Bruce Springsteen Bruce Springsteen: Songs

ISBN 13: 9780380796113

Bruce Springsteen: Songs

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( 291 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780380796113: Bruce Springsteen: Songs

Revised to include an original autobiographical introduction by Bruce Springsteen and a new chapter featuring all of the lyrics to his most recent Grammy Award-winning release, The Rising, as well as 32 pages, of never-before-seen photographs.

This is the complete collection of Bruce Springsteen's recorded lyrics, illustrated with hundreds of never-before-published images from some of rock & roll journalism's greatest photographers, including Annie Leibovitz, David Gahr, Lynn Goldsmith, Bruce Weber, and many others. From Jim Marchese's informal backstage shots during the European leg of the 1980 The River tour to Neal Preston's amazing documentation of the Born in the U.S.A. days to Pam Springsteen's portraits showing a side of the musician rarely seen by the public, this is the most intimate look at Bruce Springsteen ever published. The photos and lyrics are accompanied by original commentary by Springsteen, in which he reflects on the songs, the performances, and the quarter-century career that for many defines the American dream.

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Review:

Songs is aptly titled, for while Bruce Springsteen contributes text to this 300-page book, the writing centers on his songs, tangentially sketching his life story. The lyrics to well over 100 songs are presented, dating from the first track on his 1973 debut, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (that would be "Blinded by the Light") through the last selection on 1995's The Ghost of Tom Joad ("My Best Was Never Good Enough"). The lyrics are broken up by photos (a ponytailed youth practices his guitar on a bed in his parents' apartment, the Boss buys a burger, Springsteen mugs while on a desert motorcycle outing). Original lyric sheets provide some insight into the Jersey boy's creative methodology. Most interesting, however, are the chapters Springsteen penned for the book. Broken down by album, they provide abbreviated accounts of his creative development, and some of the writing is quite telling. (Of his commercial smash Born in the U.S.A., he professes ambivalence: "It forced me to question the way I presented my music and made me think harder about what I was doing.") Passionate fans of the man will find this heavy-duty songbook, journal, and photo album rewarding, and it certainly whets the appetite for a more thorough memoir. --Steven Stolder

About the Author:

“The Boss” hit the music industry with the release of his first album Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J., in 1973. The Wild, the Innocent, and The E Street Shuffle quickly followed this release. The albums received critical claim with comparisons to Bob Dylan, but did not sell well with the fans. Bruce Springsteen’s career had begun.

Springsteen was born in Freehold, New Jersey, on September 23, 1949. He grew up in a “normal middle class family” and first started playing around with the guitar in High School. After graduating from High School he moved to New York to try and break into the Folk Music scene. After getting nowhere on this front he returned to, be it reluctantly, to Asbury Park, N.J. and hooked up with a number of bands. With brief stints with such bands as Rogues and Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, Springsteen found himself a place with the E-Street Band, and with them he remained until 1989. Though, this wouldn’t be the last time they would play together.

The 1973 albums marked the beginning of Springsteen’s career and since then, “The Boss” has sold tens of millions of albums and won over legions of loyal fans worldwide in his 30 plus years as a “rock and roll legend”. His break came after a tour with the band Chicago. Springsteen captivated the audiences in these live shows, and seeing an opportunity, the singer-songwriter came up with what is called his breakthrough effort Born to Run in 1974. The title song “Thunder Road”’s continuous playing on the radio brought the album to the top five. The album received an abundant of praise leading Springsteen to be dubbed the “Savior of Rock & Roll”. Magazine’s and Newspaper’s were swarming to get him to appear in their publications.

After spending some time resolving management issues, the 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town was released. Marking the first of Springsteen’s darker albums. Following this the album The River, in 1980 quickly went platinum in the United States and established Springsteen as an international star. Next was the release of his second darker album 1982’s Nebraska. This album, an artistic despairing acoustic style recording, was recorded live in his New Jersey home and wasn’t followed by a tour.

Switching gears again, “The Boss’s” most famous release Born in the U.S.A came out in 1984. This pop style arena rock album sold 20 million copies and was followed by a massive two year long world wide tour. The new working class image of Born in the U.S.A. made Springsteen an international superstar. “The Boss” was born!

1987’s Tunnel of Love was released during a time when Springsteen was facing marital problems. He began singing of lost love, emotional turmoil, and other adult concerns. He set off after this for one more tour with the E-Street Band and then in 1989 they parted ways. Three years later he released two albums Human Touch and Lucky Town. The first, Human Touch, was more radio orientated while Lucky Town, the latter, is seen as a step forward for the Springsteen. He did a stint on MTV’s Unplugged program and then resumed touring in 1993.

Springsteen released the song “Streets of Philadelphia” for the movie “Philadelphia” which won him a Grammy award and an Oscar for “Best Song”. With his career in full-comeback, he released a “Greatest Hits” album which seen him re-unit with the E-Street Band for some new tracks. Next came 1995’s The Ghost of Tom Joad which was a return for Springsteen to the folk music style of his early career. This was followed by a release from Columbia records of a box set including 56 previously unreleased tracks and 10 B-sides called Tracks, in 1998.

After 30 years he is still going strong, “The Boss” is currently touring internationally and we can only wait and see what will be next.

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