Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Greatest Hits is Bruce Springsteen's fifth compilation album, released as a limited edition first in the United States, Canada and Australia on January 13, 2009 exclusively through Wal-Mart retailers., Wal-Mart. Retrieved December 22, 2008.
On June 1, 2009, a limited edition, with an alternative tracklisting, was released in Europe, to capitalize on his ongoing Working on a Dream Tour.
The album is a collection of some of Springsteen's hit singles and popular album tracks through the years. Springsteen released a similar Greatest Hits album in 1995. Unlike the previous release, this album is billed to "Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band," the first time Springsteen's backing band has been credited with a compilation release. As such, it contains no Springsteen material from after 1984 and before 2002, the period in which he did virtually no studio recording with the E Street Band., Rolling Stone, December 22, 2008. It contained only one song not found on the artist's 2003 compilation, The Essential Bruce Springsteen, which is Radio Nowhere as the song was not yet released at that time.
Priced at only $10, the album was intended to capitalize on, and appeal to the many viewers of, Springsteen's performance at the half-time show for Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009. Greatest Hits was also released two weeks before Springsteen's 16th studio album, Working on a Dream. It was also intended to help defray Sony Music's large investment in Springsteen dating back to a 2005 record contract. In its first week the album managed to reach #86 on the Billboard 200, ultimately reaching a still mediocre #43 in the wake of the Super Bowl performance.
Springsteen's association with Wal-Mart drew puzzled reactions from the media, given the singer's longtime support for labor causes and the company's longtime anti-union actions. Huffington Post writer Tony Sachs pronounced the release one of the "top five boneheaded music industry moves of 2008," while The Wall Street Journal wrote that it reflected the duality of "the liberal singer-songwriter and the commercial juggernaut recording artist." Longtime Springsteen writer Charles R. Cross said that fans were now more accepting of such blatant commercial strategies given the overall slump in the music business. Nevertheless, the release did draw criticism from some fans as well as from labor union activists and independent record store owners. In response, Springsteen manager Jon Landau said, "et's start with the premise that Bruce is already in Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has been 15% of our sales in recent years. It's not a question of going into Wal-Mart; we're there. They, and other retailers, are all looking for some way to differentiate themselves, and we try to accommodate each one. We're not doing any advertising for Wal-Mart. We haven't endorsed Wal-Mart or anybody else." But then Springsteen himself, during publicity for his appearance at Super Bowl XLIII, admitted that they "dropped the ball" with the association with Wal-Mart, and attributed it to insufficient vetting due to too many activities going on.
The E Street Band
*Roy Bittan – piano, synthesizer
*Ernest "Boom" Carter – drums
*Clarence Clemons – saxophone, percussion, backing vocals
*Danny Federici – organ, glockenspiel
*Nils Lofgren - guitar, backing vocals
*Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez – drums
*David Sancious – piano, organ
*Patti Scialfa - backing vocals
*Bruce Springsteen – guitar, lead vocals, harmonica
*Garry Tallent – bass guitar
*Soozie Tyrell – violin, backing vocals
*Max Weinberg – drums
*Steven Van Zandt – guitar, backing vocals
Category:2009 compilation albums
Category:Bruce Springsteen compilation albums
Category:Greatest hits albums
Category:Columbia Records compilation albums
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