On October 9th, MVD Entertainment Group will release Bruce Springsteen Under Review 1978 – 1982, Tales Of The Working Man. The dvd is an examination of the post Born To Run period and the three albums that followed – “Darkness On The Edge Of Town,” “The River,” and “Nebraska.” The period is considered by many to be his most prolific and a time of growing creativity where Bruce starts to master the concept of character creation and bringing them to life in songs like “The River.” The albums are broken down and analyzed by early E Street Band member Vini Lopez; Rolling Stone magazine editor Anthony DeCurtis, Springsteen Biographers June Skinner Sayers and Eric Alterman, and many others.
Springsteen songs are full of sweeping romantic narratives and other tales where he steps into the shoes of a character and as a result forces the audience into wearing that characters’ shoes as well. For many, Springsteen’s music seems to capture the spirit of the age on albums like “Born To Run,” with its themes of sex, fun, grandiosity, and furthermore its’ validation of what rock n roll had meant for 25 years. In fact, “Born To Run” was a fist waving extavaganza that paid tribute to all of Springsteen’s early rnr influences. 1975 was the year Springsteen appeared on the covers of Time & Newsweek and by this time he had become an international star. The comparisons to Dylan and Van Morrison were rampant, and while they were well-intentioned, Bruce was offended because he was creating his own new language within his music and not merely mimicing the masters. Throughout this Under Review, we are reminded that much as people tried, Springsteen had his own vision, and was determined to go his own way and write his own songs.
All of this sets the stage for the three albums which are highlighted on the dvd. “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” is Bruce’s recognition of a rude awakening that the world is not man’s oyster, and a record where Bruce becomes much more consise in his storytelling. The double album “The River” was both ambitious and an album of self-indulgence where not only does it include the brooding narratives, but also pays tribute to the simple pop songs the band loves to play live. The final album in the trilogy is “Nebraska” his darkess album to date, filled once again with the pervading theme of characters who are stuck in their own lives with no recourse. Overall, this Under Review is entertaining and informative, and will certainly appeal to fans and serve as some great evidence as to why Springsteen is as important as he is.