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Springsteen, Bruce

Bruce Springsteen

Considered by many to be one of the most important musicians to emerge from the 1970s, rock icon Bruce Springsteen (born 1949) tells stories about everyday people in his songs. Whether talking about Vietnam veterans in "Born in the U.S.A.," or reflecting on the aftermath of September 11 in "The Rising," Springsteen makes his characters come alive and touches people.

In his long, successful career, Bruce Springsteen has balanced many roles, including rock star, folk singer, song-writer, cultural icon, and social activist, as well as family man. An award-winning singer and songwriter and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Springsteen is well respected by peers and critics and has always connected with his fans. Writing the introduction for Bruce Springsteen-The Rolling Stone Files, Parke Puterbaugh reflected, "Springsteen directly addressed and shaped the dreams of an anxious generation feeling its way through turbulent, uncertain but hopeful times." The RollingStone.com website noted that "he is, simply put, the last, true voice of rock and roll."

Jersey Boy

Bruce Frederick Springsteen was born on September 23, 1949 in Freehold, New Jersey. He was the first child and only son of Adele and Douglas Springsteen. Two girls, Ginny and Pam, would follow. Although the Springsteen family name was Dutch, his father was Irish and his mother was Italian.

In his book It Ain't No Sin to be Glad You're Alive-The Promise of Bruce Springsteen, Eric Alterman noted that Bruce's mother was a legal secretary whom he has fondly described as "just like Superwoman." Alterman described Bruce's father as "an embittered man who struggled to find a place for himself in the local economy." Dave Marsh, writer of Bruce Springsteen-Two Hearts-The Definitive Biography, 1972-2003, added that the Springsteen family "continually struggled to make ends meet" and were "at the poorer end of the American working class."

Alterman wrote that Springsteen's childhood was somewhat "oppressive," and that "his relationship with his father involved little but discipline and rebellion." In addition, Springsteen hated school, and often endured the wrath of the nuns who were his grade school teachers. Music was an escape, and Springsteen was said to be inspired to pursue a career in music after seeing Elvis and the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. He taught himself to play the guitar. When he was 16, his mother took out a loan to buy him a guitar for Christmas.

However, both of his parents wanted him to pursue a career other than music, especially his father. This led to more conflict in the house. Springsteen has recalled during his concerts, "When I was growing up, there were two things that were unpopular in my house: one was me, the other was my guitar." But Springsteen kept practicing, never let go of his dream, and began playing in area bands on a regular basis.

New Jersey Music Scene

Springsteen joined his first rock band, the Castiles, in 1965. As noted in American Decades, "When his family moved to California in 1969, Springsteen stayed behind, living along the beaches and boardwalks of Asbury Park [New Jersey] and playing in local bands." Those bands included Steel Mill, the Rogues, Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, and the Bruce Springsteen Band. That is how he met many of the musicians who would later become his E Street Band.

Alterman reflected that it was early in his musical career when "Springsteen first became saddled with the horribly inappropriate nickname 'the Boss.' Springsteen detested the nickname. 'I hate bosses. I hate being called' "the Boss," 'he has complained."

In 1972, Springsteen's fortunes improved. At the age of 23, Springsteen signed a deal with fledgling songwriter-producer Mike Appel. This partnership helped Springsteen in the short term and jump-started his career, but the relationship would haunt him. Although Appel dedicated himself to Springsteen's career, he was considered by many to be too abrasive. However, Appel soon arranged for an audition with Columbia Records, and Springsteen impressed the executives and earned a recording contract.

"Born to Run" Phenomenon

Springsteen released Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J in 1973. Sales of the album and radio airplay were minimal. Springsteen was being touted as "the new Bob Dylan," and it has been said that radio disc jockeys were put off by that hype. However, some critics quickly recognized Springsteen's talent. When The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle was released later in 1973, more critics took notice, but disc jockeys played the second release even less.

But Springsteen was gaining a reputation as a thrilling live performer. Music critic Jon Landau wrote a review of a Springsteen's show and stated, "I saw rock 'n' roll's future and its name is Bruce Springsteen." The pair met shortly after that review was published and became friends.

Springsteen wanted Landau to produce his next album, a decision that did not sit well with Appel. However, the marketing campaign for Born to Run, which was released in 1975, soon took off and worked everyone into a frenzy over Springsteen. He ended up on the covers of both Time and Newsweek in the same week in October 1975.

The single "Born to Run" made Springsteen a star. He told Entertainment Weekly, "with that one I was shootin' for the moon." Rolling Stone wrote that Springsteen has called "Born to Run" his favorite song.

Biographer Marsh noted, "Born to Run was an instant classic. Anyone who loves rock and roll must respond to … the rough and tough music, the lyrics that sum up the brightest hopes - and some of the darkest aspects - of the rock and roll dream."

Legal Battle Delayed Music

However, Springsteen's success was short-lived. He soon found himself involved in lawsuits with Appel, his manager. As noted on RollingStone.com, "Springsteen fought to break his contract, which not only bound him to Appel, but surrendered complete control of his song catalog." Springsteen wanted to have control over his music and finances, and also wanted to work with Landau. Appel countersued, and Springsteen was kept out of the studios for two years.

During the lawsuits, Springsteen had success with other artists recording his music. As noted on the VH1 Website, Manfred Mann's Earth Band released a version of his song "Blinded By The Light" and Patti Smith recording a cover of his tune "Because The Night." The Pointer Sisters also recorded his material. Ultimately, Springsteen won his case. Landau became his manager and producer, and Springsteen was in control of his catalog and career.

In 1978, Springsteen released his next album, Darkness on the Edge of Town. In 1995, in the liner notes of Bruce Springsteen-Greatest Hits, Springsteen reflected, "this was the record, Darkness on the Edge of Town, where I figured out what I wanted to write about, the people that mattered to me, and who I wanted to be. I saw friends and family struggling to lead decent, productive lives and I felt an everyday heroism in this."

The release The River followed in 1980 and produced his first top ten hit "Hungry Heart." However, in the St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, it was the title song from The River that Springsteen described "as a breakthrough in his writing." The all-acoustic Nebraska followed in 1982.

Springsteen worked on songs for Nebraska and Born in the U.S.A. at the same time. Ultimately, he decided to put his focus on Nebraska and completed and released that album first. Frank Stefanko, author and photographer of the book Days of Hopes and Dreams-An Intimate Portrait of Bruce Springsteen, noted, "Springsteen has an unbelievable work ethic. He can work from early morning to late night. For him, it was all about the package, the art. It was all about making it right, and if it wasn't right, he would go back and do it over again until it was. Only then could it be released."

"Born in the U.S.A."

Despite Springsteen's popularity with his fans and with the critics, no one was prepared when Born in the U.S.A. exploded onto the music scene in 1984 and became a blockbuster hit. As noted on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website, Springsteen put together most of the album from the 100 songs he had recorded while working on both Nebraska and Born in the U.S.A.

The album had more mass appeal than Springsteen's earlier work. The St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture added that "music video introduced Springsteen to a younger generation" and boosted sales. The album had had seven Top Ten singles, including the number two hit, "Dancing in the Dark" which Springsteen described as "my big smash … teen idol status at 35?!" The other Top Ten hits were "Cover Me," "Born in the U.S.A.," "I'm On Fire," "Glory Days," "I'm Goin' Down," and "My Hometown." A sold-out world tour followed.

However, many misunderstood some of the songs as patriotic anthems. DiMartino explained, "Ironically, one of the darkest was the album's title track–which many at the time mistakenly took to be an expression of blind, my-country-right-or-wrong patriotism, when it was anything but." Even U.S. President Ronald Reagan claimed to be a big fan of the music, and mentioned Springsteen and his songs in campaign speeches.

