Hear Bruce Springsteen Cover Glen Campbell’s ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’
Western Stars — Songs from the Film, the soundtrack to the Bruce Springsteen-directed movie Western Stars, includes a cover of Glen Campbell's 1975 classic “Rhinestone Cowboy.” The song, which readers can hear above, is in line with the listening needs of classic country fans and devotees of "The Boss."
Campbell’s seminal hit, written by Larry Weiss, explains the surreal feelings that come with initial success in show business while capturing the desire to continually bask in the public spotlight. For Campbell, the song looked back a decade, to his days as a studio musician without a shelf full of Grammy Awards or an onscreen rapport with John Wayne. When sung by a living legend such as Springsteen, however, it feels more like you’re learning about a bygone time in the music business from a road-weary traveler.
"Rhinestone Cowboy" was a No. 1 hit for Campbell, in 1975. It was a pop crossover success, becoming the first song to top Billboard’s country and all-genre Hot 100 charts simultaneously since Jimmy Dean’s “Big Bad John” pulled off the same feat in 1961.
Springsteen and longtime collaborator Thom Zimny co-directed the film Western Stars. The documentary intersperses footage of Springsteen performing his 2019 studio album Western Stars with his band and a full orchestra with the stories behind the songs. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in early September and arrives in theaters on Friday (Oct. 25).
"I mean, the film is basically about the journey that everybody takes in their definitions of freedom," Springsteen says (quote via Rolling Stone). "When you’re young, it’s all about going where I want to go, doing what I want to do, I’m going to be who I want to be, and that’s okay for your 20s. But somewhere in your 30s, it starts to catch up with you, and your definition of freedom has to expand to include family, your civic life, you know, community that you’re involved in. And if it doesn’t, you’re kind of, you get stuck out in the cold you know? Really out in the cold."
LOOK: Glen Campbell Through the Years