Monday, November 25, 2013

New Springsteen album due in January


November 25, 2013

They couldn't go back to Australia without a new album, right? Right. On January 14, less than two weeks before Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band set out for South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, Springsteen will release his 18th studio album, High Hopes.

The title track is one with a history in Springsteen's repertoire, a Tim Scott/Havalinas cut that Bruce first tackled with the E Street Band in '95, then revisited live in Australia early this year. In the album's liner notes, Springsteen describes the cover — resurrected at Tom Morello's suggestion — as a catalyst for this new album. Bruce states that he was already "working on a record of some of our best unreleased material from the past decade," but then "Tom and his guitar became my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level."

So this is not Tracks 2. Still, "High Hopes" isn't the only song fans have heard before; as Springsteen writes, "Some of these songs... you'll be familiar with from our live versions. I felt they were among the best of my writing and deserved a proper studio recording." A full half of the album's 12 songs have been performed live, also including "American Skin (41 Shots)," "The Wall," "The Ghost of Tom Joad," Saints cover "Just Like Fire Would," and Suicide cover "Dream Baby Dream." Only one of them, however, "The Ghost of Tom Joad," had been released in a studio version already, and that, of course, in a dramatically different form.

Enter Tom Morello. As the High Hopes "muse," Morello is all over this record, dueting on "Joad" and playing on "High Hopes," "Harry's Place" (a title known from Springsteen's Rising-era notebook), "American Skin," "Just Like Fire Would," "Heaven's Wall," "Hunter of Invisible Game," and "Dream Baby Dream."

The remaining tracks on the record are all Springsteen originals: "Down in the Hole," "Frankie Fell in Love," and "This Is Your Sword."

In addition to the Sydney studio sessions Springsteen had previously spoke about, the album was recorded in New Jersey, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York City, with production credit going to Brendan O'Brien, Ron Aniello, and Springsteen. The various locales and production credits reflect material dating back to sessions for The Rising.As the press release states, "Clarence Clemons, who passed away in 2011, and Danny Federici, who passed away in 2008, also appear on several songs."
 SongwriterProducerPlayed livePrevious availability
1. High HopesTim Scott McConnellRA, BSyesstudio, 1995
2. Harry's PlaceBruce SpringsteenB'OBno, only title knownnone
3. American Skin (41 Shots)Bruce SpringsteenRA, BSyeslive, 2000
4. Just Like Fire WouldChris J. Bailey
(The Saints)
RA, BSyesnone
5. Down in the HoleBruce SpringsteenBO'Bnonone
6. Heaven's Wall
Bruce SpringsteenB'OB, RA, BSnonone
7. Frankie Fell in LoveBruce SpringsteenRA, BSnonone
8. This Is Your SwordBruce SpringsteenRA, BSnonone
9. Hunter of Invisible GameBruce SpringsteenB'OBnonone
10. The Ghost of Tom JoadBruce SpringsteenRA, BSyesstudio, 1995; live, 2008
11. The WallBruce Springsteen (inspired by Joe Grushecky)RA, BSyesnone
12. Dream Baby DreamMartin Rev and Alan Vega (Suicide)RA, BSyeslive, 2005

High Hopes can be pre-ordered now. The album will be available digitally from iTunes, with tracks "High Hopes" and "Dream Baby Dream" available now as mp3s.

In the U.S., will carry an exclusive, limited version with a bonus live DVD: Springsteen and the E Street Band performing Born in the U.S.A. in its entirety at the 2013 Hard Rock Calling show, June 30 at London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. TheAmazon Bonus Limited Edition is available now for pre-order.

The video for the title track, directed by Thom Zimny, is a collage featuring photos from Danny Clinch, Australian tour footage shot by Chris Hilson and featuring Tom Morello.
Bruce Springsteen's High Hopes Liner Notes 

I was working on a record of some of our best unreleased material from the past decade when Tom Morello (sitting in for Steve during the Australian leg of our tour) suggested we ought to add "High Hopes" to our live set. I had cut "High Hopes," a song by Tim Scott McConnell of the LA based Havalinas, in the '90s. We worked it up in our Aussie rehearsals and Tom then proceeded to burn the house down with it. We re-cut it mid tour at Studios 301 in Sydney along with "Just Like Fire Would," a song from one of my favorite early Australian punk bands, The Saints (check out "I'm Stranded"). Tom and his guitar became my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level. Thanks for the inspiration Tom.

Some of these songs, "American Skin" and "Ghost of Tom Joad," you'll be familiar with from our live versions. I felt they were among the best of my writing and deserved a proper studio recording. "The Wall" is something I'd played on stage a few times and remains very close to my heart. The title and idea were Joe Grushecky's, then the song appeared after Patti and I made a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. It was inspired by my memories of Walter Cichon. Walter was one of the great early Jersey Shore rockers, who along with his brother Ray (one of my early guitar mentors) led the "Motifs". The Motifs were a local rock band who were always a head above everybody else. Raw, sexy and rebellious, they were the heroes you aspired to be. But these were heroes you could touch, speak to, and go to with your musical inquiries. Cool, but always accessible, they were an inspiration to me, and many young working musicians in 1960's central New Jersey. Though my character in "The Wall" is a Marine, Walter was actually in the Army, A Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry. He was the first person I ever stood in the presence of who was filled with the mystique of the true rock star. Walter went missing in action in Vietnam in March 1968. He still performs somewhat regularly in my mind, the way he stood, dressed, held the tambourine, the casual cool, the freeness. The man who by his attitude, his walk said "you can defy all this, all of what's here, all of what you've been taught, taught to fear, to love and you'll still be alright." His was a terrible loss to us, his loved ones and the local music scene. I still miss him.

This is music I always felt needed to be released. From the gangsters of "Harry's Place," the ill-prepared roomies on "Frankie Fell In Love" (shades of Steve and I bumming together in our Asbury Park apartment) the travelers in the wasteland of "Hunter Of Invisible Game," to the soldier and his visiting friend in "The Wall", I felt they all deserved a home and a hearing. Hope you enjoy it.
—Bruce Springsteen
This morning's official press release from Shore Fire Media announced details regarding the album only; there has yet to be any indication of further touring after New Zealand in March.

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