|Darkness on the Edge of Town|
|Studio album by Bruce Springsteen|
|Released||June 2, 1978|
|Recorded||October 12, 1977–March 19, 1978
Record Plant Studios
(New York, New York)
|Genre||Rock, heartland rock|
|Producer||Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, Steven Van Zandt|
|Bruce Springsteen chronology|
Recovering from legal troubles and the stress of the breakthrough success of Born to Run, Springsteen released a somewhat less commercial album, Darkness on the Edge of Town.
In terms of the original LP's sequencing, Springsteen continued his "four corners" approach from Born to Run, as the songs beginning each side ("Badlands" and "The Promised Land") were martial rallying cries to overcome circumstances, while the songs ending each side ("Racing in the Street", "Darkness on the Edge of Town") were sad dirges of circumstances overcoming all hope. Unlike Born to Run, the songs were recorded by the full band all at once, frequently soon after Springsteen had written them. When Springsteen sings: "Summer's here and the time is right for racing in the street," on the track "Racing in the Street," he is taking-off Martha & the Vandellas' Dancing in the Street. Steven Van Zandt received a credit for production assistance for helping Springsteen tighten the arrangements from Born to Run's epic sound.
The album failed to generate any hit singles, with "Prove It All Night" barely making the Top 40 in the U.S. and follow-up "Badlands" not even doing that well. Regardless, many consider this to be one of Springsteen's best albums.
At the time, Darkness claimed the number one slot on NME album of the year ranking. In 2003, the album was ranked number 151 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The same year, the TV network VH1 named Darkness on the Edge of Town the 68th greatest album of all time.
A 30th anniversary reissue had been planned for 2008, but by the end of 2008, the project was shelved indefinitely, presumably due to Springsteen's numerous other 2008 projects. By January 2009, Springsteen's manager, Jon Landau, was saying the project was still in the works: "When we can find six weeks to sit down and finish it I'm sure we will."
All songs written by Bruce Springsteen
During the Darkness sessions, Springsteen wrote or recorded many songs that he ended up not using on the album. This was to keep the album's thematic feel intact, even at the expense of not having hits on it. Some of the unused material became hits for other artists, such as "Because the Night" for Patti Smith, "Fire" for Robert Gordon and The Pointer Sisters, "Rendezvous" for Greg Kihn, "This Little Girl" for Gary U.S. Bonds, and several tracks for Southside Johnny (including much of the Asbury Jukes' Hearts of Stone album). Other songs such as "Independence Day", "Point Blank", "The Ties That Bind", and "Sherry Darling" would turn up on Springsteen's next album, The River, while still others became bootleg classics until surfacing on Springsteen's late 1990s collections Tracks and 18 Tracks. Some of these Darkness outtakes were performed by Springsteen in concert during his 1978 tour and later.
|1978||U.S. Billboard Pop Albums||5|
|1985||U.S. Billboard 200||167|
|1978||"Prove It All Night"||U.S. Billboard Pop Singles||33|
|1978||"Badlands"||U.S. Billboard Pop Singles||42|