On October 2nd Bruce Springsteen will release Magic, his first album with the E Street Band since 2002’s The Rising. “We’ve been together since 1974 and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him more excited than he is right now about this record,” says Jon Landau, Springsteen’s manager.
The album was cut over two months at Southern Tracks studios in Atlanta with producer Brendan O’Brien, who previously worked with Springsteen on 2005’s Devils & Dust and The Rising.
The E Street Band mostly flew down on weekends to record, while Springsteen and O’Brien spent weekdays cutting vocals and recording overdubs. “This album is E Street Band heavy,” Landau says. “Clarence [Clemons] has some great moments on it. You could say that it’s a little more sonically guitar-driven than any past Bruce album. There are a few sort of pop, romantic touches that haven’t shown up recently, but were very prominent on the very early records.”
The lead single will be “Radio Nowhere,” a track Landau says “has a real anthemic quality to it. If it doesn’t get you out of your seat, I don’t know what will.” Landau is particularly excited about “The Long Walk Home,” which was performed live (click here to listen to an audience recording) on one occasion on the Seeger Sessions tour late last year. “It’s sort of the summational song of the album,” Landau says. “I think it’s one of Bruce’s great masterpieces.” Another track, “Girls in Their Summer Clothes,” Landau says has a “little bit of a Pet Sounds-type feeling mixed in with the sound of the E Street Band.” The final track, “Devil’s Arcade,” is described as one of the only songs on the album that delves into politics. “He gets some images across that are very powerful and will certainly give you a feeling of where he’s coming from, but on balance [politics] is not the primary intention of this record.”
A world tour with the E Street Band is reportedly going to kick off in early October, but Landau remains tight-lipped on the details. “As we speak, the tour has not been fully decided,” he says. Springsteen is also planning to promote the album on television, including late-night talk shows.
“What do you think about us doing American Idol?” Landau asks. “Come on, I’m kidding!”
1. “Radio Nowhere”
2. “You’ll Be Comin’ Down”
3. “Livin’ in the Future”
4. “Your Own Worst Enemy”
5. “Gypsy Biker”
6. “Girls in Their Summer Clothes”
7. “I’ll Work for Your Love”
9. “Last to Die”
10. “Long Walk Home”
11. “Devil’s Arcade”
For more on Springsteen’s Magic, read Rolling Stone’s exclusive interview with producer Brendan O’Brien here.