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Bruce Springsteen has "High Hopes" coming in January
 

By GARY GRAFF
21st Century Media/Digital First Media

» See more SOUND CHECK

Those new Bruce Springsteen album rumors didn't gestate for very long.

Springsteen has announced a January 14 release date for "High Hopes," a 12-track set of songs recorded during sessions in New Jersey, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Australia. The set -- co-produced by Springsteen, Brendan O'Brien and Ron Aniello -- features the current lineup of the E Street Band and on eight songs, including a new duet version of "The Ghost of Tom Joad," Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who sat in for Little Steven Van Zandt during the group's Australia dates earlier this year. The title track, a cover of a Havalinas' song that Springsteen first recorded on the 1996 "Blood Brothers" EP, is released as a single and new video today, and the album also includes covers of Suicide's "Dream Baby Dream" and the Saints' "Just Like Fire Would," as well as a studio version of the controversial "American Skin (41 Shots)."

In his liner notes, Springsteen says that he was "working on a record of some of our best unreleased material from the past decade" that was energized by having Morello in the band; "Tom and his guitar became my muse, pushing the rest of this project o another level," Springsteen writes. He adds that, "This is music I always felt needed to be released...I felt they all deserved a home and a hearing. "Hope you enjoy it."

Springsteen and company hit the road again on January 26 in Cape Town, South Africa, finishing March 2 in Auckland, New Zealand, after a run of Australian dates. But Van Zandt says that isn't necessarily the start of a full-scale tour for 2014.

"It looks like we're just doing February in Australia," he explains. "That will sort of be the end, if you will, of the last tour, which will be two years exactly. And then I'm not sure what Bruce'll do. We may go back on the road next, who knows? We could go back some time at the end of next year, but we haven't really talked about it or thought about it."

Springsteen's last album, "Wrecking Ball," came out March 5, 2012, and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. A full track list and Springsteen's complete liner notes can be found at www.brucespringsteen.net.

Web Site: www.brucepsringsteen.net

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