Darkness On The Edge Of Town
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|10. Darkness At The Edge Of Town|
1978 album from the acclaimed American singer/songwriter. Includes 'Badlands', 'Something In The Night', 'Prove It All Night' and more.
The pain of a protracted legal battle with his former manager and the release of being allowed to record again after a three-year layoff are equally apparent from the piercing hard rock and harsh lyrical content of Darkness on the Edge of Town. Betrayal and hard work that comes to naught are the primary subjects on his mind here, evidenced by songs such as "Adam Raised a Cain," "Factory," and "Streets of Fire." Elsewhere, there are signs of hope or at least the possibility of outrunning your problems ("Racing in the Street," "The Promised Land," "Prove It All Night"). But mostly, these are songs about exorcising some serious demons, and from the sound of things, Springsteen's loud, lonesome howl and blistering guitar work went a long way toward making him whole again. This is angry art, made by someone pushed to his absolute limit and more than ready to push back. --Daniel Durchholz
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Top Customer Reviews
On this album, Springsteen hasn't a star producer, cause he didn't want to. He let Jon Landau, a former music critic from the Rolling Stone Magazine, produce together with him. The sound is simpler and more raw, but it fit with the anger and strength in the songs. The songs are totally awsome! Do I have to say Badlands? What a song! A timeless masterpiece! Always something to say to us, even today! Full of hope and optimism, but also anger and strentgh. Factory: A song which is short and seems to be not much of a song, but listen what Springsteen has to say in that song... It's awsome! Adam rise a cain... Listen to the anger in that song...
Racing in the street is wonderful as a ballad. Candy's room: Listen how nice Springsteen describe the prostituted woman that he met. He's a true human guy!
All songs are fantastic!
And if you really want to know how good Springsteen was that year, listen to the Winterland Night bootleg! Then you know how really awsome he really is...
You HAVE TO buy this album!! Or DIE!!
Despite the legal battles behind the scenes of this album that were quite the catalyst for his descent into darkness, it seems like it was the only logical way to go after embarking on the hopeful escapes in his first three albums. It was the natural progression of his maturity into the music. I would be so bold to say that without this record, Bruce Springsteen may have never reached the heights that this newfound lease on life provided him.
But...enough with my take on the importance of "Darkness...". The songs speak for themselves on this record. I think the best track is "The Promised Land" because it is like the workingman's anthem, so to speak. It is Bruce declaring that even though he is living a desolate, machine-like existence just to get by in the cruel world, he still holds on to the dreams of the promised land. Another favorite of mine on the album is the title track. His passion in this particular song you can feel in your veins...literally.
But...the showstopper track has to be "Racing in the Street." When I first heard this heartwrenching masterpiece, it gave me chills. I do believe that it is probably the most painfully beautiful song I have ever heard. The reality of it will floor you alone.
Overall, the anguish of Bruce on this record can be heard in every track. From the understated cynicism, to his angered and wounded cries and shrieks, this record is a MUST OWN.
The production on "Darkness" is also less elaborate than on the grandiose "Born To Run", and the songs are perhaps a little less epic as well, and certainly as tight and structured as anything Bruce Springsteen had made at the time.
This album found him sounding more and more like a traditional "heartland rocker", and it nevertheless features some of his best songs, including the tough rockers "Badlands" and "Adam Raised A Cain", the grand ballad "Something In The Night", the melodious pop-rock of "Prove It All Night", and the slow, bluesy rock of the title track.
The lyrics are often bleak, but the arrangements, filled with thumping drums, tinkling piano and swelling organ notes, are grand and full-bodied and even joyous, making "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" one of Bruce Springsteen's best and most consistent records, a must-have for any serious fan.
As another reviewer noted, this was also the first rock 'n' roll album I heard dealing with adult themes - from the fantastical workd of the Magic Rat, et al, on "Born To Run" to flesh-and-blood Joes and Janes trying to keep hope alive, this was a new experience, and a necessary one, as oldies about going to the Hop do not speak to the realities of adult life.
More than any other LP, this one deals with how the artist relates to his father. Count the number of serious songs dealing with father-child relationships in contemporary music - they are rare. "Adam Raised A Cain" and "Factory" are clearly attempts to come to terms with his father - like many men of his generation, a soul whose life revolved around supporting a family by doing brutal, drudge work, with nothing to hope for except making it in one piece to the next day ("Through the mansions of fear/Through the mansions of pain/Watch my Daddy walk through them factory gates in the rain"). The former also reveals that something in catechism must've stuck, because the track is bathed in Christian imagery - in some places more subtly than in others ("...You're born into this life paying for the sins of somebody else's past").Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Got this after I bought the promise which was excellent. Doesn't disappoint. I hope to hear more old stuff from archives in the future.Published 21 months ago by Chris Parsons
I was just listening to The 30th Anniversary 3-Disc Set CD of Born To Run. It has that album remastered. Hey Columbia, how about a remastered Darkness On The Edge of Town? Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2013 by Douglas MacRae
I have always been a bit of a Springsteen fan - only had one album (Greatest Hits) though. I saw him in concert in August 2012 and thought to myself "I need to listen to more... Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2013 by rose
Unfortunately, 'Springsteen Fever' is NOT a metaphorical sickness caused by loving this album so much that I felt ill. Read morePublished on Oct. 1 2007 by Jason Beck
one of if not my favourite BS album.
from the opening lines
"lights out tonite, trouble in the heartland..... Read more
If this album isn't on your top twenty you have to be crazy! What incredible, immediate, poweful, and heartfelt songwriting. It simply doesn't get much better than this.Published on Sept. 15 2005
It is hard to put in words how great this album is. How does a legend like Bruce top such a great album as "Born to Run"? By making an album that is perfect. Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2004 by MAGA
Although Darkness On The Edge Of Town is a dark album, it is not uniformly gloomy since its despairing moments are often spectacularly swept away by powerful blasts of defiance... Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2004 by Peter Uys