HEAR: Bruce Springsteen’s “Western Stars” Director


‘Western Stars’ sees Bruce Springsteen perform his 19th studio album in its entirety, live for the first (and probably only) time in a 100-year-old barn in his backyard in New Jersey.

The concert footage is also mixed with interstitials, filmed in Joshua Tree National Park, of the Boss musing about his music, life and everything in between.


The film premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and is written and performed by Bruce Springsteen, with special guest Patti Scialfa. Zimny, Jon Landau, Barbara Carr, and George Travis produced the film, with Springsteen serving as executive producer. The original score is by Springsteen and his longtime collaborator Thom Zimny directed the film with him.

Springsteen and Zimny have collaborated on several projects over the years, including
the documentary “The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town,” and the
Netflix filmed version of the Tony & Emmy Award-winning “Springsteen on Broadway,” which Zimny helmed and I caught up with Thom for an exclusive chat at the London Film Festival:

You really have to see ‘Western Stars’ in the cinema and it’s worth the trip. I found a new found love of the album being immersed in it and felt like I was right there in the barn with Bruce, the boys in the band his wife Patti and the 30 piece orchestra.

I didn’t like the rants from the man in between the tunes though. They were just a bit repetitive and too preachy in parts. However, there is some home movie footage that is included that is all class and a great bit of never before seen stuff for fans.

‘Western Stars’ gets ★★★★ ½ from me and is in cinemas from October 28th. 

Columbia Records will also release ‘Western Stars – Songs From The Film’ on October 25th, featuring each of the live performances captured in Bruce Springsteen’s directorial debut ‘Western Stars.’ The soundtrack includes every song from Springsteen’s most recent studio album of the same name, as well as a cover of Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

‘Western Stars – Songs From The Film’ pulls the audio from the film and is mixed by Bob Clearmountain and mastered by Bob Ludwig, the same legendary duo behind ‘Springsteen on Broadway.’

You can pre-order the album here.

The original ‘Western Stars’ album has become a global success by nearly every measure, reaching #1 on charts in every continent on earth and hailed by critics as some of the finest music of his career. The album also placed Springsteen alongside David Bowie and the Rolling Stones one of the Top 5 acts with the most #1 UK albums.

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