A New Springsteen Album Is Exciting, But What About the Super Bowl?

This week’s issue of Rolling Stone has a piece detailing the making of Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming album, Working on a Dream, due out Jan. 27 on Columbia Records. Today, the magazine’s Rock & Roll Daily blog wonders what Mr. Springsteen’s performance during this year’s Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 1, which might very well be the most widely-viewed performance of The Boss’ career, will do for album sales. According to the blog: “Last year, 148.3 million Americans watched Superbowl XLII, more than the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony and the Academy Awards combined … In the week after last year’s Tom Petty performance, “Free Fallin’” sold 63,000 digital copies — and his tour, which kicked off that spring, went on to become one of the year’s biggest. In 2006, sales of the Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang album shot up 34 percent the week after the Bowl.” 

But the better question is, What will he play? You might recall that in 2006, the Rolling Stones treated fans to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Start Me Up.” In 2007, Prince did a medley of hits, including some covers and three songs from Purple Rain. And last year, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers followed suit with some of their most beloved tunes, which in addition to “Free Fallin” included “American Girl” and “I Won’t Back Down.”  So if recent halftime history is any indication, we should expect to hear “Born to Run,” “Dancing in the Dark,” maybe (we hope!) “Thunder Road” and—we would be utterly SHOCKED if he didn’t play this next one—”Born in the USA.” It doesn’t get much more American than that! But then again, who knows. As a source in camp Springsteen told Rock & Roll Daily: “The goal of the Super Bowl thing is to see how much fun he can get into those 12 minutes.”