There’s been a buzz amongst the Bruce Springsteen aficionados in the office for a while about an imminent release that needs to be shared with our blog readers; Bruce Springsteen: The Promise – The Darkness on the Edge of Town.
Last year’s Glastonbury headliner and wider European tour brought Bruce and the E-Street Band to the attention of a new audience as well as reaffirming his standing with fans who’ve been following him over the last four decades. This new release takes us back to the early 70’s and an artist and a band just emerging as one of rock’s greatest acts.
Bruce Springsteen: The Promise, a bit of context………
Springsteen and the E Street spent the early seventies refining their sound, their debut – ‘Greetings from Asbury Park’ was a dylan-esque introduction to a major new talent.
The glorious second album ‘The wild, the innocent and the e street shuffle’ a riot of blues, funk and rock fusion.
1975 saw the release of one of rocks’ defining albums, ‘Born to Run’ , a timeless set of songs that saw Springsteen enter the pantheon of the greats, if you want an eloquent analysis of the majesty of that album click here: http://www.antimusic.com/reviews/09/BruceSpringsteenMonthBornToRun.shtml
In contrast to the sweeping almost orchestral sound of that album the next record ‘The Darkness on the Edge of Town’ was released in 1977, a time of economic depression in the States. The album showed Springsteen more concerned with artistic integrity and cataloguing the struggles of the marginalised working class rather than shifting units. At times it doesn’t have the fluidity of Born to Run but there are gems in there with the songs like ‘Streets of Fire’ creating a picture of despair and anger most lyricists never achieve.
This new release is a double album consisting of songs which were recorded during the ‘Darkness’ sessions and which were slated for release on a follow-up album that in the end never saw the light of day – until now. On it, Springsteen’s dark lyricism is in full flow; these songs sound like a fully realized album, and not just a collection of outtakes, hence an essential and fascinating addition to both seasoned and new Springsteen fans alike.
The Deluxe Package is the one that will get the fans hyper-ventilating with excitement.
It comprises of three CDs: The Darkness on the Edge of Town plus twenty one songs spread across two CDs which makes up ‘The Promise’.
In addition there are four DVDs (or Blu Ray if you prefer), one is an archive ‘making of’, there’s a concert from 2009 where the E Street band played the entirety of the Darkness album live in New Jersey followed by what promises to be an amazing collection of live footage of Springsteen and the E Street band at their youthful peak between 1976 and 1978. Then if that’s not enough there’s footage of a concert in Houston in 1978 where the band play a mixture of songs from the four albums they’d released to date.
So six hours of music in total, all accompanied by an 80-page notebook containing facsimiles from Springsteen’s original notebooks from the recording sessions, which include alternate lyrics, song ideas, recording details, and personal notes in addition to a new essay by Springsteen and never-before-seen photographs.
Read it and weep fan-boy!
The Deluxe addition admittedly doesn’t come cheap and it could be that it’s one for a Christmas list nudge and a wink from a loved one. However to tide you over there’s always the very affordable double CD of ‘The Promise’ which contains the 21 unreleased tracks and should tide you over for the time being!
Columbia Records will release Bruce Springsteen’s ‘The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story’ on Nov 16, buy it from zavvi.com today .