Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band have announced a 17-date European tour set for next spring and summer. The trek, which kicks off on May 26th in Munich, Germany, will take in additional stops in Germany as well as hitting Italy, the UK, Netherlands, France, and Belgium, before wrapping a three-city stop in Ireland on July 20th in Belfast. More dates are expected to be announced and "Boss" fans are already whispering about a summer 2013 U.S. stadium swing -- although it's far too early for an official word on that.

Wrecking Ball is Springsteen's sixth studio album in a decade -- fast work when you consider that this is only the 17th studio album in his 39-year recording career: ["At this point in my life, it's not a tortuous process anymore, y'know? The songs have come pretty easy for quite a few years now -- so do making the records. We make the records in a month. (In) my little demo studio first and that takes a couple of hours, y'know, a song. When I was young I thought I had to give my life completely over to it or I wasn't gonna be able to get anything good out. Now (I realize) it was sort of an excuse (laughs) 'cause I didn't know what else to do with myself. But now I realize it takes the right amount of time. In other words, you have to work at it until it's right -- but you don't have to work at it any longer than that."] SOUNDCUE (:32 OC: . . . longer than that)