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Bruce Springsteen's new album 'High Hopes' released on Amazon by surprise

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Dec 28, 2013 07:45 PM EST

Bruce Springsteen: Unlikely to bring an NCAA Championship back to Jersey. (Photo : Reuters)

It looks like Beyoncé's surprise album release stunt has already started to inspire other big names in the music industry to surprise their fans. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band released its High Hopes LP suddenly Saturday on Amazon.com, despite the previously announced release date of January 14. 

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The only format the album is available on at the moment is as an mp3 download. It's safe to assume that physical copies of the album won't be available until the original release date, but that's really in the hands of whoever orchestrated this drop. 

Which isn't exactly cut-and-dry. Although The Boss didn't tweet anything about the sudden release, it can be assumed that he had to have a role in the early release, but whether Amazon itself had an equal role is unknown. It's possible that Springsteen's people could have put the album up for sale as an individual retailer underneath the Amazon umbrella, versus affiliating the sales with the website itself. However it's well known that Amazon wasn't pleased with how Beyoncé gave her album to iTunes as a weeklong exclusive (resulting in Beyoncé not being carried at all by the site), so it seems reasonable that it would be more than eager to come forth with its own exclusive from a well-established performer. 

High Hopes is Springsteen's 18th studio album-the first since 2012's Wrecking Ball-a collection of outtakes and rewordings of previous releases. The album is the second since the death of Springsteen's longtime saxophonist Clarence Clemons, but the record will feature appearances from the performer gathered from old tapes. Clemons' nephew Jake Clemons will handle the rest of the saxophone parts on the new album. A completely new addition to the group will be guitarist Tom Morello, better known for his work with Rage Against The Machine. Morello has been touring with Springsteen throughout the last year, and will appear on eight of High Hopes' tracks, including a new version of "The Ghost of Tom Joad," which Morello and Rage had covered during 1997. 

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