When Bruce Springsteen finally broke through to national recognition in the fall of 1975, after a decade of trying, critics hailed him as the savior of rock & roll, the single artist who brought together all the exuberance of '50s rock and the thoughtfulness of '60s rock, molded into a '70s style. He rocked as hardubl as Jerry Lee Lewis, his lyrics were as complicated as Bob Dylan's, and his concerts were near-religious celebrations of all that was best in the music. One critic became so enamored that be quit reviewing to become Springsteen's manager.
But the hosannas, when piped through the publicity machine of a major record company, were perceived as hype by a significant part of the public as well as the mainstream media -- Springsteen landed on the covers of
Time and Newsweek, but both magazines were covering the phenomenon, not the music. Springsteen's album, Born to Run, became a hit, and he jumped to arena status as a live act, but as many people were turned off by the press campaign as turned on by the records and shows.
Two decades later, however, Springsteen remained an established star who could look back on a career that had produced one of the best-selling albums of all time, sold-out stadium shows, Grammy Awards and an Oscar, and a group of imitators who constituted their own subgenre of popular music. If he no longer seemed divine, he remained popular enough for his
Greatest Hits album to enter the charts at number one, and he had won over many of those skeptics from 1975.
Growing up in southern New Jersey, Springsteen turned to rock & roll as a teenager and played in a series of bands from the mid-'60s on, varying in style from garage rock to power trio blues-rock. By the early '70s, he was trying his hand at being a folkie singer/songwriter in Greenwich Village. But when he was signed to Columbia Records in 1972, he brought into the studio many of the New Jersey-based musicians with whom he'd played over the years.
The result was
Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ (January 1973), which went unnoticed upon initial release, though Manfred Mann's Earth Band would turn its lead-off track, "Blinded by the Light," into a number one hit four years later. The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle (September 1973) also failed to sell, despite some rave reviews. (Both albums have since gone platinum.)
The following year, Springsteen revised his backup group -- dubbed "The E Street Band" -- settling on a lineup that included saxophone player Clarence Clemons, second guitarist "Miami" Steve Van Zandt, organist Danny Federici, pianist Roy Bittan, bassist Gary Tallent, and drummer Max Weinberg. With this unit he barnstormed the country while working on his third and last chance with Columbia. By the time
Born to Run (August 1975) was released, the critics and a significant cult audience were with him, and the title song became a Top 40 hit while the album reached the Top Ten.
What Springsteen needed to do in the wake of the hype, of course, was to play and record more to consolidate his position. He was prevented at least from the latter by a former manager, who kept him in court during the next couple of years. Meanwhile, the musical world changed. Part of the reason critics had welcomed Springsteen so enthusiastically in 1975 was that be seemed a return to basic rock & roll values in a world of soft rock, heavy metal, and art-rock.
By the time Springsteen returned with his fourth album,
Darkness at the Edge of Town (June 1978), however, the punk/new wave movement had outflanked him, pushing him from the vanguard to the mainstream. Similar sounding heartland rockers such as Bob Seger had appeared, so that Springsteen sounded less like an innovator than a member of an established genre.
Nevertheless, he set about winning fans with an album that found the lost children of his early albums stuck in factory jobs, still longing for some escape. The album was a hit, though it did not match the success of
Born to Run. Springsteen returned with the double album The River (October 1980), which topped the charts and featured his first Top Ten hit, "Hungry Heart."
Nobody was calling him a hype anymore, but Springsteen retreated from his expanding success, next recording the low-key album
Nebraska (September 1982), a virtual demo tape-on-vinyl. (Springsteen did not tour to promote the album, and in the interim E Street Band guitarist Van Zandt amicably left the group for a solo career, to be replaced by Nils Lofgren.)
But then came
Born in the U.S.A. (June 1984) and a two-year international tour. The album threw off seven hit singles and sold over ten million copies, putting Springsteen in the pop heavens with Michael Jackson and Prince. After touring for more than a year, he released a five-LP/three-CD concert album, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band/Live 1975-85 (November 1986), which topped the charts.
Characteristically, Springsteen returned with a more introverted effort,
Tunnel of Love (October 1987), which presaged his divorce from his first wife. (He married a second time to singer Patti Scialfa, who had joined the E Street Band.)
After another marathon tour, Springsteen gave the E Street Band notice in November 1989, breaking up a celebrated unit that had stayed together 15 years. In March 1992, he simultaneously released
Human Touch and Lucky Town, and though the albums premiered near the top of the charts, they were less successful with fans than previous efforts. In the fall, Springsteen taped an MTV Unplugged segment (though he plugged in after one song), and the performance was released as an album in Europe in 1993.
