Friday, August 27, 2010

Dreams Do Come True: Darkness Complete Emerges

Bruce Springsteen - "The Promise: The Making of 'Darkness on the Edge of Town'" Sneak Peek from Columbia Records on Vimeo.

The debate has raged on in late nights in darkened rooms between friends for years. Just what is the greatest Springsteen album of all time? Born To Run is wall to wall ragged epics; The River is a supersize sprawling masterwork; Nebraska might be the greatest set of singer/acoustic guitar songs ever recorded; Born In the USA obviously is the most popular. But for me the best has always been Darkness On the Edge of Town. Very, very few people have captured what it is like to watch your dreams die, and Darkness is the final word on this sentiment.

I've been hoping for a Born To Run style reissue of Darkness, and here it is, in massive form.

From Spinner:

Fans of Bruce Springsteen's 1978 album 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' will be overjoyed by the details of the rock legend's forthcoming box set, 'The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story.' According to Springsteen's official website, the sprawling effort will boast three CDs, three DVDs and an 80-page notebook facsimile of Bruce's original notes from the album's sessions. An alternate edition, known simply as 'The Promise,' will only include the project's 21 unheard complete songs.

"'Darkness' was my 'samurai' record, stripped to the frame and ready to rumble," Springsteen said on the site. "But the music that got left behind was substantial." In advance of the record, Springsteen is streaming the previously unheard song, 'Save My Love' and an excerpt from the previously announced documentary on the record, which will debut on Sept. 14 at the Toronto film festival.

As for the arsenal of unreleased material, Springsteen admits it "perhaps could have/should have been released after 'Born to Run' and before the collection of songs that 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' became." 'The Promise' is the biggest unearthing of previously unreleased material from Springsteen since 1998's four-disc box 'Tracks.'

Among the goodies fans can count on, 'The Promise' touts a rock version of the classic 'Darkness' ballad 'Racing in the Street,' original renditions of 'Because the Night' and 'Fire' -- which were chart hits for Patti Smith and the Pointer Sisters, respectively -- plus the pop-inflected 'Someday (We'll Be Together).' Springsteen's manager Jon Landau described the newly unearthed material, which was mixed by Springsteen's long-time collaborator Bob Clearmountain, as "a great listening experience" and added, "There isn't a weak card in this deck."

The aforementioned notebook will feature alternate lyrics, song ideas, recording specifics, personal observations, rare photographs and a new essay by Springsteen. In addition to the Thom Zimny-directed documentary, the Deluxe Package will count a classic 1978 Houston performance by the band, their 2009 performance of 'Darkness' at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, N.J., and a DVD dubbed 'Thrill Hill Vault (1976-1978)' with live performances of material from the era.