E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
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E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

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by Clinton Heylin
     
 

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An intimate look at one of rock’s brightest stars and his legendary backing band

Before he was the swaggering, stadium-packing megastar, Bruce Springsteen was a brooding introvert, desperate to strike a balance between his nuanced songwriting and the heft of his backing band. Clinton Heylin’s revelatory biography, E Street Shuffle,

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Overview

An intimate look at one of rock’s brightest stars and his legendary backing band

Before he was the swaggering, stadium-packing megastar, Bruce Springsteen was a brooding introvert, desperate to strike a balance between his nuanced songwriting and the heft of his backing band. Clinton Heylin’s revelatory biography, E Street Shuffle, chronicles the evolution and influence of Springsteen’s E Street Band as they rose from blue-collar New Jersey to the heights of rock stardom. The band’s players—most notably saxophonist Clarence “Big Man” Clemons, guitarist “Little” Stevie Van Zandt, and drummer Max Weinberg—became Springsteen’s comrades in concert, helping him find the elusive sound and sonic punch that highlighted The Boss’s most creative period, including Darkness on the Edge of Town, Born to Run, and Born in the USA. Fans will also learn another side of Springsteen, one punctuated with his clashes with studio executives seeking a commercially viable, radio-friendly album, and  his  temporary disbanding of the E Street Band to pursue projects like the eerie acoustic of Nebraska. Coinciding with the forteith anniversary of Springsteen’s debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, drawing on interviews and access to new recordings and shows, Heylin paints a bold picture of The Boss.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A new biography of The Boss and his incendiary band. For those fans who have followed Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band from their heyday in the 1970s and '80s, this overview will undoubtedly stoke controversy. While veteran rock journalist Heylin (All the Madmen: A Journey to the Dark Side of English Rock, 2011, etc.) painstakingly resurrects a bevy of dates and details from Springsteen's forays into the studio, it quickly becomes apparent that the author doesn't hold the fawning view of his subject that previous biographers have displayed. Depicting Springsteen less as a proletarian humanist and more as a perfectionist workhorse who wasted countless hours committing songs to tape while disbanding and reforming the band at his whim, Heylin seems intent on puncturing an American rock myth. Indeed, the book often reads as a cautionary manual on how not to approach the recording process, with the author laying the blame on Springsteen's obsessive-compulsive revising of songs as well as the lenient attitude of his producer and yes man, Jon Landau. The phenomenally successful Born in the USA tour paradoxically comes off as the nadir of Springsteen's career, as intimate venues for die-hard fans gave way to stadiums for picnic-goers who came to hear only the hits. After officially breaking up the band in 1989, Springsteen recorded a series of mediocre albums, then took to the road with the E Street Band again in 1999. More successful than ever, the band is currently enjoying a second renaissance, but even that happy ending can't dispel the aroma of tepid disapproval that this book emits. Heylin's attempt to deromanticize an icon is admirable, but the finished product comes across as sullen and lackluster.
From the Publisher
"Narrator Dan John Miller handles the work admirably. Although there's nothing of New Jersey in his intonations, his cadence is laconically street-savvy, as one might imagine of the various club owners and record executives whom Springsteen encountered." —AudioFile

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670026623
Publisher:
Viking Adult
Publication date:
01/03/2013
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.16(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Clinton Heylin is the author of Bob Dylan: Behind the Shades and several other books about popular music and entertainment. He lives in the United Kingdom.

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