On This Day, October 23, 2020: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band release ‘Letter to You’

Bruce Springsteen released his 12th studio album, Letter to You, his first with The E Street Band since 2014.  

Inspired by the death of a former bandmate, it’s a meditation on regret, aging and death. It debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, making Springsteen the first act to have at least one new, top-five charting album in each of the last six decades. It was also his 21st top-five album. 

Letter to You was recorded over five days at Springsteen’s home studio in New Jersey, with three of the tracks, “If I Was a Priest,” “Janey Needs a Shooter” and “Song for Orphans,” originally written for Springsteen’s 1973 debut, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.

Due to the pandemic, Springsteen was unable to tour on the record. He finally launched a new tour in February, 2023, with several Letter to You songs played during the set. Springsteen was forced to postpone the remainder of the tour to 2024 in order to deal with peptic ulcer disease.

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