Artist and Musician Biographies


Here is Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia."

Though loved by many fans worldwide, Bruce Springsteen symbolizes the working middle class American. Born into a middle class family in Freehold, NJ. in 1949, Springsteen grew to love poetry and began to express his own through his guitar playing in high school. After graduation he moved to New York City but failed to establish himself in the local folk scene, reluctantly returning to Asbury Park, N.J. less than a year later.

In New Jersey, Springsteen performed with a succession of small bands, such as the Rogues and Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom, before finding a place with the E-Street Band, a popular bar act. Springsteen's first album, Greeting From Asbury Park, N.J. was released in 1973, quickly followed by "The Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle," both of which won him critical praise. Springsteen was often compared in those days to Bob Dylan, with his scruffy appearance and poetic lyrics. Springsteen used language, which was easily understood by his fans and often spoke about issues that pertained to the American working class. After a tour with the popular band, Chicago, Springsteen returned with the album, Born to Run which quickly reached the Top 5. This album depicted an image that was both full of anger and hope from the streets of America. This album gave Springsteen the honor to grace the cover of both Time and Newsweek magazines in the same week, the only artist to have ever achieved that distinction.

In 1978, Springsteen returned with Darkness on the Edge of Town after resolving some management issues. The album reflects Springsteen's new, wiser character with the production of much more moody songs such as "Badlands." The next album, The River went platinum. The album contained a collection of songs of various moods, both uplifting and depressing.

In 1982, Bruce returned to his dark side with the album titled Nebraska. This album reflected Springsteen's raw feelings without any mask to hide behind.

Bouncing back from his pensive, brooding period, Springsteen developed a more pop-oriented sound with 1984's Born in the USA, which sold 20 million copies and was accompanied by a massive world tour which lasted nearly two years. Several hit singles were released from the album including the very powerful title track, as well as "Cover Me," and "I'm on Fire." Springsteen now symbolized the new working class American. "The Boss," as he is often called, hit big time, becoming an international superstar.

In 1985, he married Julian Phillips, and he has often supported political and social causes. He participated in the USA For Africa's "We are the World."

Bruce Springsteen's marriage had some problems as the rumors that surrounded his love affair with his back-up singer proved to be true. His personal problems carried into his work which output the 1987 album, Tunnel of Love which covered issues of losing love, emotional turmoil and other adult problems.

After one last tour, Springsteen parted ways with the E-Street band in 1989, returning three years later with not one but two new albums, Human Touch and Lucky Town. While Human Touch was more radio oriented, Lucky Town received greater critical acclaim. Springsteen continued to be political by supporting the Human Rights Now Tour for Amnesty International in 1988.

In the fall of 1993 the release "Streets of Philadelphia" became a Top 10 hit and won several Grammys. Now in the midst of a full fledge comeback, a greatest hits album was released and Springsteen reunited with the E-Street Band for several new tracks, as well as a critically acclaimed tour.

The year 1995's The Ghost of Tom Joad found Springsteen return to his folk days with acoustic guitar and soulful lyrics. In 1998, Springsteen successfully fought a lawsuit to stop a UK company issuing some early material. In late 1998 Columbia released Tracks, a box set including 66 previously unreleased tracks and B-sides.

Touring again with the E-Street Band in 1999, Springsteen once again won great commercial and critical success.

Springsteen remains a very influential figure in the world of rock music, and can be credited with revitalizing rock music during a period in the 1970's when it seemed that rock was headed to an early death.

Page author: L.C.