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Bruce Springsteen - VH-1 Storytellers


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Musician Bruce Springsteen treats fans to an intimate performance as he performs songs from his album Devils & Dust as well as his classics. This acoustic show follows in the Storytellers format and include questions from fans as well as a new interview with Springsteen about his new album and the stories behind the songs.

Amazon.com

If you'd rather hear Bruce Springsteen talk than sing or play, then this edition of VH-1 Storytellers is for you. That's not just faint praise. While it's obviously his music that has made his marathon concerts legendary, Springsteen is also a gifted raconteur; "storyteller" applies to no one if not to him. That's the case here, as he is effortlessly funny and wise, humble and self-deprecating, yet still the ineffably iconic Boss. Drawing from the full breadth of his immense catalogue, from early faves like "Blinded by the Light" (referring to Manfred Mann's hit version, he muses about how the British group managed to turn "deuce" into "douche") and "Thunder Road" to several tunes from his 2005 album Devils & Dust, Springsteen dissects his songs line by line, explaining how the music fuels, informs, and complements the lyrics. The insights are often fascinating, as is the reminder that he has always had the knack for taking any subject, be it personal or political, and expressing it in the simple poetry of the common man. Nevertheless, it's worth noting that he performs just eight songs, including two on piano, and that the actual music occupies less than forty minutes of this more than two hour show (counting the Q & A session with the fans). So if it's Bruce's music that you want, check out one of his several excellent concerts or video collections. Heck, the man himself seems to recognize that talking about his songs is somehow superfluous when, after going into great detail about the meaning of and motivation behind the Devils & Dust title song, he says, "How much of this was I thinking about when I wrote the song? None of it. How much of it was I feeling? All of it." --Sam Graham

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Springsteen
  • Directors: various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AMWJ16
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,434 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bruce Springsteen - VH-1 Storytellers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Bruce is an great song writer.
John Dingivan
One can argue that the program is more for the education and inspiration of budding songwriters than for fans of the artists invited to participate.
Rennie Petersen
He's such an intelligent and articulate "story teller" and really humorous!
bdingman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Schattenmann on September 5, 2005
This DVD is the expanded and re-edited version of a show aired on VH-1 in the US in April 2005. The concept of VH1 storytellers has its problems, as Springsteen admits right at the start of his session: "Tonight, I'm gonna play a few songs and try to give you an idea about where they come from. It's kind of an iffy proposition. Talking about music is like talking about sex. Can you describe it? Are you supposed to?"

8 songs from 6 different albums are featured on this DVD. With most of them, Bruce's explanation consists in going through them again line by line and making some comments. Especially in the later part of the show, it's nice to see him getting carried away. He more or less starts really playing the song again ... Doesn't that indicate that often times, the music really speaks for itself? Or like someone said (possibly Miles Davis): Writing about music is like dancing about art.

For Springsteen fans who have been to some of his shows, particularly on the Tom Joad and D&D tours, many aspects of this show are not much of a surprise. In contradistinction to many other musicians and bands, this is a rock and roll singer who regularly talks to his audience and sometimes at length. And it has been captured on official releases before: just think of the long introduction to The River on Live 1975-85. So, on the one hand, there is not much that is new or surprising. On the other hand: it has all the excitement and joy and human touch that Springsteen fans are used to. So go and get it!
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Rennie Petersen on May 6, 2006
Any inclination to put Bruce Springsteen into the mold of being a shallow pop performer is wiped away after watching "Bruce Springsteen - VH1 Storytellers".

"VH1 Storytellers" is a television program where singer-songwriters perform some of their songs and tell about the how and why of each song's creation. One can argue that the program is more for the education and inspiration of budding songwriters than for fans of the artists invited to participate. Still, I'm reviewing this DVD version of "Bruce Springsteen - VH1 Storytellers" as a fan, not as an aspiring songwriter.

In this program Bruce sings eight songs, accompanying himself on guitar or piano. No band. On "Brilliant Disguise" he invites his wife Patti Scialfa to sing backup, but otherwise he is alone on the stage.

Between the songs Bruce tells the story behind each song. This results in about 40 minutes of music and 56 minutes of talk, at least for the PAL version of the DVD. (Timing may be a bit different on the NTSC version.)

Bruce's discussion of his songwriting is very enjoyable, even confidence-inspiring. He comes across as a disarmingly honest person with perceptive insights into human nature. I found myself liking him a lot, much more than I had expected, having my prejudices regarding what show business and success does to people.

For example, Bruce mentions that he wrote up a lot of notes in preparation for this program. He then quips that on reviewing the notes he thought they made him sound very self-centered, and figured that for that purpose he didn't need notes!

And when discussing "Thunder Road", he dissects the line, "I got this guitar and I've learned how to make it talk.
Read more ›
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas J. Lester on November 6, 2005
Verified Purchase
If you love Bruce and go back to the Asbury Park days, you'll love this DVD. Bruce's sense of humor and raw honesty make this so enjoyable for fans. And if you're a musician (or even ex-musician like me) his insights into composing songs are worth the $12.

Bruce took his task of "decoding" his lyrics seriously -- bringing with him a book of notes to which he continually refers. He reminded me of a very hip college professor who is in love with his topic.

The performances themselves are OK, nothing special, but certainly up to Bruce's high standard (in most cases). Sure, he's older (aren't we all?) and it's slightly disappointing to see R&R's most dynamic and honest performer grow slower. So if you can't or don't remember the original Bruce, get one of his earlier DVD performances (but not the Barcelona DVD, it's awful) and definitely pick up "Darkness on the Edge of Town" to get the man at his most powerful. (To really understand the power of his songs and performances get the anniversary edition of Born To Run, which includes a DVD performance of Bruce and the ESB during their first UK tour.)

My daughter knows nothing of early Bruce. She saw this DVD and wondered why so many people love Bruce (yet she loves Dylan's "Unplugged" and Don Henley's "Live", so she has a lot of taste for a 16-year-old). I can see her point. If you don't know Bruce's body of work and can't see this DVD as just a small part of his career, this DVD will disappoint.

But for long-term fans, I highly recommend it.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By W. Laroche on September 10, 2005
Verified Purchase
I am so glad Bruce put this out. While I loved the VH1 storytellers there is really no comparison. This has great sound and it makes the show on vh1 just an appetizer. The format is much better and the full explanations from Bruce much nicer to have instead of the chopped up ones and the question and answer period is wonderful. Bruce does talk to his fans in many many ways and we miss some of the long raps he would do at shows until about 88 or so. He definitely talks to us now and there are interviews now that didn't use to happen as often but this is just classic Bruce and how he thinks, performs and talks. GET IT!
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Bruce Springsteen -  VH-1 Storytellers
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