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The Clue's in the cover picture..
on 8 September 2013
Whilst a degree of criticism is welcomed, and there are books that share that point of view, the most telling thing for me in this book is that the author is clearly of the opinion that Bruce peaked with the Wild , The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle, and that anything that was written, played, discarded or recorded post that album was naturally a let-down. Now, I don't mind which album a fan prefers, and sees as the artist(s) zenith. But to spend an entire book decrying Springsteen's output in the 40 year period since, in the process deifying Appel, Lopez (an erratic drummer at best) and Davey Sancious whilst simultaneously crucifying their replacements, smacks of overkill. The unwritten message in here is that Bruce sold out sometime in 1974, and should have done what Dylan did. What Bob did, in the main-with the exception of an enjoyable diversion with the Wilburys - was produce a succession of indulgent, redundant, unchallenging and relatively (by his own standards) unsuccessful albums. But hang that, so long as he was true to what he wanted, even if most fans lost interest at Desire.
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.