Springsteen told Alterman, "I was not satisfied with the Born in the U.S.A. record. I did not think I made all the connections I wanted to make." However, Alterman countered, "Commercially, Springsteen made one of the biggest connections any artist has ever made." He concluded, "By the time he finished the 155 shows of the Born in the U.S.A. tour, Bruce Springsteen had become an inescapable icon in American culture." When interviewed by Rolling Stone reporter James Henke in 1992, Springsteen reflected, "I really enjoyed the success of Born in the U.S.A., but by the end of that whole thing, I just kind of felt "Bruced" out."

Springsteen met model/actress Julianne Phillips in the summer of 1984, and they married in May of 1985. He participated in the USA for Africa recording of "We Are the World" and joined former E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt on the Artists United Against Apartheid song "Sun City." He reached the Top Ten in the United Kingdom with "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." He also released a 3-CD set Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Live 1975-1985, which entered the charts at number one.

Springsteen on His Own

Springsteen released Tunnel of Love in 1987 and became romantically involved with backup singer/guitarist Patti Scialfa. The two had known each other for many years from the New Jersey music scene and had begun to work together during the Born in the U.S.A. tour. Springsteen and his wife divorced, and he and Scialfa married in June 1991. They had three children: Evan, Jessica, and Sam.

The family settled in Los Angeles, and it would be almost five years before Springsteen released another album. Many eagerly awaited Human Touch and Lucky Town, two new albums he released in the spring of 1992 without the E Street Band. The albums started strong but quickly fizzled on the charts. Writing for Entertainment Weekly, Greg Sandow pondered the "demise" of Springsteen's career, calling the two albums "something that smells like failure, commercial failure."

However, Springsteen quickly recovered. In 1993, film director Jonathan Demme asked Springsteen to write a song for his latest film, Philadelphia, which starred Tom Hanks. The result was the moving ballad "Streets of Philadelphia," which earned Springsteen an Academy Award for best song, as well as four Grammy Awards.

More success followed. He released Greatest Hits in 1995, which included three new songs recorded with the E Street Band, whom he hadn't worked with in several years. Also in 1995, he released The Ghost of Tom Joad, which earned him a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. He then went on his first solo acoustic tour. Springsteen also made the news when he shocked his former classmates and attended his 30th high school reunion in 1997.

Reunited with Band

In November 1998, Springsteen released the CD box set Tracks, which contained 66 songs, 56 of which were previously unreleased. Writing for Billboard, Melinda Newman commented, "Tracks is a way to let the listeners into his creative process, a chance to broaden their understanding of how each record was created." In addition, rumors of a tour started to swirl.

Springsteen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 1999, and less than a month later, his reunion tour with the E Street Band kicked off in Barcelona, Spain. In July, the U.S. leg of the tour kicked off with the first of 15 sold-out shows at New Jersey's Continental Airlines Arena. Stefanko noted that Springsteen "explodes on stage. For an entire three-and-a-half hour show, he maintains a constant energy that touches everybody in that theater."

Controversy surrounded Springsteen in June 2000. As noted on the VH1 Website, "Springsteen unveiled a new song, "American Skin," at a performance at Madison Square Garden [in New York City]. A scathing comment on the police shooting of the unarmed Bronx resident Amadou Diallo, the song prompted calls by the NYPD for a boycott of the singer's concerts." The Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service added, "Springsteen's song has been striking the wrong note with cops since it was released."

The Rising

New York City and the entire United States experienced major shock and losses when terrorists attacked on September 11, 2001. When it was announced that Springsteen was working on an album inspired by the events of September 11, many were skeptical. Although the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service acknowledged that Springsteen's "greatest asset has always been his ability to craft anthemic songs about everyday people," many had their doubts.

Released in the summer of 2002, The Rising met with critical acclaim. Writing for the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, Brian McCollum called the release "gracious, stirring and tasteful. It strikes an appropriate balance between mourning and hope, painting narratives of cops, firefighters and widows that ultimately ring universal." It was also the first full-length CD by Springsteen and the E Street Band since Born in the U.S.A. Springsteen won three Grammy Awards for this work and began another world tour.

Still Going Strong

The year 2003 was a busy year for Springsteen. He received the Les Paul Award at the 19th annual Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Awards, released The Essential Bruce Springsteen in November, and in 2004 received a Grammy for "Disorder in the House," his collaboration with the late Warren Zevon. On December 24, the Pollstar website announced that Springsteen was the number one concert draw in North America in 2003. The website noted that Springsteen's fans attended his 47 shows in record numbers and "shelled out $115.9 million to 'come on up for the rising.'"

Stefanko noted that Springsteen "remains strong in his commitment to his subject matter. He hasn't sold out in terms of what he's writing or singing about. He maintained everything through honesty-honesty in the music, honesty about his sense of self-worth, and honesty in his dealings with people." He concluded, "He's one of a kind, an original legend."

Books

Alterman, Eric, It Ain't No Sin to be Glad You're Alive-The Promise of Bruce Springsteen, Little, Brown and Company, 1999.

"Bruce Springsteen," American Decades CD-ROM, Gale Research, 1998.

"Bruce Springsteen," St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, 5 vols., St. James Press, 2000.

Contemporary Musicians, Volume 25, Gale Research, 1999.

Cullen, Jim, Born in the U.S.A.-Bruce Springsteen and the American Tradition, Harper Collins, 1997.

The Editors of Rolling Stone, Introduction by Parke Puterbaugh, Bruce Springsteen-The Rolling Stone Files, Hyperion, 1996.

Marsh, Dave, Bruce Springsteen-Two Hearts-The Definitive Biography, 1972-2003, Routledge, 2004.

Sandford, Christopher, Springsteen-Point Blank, Da Capo Press, 1999.

Stefanko, Frank, Days of Hopes and Dreams-An Intimate Portrait of Bruce Springsteen, Billboard Books, 2003.

Periodicals

Billboard, November 7, 1998.

Billboard Bulletin, June 27, 2003.

Entertainment Weekly, June 5, 1992; June 20, 1997; December 19, 1997; November 1, 1999; February 28, 2003; November 21, 2003;

Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, July 29, 2002; August 6, 2002; October 8, 2003.

The Nation, October 6, 1984.

Newsweek, October 27, 1975.

People Weekly, December 4, 1989; April 6, 1992.

The Real Paper, May 22, 1974.

Rolling Stone, September 8, 1988; August 6, 1992;

Time, October 27, 1975.

Online

"Awards for Philadelphia (1993)," IMDB (internet movie database) website,http://www.imdb.com (December 26, 2003).

"Bruce Springsteen," VH1.com website,http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/springsteen_bruce/artist.jhtml (December 20, 2003).

"Bruce Springsteen," Grammy Awards website,http://www.grammy.com/awards/search/index.aspx (December 20, 2003).

"Bruce Springsteen," RollingStone.com website,http://www.rollingstone.com (December 20, 2003).

"Bruce Springsteen nominated for Grammy Award," Bruce Springsteen News: BruceSpringsteen.net website,http://brucespringsteen.net (December 20, 2003).

"Springsteen #1 for 2003," Pollstar-The Concert Hotwire,http://www.pollstar.com (December 27, 2003).

"Yahoo! LAUNCH-Bruce Springsteen: Bio," LAUNCH Music on Yahoo! website, http://launch.yahoo.com/artist/ (December 20, 2003).

"Welcome to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum," Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum website,http://www.rockhall.com/ (December 20, 2003).

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Springsteen, Bruce

Bruce Springsteen

Singer, songwriter, guitarist

Discovered by John Hammond

Lionized by Critics

Contract Dispute Forced Hiatus

Achieved Pop Legend Status

Selected discography

Sources

Bruce Springsteen has been something of a heroic figure since his arrival on the national music scene in the mid-1970s. In an era when music was dominated by flat, formulaic sounds, he embodied the pure, raw spirit of rock and roll in a way that Elvis or the Beatles had in earlier decades. Instead of mouthing Pop platitudes, Springsteen delivered characters and situations concerned with the struggle to maintain dignity and make sense out of life in a tarnished, troubled America. This outlook was a natural reflection of his own youth in a gritty New Jersey town where most people expected little more from life than a daily grind in a dead-end job. At a young age, Springsteen decided to avoid that fate by becoming a rock star.

