Born To Leak

Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming album, Magic, won’t be released until October 2nd, but the entire song-set, plus a bonus track, appeared on the Internet on Friday, September 7th.

Usually, those responsible for leaking such a high-profile upcoming album on the Net almost a full month before its release would be tracked down, beaten, killed, buried and then dug up and beaten again.

But the album was still available on one particular Web site six days after the tracks first appeared on the Net, leading to speculation that the leak might have been intentional, and that the files either came from the label itself or someone in the Springsteen camp.

The reason for this thinking is that the album’s release date is the first date of the tour. Since Springsteen’s fans are a rather vocal bunch, it’s hard to imagine them going to a concert by their hero without already knowing the words and melodies to all the new songs.

Whether the leak will impact sales is anyone’s guess. If sales are less than expected, Sony BMG could claim the leak was responsible. But if CD sales go through the roof, Springsteen’s people can take credit for a brilliant viral marketing maneuver.

Most online discussions about the download included messages from fans saying that even though they downloaded the album, they would still buy the CD.

"I’m gonna hold out & not download the full CD. Call me old-fashioned or whatever but I’d rather wait for the official release," wrote one fan on the newsgroup, adding, "However . . . I wouldn’t mind treating myself to maybe another couple of tracks. Anyone know of a link where I could get any MP3 versions?"