Bruce Springsteen’s New Album Out Now

Wrecking Ball is the 17th studio album by Bruce Springsteen on Columbia Records.

The album’s first single, “We Take Care of Our Own”, was released back on January 19, 2012. Another song, “Rocky Ground” will be released to select record shops on 7-inch as a Record Store Day exclusive on April 21, 2012. On April 13, 2012, a music video for the album’s third single, “Death to My Hometown” will be released.

GIVEAWAYS

We’ll be giving away copies once a day at noon, during the Hard Rock Cafe. Listen in and answer trivia questions and win immediately.

BACKGROUND & RECORDING

All but three songs were written in 2011. The three exceptions were songs previously released in live versions:

  • “Wrecking Ball”, which was written in 2009 prior to a series of E Street Band shows at Giants Stadium as a tribute to the venue, which was set to close and be demolished. Springsteen later dedicated a live version with revised lyrics to the closing of the Spectrum in Philadelphia. The song made other appearances throughout the final two months of the Working on a Dream Tour;
  • “American Land”, which was written during the 2006 Seeger Sessions with a studio version being recorded though never released. The song was played throughout that tour and heavily on the subsequent two E Street Band tours; and
  • “Land of Hope and Dreams,” which was written by Springsteen sometime in 1998 or early 1999 and first performed on the 1999 Reunion Tour with the E Street Band. A studio version was originally recorded in 2002 during the sessions for The Rising album although it was never released.

The album includes what may be the final tracks featuring Clarence Clemons, who died in June 2011. Clemons performs the saxophone solos on “Land of Hope and Dreams”, and backing saxophone rhythms on the title track.

While the tour in support of the album will feature the full current E Street Band lineup, the only E Street Band members to appear on the album are Clemons, Steven Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, and Patti Scialfa; adjunct members Charlie Giordano and Soozie Tyrell are also heavily featured. The album features members of the Sessions Band, including the horn section, and special guest appearances by Tom Morello and Matt Chamberlain.

TRACK LISTING

Wrecking Ball was released as a two-LP set, a single CD, and a digital download. The CD and download versions were also available in a “Special Edition” format, which included two bonus tracks along with exclusive photos and artwork. The vinyl version included a copy of the standard CD (without the two additional tracks).

All songs written and composed by Bruce Springsteen.

Side one
1. “We Take Care of Our Own” 3:54
2. “Easy Money” 3:37
3. “Shackled and Drawn” 3:46

Side two
4. “Jack of All Trades” 6:00
5. “Death to My Hometown” 3:29
6. “This Depression” 4:08

Side three
7. “Wrecking Ball” 5:49
8. “You’ve Got It” 3:03
9. “Rocky Ground” 4:41

Side four
10. “Land of Hope and Dreams” 6:58
11. “We Are Alive” 5:36

Bonus tracks
12. “Swallowed Up (In the Belly of the Whale)” 5:28
13. “American Land” 4:25

“Shackled and Drawn” contains an excerpt of “Me and My Baby Got Our Own Thing Going”, originally recorded by Lyn Collins in 1972.
“Death to My Hometown” contains excerpts of the Sacred Harp song “The Last Words of Copernicus”, recorded by Alan Lomax at the 1959 United Sacred Harp convention in Fyffe, Alabama.
“Rocky Ground” contains excerpts of “I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord”, a traditional gospel song performed by Congregation of the Church of God in Christ and recorded by Alan Lomax in 1942.
“Land of Hope and Dreams” contains excerpts of “People Get Ready”, which was written by Curtis Mayfield and recorded by the Impressions.
“American Land” was inspired by “He Lies in the American Land” by Andrew Kovaly/Pete Seeger.

PERSONNEL

The album’s personnel include the following:

Producer Ron Aniello has stated that the musician credits listed in the liner notes are “a mess” and will be corrected in future releases. As such, several musicians go uncredited on tracks upon which they actually play/sing.

Bruce Springsteen – lead vocal, guitars, banjo, piano, organ, drums, percussion, loops
Ron Aniello – guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, loops, backing vocals, percussion and hurdy gurdy
Art Baron – euphonium, tuba on tracks 3-5, 9 & 10, sousaphone, penny whistle on track 13
Lilly Brown – backing vocals on track 10
Kevin Buell – drums and backing vocals on track 5
Matt Chamberlain – drums, percussion on tracks 3, 5 & 8
Clarence Clemons – saxophone solo on tracks 7 & 10
Solomon Cobbs – backing vocals on track 10
Clark Gayton – trombone on tracks 3, 4, 8-10
Charlie Giordano – accordian on track 12, piano, organ on tracks 3, 5, 7, 9-11 & 13, celesta on track 13
Stan Harrison – clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone on tracks 3, 4, 8-10
Steve Jordan – percussion on track 2
Rob LeBret – electric guitar on track 7, backing vocals 5, 7, 8, 12 & 13
Greg Leisz – banjo, mandolin, lap steel on tracks 8 & 11
Darrell Leonard – trumpet, bass trumpet on track 11
Dan Levine – alto horn, euphonium on tracks 3, 4, 9 & 10
Lisa Lowell – backing vocals on tracks 1-3, 6, 7, 10 & 12
Ed Manion – tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone on tracks 3, 4, 8-10
Jeremy McCoy – bass violin track 12
Cindy Mizelle – backing vocals on track 3
Michelle Moore – backing vocals on tracks 2, 9 & 10, rapping on track 9
Tom Morello – lead guitar on 4 & 6
Marc Muller – pedal steel guitar on track 8
New York Chamber Consort – appears on tracks 1, 4 & 7
Rob Mathes – orchestration
Sandy Park – string contractor
Lisa Kim – concertmaster
Myumju Lee – violin
Ann Lehmaan – violin
Lizz Lim – violin
Johanna Marher – violin
Annaliesa Place – violin
Fiona Simon – violin
Sharon Yamada – violin
Jung Sun Yu – violin
Karen Dreyfus – viola
Daniel Panner – viola
Robert Rinehart – viola
Mina Smith – cello
Alan Stepansky – cello
Clif Norrell – tuba on track 12, backing vocals on 3, 5, 7, 8, 12 & 13
Ross Petersen – backing vocals on 3, 5, 7, 8, 12 & 13
Curt Ramm – trumpet, cornet on tracks 3, 4, 7-10
Mark Romatz – contra bassoon on track 12
Antionette Savage – backing vocals on track 2
Patti Scialfa – backing vocals tracks 1-3, 6, 7, 10-12, vocal arrangement on tracks 2 & 6
Dan Shelly – bassoon on track 12
Soozie Tyrell – violin on tracks 2-7, 10-13, backing vocals on tracks 1-3, 6, 7, 10, 12 & 13
Steven Van Zandt – backing vocals and mandolin on tracks 7, 10, and 13[52]
Victorious Gospel Choir – backing vocals on tracks 9 & 10
Max Weinberg – drums on tracks 7, 11 & 13

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The album debuted at No. 1 in 16 different countries including both the US and UK charts with approximately 196,000 and 74,000 records sold, respectively. “Wrecking Ball” became Springsteen’s tenth No. 1 album in the United States, tying him with Elvis Presley for third-most No. 1 albums of all-time. Only the Beatles (19) and Jay-Z (12) have more No. 1 albums.

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