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Bruce Springsteen: Songs
ISBN 0380796112 / 9780380796113 / 0-380-79611-2
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Songs is aptly titled, for while Bruce Springsteen contributes text to this 300-page book, the writing centers on his songs, tangentially sketching his life story. The lyrics to well over 100 songs are presented, dating from the first track on his 1973 debut, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (that would be "Blinded by the Light") through the last selection on 1995's The Ghost of Tom Joad ("My Best Was Never Good Enough"). The lyrics are broken up by photos (a ponytailed youth practices his guitar on a bed in his parents' apartment, the Boss buys a burger, Springsteen mugs while on a desert motorcycle outing). Original lyric sheets provide some insight into the Jersey boy's creative methodology. Most interesting, however, are the chapters Springsteen penned for the book. Broken down by album, they provide abbreviated accounts of his creative development, and some of the writing is quite telling. (Of his commercial smash Born in the U.S.A., he professes ambivalence: "It forced me to question the way I presented my music and made me think harder about what I was doing.") Passionate fans of the man will find this heavy-duty songbook, journal, and photo album rewarding, and it certainly whets the appetite for a more thorough memoir. --Steven Stolder [via]
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