E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Hardcover – 1 Nov 2012
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Heylin traces Springsteen's development from the bars of the Jersey Shore to the stadiums of the world in compelling fashion. (Catholic Herald)
An impressive feat of rock scholarship. (Sunday Telegraph)
The essential book for any fan of the Boss.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Up until the last few months all Bruce books seemed to offer only glowing portraits of Bruce and all his work. Dave Marsh set the tone with his 2 biographies, which were so devoid of any critical content that they could have been released by the Bruce organization. Most other Bruce books have followed the same path.
Unfortunately for Clinton Heylin his E Street Shuffle is being released at the same time as a new book - Bruce by Peter Carlin. Heylin is a dogged pursuer of the truth, with extensive interviews and obsessive devotion to minutiae. This is somewhat trumped by Carlin, who apparently had access to Bruce's family and the man himself for his pretty solid biography. This steals a little of Heylin's thunder, but E Street Shuffle is still a very thorough and honest analysis.
Some may find it too thorough and honest. Heylin is very opinionated and he doesn't care about prevailing opinions. I like this. Here are 3 sacred cows Heylin takes the time to slaughter:
1. Mike Appel is a villain. ------ I myself have never bought into the fact that Appel was the horrible record company executive taking advantage of the naive young genius. Heylin persuasively shows how the falling out was a mutual thing, that Bruce was just as much to blame. Bruce would never have reached his early level of success were it not for Appel' energy, enthusiam and huge sacrifices. The most important thing I took from reading the account of their fallout was, that once the lawyers got involved, their was no way it could end well.
2.Read more ›
Heylin's book is eminently readable; he knows the material; his writing style is accessible, though I coulda (!) done with a few less colloquialisms, and puns; as others have noted, he had access to a select few of the pre-74 cast, so kudos for that, and he has spent a lot of time (& money - those bootlegs cost a lot of dosh, even at record fairs in the 80's!) researching the lost cuts and alternative versions. I enjoy the style and salute the dedication, which is why I gave it 3 stars. I just dislike the personal jibes and the 'everything I don't like is rubbish' approach. Oh, and the author or publisher may like to take note that Edwin COLLINS was only 10 when Edwin STARR wrote 'War' in 1969.
Initially I was surprised about how this book gripped me. Heylin had done his research and offered some new insights into the Boss. I couldn't put it down as I enjoyed his review of all the cuts that were binned I had enjoyed on bootlegs and B sides wondering where they came from. Now I know. Also some gaps were filled in about Mike Appel and Springsteen's psyche which led to splits and tortuous recording sessions.
However, his writing began to wear me down and I ended up not finishing the book. The constant coverage of every track written and discarded becomes a strain after a while. But worst of all is Heylin's constant assertions of what were good tracks and good albums and what were not. In his world there is no such thing as subjective opinion. He is correct, end of story. At first I would rue the gems he described that Bruce threw away until I started to remember listening to some of them on bootlegs and the like. Some of these 'diamonds' Heylin rates so highly were pretty indifferent in my book. So I began to read with a little less acceptance of the 'word of Heylin'.
And then this book started to become ridiculous. In his view Springsteen peaked with his first two albums. Born to Run and everything since has been a let down! The 3 box live set excluded his best work!
I remember reading reviews of albums such as Nebraska that were in awe of his desire to write what was on his mind and not follow commercial motives.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book as a Xmas present but when I was flicking through it I became hooked on some of the facts. I can't wait for my husband to finish it so I can read it myself.Published 19 months ago by Sue Robson
Although I am only halfway through the book I feel compelled to write this review. However I do feel that I have read enough to give a fair and balanced review as Mr Heylin has of... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Mr. C. R. Willis
Well worth reading but there are a lot of books about Bruce, and some of them are much better.Published 23 months ago by haflinger121
Essential reading for any Bruce fan. Great to see all the tracks recorded but not released for each album. Read morePublished on 25 Jun. 2014 by Mr grumpy
I am a Springsteen fan. I have read the various books by Dave Marsh which is entertaining but perhaps lack any real critical edge. Read morePublished on 25 May 2014 by Musicfan
A great read for all Springsteen fans. Tells a brilliant story with great photographs of Bruce and the Band - fantastic!Published on 9 Jan. 2014 by Susan Macdonald
For years, the party line on the Boss, created and disseminated by his official historian,Dave Marsh, has been that Jon Landau saved the day and swooped in to rescue Bruce from the... Read morePublished on 9 Jan. 2014 by Billy Music
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