


Wrecking Ball
Best Rock Album Nominee: 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards

Wrecking Ball forsakes much of Working On A Dream's cautious optimism; however, instead, he points fingers at the "robber barons." In its five-star review, Rolling Stone named it "the most despairing, confrontational and musically turbulent album Bruce Springsteen has ever made." After watching the economy crumble and suffering the devastating loss of E Street Band sax player Clarence "Big Man" Clemons, it's no wonder. 

"We Take Care Of Our Own"
Best Rock Song, Best Rock Performance Nominee: 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards

First performed live on the 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast in February, "We Take Care Of Our Own," similar to "Born In The U.S.A.," is an admonishment, not an affirmation. But it's sung in a way that somehow suggests it's not too late to return to the values once proudly upheld "wherever this flag is flown."

(Austin-based journalist Lynne Margolis currently contributes to American Songwriter, NPR's Song of the Day and newspapers nationwide, as well as several regional magazines and NPR-affiliate KUT-FM's "Texas Music Matters." A contributing editor to 
The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen A To E To Z, she has also previously written for and Paste magazine.)


Let Freedom Ring With The March On Washington GRAMMY Playlist

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington with a song

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

On Aug. 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and declared in his landmark "I Have A Dream" speech, "Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood."

In 2012 The Recording Academy recognized King's speech for its historical significance by inducting the recording into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame. Delivered before 250,000 people, "I Have A Dream" culminated the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a rally organized by a coalition of civil rights organizations that called for the passage of meaningful civil rights legislation and a program to provide jobs, among other demands.

Several artists have used music to call for a solid rock of brotherhood and sisterly love over the years. GRAMMY winners Bob Dylan; Peter, Paul & Mary; and Mahalia Jackson were among the performers who stood beside King at the March on Washington and dared to dream of a better America. On Aug. 28 President Barack Obama — joined by fellow GRAMMY winners such as LeAnn Rimes and BeBe Winans and former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton — will deliver his own speech at the Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action bell-ringing ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

As bells toll throughout the country, we encourage you to let freedom ring by marching to the beat of our March on Washington 50th anniversary GRAMMY playlist.

"Blowin' In The Wind"
Peter, Paul & Mary, Best Performance By A Vocal Group, Best Folk Recording, 1963; GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, inducted 2003

Peter, Paul & Mary's cover of Bob Dylan's popular protest song was one of two songs performed by the trio at the March on Washington. The two-time GRAMMY-winning track fittingly asked marchers, "How many roads must a man walk down/Before you call him a man?" The answer, of course, was blowin' in the wind.

"A Change Is Gonna Come"
Sam Cooke, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, inducted 2000

Considered one of the defining anthems of the civil rights movement, "A Change Is Gonna Come" was released in 1964 by R&B singer Cooke as a response to Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind." Cooke's harrowing track was voted No. 12 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list and epitomizes the hope and change King called for 50 years ago.                   

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, inducted 2009

Although written by Canadian Neil Young, "Ohio" spoke to the outrage many felt over the Kent State shootings in Kent, Ohio, in 1970. The song openly questioned the deaths of four unarmed students who were killed by the Ohio National Guard during a campus Vietnam War protest.   

"Get Up, Stand Up"
Bob Marley & The Wailers, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, inducted 1999

Written by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, this classic reggae tune was featured on the Wailers' 1973 album Burnin'. The group's signature call to action demanded people "get up, stand up/Stand up for your rights." In 1999 the track was the first reggae song to be inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame.

"Born In The U.S.A."
Bruce Springsteen, Record Of The Year nominee, 1985

Though often misinterpreted as a patriotic anthem, "Born In The U.S.A." actually speaks to the desperate flip side of the American dream encountered by some Vietnam War veterans. Still, the album of the same name garnered a GRAMMY nomination for Album Of The Year, spawned no less than seven Top 10 hits and was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 2012.

"Fight The Power"
Public Enemy, Best Rap Performance nominee, 1989  

It might take a nation of millions to hold back listeners of Public Enemy's confrontational and controversial hit "Fight The Power." Chosen by director Spike Lee as the musical theme for his 1989 film Do The Right Thing, the track calls out everyone from Elvis to the American government, imploring people to "fight the powers that be."                         

"Guerrilla Radio"
Rage Against The Machine, Best Hard Rock Performance, 2000

Featured on Rage Against The Machine's 1999 GRAMMY-nominated album The Battle Of Los Angeles, "Guerrilla Radio" is the band's call to cut off the lights, turn up the radio and tune out those they describe as "vultures who thirst for blood and oil."