At age thirteen he began playing guitar, and a year later he joined a band called Castile. They became quite popular locally, recording two of Springsteens compositions in 1966 and playing a series of dates in 1967 at the Cafe Wha in New York City. Their success convinced the young guitarist to stay in New Jersey even when the rest of his family moved to California during his senior year in high school. He lived with various friends while finishing school and gigging in local clubs. After graduation, he moved to Asbury Park, New Jersey, where he formed Earth, a power trio inspired by Cream. He also attended Ocean County Community College for a short time but dropped out when a New York record producer offered him a contract. The contract never materialized and the producer vanished, but Springsteen decided to stay focused on music rather than return to college.

Child was Springsteens next band, and it included two musicians who would be with him for years to comedrummer Vini Lopez and keyboardist Danny Federici. Soon renamed Steel Mill, the band gigged as far south as Virginia and developed a loyal following along the Atlantic seacoast. In 1969, Steel Mill played some club dates in San Francisco, which led to a contract offer from Fillmore Records. But the band members rejected the contract, saying that the advance offer was too small. Steel Mill returned to their home turf, where they remained popular until Springsteen disbanded them in 1971. He then formed Dr. Zoom and Sonic Boom, but that group lasted for just three gigs. Next he experimented with a band featuring several singers and a four-piece horn section. But by autumn the band had fallen apart and Springsteen was working solo.

Discovered by John Hammond

In 1972 Springsteen hired Mike Appel to manage his career. It was to be a double-edged association. On one hand, Appels management did guide Springsteen

For the Record

Born September 23, 1949, in Freehold, N.J.; son of Douglas (a bus driver) and Adele (a secretary; maiden name, Zirlili) Springsteen; married Julianne Phillips (an actress; divorced); married Patty Scialfa (a singer and guitarist), 1991; children: one son. Education: Attended Ocean City Community College.

Began playing guitar at age 13; performed in numerous local bands in New Jersey, including Castile, 196467, Earth, c. 1968, Child (renamed Steel Mill) c. 196971, Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, 1971; performed and recorded as a soloist, 197172 (and for various brief periods during the late 1980s), and as featured performer with the E Street Band, 1972.

Awards: Platinum Record from Recording Industry Association of America, 1978, for Darkness on the Edge of Town, and 1980, for The River; gold record from Recording Institute Association of America, 1975, for Born to Run, 1977, for The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, 1978, for Darkness on the Edge of Town, and 1978, for Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.

Addresses: Record company Columbia Records, 51 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019.

to the top, but disputes over their contract would eventually lead to a long, unwelcome hiatus in the musicians career. For the moment, however, their partnership seemed nothing but mutually beneficial. Appel arranged for his client to audition for John Hammond, artist and repertory manager at Columbia Records, whose notable feats included discovering Billie Holiday and Bob Dylan. As Hammond listened to Springsteens word-packed songs and raspy voice, he wrote an enthusiastic evaluation concluding that he had heard the greatest talent of the decade!

In June 1972 Springsteen signed a ten-record contract with Columbia. Within a month, he had delivered his first album: Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. Some of the music was set to the rhythm and blues stylings of his revitalized band, some to acoustic backing. The album was only a modest success by industry standards, selling mostly to Springsteens East Coast followers. Critical response was overwhelming, however; at the age of twenty-four, Bruce Springsteen was lionized as a powerful new force and frequently compared to the early Bob Dylan. Writing in Crawdaddy, Peter Knobler and Greg Mitchell announced that he had written individual lines worth entire records. Melody Makers Richard Williams called Asbury Park staggeringly good, and declared: Whatever happens next in music, I have a strong suspicion that Bruce Springsteen will be a big part of it. He may even be it.

Extensive tours of the Northeast followed the release of the record, and Springsteen began developing the stage show that would become his trademark: a marathon event filled with epic tales, long narratives leading into songs, and emotionally exhausting performances. He tried to capture the unique qualities of his show on his second album, The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle. Lyrics and instrumentals were interwoven with extended narratives, producing another album that was lauded by critics but only a modest commercial success. On the road again (this time with the original E Street Band), Springsteen developed and tightened his show even further.

Lionized by Critics

It was about this time that Boston critic Jon Landau wrote in the Real Paper: I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen. On a night when I needed to feel young, he made me hear music like I was hearing it for the first time. That quote was used as the centerpiece of a massive publicity campaign launched by Columbia before the release of Born to Run. The album, jointly produced by Springsteen, Appel, and Jon Landau, underscored the singers histrionics with dramatic arrangements and production techniques. During the final phases of production, Springsteen expressed dissatisfaction with the sound that had been developed and urged the release of a live album instead. But Columbias promotional campaign had already reached a fever pitch, and Born to Run was released in October of 1975, just as Springsteen appeared on the covers of both Time and Newsweek in the same week.

The intensity of the hype generated a good deal of skepticism among those who were unfamiliar with Springsteens music, and he was himself dismayed by all the media attention. He believed that it trivialized his artistry and made him appear to be an invention of the record companys publicity departmenta manufactured product to be packaged, promoted, and foisted off on the public. In a Chicago Tribune interview, he told Lynn Van Matre: You know what I thought right after that Time and Newsweek thing? All I could see ahead for me was Celebrity Bowling. It was funny. Im talking in an extreme way, I know, but I knew things were going to be roughand they were rough. But he weathered the hostility and the skepticism, and as the first reviews were published it became apparent that critics almost without exception felt that, if anything, Springsteen had exceeded the claims of the advance publicity. His first national tour, in 1975, was a sellout wherever it went.

Contract Dispute Forced Hiatus

Springsteen was perfectly poised to release a followup album that would cement his critical acceptance and further his fame, but legal difficulties brought his career to a grinding halt. He had fired his manager, who retaliated by blocking the release of the next album. Suits and countersuits dragged on, and an injunction prohibited Springsteen from recording again until May 1977. During 1976 and early 1977 he toured at a grueling pace to maintain the momentum of his hard-earned success. The very fact that he was unavailable on records gave his live concerts (and bootleg recordings of them) an almost mythical status. He also wrote prolifically at this time, both for his upcoming albums and for other artists.

Darkness on the Edge of Town, finally released in 1978, reflected the bitterness and disillusionment Springsteen felt during that period. The songs on it were marked by a more adult, somber tone than his earlier compositions, and this starkness was matched by a stripped-down production style. He began work on The River in April of 1979 and during the extended period he took to complete it he appeared onstage only two times. One of those appearances was at the Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) concert in New York City (released on film as No Nukes). Reviewing the movie, Janet Maslin wrote in the New York Times: Springsteen, who steals the show proves that in performance he is indeed a thing of beauty. When No Nukes cuts away from him to another backstage planning session, the comedown is considerable.

Prior to the release of The River, Springsteen embarked on another marathon tour, crossing the United States twice, and performed in Japan, Australia, and Europe as well. Every one of his four-hour shows was a sellout. When The River, a two-record set, was released, sales swiftly topped two million, in part because of all the anticipation that had built up regarding the album, but also because of its crowd-pleasing mix of brief, uptempo songs along with those colored in the darker tones. Asked about the dichotomy within the album by Dave DiMartino in Creem, Springsteen said: When I did The River, I tried to accept the fact that the world is a paradox and thats the way it is. And the only thing you can do with a paradox is live with it.

