94.) Bruce Springsteen - We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006)
And speaking of The Boss...
We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, for me, ranks right up there with Darkness, Born to Run and Nebraska. I love this record. That these are not Springsteen originals means nothing to me seeing as how they are such a perfect fit for him. The project itself feels very Mermaid Avenue, and it is to a point, but I actually think that Bruce's execution is even better.
Springsteen was quite prolific in the aughts and he's put out some really good stuff, but none of it felt as free-wheeling, old-Bruce fun as We Shall Overcome. While both The Rising and Devils and Dust had some really great moments, they were kind of a downer - which is fine - it needed to be done, but We Shall Overcome has a very loose, ramshackle feel about it that those records didn't.
That Springsteen tackled these songs with such abandon at a time when who the fuck thought anyone wanted to hear some remakes of some old campfire slabs of Americana makes it's triumph that much greater. I know a lot of people revere Seeger and Springsteen actually didn't. He was, for all intents and purposes, a newcomer to Seeger's work at the time. He liked it and decided to record it. That he may not have necessarily felt beholden to the music probably allowed him to make, at it's core, a Bruce record.
And a damn fine one at that.
Posted by Pat Driscoll