Nearly a month after releasing his soul covers album, Only the Strong Survive, Bruce Springsteen has more music in the pipeline and confirmed a future box set of five previously-unreleased albums, which he mostly recorded in the 1990s.
The set of unheard music would follow suit of his 1998 release Tracks, which featured a collection of alternative and unreleased tracks.
“I have a box set of five unreleased albums that are basically post-1988,” said Springsteen. “People look at my work in the ’90s and they go, ‘The ’90s wasn’t a great decade for Bruce. He was kind of doing this and he wasn’t in the E Street Band…’ I actually made a lot of music during that period of time. I actually made albums. For one reason or another, the timing wasn’t right or whatever; I didn’t put them out.”
Springsteen added that he put the collection of music together while “cleaning out the vault” during a recent winter. “Some of it is older stuff that the band plays on, and some of it is newer stuff where I was conceptualizing during that period of time,” said Springsteen. “It’ll give people a chance to reassess what I was doing during that time period. Also, a lot of the stuff is really weird. I can’t wait to see the response to some of it.”
An unusual twist for any Springsteen recording, one of the unreleased albums also centers entirely on drum looping. “That’s going to be as weird as people think it’s going to be,” shared Springsteen. “But it uses all drum loops and things like that, and it uses synthesizers. I like the record myself. But the first thing we’re putting out is a series of albums. It’s going to be so interesting to see the fan response because I love them all.”
The box set will be released in the “near future,” according to Springsteen, who said he is nearly finished recording a follow-up to Only the Strong Survive.
“‘Volume 2,’ I would say, is probably three-quarters recorded,” he said. “It’s very similar. I continued working in soul music because I was just having so much fun. But I thought of doing a series of these records in a variety of different genres with songs that I love.”
He also expressed interest in doing more genre-specific albums, including one devoted to country music. “I would love to do one record of country music,” he said. “I would love to do a rock record. There’s just so many different things, and all focused around my voice, all focused around how well I’m singing. I’d really like to use this time when I’m not writing to really focus on my vocals.”
In 2023, Springsteen is set to hit the road with the E Street Band. The U.S. leg of the tour will kick off on February 1 in Tampa, Florida, and wrap up on April 14 in Newark, New Jersey before the band head to Europe for the next series of dates, running April 28 through July 25.
Photo: Courtesy of Shore Fire Media