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Book: The E Street Shuffle (UK hardcover)
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|Why are we importing the British version of The E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band? Well, the U.S. edition of eminent music biographer Clinton Heylin's new book is 336 pages. The U.K. edition is complete as the author intended, at 440 pages, plus an eight-page color photo-section. Heylin has written authoritative works on Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, the subject of Bootlegs, and much more; he's followed Springsteen for a long time as well, and his smart, critical, and detailed analysis of Bruce's songwriting output between 1972 and 1984 is a crucial part of this work. This "extra" material in this U.K. edition includes his hundred-page section of notes on the 300 songs written by Bruce during that period, with full studio information taken directly from the Sony logs, and with many song titles previously unknown or merely rumored. |
Bruce Springsteen's place in the pantheon of rock legends rests largely on the albums he made and the barnburning shows he performed with the E Street Band in the 1970s and 80s. Featuring new interviews with Springsteen's bandmates and colleagues, Clinton Heylin's revelatory biography captures the Boss during this classic phase of his career, offering an intimate portrait of his rise from Asbury Park hood rat to global megastar.
Heylin expertly traces Springsteen's progress as a songwriter and performer, unfolding the sequence of early breakthroughs that led the artist to his fateful meeting with legendary Columbia executive John Hammond. Using long-buried archival recordings and bootlegs, and unprecedented access to Sony's studio logs, he takes us inside Springsteen's developing creative process and illuminates the role of pianist/arranger David Sancious in creating the funky, looser beat of the group's first two records, and of Little Stevie Van Zandt in crafting the driving sound that reached its commercial apogee on Born in the U.S.A.
The portrait of Bruce that emerges in these pages shows a man driven to bring his songwriting vision to life, remaining true to his muse even when it meant frustrating his band and record label by throwing away whole albums' worth of songs. Heylin's nuanced telling reveals the contrast between the fiery, mindbending live shows for which the band would become legendary, and the studio records whose difficult births evince their creator's obsessive quest for perfection.