From the vault: Bruce Springsteen on video

Is it me baby, or just a brilliant disguise?

With Bruce Springsteen’s “Western Stars” movie opening in theaters this weekend (I will see it if the Bay Area power outages permit), it got me thinking about a now-ancient VHS video anthology he released in 1989, comprising his MTV-age videos and clips from live performances at the 1979 “No Nukes” benefit and at Neil Young’s Bridge School benefit in 1986. In this anthology, you can see Springsteen’s early evolution as a performer in front of the camera and as a visual artist behind it. There’s a whole world of changes between his awkward dance steps on “Dancing in the Dark” and the stunning emotional nakedness of “Brilliant Disguise.” Here’s my review from the San Francisco Examiner in 1989. Expand image to read.