In this archival interview, Terry Gross speaks with singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen about his inspirations, writing style and thoughts about his earlier work. The interview was recorded backstage at the Wachovia Spectrum in Philadelphia in 2005, just before a solo performance.
Over the course of his career, Springsteen has won 18 Grammy Awards and an Academy Award for the song "Streets of Philadelphia." His most recent album is Working on A Dream.
Bruce Springsteen's return to pop production (and the E Street Band) on his 2007 album Magic left him wanting more. Although he hadn't pushed himself to complete back-to-back albums in more than 30 years, The legendary singer's longtime producer, Brendan O'Brien, urged Springsteen to keep recording.
"I thought, 'No, I haven't done that since my first two records came out in the same year,' " Springsteen says. "Usually, I don't write that quickly. But I went back to my hotel in Atlanta, and over the next week, I wrote several songs that formed the beginning of the new album (Working on a Dream). I found there was more than enough fuel for the fire to keep going."
Working on a Dream, streaming now on NPR Music — a week before its official release date — is Springsteen's 24th album. It was recorded with the E Street Band during breaks from the group's 2007 tour.
"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," Springsteen says. "All the songs were written quickly. We usually used one of our first few takes, and we all had a blast making this one from beginning to end."
Working on a Dream contains 12 new Springsteen songs and one bonus track, "The Wrestler," which is featured over the closing credits of Darren Aronofsky's 2008 film of the same name. The track also won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.