The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen

Overview

Bruce Springsteen's career has been covered many times over, yet many of the complexities and apparent contradictions of his music remain unresolved. Rob Kirkpatrick provides a comprehensive and coherent look at the work of this thoroughly complex and persistently captivating artist. After a brief biographical treatment, Kirkpatrick considers all of Springsteen's significant albums in chronological order. These include Born to Run, which was voted the most popular album of all time in a recently published Zagat ...

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Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen (Praeger Singer-Songwriter Collection)

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Overview

Bruce Springsteen's career has been covered many times over, yet many of the complexities and apparent contradictions of his music remain unresolved. Rob Kirkpatrick provides a comprehensive and coherent look at the work of this thoroughly complex and persistently captivating artist. After a brief biographical treatment, Kirkpatrick considers all of Springsteen's significant albums in chronological order. These include Born to Run, which was voted the most popular album of all time in a recently published Zagat survey; Born in the U.S.A., which sold more than 20 million copies; and The Rising, regarded by many as the most poignant artistic reaction to 9/11. In addition to a probing musical analysis, the book offers a guide to Springsteen's lyrical themes and motifs, allowing readers insight into the complicated nature of the artist's underlying concerns, influences, and ideas. Rounding out the volume is a consideration of The Boss's legacy as a songwriter and musician, as well as appendices including a bibliography and a complete discography.

The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen provides a comprehensive and coherent look at the work of a thoroughly complex and persistently captivating artist. Springsteen enjoys a popularity that has transcended generations. His 1975 album Born to Run was voted the most popular album of all time in a recently published Zagat survey; his 1984 album Born in the U.S.A. spawned seven Top Ten singles while selling more than 20 million copies; and his 2002 album The Rising was regarded by many critics as the most poignant artistic reaction to 9/11. Springsteen, now in his 50s, has evolved from an over-hyped version of the next Bob Dylan, to the future of rock and roll in the mid-1970s, to a pop culture icon in Reagan America, to a 21st-century populist voice. His career has been covered many times over, yet many of the complexities and apparent contradictions of his music remain unresolved. These include his hard-rock influenced musical background; his movement from themes of rebellion and isolation in his early work to those of a more populist complexion later on; and his contribution in the 1980s to a conservative patriotism—despite his albums' close association with the music and ideas of Woody Guthrie.

After a brief biographical treatment, Kirkpatrick considers all of Springsteen's significant albums in chronological order. In addition to this probing musical analysis, he offers a guide to Springsteen's lyrical themes and motifs, allowing readers a coherent insight into the complicated nature of the artist's underlying concerns, influences, and ideas. Rounding out the volume is a consideration of The Boss's legacy as a songwriter and musician, as well as appendices including a bibliography and a complete discography. In sum, The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen provides a comprehensive and coherent look, previously unavailable in a single volume, at the work of a thoroughly complex and persistently captivating artist.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a musical biography of rock singer Bruce Springsteen that travels chronologically through the artist's many albums examining Springsteen's creative processes of songwriting, performing, and recording. The author discusses cultural and social contexts for Springsteen's music, lyrical themes and motifs, musical analysis, and musical and lyrical influences."

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Reference & Research Book News

"Other books have covered the life and works of popular musician Bruce Springsteen, but few offer the depth of analysis and critical assessment of The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen, which opens with a brief biography, before it turns to the heart of the matter: all of his significant albums, in chronological order, which provide a musical analysis of themes, motifs, and underlying ideas. College-level students of popular music will appreciate the attention to detail and the insights which lend to a far greater appreciation for Bruce Springsteen's works."

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Midwest Book Review - The Bookwatch

"The Words and Music of Bruce Springsteen, by Rob Kirkpatrick, offers a fresh, compelling look at The Boss's art, his life, and even his country. After a brief biographical treatment, Kirkpatrick offers a guide to Springsteen's lyrical themes and motifs, offering coherent insights into the complicated nature of the artist's underlying concerns, influences, and ideas. The book also considers Springsteen's legacy as a songwriter and musician. A bibliography and complete discography complete the volume."

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Library Media Connection

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Rob Kirkpatrick

ROB KIRKPATRICK is the author of Cecil Travis of the Washington Senators: The War-Torn Career of an All-Star Shortstop (2005). He provided an essay on the Pacific coast rock music scene for The Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Regional Cultures (2004), contributed to Approaches to Teaching Hamlet (MLA 2001) and has appeared in The Hemingway Review.

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