The Promise

( 11 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Following Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen was proclaimed the savior of rock & roll classicism; it was hype that threatened to derail his career. In a bitter lawsuit with his former manager, he was locked out of a studio for two years but continued writing songs at fever pitch and rehearsing them on a farm in rural New Jersey. Some of these tunes -- composed during an economic recession -- reflect the tension between following one's dreams and her/his responsibilities. Still others reveal the deep influence of early rock & roll on Springsteen. When he was finally able to record, he cut enough material for four albums, and then pared it down to one. Darkness on the Edge...
See more details below
CD
$15.95
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (9) from $15.57   
  • New (7) from $15.57   
  • Used (2) from $21.24   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Following Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen was proclaimed the savior of rock & roll classicism; it was hype that threatened to derail his career. In a bitter lawsuit with his former manager, he was locked out of a studio for two years but continued writing songs at fever pitch and rehearsing them on a farm in rural New Jersey. Some of these tunes -- composed during an economic recession -- reflect the tension between following one's dreams and her/his responsibilities. Still others reveal the deep influence of early rock & roll on Springsteen. When he was finally able to record, he cut enough material for four albums, and then pared it down to one. Darkness on the Edge of Town proved that Springsteen was no mere revivalist. The album was assembled from more sparsely produced, claustrophobic, and desperate "sound picture" songs, about lives broken by work, family and perceived societal obligations, and are haunted by questions of "what if?" They were a world away from the epic, busting-out-for-freedom maximalist tracks found on Born to Run. The Promise collects 21 unreleased songs written and mostly recorded between 1976 and 1978. They offer an aural view as to what might have been had Springsteen been able to record immediately after Born to Run. While some lyric themes here reflect the brokenness and hard choices found on Darkness, others are substantially more triumphant in their worldview; and musically, all the songs here contain more substantially production. These selections also lack the knife-edge, searing, angry guitar that saturates Darkness. Included are his versions of singles farmed out to other artists -- "Because the Night" and while this version is terrific, it means something else in the end; Patti Smith's version remains definitive, the gritty, soulful "Fire," which eventually given to the Pointer Sisters who scored big with their classy version. The galloping "Gotta Get That Feeling" summons Jack Nietszche's production ears with its big mariachi brass. This tune and numerous others contain open homages to Phil Spector's "sha-na-na-na" choruses. Clarence Clemons' saxophone is much more prevalent on the songs of The Promise than it is on Darkness. His meat-and-potatoes tone adds heft and groove to these selctions. "Ain't Good Enough for You" is pure handclap, call-and-response, verse and chorus, approaching a doo wop celebration. The poignant love poetry in "The Brokenhearted" and "Spanish Eyes" could have been written by Doc Pomus, and reveals the influence of Jerry Leiber's "Spanish Harlem." "Candy's Boy" begins lyrically in the same place as "Candy's Room," but is a very different song melodically and thematically. "Racing in the Street" features different words; David Lindley's violin makes the track a bit less personal, more anthemic; it's absent the shadow of doubt that makes the Darkness version so devastating emotionally. "Come On Let's Go Tonight" is an early version of "Factory." "The Promise" is the only cut that might have added something to Darkness that isn't already there. Its sense of bewilderment, betrayal, uncertainty, and regret is total. That said, the addition of strings draws it outside Darkness' skeletal purview, underscoring the fact that Darkness is perfect as it is. The Promise stands on its own as a great Bruce Springsteen record; it feels finished, focused, and above all, offers definitive proof that Springsteen was even at that early date, one of the greatest rock and pop songwriters America had to offer.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/16/2010
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886977617720
  • Catalog Number: 776177
  • Sales rank: 11,807

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bruce Springsteen Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Clarence Clemons Percussion, Saxophone
Roy Bittan Piano
Danny Federici Organ, Glockenspiel
Garry Tallent Bass
Steven Van Zandt Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Max Weinberg Drums
Kevin Buell Guitar
Harry McCarthy Drums
Technical Credits
Doug Cameron Composer
Bruce Springsteen Composer, Producer, Additional Production
Barbara Carr Management
Jimmy Iovine Engineer
Jon Landau Producer, Management
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Toby Scott Engineer
Patti Smith Composer
Steven Van Zandt Horn Arrangements
David Bett Art Direction
Michelle Holme Art Direction
Alison Oscar Management
Marilyn Laverty Publicity
Sophia Pecora Management
Rob Light Booking
Nick Loss-Eaton Publicity
Jan Stabile Management
Barry Bell Booking
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Promise Delivered - 33 Years Later

    When Bruce Springsteen emerged from his three-year battle with his former manager-producer, Mike Appel, he was determined to make a record that was just as good (perhaps even better) as "Born To Run". That record was "Darkness On The Edge Of Town", which Bruce often referred to as his "samurai album". However, he recorded enough material for a second album, a double-album to be exact, which incorporated all the elements of the great music that he was raised on (rockabilly, soul, R&B, even Phil Spector girl group songs). That album was called "The Promise". It was never released. Until now. Over the years, though, bits and pieces of "The Promise" found their way out. Such as "Candy's Boy", a plaintive, reflective song that was re-worked into the highly-charged "Candy's Room". "Come On, Let's Go Tonight" later became "Factory". "Spanish Eyes" featured lyrics that later became "I'm On Fire". Some of these songs became hits for other artists like The Pointer Sisters ("Fire"), Patti Smith ("Because The Night") and Southside Johnny ("Talk To Me"). But how many have heard Bruce's better and more rocking reworking of "Racing In The Streets"? Or how about "Someday (We'll Be Together) with its Wall Of Sound production and backup vocals? And the title track, which quotes freely from "Thunder Road", is a brilliant, stand-alone tune. The legal battle obviously did something to spur Bruce's creative growth---or pent-up hostility, depending on your point-of-view. In any case, "Darkness" and now this record prove that Bruce and his group, The E-Street Band, were (and still are) one of their greatest rock bands of all time. "Darkness" has been re-released in a mammoth 3 CD and 3 DVD set with a massive booklet, which is probably more than even the casual fan needs to know. Somehow, all that we need to know is this record and "Darkness". Though it came 33 years later, any Springsteen fan would gladly welcome a shimmering rock album like "The Promise" anytime.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Times are tough- frustration- need relief- so Bruce throws us the C/D package.

    Hello friends- This was the record that got me into many years of being a fan- and the 1st of quite a few shows (but lots of you have got plenty over me) but this one counts: Winterland, San Francisco, Friday Dec. 15, 1978 with KSAN broadcasting and the tour bus parked on Steiner with the Xmas tree lite! I heard an hours worth of the live 1978 Phoenix set on the local radio, and although 2010 finds me thousands of dollars in debt, working 32hrs a week, I just can't afford the "bill" it would cost to get the "deluxe" package that contains those live songs that totally capture BS and the E streeters as "the greatest rock and roll band" title. Long may they run and here's to Danny, who always looked grumpy, but think of his contributions through all those years! As I've emailed friends who know this era and share my passion: It's OK to ask Santa to bring you this!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews