HIGH HOPES

Album version

Monday morning runs to Sunday night
A scream slow me down before the new year dies
Well it won't take much to kill a loving smile
And every mother with a baby crying in her arms, singing
Give me help, give me strength
Give a soul a night of fearless sleep
Give me love, give me peace
Don't you know these days you pay for everything
Got high hopes
I got high hopes
Got high hopes
I got high hopes

Coming from the city, coming from the wild
I see a breathless army breaking like a cloud
They're gonna smother love, they're gonna shoot your hopes
Before the meek inherit they'll learn to hate themselves
Give me help, give me strength
Give a soul a night of fearless sleep
Give me love, give me peace
Don't you know these days you pay for everything
Got high hopes
I got high hopes
I got high hopes
I got high hopes

Give me help, give me strength
Give a soul a night of fearless sleep
Give me love, give me peace
Don't you know these days you pay for everything
Got high hopes
Got high hopes
I got high hopes
Got high hopes

Tell me someone now, what's the price
I wanna buy some time and maybe live my life
I wanna have a wife, I wanna have some kids
I wanna look in their eyes and know they'll stand a chance

Give me help, give me strength
Give a soul a night of fearless sleep
Give me love, give me peace
Don't you know these days you pay for everything
Got high hopes
Got high hopes
I got high hopes
Got high hopes

Got high hopes
I got high hopes
I got high hopes
I got high hopes


Page last updated: 19 May 2014

Intro

HIGH HOPES is a song written by Tim Scott McConnell who originally released it in 1987 (see the original Tim Scott McConnell version for more details). The song was then recorded by Scott McConnell's band The Havalinas in 1990 (see The Havalinas' version for more details). Springsteen's cover version of HIGH HOPES is based on The Havalinas' version.

HIGH HOPES is the opening track on Springsteen's 2014 album High Hopes. The song was also released as a single on 25 Nov 2013. The above lyrics are for Springsteen's studio version of HIGH HOPES as released on High Hopes.

Springsteen originally recorded HIGH HOPES in 1995 and released it the following year. See the "Studio Recording" section below for more details.

Studio Recording

The Havalinas' version of HIGH HOPES caught the ear of Bruce Springsteen who he ended up recording it in 1995. Three studio takes of HIGH HOPES from 1995 are known to exist, all recorded in January 1995 at The Hit Factory in New York City, NY:

  • A snippet that appears on the 1996 documentary Blood Brothers. See the 1995 studio snippet for more details.
  • A complete take that was released in 1996 on the Blood Brothers promo EP and in 1997 on some European issues of the Secret Garden EP. See the 1995 studio version for more details.
  • An incomplete take that was aborted early, with Springsteen requesting a cup of tea. According to Brucebase, this is an alternative, rather funky arrangement reminiscent of War's "Spill The Wine". This take is not currently in mainstream circulation.

In December of 2012, Tom Morello was driving around Los Angeles and listening to Sirius XM's E Street Radio channel and the 1995 studio version of HIGH HOPES came. "I had heard it before, but I was reminded of what a jam it was," he told Andy Greene in a January 2014 interview for Rolling Stone. "I thought that might be a fun one to play. So in the middle of the night I sat in my driveway and I texted Bruce and said, 'What do you think about 'High Hopes' for the upcoming thing?' He put that in the set. It just felt like a potential riff-rocker. It felt like it was a little in my wheelhouse of riffage, and I thought it would just be fun to rock out."

HIGH HOPES was recorded in studio in March 2013 during the Australian leg of the Wrecking Ball Tour. Along with JUST LIKE FIRE WOULD, the song was cut at Studios 301 in Byron Bay (a town 165 kilometres south of Brisbane) and Sydney in Australia, with the E Street Band and featuring Tom Morello on guitar. Morello, who was in Brisbane, recorded his part at the studio's Byron Bay complex while the rest of the band recorded together at the studio's Sydney complex. This happened in one day, though some parts may have been re-recorded later.

In a December 2013 interview for Rolling Stone, Ron Aniello told Andy Greene that he didn't even listen to the 1995 studio version of HIGH HOPES. "I think I owed it to Bruce to be fresh," he said. The recording sessions in Australia were spontaneous. The band was there and so was Brendan O'Brien's engineer Nick DiDia who had moved to Australia, "so they just decided to cut a couple songs," as Aniello explained. "I was listening in online. I wasn't part of the tracking session."

The album version of HIGH HOPES was produced by Ron Aniello with Bruce Springsteen. The performing musicians line-up on the track is:

  • Bruce Springsteen (vocal, guitar, vibraphone, percussion)
  • Roy Bittan (piano)
  • Nils Lofgren (guitar)
  • Patti Scialifa (backing vocals)
  • Garry Tallent (bass)
  • Max Weinberg (drums)
  • Tom Morello (guitar)
  • Charlie Giordano (accordion)
  • Soozie Tyrell (backing vocals)
  • Ron Aniello (drum loop)
  • Everett Bradley (percussion, backing vocals)
  • Barry Daniellian (horns)
  • Clark Gayton (horns)
  • Stan Harrison (horns)
  • Ed Manion (horns)
  • Curt Ramm (horns)
  • Curtis King (backing vocals)
  • Cindy Mizelle (backing vocals)
  • Michelle Moore (backing vocals)

Single Release

On 18 Nov 2013 it was announced on Bruce Springsteen's official website that HIGH HOPES will be released as a single on 25 Nov 2013. The single's artwork was revealed simultaneously. On 19 Nov 2013, six days prior to its official release, the song leaked on the internet. HIGH HOPES was released on 25 Nov 2013 as a digital single on Amazon.com and iTunes.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge/reduce artwork]

The single was issued on CD-R for promotional purposes in Europe.

Bruce Springsteen -- High Hopes

CD-R single - Columbia (no catalogue number) - UK, 2014

1-track promotional CD-R, comes in a clear plastic sleeve with picture inlay.

01- HIGH HOPES
Bruce Springsteen -- High Hopes

CD-R single - Sony Music (no catalogue number) - Holland, 2014

1-track promotional CD-R, comes in a slimline jewel case with picture insert.

01- HIGH HOPES

Music Video

A music video for HIGH HOPES was released on 25 Nov 2013 on both Bruce Springsteen's official website and Bruce Springsteen VEVO's YouTube channel. The video was posted to celebrate the High Hopes album's announcement. It was directed by Thom Zimny and features photos from Danny Clinch, Australian tour footage (March 2013) featuring Tom Morello shot by Chris Hilson, vintage documentary footage, and some of the song's lyrics. Springsteen also posted liner notes about the High Hopes album along with the song's video on his website.

High Hopes

High Hopes is Bruce Springsteen's eighteenth studio album. It was officially released on 14 Jan 2014 on Columbia Records. It consists of 12 tracks and clocks at 56:24. Four songs were previously released in different versions (two of which are covers), two more were previously performed live but never released, and the remaining six are new to fans (one of which is a cover). "This is music I always felt needed to be released," Springsteen wrote in the album's liner notes.

In a December 2013 interview for Rolling Stone, Springsteen told Andy Greene that he has always written and recorded significantly more songs than can fit on to whatever album he's creating at the moment. "I have a lot of this music on a computer," he said. "I bring it out on the road to amuse myself. Very often, if I have nothing to do late at night I'll bring it up and look at different bodies of music." The songs that began catching Springsteen's attention were largely recorded after he reunited with the E Street Band in 1999. "The songs were relatively current and had a similar sound picture," he said. "I was interested in putting this material together in some form because it sounded like it all fit together... You have to imagine that when I'm home or done with a tour I go into a studio and I'm surrounded by paintings that I've sorta half-finished. There might be something wrong with this one and I didn't have time to finish this one. When I go into my studio, I'm surrounded by all my music that I haven't released. I wait to see what's going to speak to me." But then they cut a few sessions in 2013 while on tour. "I said, 'Well, these sound good,'" Springsteen told Rolling Stone. "These things blend together. Suddenly, it began to feel very fresh and fit together quite well."

Work on the album started in late 2012 when Springsteen called producer Ron Aniello asking him to work on some demos that he was thinking about releasing. "I remember that Bruce called me on my birthday, so it was December 9th, 2012", Aniello told Andy Greene in a December 2013 interview for Rolling Stone. "He said to me, 'I have some songs. I want to get together.'" According to Aniello, these were old demos that Springsteen had done with Toby Scott and that had been around for a while. Springsteen told him that he wanted to get these songs in shape and see what comes out of that. Aniello was not able to sit with Springsteen to sort it all out because Springsteen was away most of the time touring with the E Street Band. "It all happened in a very unusual manner," Aniello told Rolling Stone. "There was a lot of conversations in Europe and I did some of the recording via iChat when the band was in Australia."

In a January 2014 interview for Rolling Stone, Tom Morello told Andy Greene that he wasn't aware that there was ever talk of a new studio album when they sent him a couple of songs to add guitar on. He did that in his home studio and shortly after he was recording in studio with Max Weinberg and Ron Aniello. "But these studio sessions just kept occurring without any formal notion of what we were doing," Morello recounted. "My assumption was just that 'Bruce is always recording music.' So it was fantastic that I was asked to be a part of it. I was psyched." In March 2013 Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band performed ten shows in Australia as part of the Wrecking Ball Tour. Steven Van Zandt was off filming his television series Lillyhammer and was replaced by Morello for that leg of the tour. Morello suggested to add HIGH HOPES to the live set. They worked it up during the rehearsals prior to the Australian shows and Morello then "proceeded to burn the house down with it," as Springsteen said. They then re-cut the song along with JUST LIKE FIRE WOULD at Studios 301, Australia's largest studio complex. "Tom and his guitar became my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level," Springsteen said. He told Rolling Stone's David Fricke, "We've never had a recording session during a tour in our lives. We did a couple of things that I wanted to put down. So that was very exciting. And being with Tommy was exciting. The band – Steven, Nils, all those guys – continues to be a source of inspiration for me." Morello told Rolling Stone that he didn't get the notion that this was "coalescing into what was going to be a major release" until they were in Australia.

No less than sixteen recording studios were used in the making of High Hopes: Thrill Hill Recording (Springsteen's home studio in Colts Neck, NJ), Stone Hill Studio (Springsteen's new home studio in Colts Neck, NJ), Very Loud House (in Los Angeles, CA), Renegade Studio (in New York City, NY), Veritas Studio (in Los Angeles, CA), Southern Tracks (Atlanta, GA), East West Studios (in Los Angeles, CA), NRG Studios (in Los Angeles, CA), Village Studios (in Los Angeles, CA), Studios 301 (in Byron Bay and Sydney, Australia), Record Plant (in Los Angeles, CA), Electric Lady Studios (in New York City, NY), Avatar Studios (in New York City, NY), Sear Sound (in New York City, NY), and Berkeley Street Studio (in Santa Monica, CA).

Ron Aniello revealed that at least 20 tracks were recorded for the album. Among the tracks that didn't make the album cut were COLD SPOT, HEY BLUE EYES, AMERICAN BEAUTY, and MARY MARY.

The album was produced by Bruce Springsteen, Brendan O'Brien, and Ron Aniello. It features all E Street Band members, including the late Clarence Clemons and the late Danny Federici on several songs of what Springsteen calls "some of our best unreleased material from the past decade." The album also features an ensemble of guest artists, including Tom Morello who's featured prominently on the album, appearing on eight tracks.

[Click thumbnail to enlarge/reduce artwork]

High Hopes is available in three configurations: standard CD edition, limited edition, and double-disc LP. The limited edition consists of the standard audio CD and includes a bonus live DVD of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band performing the entire Born In The USA album on 30 Jun 2013 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, England, during the Wrecking Ball Tour. The double-disc LP is pressed on 180-gram vinyl and includes a CD version of the album.

High Hopes track list:

  1. HIGH HOPES
  2. HARRY'S PLACE
  3. AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS)
  4. JUST LIKE FIRE WOULD
  5. DOWN IN THE HOLE
  6. HEAVEN'S WALL
  7. FRANKIE FELL IN LOVE
  8. THIS IS YOUR SWORD
  9. HUNTER OF INVISIBLE GAME
  10. THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD
  11. THE WALL
  12. DREAM BABY DREAM

High Hopes was officially announced on 25 Nov 2013 and the release date was set for 14 Jan 2014, but on 28 Dec 2013 it became available for purchase as individual tracks in MP3 format through Amazon.com's mobile application. Although Amazon quickly removed the files, presumably recognizing its mistake, the album had already made its way onto file-sharing websites.

The album topped the charts in 20 countries, including the United States and the UK. It was Springsteen's eleventh #1 album in the US, placing him third all-time for most #1 albums only behind The Beatles and Jay-Z. It was his tenth #1 in the UK, putting him joint fifth all-time and level with The Rolling Stones and U2.

[Click here to display/hide list of countries in which the album charted]

Other Official Releases

Other versions of HIGH HOPES were also officially released:


The 1995 studio version of HIGH HOPES was officially released on the Blood Brothers EP in 1996.

The 1995 studio snippet of HIGH HOPES appears on the documentary Blood Brothers in 1996.

Live History

HIGH HOPES was performed 6 times during the 133-date-long Wrecking Ball Tour, all during the 10-date Australian leg in March 2013. See the live 16 Mar 2013 version.

[Click here to display/hide detailed Wrecking Ball Tour performances list]

HIGH HOPES was performed off-tour on 14 Jan 2014 at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City, NY, during a TV appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to promote the release of the High Hopes album. The song was played in its album arrangement, with the E Street Band and Tom Morello. See the See the live 14 Jan 2013 version for more details.

[Click here to display/hide detailed 2014 off-tour performances list]

In preparation for the High Hopes Tour, HIGH HOPES is known to have been practiced during at least one of the private rehearsals that took place in Januray 2014 in Cape Town prior to the tour's first leg.

[Click here to display/hide detailed High Hopes Tour rehearsals performances list]

HIGH HOPES was performed 34 times during the 34-date-long High Hopes Tour. The song was played in its album arrangement.

[Click here to display/hide detailed High Hopes Tour performances list]

Available Versions

List of available versions of HIGH HOPES on this website:

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