Since then, Springsteen has released three albums of new material – 1992’s Lucky Town and Human Touch, as well as the solo-acoustic Ghost Of Tom Joad, released in 1995.

Springsteen says he wrote all but two of the 15 new songs after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“The songs I wrote sort of occur in that context,” said Springsteen in an interview with Associated Press. “It’s more of an emotional feeling that I felt – and that I felt was in the air at that time.

The track list for the new album includes “My City Of Ruins,” which Springsteen performed on the national telethon for September 11 victims. Other songs include “Into The Fire,” “You’re Missing,” Empty Sky” and “The Fuse.”

Now that the album release date is official, fans are already speculating about a tour. While rumors of a 2002 Springsteen / E Street Band tour have been circulating for quite some time, there are now indications that promoters may have some fall dates on hold.

Springsteen described the most recent sessions as being somewhat similar to 1975’s Born To Run studio time, saying that the band played live in the studio for the basic tracks and that other parts were added later.

The 52-year-old singer also had some high praise for the band that he “fired” in 1989. “It’s a very powerful sound, just the intensity I wanted to capture doing anything with the band again,” said Springsteen. “The guys are playing better than they did 15 years ago. There’s a confidence.”