After the runaway sales of The River, the obvious move would have been to release a very similar album. Instead, Springsteen heeded an inner feeling that his studio work had lost its vitality, and he accordingly released a solo, acoustic album whose sound quality was not far removed from that of a typical demo tape. Nebraska was, in fact, recorded on a four-track machine in his home. The simple treatment seemed appropriate for the stark, gloomy themes of fear, loneliness, and despair that dominated the album. Rolling Stone reviewer Steve Pond applauded Springsteens decision to assert his right to make the records he wants to make. Nebraska comes as a shock, a violent, acid-etched portrait of a wounded America that fuels its machinery by consuming its peoples dreams.

Achieved Pop Legend Status

If Nebraska was somewhat inaccessable, its followup, Born in the U.S.A., was all a record company executive could dream of. It also covered bitter themes of disillusionment and tragedy, yet many seemed to embrace it as a flag-waving anthem. The album was in the Top Ten for more than a year, and became the best-selling album in Columbias history. It spawned another epic tour, with audiences on their feet singing and screaming throughout the entire show. The Born to Run phenomenon established Springsteen once and for all as the Boss, a genuine rock legend. It seemed appropriate, then, for Columbia to canonize him by releasing a monumental collection of his work, the five-record set Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Live, 19751985.

Included in the collection were spoken sections in which Springsteen discussed his music and the influence of Woody Guthrie. Robert Palmer discussed the connection between the two musicians in the New York Times: Springsteen gives the people who attend his concerts some food for thought, along with plenty of celebratory music that involves the crowd in call-and-response and sing-along routine. He is a kind of latter day Woody Guthrie, singing about Americanot the major cities or the enclaves of the rich, but smalltown, working-class America, where young people frustrated by dead-end jobs, factory shut-downs and the sounds of shattering hopes and dreams are as much a part of the picture as the more traditional rock and roll imagery of fast cars and summertime romances.

Tunnel of Love, released in 1987, turned to a quieter, more intimate tone than Springsteen had dealt with previously. Its songs depicted the pitfalls, tensions, and misunderstandings of love. This was perhaps a reflection of his courtship and marriage to actress Julianne Phillipsa doomed union that dissolved shortly after the album was released. Springsteen told Bill Barol in a Newsweek interview: For 10 or 14 years I wrote songs about the man in the car. This record is about the man in the house. One of the things I wanted the record to be about is, we live in a society that wants us to buy illusion everyday. You just cant live like that and people shouldnt be asked to.

In 1991 Springsteen married Patty Scialfa, a guitarist and vocalist in his backup band and the mother of his son.

Selected discography

On Columbia

Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., 1973.

The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, 1973.

Born to Run, 1975.

Darkness on the Edge of Town, 1978.

The River, 1980.

Nebraska, 1982.

Born in the U.S.A., 1984.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, 19751985, 1985.

Tunnel of Love, 1987.

Sources

Books

Contemporary Authors, Volume 111, Gale, 1984.

Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 17, Gale, 1981.

Gambaccini, Peter, Bruce Springsteen, Quick Fox, 1979.

Marsh, Dave, Born to Run: The Bruce Springsteen Story, Doubleday, 1979.

Swartley, Ariel, Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island, edited by Greil Marcus, Knopf, 1979.

Williams, Paul, Right to Pass and Other True Stories, Berkeley Publishing, 1977.

Periodicals

America, February 6, 1988.

Atlantic, September 1978.

Business World, December 1, 1975.

Chicago Sun-Times, October 6, 1985.

Chicago Tribune, November 2, 1980.

Crawdaddy, March 1973; March 1974; October 1975; August 1978; October 1978.

Creem, November 1975; January 1981.

Detroit News, February 15, 1983.

Down Beat, October 19, 1978; February 8, 1979.

Esquire, December 1985; December 1988.

Grooves, June 1979.

Harpers, April 1988.

Houston Post, May 26, 1974.

Macleans, November 18, 1978.

Melody Maker, March 31, 1973; October 12, 1974; June 10, 1978; November 10, 1979.

Musician, November 1982.

New Republic, March 23, 1987.

Newsweek, September 8, 1975; October 27, 1975; August 5, 1985; November 3, 1975; June 5, 1978; November 2, 1987.

New Times, September 5, 1975; October 17, 1975; August 7, 1978.

New Yorker, November 4, 1974.

New York Times, August 29, 1975; October 5, 1975; October 22, 1976; May 26, 1978; August 7, 1984; August 6, 1985; November 9, 1986; October 4, 1987; February 27, 1988; June 12, 1988.

People, August 10, 1981; October 19, 1987; March 14, 1988; June 27, 1988; August 22, 1988; September 26, 1988; October 10, 1988; January 11, 1990.

Playboy, December 1975.

Pulse, March 1989.

The Real Paper, May 22, 1974.

Record World, October 2, 1975.

Rolling Stone, July 13, 1978; August 24, 1978; September 6, 1979; November 15, 1979; November 27, 1980; February 5, 1981; August 10, 1981 ; October 14, 1982; October 28, 1982; October 10, 1985; September 10, 1987; November 5, 1987; May 5, 1988; September 8, 1988.

Stereo Review, August 1978; December 1982.

Super Rock Awards, Winter 1978.

Teen, September 1981.

Thunder Road, Spring 1979.

Time, April 1, 1974; October 27, 1975; August 7, 1978; January 29, 1990.

Village Voice, October 10, 1974; June 12, 1978; June 19, 1984; September 8, 1985.

Joan Goldsworthy

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Springsteen, Bruce

Bruce Springsteen

Singer, songwriter

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and rock legend Bruce Springsteen has framed the working man's concerns with a combination of muscular, hard-driving rock and a poet's sensitive flair for phrasing. Time and Newsweek magazines ran simultaneous, competing cover stories on him in 1975 and, like Elvis Presley in the 1950s, Springsteen embodied rock and roll in the American culture of the 1980s. His 1984 release, the multi-platinum Born in the U.S.A., was a rock landmark which featured on the cover the back of a man standing before a U.S. flag wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans, with a red bandanna tucked into his back pocket. This Springsteen album cover was a cultural image as familiar to 1980s America as then-president Ronald Reagan. It was one of the biggest-selling records in history, and launched seven top ten singles.

Springsteen won an Academy Award and four Grammy Awards for his haunting ballad "Streets of Philadelphia," which was penned for the film Philadelphia in 1993, and in 1995 he won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album for The Ghost of Tom Joad. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 1999. A reviewer for Billboard described Springsteen as "a veteran who has successfully juggled the roles of rock star, pop icon, folk hero, social activist, and everyman. As devoted as his fans are to him, the ‘Boss’ is just as committed to them, keeping their wishes uppermost in mind at every step in his illustrious career."

Springsteen was born in Freehold, New Jersey, in 1949; his mother, Adele, worked as a secretary and his father, Douglas, took odd jobs and was noted for being a superb pool player. Although Springsteen is a Dutch name, he was also Italian, and his ancestors were from the Neapolitan region of Italy. Both of his parents wanted him to pursue a career route other than music, and his father was particularly strident about the topic. As a result, Springsteen and his father often experienced a clash of wills. Some of Springsteen's material would reflect their battles and reconciliations, in such songs as "Adam Raised A Cain" from Darkness on the Edge of Town, "Independence Day" from The River, and "Walk Like A Man" from Tunnel of Love.

Springsteen told Billboard's Melinda Newman about the time his mother bought an electric guitar for him, "The guitar was $60. That was an enormous, enormous amount of money at the time. … So [buying] the guitar was a great, a very meaningful gesture of faith at that time from her." Springsteen never wavered from his goal of becoming a musician, and in 1965 he joined his first rock band, The Castiles, at the age of 16. Springsteen's parents relocated to California when he was 15, but he chose to remain behind in New Jersey. He briefly took classes at Ocean County Community College, and had some poems published in the school's literary magazine, but his heart was in performing and playing music. He began playing in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and in New York City, and led a variety of groups in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Steel Mill, The Rogues, Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, and the Bruce Springsteen Band, where he met many of the musicians who would later comprise his E Street Band.

