Commodores wrote the song a few years after parting ways with Lionel Richie to honor the memories of Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson. The soul icons died just months apart the previous year. It was the group’s final Top 40 hit.
“Nightshift” is the newest song that Springsteen selected for Only the Strong Survive. Other tunes include Aretha Franklin’s “Don’t Play That Song,” the Temptations’ “I Wish It Would Ran,” Jerry Butler’s “Hey, Western Union Man,” and Jimmy Ruffin’s “‘What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.” In late September, Springsteen released his cover of Frank Wilson’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” from the album.
“I wanted to make an album where I just sang,” Springsteen said in a statement. “And what better music to work with than the great American songbook of the Sixties and Seventies? I’ve taken my inspiration from Levi Stubbs, David Ruffin, Jimmy Ruffin, the Iceman Jerry Butler, Diana Ross, Dobie Gray, and Scott Walker, among many others. I’ve tried to do justice to them all—and to the fabulous writers of this glorious music. My goal is for the modern audience to experience its beauty and joy, just as I have since I first heard it. I hope you love listening to it as much as I loved making it.”
There are no plans for Springsteen to promote Only The Strong Survive with any shows, but he is launching a world tour with the E Street Band February 1, 2023 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.