Springsteen, band recapture 'Magic'


Bruce Springsteen is ready to rock again with the E Street Band. On Oct. 2, he will release "Magic," his first Columbia album with his longtime backing group since 2002's "The Rising." A North American arena tour is expected to follow, but dates have yet to be announced.

The 11-track "Magic" was produced by Brendan O'Brien and includes such tracks as "Gypsy Biker," "Last to Die," "Devil's Arcade" and "Long Walk Home," which is the only song to have previously been played live. Springsteen manager Jon Landau describes the project as a "high energy rock CD."

After "The Rising," which has sold 2.1 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, Springsteen went solo with 2005's "Devils and Dust" and last year rounded up a host of new musicians for his "Seeger Sessions" album and tour.

His return to the road with the E Street Band should provide a big boost to the industry's fourth quarter bottom line. Springsteen's 2003 tour with E Street was the most financially successful of his stellar touring career, selling out stadiums in both Europe and the U.S., and dozens of arenas across North America.

Springsteen's $182 million gross from 82 shows, on one of the most conservative ticket prices among all superstar acts at $75 in most markets, was second only to the Rolling Stones in 2003. The Boss' remarkable 10 sellouts at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey that summer, with a gross of $38.7 million and attendance of 566,650, remains the top Boxscore ever reported to Billboard.

Before the release of "Magic," Springsteen will unveil some new recordings with Pete Seeger on two compilation albums due next month from Appleseed Recordings. He also guests on his wife, Patti Scialfa's, new Columbia album, "Play It as It Lays," due Sept. 4.