Although Bruce Springsteen's albums, for the most part, have been methodically planned out track by track -- 2014's High Hopes seems to have broken all the rules. The new collection, which hits the street on January 14th, features some re-recorded, previously issued songs -- including the title track to 1995's The Ghost Of Tom Joad, Tim Scott McConnell "High Hopes" -- which the E Street Band first released in 1996, and Springsteen's take on Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream" -- a live 2005 version of which was released in 2008 for Record Store Day. Also included is a revamped version of "American Skin (41 Shots)," which was first released on 2001's Live In New York City.
Springsteen shed light on the new album, telling Rolling Stone, "The best way to describe this record is that it's a bit of an anomaly. But not much. I don't really work linearly like a lot of people do. I have a lot of this music on a computer. I bring it out on the road to amuse myself. Very often, if I have nothing to do late at night I'll bring it up and look at different bodies of music."
Springsteen admits that he was able to paint the album's picture using disparate elements to create a whole piece: "The songs were relatively current and had a similar sound picture. I was interested in putting this material together in some form because it sounded like it all fit together. . . You have to imagine that when I'm home or done with a tour I go into a studio and I'm surrounded by paintings that I've sorta half-finished. There might be something wrong with this one and I didn't have time to finish this one. When I go into my studio, I'm surrounded by all my music that I haven't released. I wait to see what's going to speak to me.”
Wrecking Ball producer Ron Aniello, got a call from Springsteen back in December 2012 asking him to pick through about 15 different tracks: "He said, 'I’m on the road right now -- just fool around with them and see what you think you can do. Although they didn't fit the particular story he was telling for each album -- you know how crazy he is about having each album tell a linear story. But these were fantastic songs.”
Bruce Springsteen says that his audience still figures in heavily in regards to the songs he writes and the albums he records: "All I'm doing right now is, I want to make just some really well-thought out, well crafted well-crafted, inspiring records and get music to my audience that is relevant to, hey, the times that we're living in and the times in their lives." - featuring Tom Morello.