In 1972, at the age of 23, Springsteen signed a management deal with a fledgling songwriter/producer named Mike Appel and his partner, Jim Cretecos. The contract started Springsteen's career and helped him in the short run. Appel was wholeheartedly devoted to Springsteen's career. He fought to have the musician's material played over the radio and to provide him with the largest concert audiences possible. Appel set up an audition for Springsteen with legendary Columbia Records Artist and Repertoire (A&R) executive John Hammond, who quickly signed him to the label. Springsteen told Newman, "I just stood up and sang the best songs I had. I was incredibly excited. I felt very confident about what I was doing and being there, and nervous at the same time."

Springsteen released Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, in 1973, but sales and airplay were minimal. A few critics, however, noted and publicized Springsteen's early talent. When The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle was released later in 1973, the critics approved, but DJs gave it minimal play. In the meantime, Springsteen's concerts were growing more and more popular, and he was learning how to connect with and energize his audiences. After seeing a show at Cambridge's Harvard Square Theatre, music critic Jon Landau penned the memorable line, "I saw rock and roll's future and its name is Bruce Springsteen," in The Real Paper. Landau's review was posted in a Boston concert venue/bar's window. One day Landau encountered Springsteen standing outside reading the review, and the two became friends. Springsteen wanted Landau to co-produce Born to Run in 1975, which displeased and displaced Appel. Born to Run was an immensely popular record, and as a result of its popularity, Springsteen was featured simultaneously on the covers of both Newsweek and Time in 1975. Born to Run featured a Phil-Spector-like "wall of sound" production, combined with rich, urbane lyrics. Springsteen followed the album's release with tours in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. He also sued to break his contract with Appel in order to regain control of his finances and his songs. Appel counter-sued to keep Springsteen from recording with Landau, and the lawsuits kept Springsteen away from the recording studio for two years. Springsteen finally won his case, Landau became his manager and producer, and Springsteen took control of his catalogue and career.

For the Record …

Born in 1949 in Freehold, NJ; son of Adele (a secretary) and Douglas; married Julianne Phillips, 1987; married Patti Scialfi, 1991; children (with Scialfi): Evan, Jessica, Sam. Education: Attended classes at Ocean County Community College.

Released Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, 1973; The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle, 1973; Born to Run, 1975; released Darkness on the Edge of Town, 1978; The River, 1980; Nebraska, 1982; Born in the U.S.A., 1984; 3-CD set Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Live 1975-1985, 1986; Tunnel of Love, 1987; simultaneously released Human Touch and Lucky Town, 1992, both without the E Street Band; recorded theme song "Streets of Philadelphia" for film Philadelphia, 1993; released Greatest Hits, 1995; The Ghost of Tom Joad, 1995; made first solo acoustic tour, released 4-CD box set Tracks, 1998; released The Rising, 2002; toured with "Vote For Change," 2004; released Devils and Dust, 2005, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, 2006, and Magic, 2007.

Awards: Academy Award and four Grammy Awards for title theme song "Streets of Philadelphia," from film Philadelphia, 1993; Grammy Award, Best Contemporary Folk Album, for The Ghost of Tom Joad, 1995; inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, March 15, 1999; Grammy Awards: Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Album, all for The Rising, 2002; Best Rock Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocal (with Warren Zevon), for "Disorder in the House," 2003; Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, for "Code of Silence," 2004; Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, for "Devils and Dust," 2005; Best Traditional Folk Album, for We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, 2006; Best Long Form Music Video, for Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run, 2006.

Addresses: Record company—Columbia Records, 2100 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404, telephone: (310) 449-2100. Web site—http://www.brucespringsteen.net/news/index.html.

Springsteen released Darkness on the Edge of Town in 1978, followed by The River in 1980 and Nebraska in 1982. The hit single "Hungry Heart" was included on The River, and it became his first album to reach Billboard 's number one spot. Springsteen's all-acoustic Nebraska featured the stories that Springsteen held dear to his heart: bleak, haunting, wistful tales of those alienated from the American dream. He told Newman, "I enjoyed making Nebraska so much, I pursued it before I went back to making Born in the U.S.A." Nebraska reached number three on the Billboard album chart. The multi-platinum Born in the U.S.A. was released in 1984, and became one of the biggest-selling releases in rock history. It spawned seven top ten singles, including "Dancing in the Dark," which peaked at number two on the Billboard singles chart. The album's success led to sold-out tours and to the release of the 3-CD set Live: 1975-1985, which entered the Billboard charts at number one in 1986. Springsteen wed model/actress Julianne Phillips in 1986, released Tunnel of Love in 1987, and then became romantically involved with backup singer/guitarist Patti Scialfa. After leaving Phillips, Springsteen had a son with Scialfa in 1990, and they were married in 1991.

In 1992 he simultaneously released Human Touch and Lucky Town, both recorded without the E Street Band. The albums entered the charts at number two and number three. In 1993 Springsteen recorded the theme song "Streets of Philadelphia" for the Jonathan Demme film Philadelphia, which starred actor Tom Hanks. The haunting, poignant ballad earned Springsteen an Oscar and four Grammy Awards. He released Greatest Hits in 1995, which included three new songs recorded with the E Street Band.

The first incarnation of the E Street Band was formed in 1972 and included saxophone player Clarence Clemons, organist Danny Federici, drummer Vini Lopez, keyboard player David Sancious, and bassist Garry Tallent. Federici and Lopez had also played with Springsteen in the band Steel Mill. The E Street Band was named after a street in Belmar, New Jersey, where the band rehearsed in a basement. Lopez left the band first, followed by Sancious, and they were replaced by keyboard player Rolf Bilton and drummer Max Weinberg. The E Street Band broke up in 1989, but continued to play with Springsteen on and off throughout the 1990s.

Springsteen released The Ghost of Tom Joad in 1995, an album reminiscent of his earlier acoustic release Nebraska. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album, and its single "Dead Man Walking" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. Springsteen followed the album's release with his first solo acoustic tour. Springsteen attended his thirtieth high school reunion in 1997 at the Holiday Inn in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, underscoring his reputation as an "average guy."

Springsteen released the four-CD box set Tracks in November of 1998. Tracks was the first box set ever to debut at number one on the Billboard charts. The set featured 66 songs, 56 of which had never been released. Springsteen had once helped induct Bob Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and his own turn came on March 15, 1999, when he was formally inducted. Springsteen told Newman, "Hopefully when I go into my work, there are things that help my fans sort through their own struggles and their own issues. You know, that's just what I've always tried to do, and that's what I still try to do."

In the wake of Tracks, Springsteen and the E Street Band joined forces once again for an extensive tour that began in 1999 and extended into the summer of 2000. In the final concerts of the tour, Springsteen and the band sold out ten shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Following up the concerts with CD and DVD versions of Live in New York City, Springsteen and the E Street Band then went on to record their first studio album together in 18 years. A popular and critical success, The Rising was reflective of the American experience following 9/11. "The Rising is one of the very best examples in recent history of how popular art can evoke a time period and all of its confusing and often contradictory notions, feelings, and impulses," wrote Thom Jurek in All Music Guide.

In 2004 Springsteen became more active on the U.S. political scene, encouraging citizens to vote against George W. Bush and joining the "Vote for Change" tour with artists like the Dixie Chicks and R.E.M. In 2005 he issued Devils and Dust, an album that resembled earlier recordings such as Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad. According to David Fricke in Rolling Stone, "Devils and Dust is, in striking and affecting ways, Springsteen's most audacious record since the home-demo American Gothic of 1982's Nebraska."

