Bruce Springsteen's first album with the E Street Band since 1984 hits the shops today.

'The Rising' was written by the 52-year-old singer in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York.

The Boss began composing songs about the atrocity just days after watching the Twin Towers collapse from a bridge close to his New Jersey home.

Springsteen said he was aware that people might accuse him of exploiting the tragedy, but said he hoped people would listen to the songs because over the years he had been serious and honest as an artist.

He said he had noticed from reading obituaries how many of his songs, including 'Thunder Road' and 'Born In The USA', were played at memorial services for the victims.