Much has changed since I began this project in the spring of 1993. At that time, Bruce Springsteen was in the middle of a U.S. tour in support of his two simultaneous CDs, Human Touch and Lucky Town, which he had released a year earlier after a five-year hiatus in recording. Given Springsteen's usual hibernation between album releases, no one much expected any more activity from him until at least 1996. But he proved everyone wrong.
For one thing, after 1993, he became unusually active in recording and releasing works. He started contributing songs to Hollywood films, including "Streets of Philadelphia" for Philadelphia in 1993, "Dead Man Walking" for the movie of the same name in 1995, and in 1996 "Missing" for The Crossing Guard and "Secret Garden" for Jerry MacGuire. He did various tribute performances, including a cover of Curtis Mayfield's "Gypsy Woman" for a 1994 tribute album to Mayfield, and a live set at the opening concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 1995, a recording of which was released in 1997. Finally, he released three major works: a compilation of his songs, Greatest Hits, in 1995; a CD of acoustic songs, The Ghost of Tom Joad, also in 1995; and a video documentary and CD called Blood Brothers, about his reunion with the E Street Band for Greatest Hits, in 1996.
In addition to this musical activity, he was given, for the first time in his career, a number of prestigious awards. He won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for "Streets of Philadelphia" in 1994. He won four Grammy Awards, including "Song of the Year" for "Streets of Philadelphia," in March 1995. He won another Grammy Award--best folk album--in 1996 for The Ghost of Tom Joad. In 1997 he was awarded the Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, and by the time this book is published in 1998, he most likely will have been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Even more unprecedented is that Springsteen appeared for the first time on network television. He initially performed on Saturday Night Live and then on the