The Boss presents a beautiful curiosity piece

Published Thu, Jan 9, 2014 · 10:00 PM
Share this article.

FOR many Bruce Springsteen fans, the 2000s were a wilderness.

It was Springsteen's most prolific period - five albums in seven years, and that's not counting a raft of compilations and live releases. It also featured some of his least-memorable work, along with a seemingly unending march of the almost-great (the 9-11 elegy The Rising, parts of 2007's Magic), niche releases (We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions) and the inexplicably mediocre (Working on a Dream).

High Hopes, Springsteen's 18th studio album, is billed as a collection of newly finished versions of cover songs, live favourites that had not been recorded, redone versions of released tracks and songs that simply didn't fit anywhere else. Many of them were intended for, then left off, the spottiest '00s releases. This was worrisome: How bad did a song have to be to have been rejected for Working on a Dream when Queen of the Supermarket made it on?

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to



Get the latest coverage and full access to all BT premium content.


Browse corporate subscription here