Book Report: ‘Bruce,’ The Bruce Springsteen Biography
Just in time for the holidays, we’re offering brief takes on some of 2012′s best books for music fans.
THE BOOK: Bruce
AUTHOR: Peter A. Carlin
THE DEAL: It’s not his memoir, but Bruce Springsteen cooperated with author Peter A. Carlin for this book via a series of interviews; Bruce’s family, bandmates and friends were all participants as well.This book goes into the formation of the E Street Band, their dismissal, their reunion and more.
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED:
1. After “Streets Of Philadelphia,” Bruce planned another album of electronic music with the members of his early ’90s touring band.
After “Streets Of Philadelphia” became a big hit, Springsteen returned to his L.A. studio with a stack of CDs with pre-programmed drum loops and recorded an album (still unreleased) with drummer Zach Alford (who later joined David Bowie’s touring band), guitarist Shane Fontayne and bassist Tommy Simms. Simms also co-produced some of the tracks. (Simms went on to co-write Eric Clapton’s big hit “Change The World.”)
2. Springsteen was working on a very orchestrated album when he ditched that idea for Wrecking Ball.
In late 2010, Springsteen called producer Ron Aniello, who had worked on his wife Patti Scialfa’s 2007 record Play It As It Lays, and asked if he could help finish some tracks he’d been working on. As Aniello remembers, the the 30 or 40 unfinished tracks sounded like nothing bruce had ever done, and he compared them to the work of Aaron Copland. While Aniello was working on those tracks, Springsteen came to him with an acoustic demo of “Easy Money,” and the next day, “We Take Care Of Our Own.” Springsteen ended up ditching the songs he’d originally given Aniello to orchestrate, and worked on a new album that became Wrecking Ball.
3. While working on his Tracks box set in 1998, he reunited with an early version of his band.
The early song “Thundercrack” only had patchy lead vocals and no backing vocals. So he invited saxophonist Clarence Clemons, keyboardist Danny Federici and drummer Vini Lopez to his house, where they recorded new backing vocals for the old recording. Soon afterwards, Springsteen reunited with the E Street Band in time for his 1999 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Brian Ives, CBS Local
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