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Bruce Springsteen and the promise of rock 'n' roll
Marc Dolan
Adult Nonfiction ML420.S77 D65 2012

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Since his early days playing in garages and clubs in New Jersey and New York, Springsteen nurtured a rock and roll heart, pouring out his passion into power ballads, driving anthems, and mesmerizing riffs about social issues. Like a good rocker, Dolan relies on three chords and a beat to propel a straightforward story of Springsteen's life in rock 'n' roll and the ways that Springsteen's music has shaped and been shaped by the history of our times. In an appreciative study that at times verges on the academic, Dolan traces Springsteen's journey through a song-by-song and album-by-album development. Springsteen's journey down thunder road to his glory days started on Christmas 1964, when his mother bought him an electric guitar and an amp, and he began practicing harder than ever to capture the energy and driving sound of the Beatles. Although many of his songs were covertly autobiographical, what made Springsteen's songs "personal" was not so much their specific autobiographical detail or insights as the vision that they communicated of the observed world. As Dolan astutely points out, Springsteen's music has captured places and times from the defaulting of Manhattan in the 1970s to the culturally estranged home front of the Second Gulf War, and has tried to appeal to the broadest possible audience. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Bruce Springsteen began his long, successful career in the late 1960s, writing songs for the masses about cars, New Jersey's boardwalks, chasing girls, and escaping from small-town America. As he has grown older, his music has become both more personal and more political (and liberal). Rather than a biography, Dolan (English, American studies, & film studies, John Jay Coll., CUNY) here presents a historical review of Springsteen's musical and political influences. Those seeking dirt on his first marriage and subsequent relationship with Patti Scialfa may be disappointed. However, Springsteen's frustrations with Presidents Reagan and the Bushes are well covered. VERDICT With 30 pages of notes and a tone characteristic of music criticism, this book may not be ideal for the casual fan. Readers seeking a more personal and biographical approach to Springsteen's life should turn to Dave Marsh's Born To Run. Dolan's book is recommended for hard-core Springsteen fans and those who have more than a passing interest in his influences and music. [See Prepub Alert, 12/5/11.]-Todd Spires, Bradley Univ. Lib., Peoria, IL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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