Listening to Bruce Springsteen has always been a bit awkward in Breaking More Waves HQ, what with much of the space we existed in during our teenage years being infiltrated by his booming voice, and not through our choice. However, we will admit that his album The Ghost Of Tom Joad is a deeply absorbing listen and his song I’m On Fire, from the Born In The USA album, is a track that, through its simplicity, works on many levels. It’s probably that simplicity that makes it so often covered. Does anyone remember Electrelane’s propulsive krautrock /new wave version? It was so nearly great if the vocals hadn’t let it down so badly.
Now we have a new take on the tune, from Breaking More Waves favourites The Staves. Emily, Jessica and Camilla have added some new songs to their second LP If I Was; two original songs called Hopeless and Train Tracks, live versions of No Me, No You, No More and Damn It All from Wiltons Music Hall, London, plus their take on The Boss’s classic which we're streaming below. If there was any justice in the world (there probably won’t be) If I Was will feature on the forthcoming Mercury Music Prize shortlist and plenty of end of year lists. In terms of where this version of the song features on the 'Best Cover Version Of I’m On Fire' list, it certainly gets a place as one of the prettiest – and vocally outweighs Electrelane’s version 1000%.
If you haven't heard If I Was yet put it at the top of your things to do list.
The Staves - I'm On Fire