Working on a Dream is the 16th studio album by Bruce Springsteen, released on January 27, 2009 through Columbia Records. It has sold more than 3 million copies worldwide, with over 585,000 in the United States as of September 2010.
The album was officially announced, along with a track listing, on November 17, 2008. The album first began selling in Germany and Ireland, on January 23.
The album came out of songwriting and recording that Springsteen continued with towards the close of his previous work, 2007's Magic, as the band worked on a video for one of that album's songs. "What Love Can Do" was written, in Springsteen's words, as a "love in the time of Bush" meditation, but felt like the start of something new rather than a candidate for Magic. Encouraged by his 2000s producer Brendan O'Brien, Springsteen decided to start work on a new album and wrote "This Life," "My Lucky Day," "Life Itself," "Good Eye," and "Tomorrow Never Knows" during the next week. They were then recorded with the E Street Band members during breaks on their 2007–2008 Magic Tour, with most being finished in just a few takes. This all reflected a faster pace of producing new music than Springsteen had been known for in the past; Springsteen said, "I hope Working on a Dream has caught the energy of the band fresh off the road from some of the most exciting shows we've ever done." As with Magic, most of the tracks were first recorded with a core rhythm section band comprising Springsteen, drummer Max Weinberg, bassist Garry Tallent, and pianist Roy Bittan; other members' contributions were then added subsequently.
The album is the last to feature new work of founding E Street Band member Danny Federici, who died in April 2008. Federici's son Jason also plays on the album.
Title number "Working on a Dream" was first performed during Springsteen's November 2, 2008 appearance in Cleveland for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign (accompanied by Patti Scialfa), and then a chopped-up airing of the recorded version first appeared during the November 16 NBC Sunday Night Football broadcast at halftime. The intact "Working on a Dream" began airing on radio stations and their websites on November 21; it was made available for free download via iTunes and the Sony BMG website on November 24. The track entered the UK Singles Chart at position 195 the following week. A music video appeared on some foreign sites showing the recording of the song. "My Lucky Day" was made available in the United States on amazon.com on December 1, accompanied by a longer music video that showed Springsteen and the band arranging and recording the song. "Life Itself" was released as a free download from amazon.com on December 28, with a music video that featured studio footage interspersed with vague scene snippets that may illuminate the moody song.
On January 12, 2009, the album leaked onto the internet. On January 19, NPR.org scheduled a streaming of it free for a week, in advance of the actual release. Sony BMG's Irish website also began streaming it. An extensive and carefully planned promotional push for Springsteen and the album was put together, incorporating appearances at the Golden Globe Awards, the Barack Obama presidential inauguration, a new greatest hits album, the half-time show of Super Bowl XLIII and an anticipated appearance at the 81st Academy Awards. The last of these went awry when, in what Rolling Stone termed "shocking news," "The Wrestler" was snubbed by the Academy and failed to gain a nomination. Nevertheless, all the activity led Springsteen to say, "This has probably been the busiest month of my life."
An abbreviated version of "Working on a Dream" was included in Springsteen's February 1 performance during the Super Bowl. VH1 Classic aired the documentary Bruce Springsteen: The Making Of 'Working On A Dream' in early February 2009. The Working on a Dream Tour began on April 1, 2009, in the wake of the album's release.
Track ListingEditAll songs written and composed by Bruce Springsteen.
|2.||"My Lucky Day"||4:01|
|3.||"Working on a Dream"||3:30|
|4.||"Queen of the Supermarket"||4:40|
|5.||"What Love Can Do"||2:57|
|8.||"Tomorrow Never Knows"||2:14|
|10.||"Kingdom Of Days"||4:02|
|12.||"The Last Carnival"||3:11|
|13.||"The Wrestler" (Bonus track)||3:50|
Deluxe Edition Edit
A deluxe edition was released with the album on CD as well as a DVD featuring
- The Sessions DVD
A 38 minute documentary showing recording footage of the album. Features the songs: "My Lucky Day", "Queen of the Supermarket", "Kingdom of Days", "Working on a Dream", "Life Itself", and "The Last Carnival".
2. "A Night With the Jersey Devil" music video