High Hopes is Bruce Springsteen’s 18th Studio album. Clocking in at 56 minutes and 31 seconds its hard to believe that the boss man has being recording and touring for the best part of 40 years now. High Hopes is also the number 1 album in Ireland this week.
High Hopes is not essentially a new album of sorts, some tracks consist of covers. A lot of the material was originally written and recorded in the 90’s. Take for example the title track from the album. High Hopes was a song by the artist Tim Scott Mconnell recorded by the boss himself in 1995. The song was re-cut in Sydney last year along with Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morrello. ”
Although the album does consist of a few covers including the track “Just Like Fire Would” from the Austrailan group The Saints and Suicides “Dream Baby Dream” there is also a good few tracks from Springsteens live session through out the last 15 years including Land of Hope and Dreams and a brilliant re-imagining of the Ghost of Tom Joad with Tom Morello on vocals and guitar.
Also lets not forget American Skin (41 Shots.) I got to see Springsteen perform this track in Limerick and Kilkenny last year for the first ever and it really sent a shiver down my spine so it is great to see the track finally make a Springsteen record.
Track 11 The Wall is something Springsteen himself had played on stage a few times and remains very close to the artist’s heart. According to Springsteen the song apperaed after his wife Patti visited Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. It was inspired by his memories of Walter Cichon. Walter was one of Springsteen’s great early Jersey shore rockers,who along with his bother Ray led a band called the Motifs. The Motifs were a local rock band who were always ahead above everyone else. Raw,sexy, and rebellious. they were the heroes you aspired to be according to the boss. But these were heroes you could touch and you could speak to and go to with your musical inquiries. Cool but always accessbile. So this is where the inspiration came for The Wall.
Personally for me as a long time Springsteen fanatic i love the record. I really like the fact that he has actually taken the time to put some of these songs on record for the first time. He has being playing at least 3 of the tracks in his set for over 15 years now on every occasion and it is nice to finally hear them on record. High Hopes wont break any new boundaries but it is up there with some of Springsteen’s finest work of the past decade.
There are several rumours as to what will be the next move for Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street band but first the boss and the E-Street band head back to Australia with Tom Morello (as Steven Van Zant has further filming commitments on the hit show LilyHammer), where they will play a string of dates in Sydney and New Zealand.
Also Jon Landau and Bruce have being working on a new edition of The River album which is due for release in the next 12 months are so and not just that there is a strong possibility that Bruce will head back into the studio to record that long awaited country album that he has always wanted to put out.
All in all Springsteen’s 18th album is a great listen if you are a hardcore fan like myself. For others though i am not sure if he will add any new fans to the cannon but with Tom Morello on fine form and great list of songs to choose from you may never know!
All Hail the Boss!