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Hear Bruce Springsteen’s Take on the Aretha Franklin Classic ‘Don’t Play That Song’

The song will appear on his upcoming soul covers LP ‘Only The Strong Survive’

Bruce Springsteen’s soul covers record Only The Strong Survive lands November 11, and he’s just shared a video for “Don’t Play That Song,” which you can check out right here.

The 1962 song was written by Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmet Ertegun and Betty Nelson, the wife of Ben E. King. The original rendition was released by King on his 1962 LP Don’t Play That Song!, but the most memorable rendition arrived in 1970 when Aretha Franklin covered it on her album Spirit in the Dark. It’s also been recorded by Mariah Carey, Sam Moore, Keith Locke, and the Quests.

“Don’t Play That Song” is the third song Springsteen has released from Only The Strong Survive following his takes on Frank Wilson’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” and the Commodores’ “Nightshift.”

“I wanted to make an album where I just sang,” Springsteen said in a statement following the announcement of Only The Strong Survive. “And what better music to work with than the great American songbook of the Sixties and Seventies? I’ve taken my inspiration from Levi Stubbs, David Ruffin, Jimmy Ruffin, the Iceman Jerry Butler, Diana Ross, Dobie Gray, and Scott Walker, among many others. I’ve tried to do justice to them all—and to the fabulous writers of this glorious music. My goal is for the modern audience to experience its beauty and joy, just as I have since I first heard it. I hope you love listening to it as much as I loved making it.”

Springsteen has been largely absent from the concert stage in 2022, but he did surprise fans at a Madison Square Garden Killers concert on October 1 when he joined the band for “Badlands,” “Dustland,” and “Born to Run” with E Street band saxophonist Jake Clemons.

The rest of the E Street Band will join him on Feb. 1 in Tampa, Florida, when they kick off their long-awaited world tour. They’ve been off the road since the conclusion of the River tour in February 2017. Now shows are formally on the books after July 25 in Monza, Italy, but they’ve said they plan on hitting North American stadiums in the late summer and early spring.

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