The Ties that Bind. An Inside Look at the Creation of Bruce Springteen’s Groundbreaking Album The River, Debuts Nov. 27 on HBO
Bruce Springsteen’s 1980 double album “The River” was a landmark achievement that inspired raves from critics and fans alike, and prompted an extended international tour that raised his profile dramatically around the world. THE TIES THAT BIND, featuring an inside look at the creation of this groundbreaking album, along with previously unreleased archival footage from The River Tour, debuts FRIDAY, NOV. 27(9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: Nov. 30 (10:00 a.m.) and Dec. 3(3:20 a.m.), 6 (9:00 a.m., 3:45 p.m.), 11 (7:05 a.m.), 15 (11:45 p.m.), 17 (11:45 a.m., 2:15 a.m.) 19 (11:00 a.m.), and 22 (4:30 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Nov. 28 (10:00 a.m.) and Dec. 7 (8:00 p.m.), 10 (4:45 p.m.) and 20 (3:10 p.m.)
The documentary will also be available on HBO GO and HBO NOW.
Employing an intimate interview style, Grammy- and Emmy®-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny 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. Interspersed throughout the interview are his acoustic versions of several defining tracks from “The River,” including “Two Hearts,” “The River,” “Independence Day,” “Hungry Heart,” “Point Blank” and “Wreck on the Highway.”
In addition to rehearsal clips from Sept. 1980 and live performances from the legendary Nov. 5, 1980 Arizona State University show in Tempe Ariz., the documentary showcases more than 100 recently unearthed photos of Springsteen and The E Street Band during recording sessions for “The River.” Also presented are rare and previously unheard demos and outtakes from the 14-month recording process, including such songs as “Stray Bullet,” “Chain Lightning,” “The Time That Never Was,” “Cindy” and “Take ‘Em as They Come.”
“The River” was released Oct. 17, 1980 to critical acclaim. Rolling Stone called it “a rock and roll milestone,” and an “epic exploration of the second acts of American lives,” and included it on the magazine’s list of the greatest albums of all time.
Previous HBO documentaries on Bruce Springsteen include 2010’s “The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’” and 2014’s “High Hopes,” chronicling the making of his 18th studio album, both of which were directed by Zimny.
THE TIES THAT BIND is directed and produced by Thom Zimny; executive producer, Bruce Springsteen; executive producer, Jon Landau; executive producer, Barbara Carr.