Bruce Springsteen will once again support Record Store Day, a celebration of independent record shops, on April 21st. He'll release a seven-inch vinyl version of "Rocky Ground" off his new album, Wrecking Ball, backed with a live version of "The Promise" recorded in Asbury Park, New Jersey on December 7th, 2010.
Wrecking Ball, which Springsteen is encouraging fans to buy at local record shops, is on target to sell more than 200,000 copies its first week out. But that may not be enough to top Adele's 21, which has been the nation's number-one album for 23 non-consecutive weeks. The last album to spend 24 weeks at number-one was Prince's Purple Rain in 1984 and 1985.
Springsteen played the Apollo Theatre in New York last night and next Thursday he'll be at the South-By-Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. These are the first two complete E Street Band shows since sax player Clarence Clemons died last June at the age of 69 following a massive stroke.
But Clemons will be there in spirit as Springsteen says, "Clarence doesn't leave the E Street Band when he dies. He leaves when we die." And, there will be a Clemons on stage -- Jake Clemons, Clarence's nephew, who will be part of a five-piece horn section. "Clarence mentioned Jake to me quite a few years ago...and he plays very well," says Springsteen. "He's also been around the band and understands what our band is about. We were together with Clarence the week he passed away, and there's a good musical and spiritual connection to Jake. So I'm excited about it. I think it's going to add to the new conversation about these things that we're going to have with the audience when we come out on stage."