Bruce Springsteen has shared his take on “Nightshift” by Commodores, a track from his upcoming soul and R&B covers album, Only the Strong Survive, along with an accompanying performance video directed by Thom Zimny.
Recorded early on in the project’s creation, Springsteen’s version of “Nightshift” inspired The Boss, producer Ron Aniello, and engineer Rob Lebret to nickname themselves “The Nightshift” while working toward finishing the album. Springsteen recorded Only the Strong Survive with a full band featuring The E Street Horns and full string arrangements by Rob Mathes, along with backing vocals by Soozie Tyrell, Lisa Lowell, Michelle Moore, Curtis King Jr., Dennis Collins, and Fonzi Thornton.
The original version of “Nightshift” appears on Commodores’ 1985 album of the same name, and was recorded as a tribute to the group’s close friends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, both of whom died in 1984. Imagining both singers living in the afterlife, it was Commodores’ first hit after Lionel Richie left the group, peaking at No. 3 on the Hot 100. It also won a Grammy for Best Vocal R&B Performance by a Duo/Group.
Stream Bruce Springsteen’s cover of Commodores’ “Nightshift,” followed by the original below.
Only the Strong Survive is out on November 11th. Along with covers of songs by The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and Diana Ross and the Supremes, it includes Springsteen’s version of Frank Wilson’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do),” which he shared while announcing the album in September. Pre-orders are ongoing.
Springsteen is headed out on a reunion tour with The E Street Band in 2023. Tickets are available now via Ticketmaster.