Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” Documentary Airs 11.27.15

By Jef Dinsmore on Nov 9, 2015 to Documentaries

Docs_TheTiesThatBindThe Boss is no stranger to HBO. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have now jumped onto the November schedule with another documentary entitled THE TIES THAT BIND which debuts on November 27 at 9:00 pm. The title refers to the lead track off of the double album called The River , which was the fifth studio album from the troubadour. Of the album Springsteen stated –

“The River was a record that was sort of the gateway to a lot of my future writing. It was a record we made after Darkness on the Edge of Town. It was a record made during a recession – hard times in the States. Its title song is a song I wrote for my brother-in-law and sister. My brother-in-law was in the construction industry, lost his job and had to struggle very hard back in the late 70s, like so many people are doing today. It was a record where I first started to tackle men and women and families and marriage. There were certain songs on it that led to complete records later on: “The River” sort of went to the writing on Nebraska, “Stolen Car” went to the writing on Tunnel of Love. Originally it was a single record. I handed it in with just one record and I took it back because I didn’t feel it was big enough. I wanted to capture the themes I had been writing about on Darkness. I wanted to keep those characters with me and at the same time added music that made our live shows so much fun and joy for our audience. So in the end, we’re gonna take you down to The River tonight.”

The performer has always been a storyteller and not just in song as he, with the aid of Emmy-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny, have chronicled the process of writing, creating and touring an album before. It started with 2010’s THE PROMISE and then for 2014’s HIGH HOPES. This time however, the focus isn’t on a current album but a past acclaimed one with familiar titles featured. The River features twenty songs total including “Hungry Heart,” “Cadillac Ranch,” “Independence Day” and “Fade Away.” The documentary includes them all plus snippets from songs that didn’t make the album. Also present was the band including HBO alumni Steven Van Zandt on guitar and backup vocals, Max Weinberg on drums and percussion and the late Clarence Clemons on sax & backup vocals.

Employing an intimate interview style, this documentary showcases Springsteen’s first-person take on his writing process. Offering an in-depth discussion on the origins of key tracks from his first double album, Springsteen shares how they were developed, from the notebook page to the studio to, most viscerally, the concert stage. If you want inside the mind of a musical genius than make sure to catch THE TIES THAT BIND.


  • Eleonora Iafano

    After watching this with my husband, my love for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s music has increased ten fold. I like how Bruce can write songs that have powerful, raw and poignant lyrics. He understands the plight of the working man; relationships; emotional heartache. Give me The Boss any day over the crappy packed auto tuned up junk that clogs the airwaves nowadays.

  • Eleonora Iafano

    THIS LOOKS INCREDIBLE!! My oldest brother is a HUGE Springsteen fan! I can’t wait to watch this!

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