Tuesday, August 6, 2013

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

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 fortieth 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.

 This book is how Bruce Springsteen got started in the music industry and how he found his band-mates to make the E Street Shuffle band. I have to say first this book will have to be for people that likes his music in general or want to know more about him. This book was not easy to read because there are many quotes from various managers, music executives,band-mates,etc.

It talks about how he became to be a musician in 1968 to current. His parents wanted him to go to college and he didn't want to at all. Music was a passion for him and a way to escape from things.

The book talks about how he got started in local clubs and bars singing and finding each of his band mates to form his band. The one band mate Clarence Clemons the sax player was interesting to learn about and also how his son joins the band after his father passes on.

I liked learning how some songs got on his albums. There were many songs that people at CBS didn't want on his records but he told them they would were good songs and would be hits. When Springsteen's records made quite a following overseas, they had to be quiet.

There were a few things that I thought may have helped this book for people who doesn't know who Bruce Springsteen is or have listened to his music. I wish there were more pictures of the major people that talked in this book so you could know who is talking better. Also, I wish there were a way to play snippets of his songs so you could fully understand Bruce's view on some of his songs. 

I had to put this book down many times because you would read a chapter and then all of a sudden there were all these quotes from various people that I didn't know and tried to figure out who they were in the book. At times,this book was boring and it sounded repetitive on various topics.

If you like his music or want to know more about him...this book is for you. It may be a fast read for you but it wasn't for me. I give this book a "7".

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Connie

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