As you can see in the video for "Forbidden Nights," the lead-off single from Introducing Darlene Love, the legendary singer had no shortage of support from famous friends when it came time to cut the record: The clip features cameos from a long list of stars, including Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Steven Van Zandt, Joan Jett, David Letterman, Bill Murray and Paul Shaffer.
For Van Zandt, who produced the album, the project was the fulfillment of a promise he made decades ago. As Love told Rolling Stone, she met the E Street Band guitarist in the early '80s while she was doing club shows and working on a comeback. "Steve told me that if I moved to New York, he could get me work," she recalled. "Then he said, `I need to record you.'"
Love eventually worked with the E Street Band in 1992 for "All Alone on Christmas," a cut on the Home Alone 2 soundtrack, but Van Zandt kept waiting for the perfect moment to cut a full-length LP with her -- until, as he put it, "I finally said, `F-- it, I'm pushing this into my schedule.'"
Introducing Darlene Love, due Sept. 18, marks Love's first album of secular new material since 1988′s Paint Another Picture, and Van Zandt rounded up a fairly incredible roster of songwriters for the occasion, including Springsteen, Costello, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Jimmy Webb and Linda Perry. Costello, he told Rolling Stone, "jumped in like a motherf--er," sending in four songs "within a day."
For Love, the chance to interpret a pair of new Springsteen songs ("Night Closing In" and "Just Another Lonely Mile") proved particularly sweet. "When I first heard he was writing for me, I was like, `Oh, my God! We'll have a song from Bruce! I can't wait! I can't wait!' When they came in, I just loved them. I listened to them, put them into my mind and made them Darlene Love songs."
Love and Van Zandt have booked a pair of release shows on Sept. 12 (at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park) and 18 (at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles), with Love's annual Christmas tour to follow, starting in late October. Introducing Darlene Love is available for pre-order now.
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