Happy Birthday to Bruce Springsteen, who turned 71 today. The Boss is featured on the cover of the latest Rolling Stone issue, and he took part in an in-depth interview with the magazine in which he discusses his upcoming studio album, Letter to You, and other planned musical projects.

Springsteen recorded Letter to You, due out October 20, with his E Street Band over the course of just five days.

“It’s the only album where it’s the entire band playing at one time, with all the vocals and everything completely live,” says Springsteen, who added guitar overdubs to just a few tracks.

Bruce tells Rolling Stone that Letter to You marked the end of a long period where he felt unable to write specifically for the E Street Band. Springsteen says the change was sparked by the 2018 death of George Thiess, the last other surviving member of his 1960s band The Castiles. The Boss’ reflections on mortality spurred him to write many of the new record’s tunes, including “Last Man Standing.”

The respective deaths of E Street Band members Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons, in 2008 and 2011, also partly inspired the new tunes “Ghosts,” “One Minute You’re Here” and “I’ll See You in My Dreams.”

Letter from You also features new versions of three unreleased Springsteen songs that date back to the early 1970s. He says he decided to record them with the band now because it allowed him “go back and sing in your adult voice but with ideas of your youth.”

A documentary about the making of Letter to You, directed by frequent Springsteen collaborator Thom Zimny, will be released in conjunction with the album.

Meanwhile, Springsteen reveals that he has another album in the can, and he’s preparing a second Tracks rarities box set.

By Matt Friedlander
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