After running around with various Jersey bands from the 1960s to the early 1970s, Springsteen finally settled into the Bruce Springsteen Band with pianist Danny Federici, bassist Garry Tallent, keyboardist David Sancious, drummer Vini Lopez, guitarist Steve Van Zandt, and, eventually, saxophonist Clarence Clemons. When he couldn't get good enough band gigs, Springsteen started playing solo, got a manager, and landed a record deal with Columbia in 1972.
When he headed into the studio to make Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., Bruce brought his buddies along with him. It didn't do much business, so The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle followed a year later.
That, too, failed to catch fire so Springsteen made some changes to his lineup replacing Lopez and Sancious with Max Weinberg on drums and Roy Bittan on piano. With the E Street Band in place, they hit the road and started work on Born to Run which dropped in 1975. The title track cracked the Top 40 and pushed the record into the Top 10.
Legal troubles sidelined the Boss for the next few years, with his return coming in 1978 with Darkness on the Edge of Town which managed a Top 10 placement. The 1980 double-LP of The River came next and topped the chart.
Despite that success, Springsteen veered into experimentation on 1982's Nebraska by using the solo acoustic demo versions for the album rather than the band versions. Next up was Born in the U.S.A. In 1984. Having not toured for Nebraska, Springsteen and company spent two years on the road.
Their efforts helped the album hit number one and spawn seven Top 10 singles, including the Grammy-winning "Dancing in the Dark," "Born in the U.S.A.," "I'm on Fire," "Cover Me," and "My Hometown." The album sold more than 15 million copies.
Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Live/1975-85 came out next and filled five LPs. It, too, hit number one and sold more than 13 million units. He kept that momentum going with 1987's Grammy-winning Tunnel of Love.
After that, Springsteen took a break, even going so far as to disband the band. The spring of 1992 saw his return to form with Human Touch and Lucky Town, albeit with new supporting players. Released simultaneously, the platinum albums debuted at numbers two and three, respectively.
His next project was the song "Streets of Philadelphia" for Jonathan Demme's 1993 film, Philadelphia. Not only did the song crack the Top 10, it also won four Grammy awards for Springsteen including Song of the Year and Best Rock Song, as well as the Academy Award for best song.
Bruce brought the E Street Band back together in 1995 for some bonus tracks on his Greatest Hits set, but it was a one-off thing. His next set, 1995's The Ghost of Tom Joad, echoed Nebraska acoustic meanderings and was supported by a solo tour. Another Grammy award found its way home with Springsteen.
After digging into his older material for 1998's Tracks, Springsteen got the band back together in 1999 for his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a world tour that stretched into 2000. The culminating show was recorded as Live in New York City.
With his trusty sidekicks still on board and September 11th in the popular consciousness, Springsteen released The Rising in 2002 as a thoughtful look at the happenings. Number one? Check. Platinum? Check. Grammy? Check. World tour? Check.
Seems Bruce can only do the band thing for so long at a time, though, as Devils & Dust in 2005 saw him go back to the solo thing for both recording and touring. Once again, he topped the charts and won a Grammy.
In 2006, he took another turn with We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. It didn't top the chart, but it did nab a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. The subsequent tour resulted in Live in Dublin in June of 2007.
The time to rock was, once more, upon him for 2007's Magic. Yet again, the set made number one, sold platinum, and won three Grammy awards across two years. Bruce took the E Street Band out on a world tour.
Having recorded some tracks during tour breaks, Springsteen and the band next released Working on a Dream on January 27, 2009. It debuted at number one to become his ninth chart-topping effort. A few weeks later, the guys played the Super Bowl half-time show before hitting the road on a lengthy tour.