"Revolution 1"
The Beatles, The Beatles, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, inducted 2000

A year before John Lennon and Yoko Ono famously held a two-week bed-in for peace in 1969, the Beatles released this Lennon/McCartney penned tune featured on The Beatles ("The White Album"). The song spoke to Lennon's skepticism about some of the radical tactics used to protest the Vietnam War, offering the tongue-in-cheek guarantee that everything was "gonna be alright."

Edwin Starr, Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male nominee, 1970

Written by Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield in protest of the Vietnam War, "War" was originally recorded by the Temptations. Starr's version of this classic track helped him achieve legendary status on the soul circuit. His cover was intense and direct, simply stating: "I said, war, good gawd ya'll/What is it good for?/Absolutely nothing!"  

"The Times They Are A-Changin'"      
Bob Dylan, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, inducted 2013

After the release of "Blowin' In The Wind," Dylan provided another anthemic protest song with "The Times They Are A-Changin'." Since its release in 1964, the song has been covered by artists such as the Beach Boys, Joan Baez, Phil Collins, Billy Joel, and Nina Simone, among others, during both challenging and ever-changing times.

"What The World Needs Now Is Love"
Jackie DeShannon, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, inducted 2008

After all the protests, marches and calls for change have quieted down, arguably no song should be cranked up as loud as DeShannon's 1965 hit "What The World Needs Now Is Love." Per DeShannon: All we need "is love, sweet love/No, not just for some, but for everyone."

Know a song that changed the world? Let us know in the comments.


FYI/TMI: Stars Come Together For Hurricane Sandy, Justin Bieber Breaks The Law

Alicia Keys, Paul McCartney among performers for Sandy benefit; Bieber gets ticketed in L.A.

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

(In an effort to keep you fully informed, and fully entertained, below we present today's FYI and TMI — news you need and news that's, well, sometimes needless….)


More Stars Come Together For Hurricane Sandy
GRAMMY winners Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, and Kanye West, and legendary rockers Roger Waters and the Who will perform at a benefit concert for Hurricane Sandy on Dec. 12 in New York. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the Robin Hood Relief Fund to aid hurricane victims.

SoundExchange Reports 3Q Royalty Payments
Performance rights organization SoundExchange distributed $122.5 million in royalty payments during the third quarter of 2012, marking the organization's largest quarterly payout since its founding in 2000, according to SoundExchange has distributed $326.9 million in performance royalties for the year to date, bringing the organization's grand payout total to $1.2 billion since 2000.


Bieber Breaks The Law
As if Justin Bieber's recent trouble in love wasn't hard enough for the 18-year-old, the teen pop sensation has now run into some trouble with law enforcement. Bieber was ticketed by Los Angeles police on Nov. 13 after he was pulled over in his Ferrari in West Hollywood, Calif., for making an unsafe left turn. On top of that, cops found his registration was expired. Hopefully now there's one less unsafe driver on the road.



The Week In Music: Prince Is Down In The Digital Dumps

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/


The Week In Music: Prince Is Down In The Digital Dumps

Artist refuses to record until the piracy battle is won

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 05:06 am

It's been almost a year since Prince formally declared the Internet to be "completely over," and now the artist formerly known as a symbol is back on his Web-hating soap box. "I personally can't stand digital music," said Prince in an interview with the Guardian. "You're getting sound in bits. It affects a different place in your brain. When you play it back, you can't feel anything. We're analog people, not digital." And the other problem with the Internet according to Prince? The lack of regulation when it comes to copyrighted content available for free on the Web. "The industry changed," continued Prince. "We made money [online] before piracy was real crazy. Nobody's making money now except phone companies, Apple and Google. It's like the gold rush out there. Or a carjacking. So I'll just hold off on recording." While we shouldn't expect a new album from the artist anytime soon, we can certainly rest assured that he'll be coming to a town near you, at least for one (or 21) nights.

With a combined 10 GRAMMY Awards, comedian Stephen Colbert and producer/musician Jack White are adding another commonality notch to their belts in the form of a musical collaboration. White and his Nashville-based Third Man Records have produced Colbert's recent single "Charlene II (I'm Over You)," the follow-up to the comedian's '80s new wave release, "Charlene (I'm Right Behind You)." Colbert, along with his backup band — female goth rock group the Black Belles — premiered the single live on June 23 on "The Colbert Report." The song is available for download at iTunes, but audiophiles can also purchase a limited-edition vinyl pressing in red, white and blue available from Third Man Records just in time for the Fourth of July holiday. But fans at iTunes are already looking ahead as one commenter wrote, "Can't wait for Charlene III (Did You Get My Last Record?)!"

