What may have been an errant finger hitting the send instead of the save key saw the new Bruce Springsteen album temporarily leak on Amazon. The album, High Hopes, is not due for release until January 17 but individual MP3 files of all tracks were briefly available via Amazon's mobile website on Saturday.
Amazon quickly withdrew the tracks but not before they had been acquired by some, leading to versions of the album now being offered for download internationally.
It's an embarrassment for Amazon and supremely irritating for the normally tightly-controlled Springsteen organisation, but not surprisingly it's been a point of excitement for the highly active Springsteen fan base online.
Early comments from fans have been pretty positive for the album, which mixes unreleased recordings of both originals and covers from the past decade with material which had become live favourites during the 2012 and 2013 Wrecking Ball tour.
The newest songs include two recorded in Australia in March when stand-in guitarist Tom Morello (filling in for long-time Springsteen consigliere Steve Van Zandt) was a controversial but well received new member of the E Street Band. One of those new songs is a cover of Just Like Fire Would by original Australian punks, the Saints, recorded in Sydney at the same sessions for the album's title track.
Another legacy of the Australian tour reflected in the new album was Morello's duet with Springsteen on The Ghost Of Tom Joad, which had been a stark solo performance originally but now has become a guitar-heavy, powerful exploration.
While the fans are praising, some of the first critical appraisals have been more mixed with London's Telegraph singling out The Ghost Of Tom Joad as "succumbing to a showboating, effects laden Morello solo which sounds ludicrous out of the live context" while praising the "ghostly, folky ambience" of Down In The Hole.
- Sydney Morning Herald