Springsteen surprised fans by releasing yet another new album in 2006, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. Unlike other Springsteen albums, however, he chose to forego his own songs in favor of traditional songs popularized by folk music icon Pete Seeger. "And even if you have no patience for (or interest in) the history of the songs, or their possible meanings," noted Stephen Thomas Erlewine in All Music Guide, "it's easy to enjoy We Shall Overcome on pure musical terms: it's a rambunctious, freewheeling, positively joyous record unlike any other in Springsteen's admittedly rich catalog." In 2007 Springsteen recorded Magic with the E Street Band, their first recording together since The Rising in 2002. "Not only is Magic Springsteen's most accessible album, start to finish, since 1987's Tunnel of Love," wrote Glenn Gamboa in Newsday, "it is closest thematically to Born in the U.S.A., a slice of American life and its mix of ups and downs."

Speaking of his work in Spin, Springsteen said, "I want people to look onstage and see themselves. That idea of the band as a representative community—all the bands I like have some element of that. It's thrilling when you see that communication."

Selected discography

Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ, Columbia, 1973.

The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle, Columbia, 1973.

Born to Run, Columbia, 1975.

Darkness at the Edge of Town, Columbia, 1978.

The River, Columbia, 1980.

Nebraska, Columbia, 1982.

Born in the U.S.A., Columbia, 1984.

Live: 1975-1985, Columbia, 1986.

Tunnel of Love, Columbia, 1987.

Chimes of Freedom, Columbia, 1988.

Lucky Town, Columbia, 1992.

Human Touch, Columbia, 1992.

Philadelphia, Epic, 1993.

Greatest Hits, Columbia, 1995.

The Ghost of Tom Joad, Columbia, 1995.

Tracks, Columbia, 1998.

The Rising, Columbia, 2002.

Devils and Dust, Columbia, 2005.

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, Columbia, 2006.

Magic, Columbia, 2007.

Sources

Periodicals

The Advocate, May 1996.

Billboard, November 7, 1998.

CD Review, April 1996.

Esquire, December 1988.

Guitar World, October 1995.

Mojo, May 1998; June 1994.

Musician, July 1995; November 1992.

New Music Express, March 1996.

Newsweek, October 27, 1975.

Q Magazine, August 1992.

The Real Paper, May 22, 1974.

Time, October 27, 1975.

Online

"Bruce Springsteen," All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (January 7, 2008).

"Bruce Springsteen," Rolling Stone,http://www.rollingstone.com (January 7, 2008).

"Feeling's Mutual," Spin,http://www.spin.com (January 7, 2008).

"Review: Springsteen and E Street Band's ‘Magic’," Newsday,http://www.newsday.com (January 7, 2008).

—Kimberly Taylor and Ronald D. Lankford, Jr.

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Springsteen, Bruce

Bruce Springsteen

Singer, songwriter

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and rock legend Bruce Springsteen framed the working mans concerns with a combination of muscular, hard-driving rock and a poets sensitive flair for phrasing. Time and Newsweek magazines ran simultaneous, competing cover stories on him in 1975, and like Elvis Presley before him in the 1950s, Springsteen transcended music to embody rock and roll in the American culture of the 1980s. His 1984 release, the multi-platinum Born in the U.S.A, was a rock landmark which featured on the cover the back of a man standing before a U.S. flag wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans, with a red bandanna tucked into his back pocket. This Springsteen album cover was a cultural image as familiar to 1980s America as thenpresident Ronald Reagan. It was one of the biggest selling records in history, and launched seven top ten singles.

Springsteen won an Oscar and four Grammy Awards for his haunting ballad Streets of Philadelphia, which was penned for the film Philadelphia in 1993, and in 1995 he won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album for The Ghost of Tom Joad. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 15, 1999. A reviewer for Billboard described Springsteen as, a veteran who has successfully juggled the roles of rock star, pop icon, folk hero, social activist, and everyman. As devoted as his fans are to him, the Boss is just as committed to them, keeping their wishes uppermost in mind at every step in his illustrious career.

Springsteen was born in Freehold, NJ, in 1949; his mother, Adele, worked as a secretary and his father, Douglas, took odd jobs and was noted for being a superb pool player. Although Springsteen is a Dutch name, he was also Italian, and his ancestors lived in the Neapolitan region of Italy. Both of his parents wanted him to pursue a career route other than music, and his father was particularly strident about the topic. As a result, Springsteen and his father often experienced a clash of wills. Some of Springsteens material would later reflect their battles: the fury evident in Adam Raised A Cain from Darkness on the Edge of Town, the wistful parting in Independence Day from The River, and the touching reconciliation in Walk Like A Man from Tunnel of Love. Springsteen told Billboards Melinda Newman about the time his mother bought an electric guitar for him, Standing outside that music store, the guitar was $60. That was an enormous, enormous amount of money at the time.... So (buying) the guitar was a great, a a very meaningful gesture of faith at that time from her. Springsteen never wavered from his goal to be a musician and joined his first rock band at the age of 16 in 1965. The band was called The Castiles. Springsteens parents relocated to California when he was 15, but he chose to remain behind in

For the Record

Born 1949 in Freehold, NJ; mother, Adele, (a secretary); father, Douglas, (took odd jobs and was noted for being a superb pool player); married Julianne Phillips in 1987; married Patti Scialfi in 1991; three children with Scialfi: Evan, Jessica, Sam. Education: briefly attended classes at Ocean County Community College.

Joined his first rock band, The Castiles, 1965; began playing in different bands in the seaside town of Asbury Park, NJ, and in New York City; led a variety of groups in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Steel Mill, The Rogues, Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, and the Bruce Springsteen Band; released Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, 1973; released The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle, 1973; released Born to Run, 1975; featured simultaneously on the covers of both Newsweek and Time, 1975; released Darkness on the Edge of Town in 1978; released The River, 1980; The River reached number one on Billboard album chart; released Nebraska, 1982; Nebraska reached number three on the Billboard album chart; released the multi-platinum Born in the U.S.A., 1984; it was one of the biggest-selling releases in rock history, featuring seven top ten singles, including Dancing in the Dark, which peaked at number two on the Billboard singles chart; released 3-CD set Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Live 1975-1985, the set entered the Billboard charts at number one, 1986; released Tunnel of Love, 1987; simultaneously released Human Touch and Lucky Town, 1992, both recorded without the E Street Band, they entered the charts at number two and number three; recorded the theme song Streets of Philadelphia for the film Philadelphia, 1993; released Greatest Hits in 1995; released The Ghost of Tom Joad, 1995; followed the albums release with his first solo acoustic tour; 4-CD box set titled Tracks released in 1998.

Awards: Oscar and four Grammy Awards for the title theme song, Streets of Philadelphia, for the film Philadelphia, 1993; Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album for The Ghost of Tom Joad, 1995; inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, March 15, 1999.

Addresses: Record company Columbia Records, 2100 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404 (310) 449-2100; 51W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019 (212) 833-4321.

New Jersey. He briefly took classes at Ocean County Community College, and had some poems published in the schools literary magazine, but his heart was in performing and playing music. He began playing in Asbury Park, New Jersey, and in New York City and led a variety of groups in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Steel Mill, The Rogues, Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, and the Bruce Springsteen Bandwhich is how he met many of the musicians who would later comprise his E Street Band.

In 1972 at the age of 23, Springsteen signed a management deal with a fledgling songwriter/producer named Mike Appel and his partner Jim Cretecos. The contract was signed outside in a parking lot at night, and although it helped Springsteen in the short run and started his career, it also hindered him severely in the long run. Appel, a man perceived by others to be a contentious and abrasive manager, was nevertheless whole-heartedly devoted to Springsteens career and fought to have Springsteens material played over the radio and to provide Springsteen with the largest concert audiences possible. Apple set up an audition for Springsteen with legendary Columbia Records Artist and Repretoire (A&R) executive John Hammond, the man who signed Bob Dylan. Hammond was so uncharacteristically impressed with Springsteen and his material that he signed him on to the label. Springsteen told Newman, I just stood up and sang the best songs I had. I was incredibly excited. I felt very confident about what I was doing and being there, and nervous at the same time.