Arguably one of music's biggest cult documentaries, Heavy Metal Parking Lot is celebrating its silver anniversary in 2011. Clocking in at just 17 minutes, it's a must-see for aspiring metal heads, and has received accolades from the likes of Oscar-winning writer/director Cameron Crowe, actor Ed Norton and Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl. The film captures the shirtless, beer-guzzling debauchery in the parking lot of the Capitol Centre in Landover, Md., leading up to a 1986 Judas Priest gig. It's lack of cinematography or tangible plot aside, part of the film's charm is its spontaneity. "We certainly didn't go in with an agenda or plan, and 25 years later we are still trying to make sense of Heavy Metal Parking Lot," filmmaker Jeff Krulik told NPR, and said the production cost for the film was a mere $5 for a parking fee. Have any of these headbangers cut their mullets? Find out with a look at what the alumni from Heavy Metal Parking Lot are up to in 2011. And you can relive the film in all its devil-horn glory here.

Politics and music, as they say, make strange bedfellows. They also create a lot of licensing problems. The latest rocker to issue a take-down request is Tom Petty, who will ask the Michele Bachmann presidential campaign to refrain from using his "American Girl" in any campaign-related endeavors, according to an NBC report. Musicians issuing cease-and-desists to politicians trying to co-opt popular songs or musicians into their campaigns has a long contemporary tradition. In 1984 presidential candidate Ronald Reagan invoked Bruce Springsteen during a stump speech, trying to hitch his star to Springsteen's working class fans. In 2008 John McCain apologized to Jackson Browne for using "Running On Empty." That same year California state senatorial candidate Chuck Devore had to make a similar mea culpa to Don Henley for appropriating "The Boys Of Summer" and "All She Wants To Do Is Dance." The grandfather of all political apologies to musicians came in 2010 when U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist took to YouTube to issue an official apology to David Byrne for his unauthorized use of "Road To Nowhere." As for Bachmann, maybe this would have been a better choice for her campaign stop.

After she wore a dress made completely out of raw meat to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, and arrived encased in an egg shell to the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards in February, Lady Gaga has certainly made a name for herself as a raw (no pun intended) and edgy fashionista. With the help of social media network Tumblr, Gaga has created a home for all of her fashion forays in the form of a photo blog titled Amen Fashion. So far, the Fame Monster has posted several entries that picture her showcasing a wide array of styles, from the self-dubbed "Tokyo Unicorn" to her "Born To Kill Look." And, not for the faint of heart, there's also an image of the organ featured in her "Alejandro" video with a post that reads, "He ate my heart, so I put his in the Alejandro video." Moral of the story? Don't eat Gaga's heart, but feel free to get a taste of her fashion sense.

White House party crasher Michaele Salahi made her recording debut back in March and made her live-singing debut (or at least live lip-syncing debut) last week on an NBC affiliate in Miami. Neither events made the splash she and husband Tareq made in 2009 when they crashed an official White House dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as part of a reality TV stunt. The song, "Bump It," a club-flavored dance track, is available at iTunes, where customer reviewer Klaus Von Bong commented: "Dump it."

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Pitbull's "Give Me Everything" featuring Afrojack, Ne-Yo and Nayer is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock is tops on iTunes singles chart.

Any news we've missed? Comment below.

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Last Week In Music 

Indie Stores, Bruce Springsteen Score With Record Store Day 2018

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images


Indie Stores, Bruce Springsteen Score With Record Store Day 2018

Record-setting sales for RSD 2018 provide an indication that vinyl is still growing and that consumers appreciate the friendly indie retail experience

GRAMMYs/May 2, 2018 - 01:26 am

This past 11th annual Record Store Day 2018 on April 21 was set up to be a vinyl celebration like no other and sales did not disappoint.

Nielsen Music statistics for the week ending April 26 showed the best news since Christmas for vinyl, with sales of 733,000 albums. Led by Bruce Springsteen's red-vinyl-pressed Greatest Hits, this was the best-selling Record Store Day ever and the third-best week for vinyl ever since Nielsen started tracking in 1991, with the exceptions of Christmastime 2015 and 2017.

After Springsteen, best-selling vinyl albums were David Bowie's Welcome To The Blackout (Live London '78) and Neil Young's Tonight's The Night Live At The Roxy. At indie stores. the leading exclusive single was Led Zeppelin's 7-inch "Friends"/"Rock And Roll" single, followed by Bowie's "Let's Dance (Full Length Demo)."

In the lead up to this year's festivities, we interviewed record stores Academy Records, Good Records NYC and Rough Trade in New York. The consensus was that customers enjoy what has become an old-fashioned kind of retail shopping — listening, talking, hanging out, and sharing suggestions.

Indeed, this was the best sales week ever for the indie sector, moving 580,000 albums of the 733,000 total. With an overall increase of 23 percent over RSD 2017, one out of four albums for the week were sold at independent retailers. While retail vinyl is only one segment of music distribution, it looks like shopping for music the old-fashioned way is also a growing new experience.

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