Bruce Springsteen may have seventeen studio albums of his own, but he's starting to rack up enough material for a cover album. There's "Jersey Girl," "Whip My Hair," "Sexy and I Know It," and now, both "The Way You Do the Things You Do" and "634-5789."
During his concert at the Apollo Theater on Friday night, The Boss (along with the E-Street Band) took a break from new tracks off Wrecking Ball and classics like "Thunder Road" to offer up a take on The Temptations' "The Way You Do the Things You Do" and Wilson Pickett's "634-5789." As his band members hummed the song, Springsteen spoke briefly on his love of soul music:
"[When we were young] we learned to play to many different audiences. And the only thing we knew was that when you play soul music, everybody dances… All the men and women who worked on this stage were our teachers and our masters. And they schooled us, that we hoped to deliver on just some small piece of their promise. And we studied all their subjects. Geography: We learned the exact location of Funky Broadway from Wilson Pickett. History: Change is gonna come. Sam Cooke. Math: Ninety-nine and a half won't fucking do! Wilson again. Religion: Aretha Franklin. Sex education: Marvin Gaye. We were imparted with the wisdom of Solomon Burke. And of course, there was the poetry of Smokey Robinson."
After his breakdown of the soul schooling system, Springsteen and his bandmates started an a capella version of "The Way You Do the Things You Do," written by none other than poetry professor Smokey Robinson. The gang eventually got some musical backing, and sweet dance moves, courtesy of Clarence Clemons' nephew Jake (miss you, Big Man). Springsteen took the reins on the next cover, "634-5789," even busting into the balcony seats of a few unsuspecting fans mid-performance and later rocking against the guard-rail, in true Boss fashion.
Bruce, I didn't think it was possible to love you more than I already do, but covering The Temptations? Yep, that'll do it. Here's to seventeen more albums. I will buy every single one.