Book Review: Springsteen: Saint in the City 1949-1974

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Bruce Springsteen book review – Springsteen: Saint in the City 1949 – 1974 by Craig Statham

Springsteen Saint In The City 1949-1974_book_cover

I have always been really interested about the whole early Springsteen era, and I have read all the early stories that are on Brucebase website many times. I really looked forward to read this book, as finally there is a book that covers all the early Springsteen’s bands; including Castiles, Child, Steel Mill, Dr Zoom & The Sonic Boom, and Bruce Springsteen Band.

Craig Statham has done a wonderful job sharing all the info there is. There are many stories I have not heard before. For me these little unheard stories are true gold nuggets. Book has about 180 pages and the chapters are just in perfect length. For those who are unfamiliar with all the early songs, this book helps to open up the lyrics more and how Springsteen’s songwriting has evolved.

Springsteen: Saint in the City 1949-1974 book could be better thought. Some of the pictures are from low quality sources. I hoped to see some unreleased photos, but there was only few that I haven’t seen previously. Also the quality of the paper used in this book and layout could have been better. I hoped to read more about the Boom Carter era, but maybe there’s not much new to share. End of the book felt bit rushed to me. Although, that’s something I have felt with other Springsteen books too.

For fans who are looking more info about the Bruce Springsteen’s before the fame era, this book covers pretty much everything you can hope for.

After reading this book, same question rises once again. Why is Bruce Springsteen so shamed about his early career? Every book lacks Bruce Springsteen point of view about the early days. Why we haven’t heard any of the early material officially? There are more than Tracks box-set of worth material (from 1966-1973) waited to be heard, even for us die-hard fans. There’s nothing to a shamed about the quality of these recordings. Why not just take the same route as Bob Dylan did with his “Bootleg Series”, or what Neil Young has done with his Archive releases? We can only hope that the Tracks 2 box will cover the pre-E Street band songs and bands..with notes from Mr. Springsteen himself. Now the best we can do, is to head to the Youtube and Brucebase site and search more info about those early gems.

Where to buy this book?
Check out or


As someone of you might know, Brucetapes website started as a database aimed for the Springsteen traders, to help them find info about bootlegs from 1969-1979. This database is still beneath this blog (you can access it here)

Related videos:

Few early “videos” made by me.

Steel Mill – Wind And The Rain (live):

Steel Mill – The Wind And The Rain (Live… by brucetapes
Plenty of early photos included. Audio quality is pretty bad (Thanks to bad encoding by dailymotion). I don’t have the original file anymore. 🙁

Bruce Springsteen Band – Cowboys Of The Sea (Live):

I think I have lost the original file for this video too. I need to check my archives for an upgrade.

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