The Complete Video Anthology, 1978 – 2000, by Bruce Springsteen

71-ifishouldfallbehind

Rehearsal performance of “If I Should Fall Behind” only

Released 2000

Most shows of the 1999 Reunion Tour did not end with an E Street Band classic; instead, Bruce Springsteen took a track from his oft-maligned Lucky Town album, “If I Should Fall Behind,” and converted it from a good – if boring – medium-paced ballad into a gorgeous, five-voice proclamation of loyalty and support, reaffirming the fact that the E Street Band had finally returned, and would be here to stay. This track, paired with actual show closer and brand new composition “Land of Hope and Dreams” conveyed a powerful message of positivity and hope to send the fans home with a warm feeling in their hearts.

Anchored by a quiet, repeating riff from Springsteen, this rendition of “If I Should Fall Behind” splits its verses up between Springsteen, guitarists Steven Van Zandt and Nils Lofgren, vocalist Patti Scialfa, and saxophonist Clarence Clemons, each person getting their opportunity at Springsteen’s central microphone. The five voices are vastly different; Van Zandt’s voice is scratchy, Lofgren’s is light and uniquely high-pitched, Scialfa’s is tinged with country mannerisms, and Clemons’s is a soothing bass. Before Clemons’s verse, he introduces himself with a saxophone solo matching the lightness of Springsteen’s guitar riff. The five voices then repeat the song’s central refrain “I’ll wait for you / should I fall behind / wait for me,” before joining together for one final repetition, closing the song and leading into “Land of Hope and Dreams.”

On The Complete Video Anthology / 1978 – 2000, this song appears in a rehearsal filmed in the manner of a music video. The performances aren’t quite as powerful as they are in a live setting (particularly on Live in New York City), but they accurately capture the emotion and power of the song’s rearrangment. More than any other track performed on the Reunion Tour, this one showed that the E Street Band was truly back to its full power.

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