This is pretty cool. A film adaptation of Bruce Springsteen's new album Western Stars which includes a rousing rendition of Rhinestone Cowboy!
The real surprise comes at the end of the movie. Rather than finish on the album’s evocative but downbeat closing track Moonlight Motel, there’s a rousing rendition of Glen Campbell’s sparkling singalong Rhinestone Cowboy.
Springsteen says of the late Campbell, who also sang those two Webb classics: “When he first came out, I thought, ‘He’s a little mainstream’, but then I realised he made well-crafted records.
“He can really sing and he was a great guitarist so, as I got older, I got into that music and thought, ‘Ah, I want to make a record with those influences’.”
Well that is an interesting question. In my memory this album has been lying on the shelves for quite some time. Bruce was present during the 2012 Grammys during which Glen of course did his Rhinestone Cowboy performance. And
Bruce participated in the documentary (I think they asked him during that Grammy night) in which he spoke glowingly about Glen. I think that was the first moment that reminded him of Glen and his particular style and sound.
Here's an article from September 2016 in which is stated that the album was by then already completely done for over a year!
So Bruce recorded the album in (the first half of?) 2015 and perhaps started working on the songs even earlier, in 2014. Now the documentary I'll Be Me was released in October 2014 and aired on TV in June 2015 so... my guess is that seeing the documentary itself played a part in inspiring Bruce to make this album.
About "Hello Sunshine"... i agree it's not like "Wichita Lineman" but I do hear "Gentle on My Mind" in there!
I wonder when (and how) Bruce made the correlation. It certainly seems like Glen's passing happened around the time he started the album.
In April, Rolling Stone wrote...
The first track off a forthcoming solo LP, “Hello Sunshine” is Springsteen’s precisely-calibrated throwback to a particular style of late 1960s/early-1970s anti-anxiety radio balladry, perhaps epitomized by Glen Campbell’s magnificent 1968 version of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman.”
Personally, I hear more of "Everybody's Talking" than "Wichita Lineman"... but how cool is it that someone like Bruce is putting Glen out in front of his album.