Spring is for Springsteen with two albums promised


Bruce Springsteen is expecting in April, and it's going to be twins.

Twin albums, that is.

After months of rumor and speculation, it was announced yesterday that two new Springsteen albums -- "Human Touch" and "Lucky Town" -- will be released simultaneously this spring. Although an exact delivery date could not be confirmed, the albums are expected to arrive in record stores in early April, according to a statement issued by Springsteen's publicist and Columbia Records.

"I'm excited about being finished," Springsteen is quoted as saying in the statement, but he's probably no where near as excited as his fans. After all, it has been more than four years since his last album, "Tunnel of Love," was released, and though Springsteen has never been known as a particularly fast worker in the studio, he has never gone so long between albums.

Whether these albums will prove worth the wait remains to be seen, of course, and there are certain to be fans who will grouse about his following Guns N' Roses' lead in releasing two albums at once. But with 14 songs slated for "Human Touch" and another 10 scheduled for "Lucky Town," he certainly doesn't seem to be stinting in his output.

In addition to being his first albums since 1987, these will also be his first recordings since dismissing the E St. Band, which had backed him onstage and in the studio since the early '70s. It won't be a complete break with the past, as E St. pianist Roy Bittan not only appears on both albums but shares production credit with Springsteen, Jon Landau and Chuck Plotkin on "Human Touch" (as well as parts of "Lucky Town"). David Sancious, who preceded Bittan in the E St. Band, also makes a cameo on "Human Touch."

But apart from Bittan, "Human Touch" finds Springsteen working with one-time Journey bassist Randy Jackson and ex-Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro, as well as singers Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave fame) and Patti Scialfa (aka Mrs. Springsteen). Bittan and Jackson also play on "Lucky Town," but there the drummer is Gary Mallaber.

Naturally, there's no word yet on what these albums will sound like, but rumors indicate that Springsteen's songwriting has been much more personal of late -- whatever that might mean.

The statement adds that Springsteen is "looking forward to getting out on the road." But no word on where or when a tour might start.

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