American Beauty is a four song EP by Bruce Springsteen that was released on limited edition (7,500 copies) 12-inch vinyl exclusively for Record Store Day on April 19, 2014. A digital download version was also released on April 22, 2014. The four songs that appeared on the EP are outtakes from Springsteen's 2014 album High Hopes. Springsteen said of the four songs, "they're just good music that didn't get onto this record, and was sitting there. I thought it's a nice time to support the record stores, which are dwindling and get some new music out at the same time."
On April 22, 2014, Springsteen released a music video for the song "American Beauty" which was shot prior to his show on April 19, 2014 in Charlotte, NC.
Springsteen had around 20 songs recorded during the High Hopes sessions that failed to make the final cut. Springsteen decided to go back with producer Ron Aniello and work on the music so they could give it a proper release. The EP's title track, "American Beauty", is a song leftover from the demo tracks Springsteen didn't end up recording with producer Brendan O'Brien. Springsteen describes the song "Exile meets E Street" and a song where he sings in a range he often doesn't visit. "Hurry Up Sundown", "a fun piece of modern power pop" according to Springsteen, was another demo track originally recorded with O'Brien. It was the closest of the four songs to making the High Hopes album. "Mary Mary" and "Hey Blue Eyes" were recorded during the Magic and Working on a Dream sessions, respectively. Springsteen said of "Mary Mary" that the song is "a lovely mystery, a small piece of heartbreak poetry that sneaks up on you with its slippery grove, punctuated string section and spectral lyrics". "Hey Blue Eyes" is one of Springsteen's darkest political songs. "Written during the Bush years, it’s a metaphor for the house of horrors our government’s actions created in the years following the invasion of Iraq. At its center is the repressed sexuality and abuse of power that characterized Abu Ghraib prison. I feel this is a shadow we as a country have yet to emerge from." Springsteen said.Tom Morello, who is featured prominently on High Hopes and its supporting tour with Springsteen, plans on covering "Hey Blue Eyes" for an upcoming project.