Springsteen released Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, in 1973. Sales and airplay were minimal, and reasons range from DJs feeling resistant to or put off by his marketing moniker, the New Dylan, to in-fighting and stubborn corporate politics at his record label. A few critics, however, noted and publicized Springsteens early talent. When The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle was released later in 1973, the critics raved even more, and the DJs played the second release even less. In the meantime, Springsteens concerts were growing more and more popular, and he was learning how to connect with and energize his audiences.

After seeing a show at Cambridges Harvard Square Theatre, music critic Jon Landau penned the memorable line, I saw rock and roll future and its name is Bruce Springsteen in The Real Paper. Landaus review was placed in a Boston concert venue/bars window, and after Landau stumbled upon Springsteen out in the cold one day, shivering as he read the review, the two became friends. Springsteen wanted Landau to co-produce Born to Run in 1975, which displeased and displaced Appel. Born to Run was an immensely popular record and, as a result of its popularity, Springsteen was featured simultaneously on the covers of both Newsweek and Time in 1975. Born to Run featured a Phil-Spector-like wall of sound production, combined with his earlier brand of rich, urbane lyricism. Springsteen followed the albums release with tours in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. Springsteen also sued to break his contract with Appel because he wanted to regain control of his finances and his songs. Appel countersued to keep Springsteen from recording with Landau, and the lawsuits kept Springsteen away from the studios for two years. Springsteen won his case, Landau became his manager and producer, and Springsteen was in control of his catalogue and career.

Springsteen released Darkness on the Edge of Town in 1978, followed by The River in 1980, and Nebraska in 1982. The hit single Hungry Heart was included on The River, and it became his first album to reach Billboards number one spot. Springsteens all-acoustic Nebraska, however, featured the stories that Springsteen held dear in his heart: bleak, haunting, wistful tales of those alienated from the American dream. He told Newman, I enjoyed making Nebraska so much, I pursued it before I went back to making Born in the U.S.A. Nebraska reached number three on the Billboard album chart. The multi-platinum Born in the U.S.A. was released in 1984 and was one of the biggest-selling releases in rock history; it spawned seven top ten singles, including Dancing in the Dark, which peaked at number two on the Billboard singles chart. The albums success led to sold-out tours, the release of the 3-CD set Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Live 1975-1985, which entered the Billboard charts at number one in 1986. Springsteen wed model/actress Julianne Phillips in 1986, released Tunnel of Love in 1987, and then became romantically involved with backup singer/guitarist Patti Scialfa. After leaving Phillips, Springsteen had a son with Scialfa named Evan in 1990, and married her in 1991.

In 1992, he simultaneously released Human Touch and Lucky Town, both recorded without the E Street Band. The albums entered the charts at number two and number three. In 1993, Springsteen recorded the theme song Streets of Philadelphia for Jonathan Demmes film Philadelphia, which starred actor Tom Hanks. The haunting, poignant ballad earned Springsteen an Oscar and four Grammy Awards. He released Greatest Hits in 1995, which included three new songs recorded with the E Street Band.

The first incarnation of the E Street Band was formed in 1972 and included saxophone player Clarence demons, organist Danny Federici, drummer Vini Lopez, keyboard player David Sancious, and bassist Garry Tallent. Federici and Lopez had also played with Springsteen in the band Steel Mill. The E Street Band was named after a street in Belmar, NJ, where the band rehearsed in Sancious parents basement. Lopez left the band first, followed by Sancious, and they were replaced by keyboard player Rolf Bilton and drummer Max Weinberg. The E Street Band broke up in 1989, but continued to play with Springsteen on and off throughout the 1990s.

Springsteen released The Ghost of Tom Joad in 1995, an album reminiscent of his earlier acoustic release, Nebraska. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album and its single, Dead Man Walking, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. He followed the albums release with his first solo acoustic tour. Springsteen attended his 30th high school reunion in 1997 at the Holiday Inn in Tinton Falls, NJ, underscoring his reputation as an average guy.

Springsteen released a four CD box set titled Tracks in November of 1998. Tracks was the first box set to ever debut at number one on the Billboard charts. The set features 66 songs, 56 of them had never been released. Tracks provided an opportunity for listeners to be in on his creative process. Springsteen had once helped induct Bob Dylan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and his turn came on March 15, 1999, when he was formally inducted himself. Springsteen told Newman, Hopefully when I go into my work, there are things that help my fans sort through their own struggles and their own issues. You know, thats just what Ive always tried to do, and thats what I still try to do.

Selected discography

Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ, Columbia, 1973.

The Wild, the Innocent, & the E Street Shuffle, Columbia, 1973.

Born to Run, Columbia, 1975.

Darkness at the Edge of Town, Columbia, 1978.

The River, Columbia, 1980.

Nebraska, Columbia, 1982.

Born in the U.S.A., Columbia, 1984.

Live: 1975-1985, Columbia, 1986.

Tunnel of Love, Columbia, 1987.

Chimes of Freedom, Columbia, 1988.

Lucky Town, Columbia, 1992.

Human Touch, Columbia, 1992.

Philadelphia, Epic, 1993.

Greatest Hits, Columbia, 1995.

The Ghost of Tom Joad, Columbia, 1995.

Tracks, Columbia, 1998.

Sources

Periodicals

The Advocate, May 1996.

Billboard, November 7, 1998.

CD Review, April 1996.

Esquire, December 1988.

Guitar World, October 1995.

Mojo, May 1998; June 1994.

Musician, July 1995; November 1992.

New Music Express, March 1996.

Newsweek, October 27, 1975.

Q Magazine, August, 1992.

The Real Paper, May 22, 1974.

Time, October 27, 1975.

Online

http://home.theboots.net/theboots/books/musn1192.html

http://wallofsound.go.com

B. Kimberly Taylor

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Springsteen, Bruce

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN


Born: Freehold, New Jersey, 23 September 1949

Genre: Rock

Best-selling album since 1990: The Rising (2002)

Hit songs since 1990: "Streets of Philadelphia," "Secret Garden," "The Rising"


With a career that spans more than four decades, Bruce Springsteen remains one of America's most popularand populistrock songwriters and performers. The popularity of his working-class sensibility is reflected in the tens of millions of albums he has sold. Springsteen has maintained a connection to fans by evoking the struggles and dreams of average Americans through music known for both lyrical depth and a hard-rock backbeat. While early critics hailed him as a successor to Bob Dylan, the folk-rock auteur of the 1960s, Springsteen made evident his direct debt to Woody Guthrie, the folk music radical of the 1930s, and to rock originators such as Roy Orbison and Chuck Berry. Backed by the expansive E Street Bandwhose core personnel has, for the most part, remained the same since

his club days in the early 1970sSpringsteen is known for marathon live shows in which he translates the private experiences of his songs into stadium-sized euphoria.


Early Career

One of two children, Springsteen was born into a middle-class family. He skipped college after high school and moved to New York City. After discovering he was too late for the legendary folk scene in the city's Greenwich Village district, he returned to New Jersey and settled in Asbury Park. The dying coastal town became the mythic backdrop of his songs. Springsteen returned to Greenwich Village to play acoustic solo gigs, but mostly he played with several club bands in Asbury Park before forming the E Street Band. He was eventually signed to Columbia Records by John Hammond Sr., the industry veteran who also discovered legends such as the jazz singer Billie Holiday, the swing jazz bandleader Count Basie, and Bob Dylan.

Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle indeed bore traces of Dylan, including wildly hallucinatory lyrics and story songs featuring misfit characters on the fringe.


