Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul
Steven Van Zandt grew up in the same south New Jersey shore scene as
Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny Lyon, and was closely associated with
them. He was a member of Springsteen's band Steel Mill in 1969-1970 and the
Bruce Springsteen Band in 1971. He toured with the Dovells, then worked with
Southside Johnny, helping him form the Asbury Jukes in 1974 and playing with
the group; but he re-joined Springsteen in the E Street Band in early 1975.
This group went on to massive success, and Van Zandt worked closely with
Springsteen, co-producing The River (1980) and Born in the U.S.A. (1984)
while also producing and writing material for Southside Johnny and Gary U.S.
Bonds. In 1982, he organized Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul and
released Men Without Women that year. He left the E Street Band on amicable
terms in April 1984 and released the second Disciples of Soul album, Voice
of America, that spring.
His work as Little Steven found him taking an overt left-wing political
stance; and in 1985 he organized Artists United Against Apartheid, recording
the all-star Top 40 single «Sun City», which increased awareness about
apartheid in South Africa and the fact that musicians appeared at the
country's Sun City entertainment complex. In 1987, having shed the Disciples
of Soul, he released his third album, Freedom, No Compromise. Revolution
followed in 1989. Though Van Zandt was without a record contract during the
1990s, he produced other artists and was involved in soundtrack work. In
1995, he re-joined the E Street Band for recordings and performances in
connection with Springsteen's Greatest Hits album. He turned to acting in
1998, taking a featured role in the successful television series The
Sopranos. In 1999, he again re-joined the E Street Band for its reunion
tour, and he released a new album, Born Again Savage.
Source: All Music Guide
Concert photography: © Helge Øverås. Must not be used without permission.