Bruce Springsteen has released a lyric music video for "High Hopes" and announced that an album of the same name will be released on January 14, 2014. The album is currently available for preorder at http://smarturl.it/highhopes.
Backed by a New Orleans style drum beat, "High Hopes" is a hard rocking tune with Springsteen growling, a full horn section blasting, and Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello playing hard edged funky guitar parts. It was recorded in Sydney, Australia, at a time when Morello was filling in for Steven Van Zandt on Springsteen's tour. "High Hopes" was written by Tim Scott McConnell in 1987 and re-recorded three years later with his band The Havalinas. Springsteen recorded the song with The E Street Band for his Blood Brothers EP in 1995, and has now re-recorded it for this new upcoming album called High Hopes.
Much like Sprinsteen's 2012 album, Wrecking Ball, there will be a few old songs mixed in with the new songs. Springsteen fans will recognize "The Ghost of Tom Joad" (featuring Tom Morello, who also famously played the song in Rage Against The Machine), and "American Skin (41 Shots)." Springsteen released a video for "Dream Baby Dream" which will also appear on the album. On his official website, Springsteen shared the liner notes to the upcoming album:
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 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,
Sprinsteen told Rolling Stone, "We've never had a recording session during a tour in our lives. We did a couple of things that I wanted to put down. So that was very exciting. And being with Tommy was exciting. The band – Steven, Nils, all those guys – continues to be a source of inspiration for me." He also discussed how the band went from making little music during the '90s to being quite prolific in the 2000s:
"I struggled through the Nineties. We weren't playing together and I didn't know how we sounded on record. Brendan O'Brien" – who produced The Rising, 2007's Magic and 2009's Working on a Dream – "gave us that gift. It gave us a rebirth and inspired me, I believe, to write more songs. Of course, it was a decade with an awful lot going on in the United States and elsewhere...
"This has been the best ten, twelve years we've ever had."
Bruce Springsteen also shared the High Hopes album track list:
1. High Hopes (Tim Scott McConnell) – featuring Tom Morello
2. Harry’s Place * – featuring Tom Morello
3. American Skin (41 Shots) – featuring Tom Morello
4. Just Like Fire Would (Chris J. Bailey) – featuring Tom Morello
5. Down In The Hole *
6. Heaven’s Wall ** – featuring Tom Morello
7. Frankie Fell In Love
8. This Is Your Sword
9. Hunter Of Invisible Game * – featuring Tom Morello
10. The Ghost of Tom Joad – duet with Tom Morello
11. The Wall
12. Dream Baby Dream (Martin Rev and Alan Vega) – featuring Tom Morello
All songs written by Bruce Springsteen except as noted
Album produced by Ron Aniello with Bruce Springsteen
*Produced by Brendan O’Brien
**Produced by Brendan O’Brien, co-produced by Ron Aniello with Bruce Springsteen