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Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

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Close to thirty years after leaping into our rock consciousness with the classic rebel anthem "Born To Run," Bruce Springsteen is still one of the great concert draws in the business, keeping his E-Street Band busy for three and a half hours a night. Combining the poetic storytelling magnificence of Bob Dylan, with a more accessible view, and all the exuberance of the best classic rockers, Springsteen's work offers an ongoing portrait of Americana, from the starkness of Nebraska (1982) to the 2002 masterpiece The Rising, which addressed the tragedy of 9/11. Those mid-70s critics who hailed "The Boss" as a musical savior, and the editors who put him on the covers of Time and Newsweek knew an icon when they saw one.

Born to a working class family in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1949, Springsteen joined his first band in 1965, and despite the wishes of his father, a bus driver, he began jumping around with different bands in the New Jersey seaside town of Asbury Park. When the family moved to California, Springsteen joined them, but only briefly.

In 1972, he returned to the East Coast and signed a management deal with a producer named Mike Appel. He signed with Columbia Records in 1973 for the release of Greetings from Asbury Park. Hailed as "the new Dylan," Springsteen's follow-up, The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle further established him and laid the groundwork for 1975's breakthrough Born to Run, which quickly reached the Top 5. Born to Run became one of the most praised and purchased albums of the decade.

For the next three years, Springsteen did not record due to a lawsuit brought against Appel. Springsteen returned in 1978 with Darkness on the Edge of Town, considered by many to contain some of his best songs ever. Two years later came the more commercial double The River, which quickly went platinum with the help of the catchy Top Ten hit, "Hungry Heart." Springsteen switched back to a dark, edgy sound with 1982's Nebraska.

His next album, 1984's Born in the U.S.A. became a global phenomenon and is one of the biggest selling records of all-time. Its seven Top Ten singles include "Dancing In The Dark," "Glory Days" and the title song. At the peak of his popularity, Springsteen married Julianne Phillips and released the five-LP, three-CD set, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Live 1975-1985, which debuted at number 1 on the charts. The Phillips marriage did not last.

Upon its release, 1987's Tunnel Of Love received advance orders which took it immediately to #1. Springsteen continued to be political, supporting the Human Rights Now tour for Amnesty International in 1988, although from that time on he has maintained a lower profile. During the late 80s he performed numerous low-key gigs in bars and clubs and occasional worthy causes as well as his own Tunnel Of Love tour. In 1991 Springsteen married his longtime backup singer, Patti Scialfa.

In 1992, having disbanded the E Street Band, he issued two albums simultaneously;  Human Touch and Lucky Town, both of which scaled the charts in predictable fashion. He won an Oscar for his song "Streets Of Philadelphia" the emotionally-charged title track for the Tom Hanks' movie Philadelphia in 1994.

1995's The Ghost Of Tom Joad was a solo acoustic album in the Dylan tradition. A few years later, he toured again with the reunited E Street Band and in 1999, shortly after his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the band embarked on yet another world tour that reached mid-2000. He also toured upon the release of The Rising in 2002.

© 2004