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The Springsteen / Dylan Face-Off Begins Today
One sings about honor, the working man, and redemption, the other one sings about redemption, the working man, and honor. They both can claim to be among the most popular singer-songwriters in the world, but who is going to sell more copies of his new album in its first week? That's what everybody wants to know.

On Thursday (Sept. 27), sources confirmed that Bob Dylan's retrospective "Dylan" LP has now shifted from October 9 to October 2. You might remember that, not too long ago, Columbia pushed Bruce Springsteen's album "Magic" back one week from September 25 to September October 2. Let the games begin.

After two months of hype, blogging and bantering, classic rock fans go to stores today to decide the winner in the showdown between Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen's "Magic" and Bob Dylan's retrospective, "Dylan".

One thing is for sure: It's going to be fun watching and listening to the two jockeying for position. Both are notorious for making controversial remarks to generate interest with the fans and media alike.

On Thursday night, Dylan told Funkmaster Flex on Hot 97 that he would embrace the competition.

"I hope they see and understand what's getting ready to happen," he said. "I'm coming October 2. If Bruce comes that day, he comes that day. That'll be great. I think his people are smart, I think he's smart too ... I think they'll move [their release date]. But I'm coming October 2."

Dylan has a history of throwing jabs at Springsteen. In various interviews, he has questioned Springsteen's sexual orientation and described the singer-songwriter's music as non-threatening.

"They like Bruce Springsteen because he's a safe nigga," Dylan said in a 2006 interview with Hot 97.

Springsteen said last week, "I'm King Kong. Dylan is human. Humans run when they see King Kong, because they're scared."

Springsteen is betting his entire future that he'll beat Dylan on Oct. 2 - the day both artists drop hotly anticipated albums.

"Let's raise the stakes," said the New Jersey-raised singer-songwriter. "If Bob Dylan sells more records than The Boss on October 2, I'll no longer [perform] music solo. I'll write music and put out records as "Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band", but I won't put out any more solo albums."

An adamant Dylan insists it's no contest. "If I put out a record that nobody had heard, with no single, and there aren't any on this one it's just a bunch of repackaged old songs I'd still sell more records than Bruce Springsteen," he told USA TODAY.

"It's great for classic rock," says Alison Samuels, music writer at Newsweek. "If you're in the store and you buy Bob's album, you might as well buy Bruce's album because they'll be right next to each other."

Says Dean Budnick, senior editor at Relix Magazine: "This is classic rock politics at its best. Even if the showdown is a little contrived, both artists are in on it. They recognize it's a great moment for classic rock."

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