Springsteen continued to tour until July 1993. In the fall, he wrote and recorded "Streets of Philadelphia" for the soundtrack to the film
Philadelphia, which concerned a lawyer dying of AIDS. The song became a Top Ten hit in 1994, winning the Academy Award for Best Song and cleaning up in the Grammys the following year. At the same time, Springsteen had readied his Greatest Hits album (February 1995), reassembling the E Street Band to record a few new tracks. The album was an immediate best-seller. Springsteen followed it with The Ghost of Tom Joad (November 1995), another low-key, downcast, near-acoustic effort, and embarked upon a brief "solo" tour. The much-anticipated Tracks -- a four-disc collection of previously unreleased material -- followed in late 1998. --h


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Below are listed some of the items available from the Collectable Records catalogue. Any of these items can be ordered n-line on our ordering page. Don't forget to add postage and packing.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Anabas Fotofile (UK 6 LP sized photographs in LP sleeve) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Badlands (Spain 2 trk 7" p/s,CBS6838) 11.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Better Days (UK 3 track 12"picture disc 6578908) 15.00
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born In The USA (UK 12 trk p/s LP,86304) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born In The Usa (UK 12 trk p/s LP,86304) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born In The USA (UK 12 trk p/s LP,86304) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born In The USA (Canada 3 trk 12" p/s,7464-05147 15.00
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born In The USA (USA 7" p/s single,38-04680) 6.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born In The USA (UK 4 track 12"TA6342) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born To Run (UK 8 trk g/f LP,69170) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born To Run (UK gatefold LP) 6.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEM Born To Run (JAP 7" pic inner single,Y600) 16,95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born To Run (UK 2 trk 7" co slve,CBS7077) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born To Run (Spain 2 trk 7" p/s,S80959) 9.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born To Run Live (UK 2 trk p/s,BRUCEB2) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born To Run Live (UK 2 7" box set ltd edn,BRUCEB2 14.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Born To Run Live (UK 3 track 12"BRUCET2) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Brilliant Disguise (UK 2 trk 7" p/s,651141 7) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Cover Me (UK ltd edn dble pck 7" sealed) 26.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Cover Me (Original uK 7" p/s,A4662) 3.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Cover ME (UK 2 trk 7" p/s,A4662,1984) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Cover Me (UK 5 track 12"QTA4662) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Cover Me (UK 7" poster bag,A4662) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Cover Me (UK 3 track 12"TA4662) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Cover Me (Undercover mix) (UK 5 track 12"QTA4662) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Dancing In The Dark (UK 2 track 12"TA4436) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Dancing In The Dark (UK 7" shaped pic disc,WA4436) 21.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Dancing In The Dark (Original UK 7" p/s single 1984, A 4436) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Fire (UK 5 track 12"6503816) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Fire (UK 2 trk 7" p/s,650381 7) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Glory Days (Original UK 7" p/s single 1985) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Glory Days (UK 4 track 12"TA6375) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Hungry Heart (UK 2 trk 7" co slve,SCBS9309) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Hungry Heart (Original UK 7" single 1980) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Hungry Heart (JAP 2 trk 7" p/s,07SP511) 18.00
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN I'm Goin' Down (JAP 7" g/f 2 trk single,1OSP914 18.00
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN I'm On Fire (JAP 7" pic inner,Y700) 18.00
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Interview (interview picture disc LP BS1012) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN La Luz Ciega Mis Ojos (Spain 2 trk 7" p/s,CBS5121) 13.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Leap Of Faith bw Live Versi (UK 7" p/s single 1992, COL6583687) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Live Box Set 1975-85 (BOXED SET OF 5 LP 4502271 + 36 page book) 35.00
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Lucky Town (UK 2trk 7" p/s,6592287) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN My Hometown (Original UK p/s single 1985, A 6773) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN My Hometown (UK 2 trk 7" p/s,A6773) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Prove It All Night (Spain 2  trk 7" p/s,CBS6424) 10.00
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Secret Garden (UK 4 trk CDS,664324 2) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEM Sherry Darling (Spain 2 trk 7" p/s,CBS99568) 12.00
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Spare Parts (UK 7" p/s single,BRUCE4) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Spare Parts (UK  2 trk 7" p/s,BRUCE4) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Telltales (UK p/d Interview single) 3.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Telltales (UK p/d Interview single) 3.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Tenth Avenue Freeze Out (UK 7" co slve,SCBS3940) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN The River (UK double LP) 9.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Tougher Than The Rest (Original UK 7" p/s single 1987) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Tunnel Of Love UK 2 trk 7" p/s,651295 7) 4.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Tunnel Of Love (UK 12 trk p/s LP,4602701) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN War (UK 3 track 12"6501936) 8.95
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND War (Original UK 7" p/s,650193 7) 4.95