Bruce Springsteen fans have noted that the singer has been making some interesting song choices on his latest tour. Recently, a friend directed me to Springsteen’s February performance of “Spill the Wine,” originally a 1970 hit for Eric Burdon (the former lead singer of The Animals) and War on their album Eric Burdon Declares “War” (1970). This February 23 opening performance at the Hope Estate Winery in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, Australia was the first public performance of the song by Springsteen and the E Street Band. I am not sure there is a better song to open a show at a winery.
“Spill the Wine” is one of those songs you have heard a million times even if you may not recognize the song’s name. The tune often appears in movies set in the 1970s, like Boogie Nights (1997) and Remember the Titans (2000), because the song sounds like the 1970s. You will recognize it once you hear the opening riff. It’s a cool song too, and Springsteen does it justice (with some lyric changes for the Australian locale), here leading into his own song, “Seeds.” Check it out.
“Seeds” is about a family struggling to survive in the Southwest. As for “Spill the Wind,” you may read the different theories about the song’s meaning around the Internet. AllMusic, which gives its own interpretation of the song, notes that the song is so unique that few folks — like Springsteen and the Isley Brothers — have ever covered it. And, like a number of other one-off songs performed by Springsteen, so far he has only performed it once.
Although Springsteen’s performance is a lot of fun, it is of course impossible to top the original. The first album of two collaborations between Burdon and War created this song that became War’s first major hit and Burdon’s last. Watch this performance by Eric Burdon and War of the shaggy dog story, “Spill the Wine.”
What do you think? Leave your two cents in the comments.
(Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)