Breakthrough

Although they received favorable reviews, both sold poorly. Springsteen's breakthrough came with Born to Run in 1975. The album features the immortal "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," along with seven other songs set within a sweeping sonic backdrop. Its production is similar to the "Wall of Sound" technique of the 1960s producer Phil Spector. Springsteen's epic-sounding album became a Top 10 hit, and Springsteen was praised for bringing back classic rock at a time when heavy metal and progressive art rock reigned.

Over the next few years Springsteen expanded his musical range, but only slightly. He recorded the lean and gritty rock album Darkness on the Edge of Town in 1978 and followed it up with the two-album set The River, which again presents Springsteen as a serious chronicler of working-class drama. But, if only to show off the E Street Band's ensemble sound, it features several bar band party jams.

In 1982 Springsteen countered his image as a rock band front man with Nebraska. Originally meant to be demos (they were recorded on a four-track cassette machine at his home), the rough recordings feature Spring-steen by himself, singing first-person narratives set in rural America. The ten songs were compared to the work of the short-story writer Raymond Carver for their gothic themes and attention to detail.


Commercial Peak

Springsteen's commercial peak came with the 1984 album Born in the U.S.A., which sold more than 20 million copies and led to a two-year-long stadium tour. Seven of its twelve songs were hit singles. The cover art features a picture of Springsteen's backside shot in front of an American flag; the title song recounts the agony of a Vietnam veteran who feels left behind by his country. The album's slick production and heavy synthesizers broadened Springsteen's pop appeal, but many long-time fans were dismayed: The music lacked the edge or tension found in Springsteen's previous recordings.

The title song and the album were interpreted by some as a pledge to a type of patriotic fervor represented by the "Morning in America" campaign, President Ronald Reagan's agenda to restore conservative values in the United States. Springsteen was asked by Reagan staff to endorse the president's 1984 reelection bid and to lend the song to the cause. When he refused, Reagan invoked Spring-steen in his speeches anyway; Springsteen publicly expressed doubts that Reagan had listened to Nebraska, the set of songs thought to represent the dark side of the country's economy by giving voice to those on the bottom rungs of the ladder.

Springsteen spent the early 1990s trying to come to terms with the larger-than-life image spawned during the 1980s. In 1991 he married his backup singer, Patty Scialfa, after divorcing his first wife, the actress Julianne Phillips. The breakup of his first marriage is thought to be the driving force bind his Tunnel of Love (1987), which dwells on the dark underpinnings of relationships.


Exploring New Directions

Entering the decade and a new marriage, Springsteen looked for ways to realign his life in other ways as well. Much to his fans' surprise, he moved from New Jersey to posh Beverly Hills. He also fired the E Street Band, explaining he wanted to experiment with other musicians. In 1992 he released two albums, Human Touch and Lucky Town, both recorded by himself and studio musicians, including Scialfa and the E Street pianist Roy Bittan. The heavily textured Human Touch continued in the style of somber introspection laced with synthesizers that he showcased on Tunnel of Love. Lucky Town was a hardy collection of generic rockers. Most critics and fans balked, and the two albums are widely considered the least successful of his career. Springsteen did tour to support both records, but he went on the road with an entirely new band. The result of that period was the European release of an MTVUnplugged appearance he taped while on the road.

By this point, the alternative rock era was in full swing with new bands such as Nirvana, Alice in Chains, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Pearl Jam dominating the charts. For the first time in his career, Springsteen was a veteran artist unable to attract a new generation of fans. He transformed himself from a rock bandleader back into the singer/songwriter of Nebraska. In 1993 he released "The Streets of Philadelphia," a song written for the Tom Hanks film Philadelphia and sung from the perspective of a person suffering from AIDS. It resulted in an Oscar for best song and five Grammy awards.

The solitary spirit of the song was a natural bridge to his next album, The Ghost of Tom Joad (1995), a collection of personal and political narratives of the dispossessed named for a central character in The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck's novel of the Great Depression.

After a solo tour Springsteen sought to reconnect himself to his glory days. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and the same year reunited with the E Street Band for a triumphant tour that continued through 2000. Refusing to play only his greatest hits, Springsteen juggled the set list each night, adding in obscurities from his early albums, occasional covers, and a new song, "American Skin (41 Shots)." Written in response to the shooting death of a twenty-year-old West African immigrant, Amadou Diallo, by New York City police officers, the song sparked controversy as it challenged the image of Springsteen as a flag-waver for the status quo.

Around this time, Springsteen began to flood the market with products to capitalize on his newfound stature as a heritage artist. Along with a greatest hits CD in 1995, he released Songs, a coffee-table book of handwritten lyrics, Tracks, a four-CD boxed set of outtakes, and Live in New York City, a concert from his reunion tour.

By the time Springsteen stepped into the studio to record with the E Street Band for the first time since 1984, the terrorist attacks of September 11 had taken place. In 2002 Springsteen released the result of those sessions, The Rising. Although its accompanying media blitz informed the public it was written directly in response to September 11, the music was nuanced. The songs recapture the bar-band fraternity of the E Street Band. Unlike many jingoistic songs prevalent at the time, The Rising paused to examine subtle areas. The song "Worlds Apart" involves the hardship between lovers of different religious traditions, and "Paradise" opens with the perspective of a suicide bomber. The Rising won a 2003 Grammy as the year's best rock album.

Bruce Springsteen is a lyricist of depth, an introspective singer/songwriter, a renowned arena rock performer, and a complex political troubadour. It is his unflinching humanity that makes his music compelling.

Spot Light: The Ghost of Tom Joad

Bruce Springsteen's dilemma in the 1990s was to find a way to reinvigorate his songwriter sensibilities after playing the rock megastar. The two albums with which he entered the decadeHuman Touch and Lucky Town were criticized for not taking risks and sounding like a rehashing of his mid-career commercial successes such as The River. That's why, when The Ghost of Tom Joad hit stores in 1995, it threw a curve to fans conditioned to expect more of the same. The album was far from commercial. A bookend to Nebraska, it features twelve quiet character songs that place the listener inside the marginal worlds of illegal immigrants, Vietnam vets, migrant workers, and prisoners trying to go straight. With a title character plucked from The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck's 1939 novel of the plight of migrant workers during the Great Depressionand a somber spirit that evoked the songs of early American folk songwriter Woody Guthrie, Springsteen evokes an earlier era of folk-music storytelling, drawing attention to life on the fringes and infusing it with dignity. The album allowed Springsteen to try a different performing tactic. He set off on a solo tour, playing small theaters across the country. Onstage in front of quiet rooms, he transformed some of his early rock hits into quiet folk ballads. That included the song "Born in the U.S.A.," which he softened and transformed into a nightmarish blues song. The Ghost of Tom Joad also helped Springsteen connect to a younger generation. In 2000, on their album Renegades, the political rap/rock band Rage Against the Machine recorded a cover of the title song, turning the song into an intense rock anthem.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (Columbia, 1973); The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle (Columbia, 1973); Born to Run (Columbia, 1975); Darkness on the Edge of Town (Columbia, 1978); The River (Columbia, 1980); Nebraska (Columbia, 1982); Born in the U.S.A. (Columbia, 1984); Live 19751985 (box set, Columbia, 1985); Tunnel of Love (Columbia, 1987); Chimes of Freedom (EP, Columbia, 1988); Lucky Town (Columbia, 1992); Human Touch (Columbia, 1992); Greatest Hits (Columbia, 1995); The Ghost of Tom Joad (Columbia, 1995); MTV Plugged (Columbia, 1997); Tracks (box set, Columbia, 1998); Live in New York City (Columbia, 2001); The Rising (Columbia, 2002).

WEBSITES:

www.brucespringsteen.net; www.backstreets.com.

mark guarino

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"Springsteen, Bruce." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Apr. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Springsteen, Bruce." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved April 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/springsteen-bruce