New Jersey rocker Bruce Springsteen will release a new album called High Hopes on
January 14. The Boss was joined by members of his E Street Band as well as Rage Against
The Machine guitarist Tom Morello and additional players for his 18th studio album, which
was recorded at sessions in Australia, New Jersey, Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta.
Springsteen produced the album along with Ron Aniello and Brendan O'Brien. Late E
Streeters Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici make appearances on the album, much of which
features what Bruce calls, "some of our best unreleased material from the past decade."
Included are a number of covers such as Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream," the title track from
Scott McConnell and The Saints' "Just Like Fire Would." While Springsteen has previous
released the track "Ghost Of Tom Joad" as the title track of a 1995 album, the version on
High Hopes is a duet with Morello.
Springsteen has shared liner notes about the new release:
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 90's. We worked it up in our Aussie
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.
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
Here's the tracklist for High Hopes:
1. High Hopes
2. Harry’s Place
3. American Skin (41 Shots)
4. Just Like Fire Would
5. Down In The Hole
6. Heaven’s Wall
7. Frankie Fell In Love
8. This Is Your Sword
9. Hunter Of Invisible Game
10. The Ghost of Tom Joad
11. The Wall
12. Dream Baby Dream