A new Bruce Springsteen symposium is heading to New Jersey's Monmouth University in October 2020. Back in 2018, the college hosted the international symposium on 1978's Darkness On The Edge of Town album, with next fall's event titled, The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen's 'The River' At 40.
The symposium marks the second academic conference sponsored by the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music in West Long Branch, New Jersey, and celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 1980 chart-topping double album, The River.
Backstreets.com posted: “The scholarly conference will be held from October 2nd, 3rd, & 4th, 2020, at Monmouth University. The festivities will include various live acts, as well as keynote addresses by rock critics and figures from the music industry, in addition to panels and paper presentations throughout the weekend. A call for papers is open now — they're looking for titles and abstracts by March 1st, 2020. A focus on Springsteen's 1980 double album is encouraged, but papers do not have to be River-specific; this is an international conference devoted to the life, work, and influence of Bruce Springsteen.”
Bruce Springsteen explained how for the first time in his career, by recording a double album for The River, he could finally incorporate all the colors of his musical pallet onto vinyl: “The River was a lot wider open. In other words, a lot of different kinds of things were going to fit. Y'know, 'Cadillac Ranch,' 'Sherry Darling' — those things were now going to fit onto the record, I decided. How I chose in the end. . . That was a record where I could've switched a lot of things around. A lot of things that ended up as outtakes easily could've made it on to the record, or I could've taken some things on the record off, y'know?”
1980's The River, which marked Bruce Springsteen's first Number One album, was also the first to be co-produced with the help of Steve Van Zandt. Following the creative issues of 1975 Born To Run, and the audio troubles surrounding 1978's Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Van Zandt was adamant that the band — who had toured extensively over the previous four years — perform the new material as a single unit rather than overdub their parts: “We wanted to go back to something that felt live. So, I had experimented and had somebody do some research and found a live room, which was that Power Station room. My wife (Maureen) actually recommended this guy Bob Clearmountain, who she knew, who was famous for working very quickly, y’know? So, I recommended Bob Clearmountain. And then we mic’d the thing in a way that that used the room; and that combined with certain things, like the way the drums were tuned — we got it on 'Hungry Heart' I remember the day we got it; we were using the overhead (mics) and I had Bob just push the overheads up higher than he’d ever push them before, ’till you heard that sound. And that sound was the sound of the room.”
Bruce Springsteen's recent concert film, Western Stars will be available digitally and on Blu-ray on December 19th.