The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story [3 CD/3 DVD]

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story is a three-CD/three-DVD deluxe collection that includes a completely remastered version of the Darkness album and two more discs entitled The Promise, containing 21 unreleased songs recorded during the period. The remastered version of the album by Bob Ludwig is sonically righteous; it resists the temptation of the era's technology to make everything sound flat. Its dynamics and warmth mirror those on the original vinyl edition. The two discs of unreleased material available separately as well offer an aural view as to what might have happened had Springsteen been able to record immediately after Born to Run. He was barred ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story is a three-CD/three-DVD deluxe collection that includes a completely remastered version of the Darkness album and two more discs entitled The Promise, containing 21 unreleased songs recorded during the period. The remastered version of the album by Bob Ludwig is sonically righteous; it resists the temptation of the era's technology to make everything sound flat. Its dynamics and warmth mirror those on the original vinyl edition. The two discs of unreleased material available separately as well offer an aural view as to what might have happened had Springsteen been able to record immediately after Born to Run. He was barred from doing so for two years due to a lawsuit with his former manager. While many lyric themes here reflect the brokenness and hard choices found on Darkness, others sound more triumphant. All of these songs contain a more maximal attitude in production. They also lack the knife-edge, searing, angry guitar work 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 remains definitive and the soulful, gritty "Fire" given to the Pointer Sisters. "Gotta Get That Feeling" summons Jack Nitzsche's production ears with its big mariachi brass. Many others openly recall Phil Spector's "sha-na-na-na" backing choruses. Clarence Clemons' saxophone is much more prevalent here than on Darkness. His meaty tone adds heft and groove to these songs. "Ain't Good Enough for You" is pure handclap, call-and-response, verse-and-chorus joy, 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 Lieber's "Spanish Harlem." "Candy's Boy" begins lyrically in the same place as "Candy's Room," but becomes a very different song. "Racing in the Street" contains some different words and 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 emotionally devastating. "The Promise" is the only cut that may 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' more skeletal purview, underscoring that Darkness is perfect as it is. The first of the three DVDs features a full-length documentary directed by Thom Zimny on the making of the album, with fantastic, amazing archival studio and performance video footage by Barry Rebo. The narration by Springsteen and interviews with producer Jon Landau, bandmembers, Patti Smith, engineer Jimmy Iovine, and even Mike Appel provide an intimate look at an intense and often frustrating period in the career of Springsteen & the E Street Band. The viewer can feel the places where confusion reigned given the sheer amount of material -- over 70 songs were written and demoed; piles of notebooks from which song lyrics and ideas were cobbled are perched everywhere. The fact that a single album came from this mountain is amazing in itself; that Darkness on the Edge of Town emerged is a miracle. The second DVD here contains a complete 2009 performance of the album at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ on the first half. While the performance is flawless and stirring, the lack of interaction with an audience feels a bit strange. That said, hearing Springsteen play the hell out of his guitar again, making it scream and snarl as it did during the tour for Darkness, is not only welcome, but akin to the sound of an old friend's voice after a prolonged absence. Bob Clearmountain's mix is stellar. The band's instinctive playing is tight and intuitive. The rest of the disc features footage from the Thrill Hill Vault, including rehearsal footage, recording snippets, and some concert performances from New Jersey, New York, and Phoenix from the tour. The final DVD is a complete three-hour concert by Springsteen & the E Street Band from Houston in 1978. It's called a "bootleg cut" on the cover for a reason; the video is fine, but the audio is basically board sound and a bit thin. That said, the performance is dynamic and riveting, and only audiophiles are gonna care -- it rocks top to bottom. This box set also includes an 80-page spiral-bound reproduction of Springsteen's notebooks documenting the album sessions, plus an original, insightful essay. It's the ultimate fetish item for hardcore fans and rock historians.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/16/2010
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886977652523
  • Catalog Number: 776525
  • Sales rank: 16,373

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Badlands (4:04)
  2. 2 Adam Raised a Cain (4:34)
  3. 3 Something In the Night (5:13)
  4. 4 Candy's Room (2:48)
  5. 5 Racing In the Street (6:56)
  6. 6 The Promised Land (4:29)
  7. 7 Factory (2:19)
  8. 8 Streets of Fire (4:05)
  9. 9 Prove It All Night (4:00)
  10. 10 Darkness On the Edge of Town (4:32)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Racing In the Street (6:50)
  2. 2 Gotta Get That Feeling (3:19)
  3. 3 Outside Looking In (2:18)
  4. 4 Someday (We'll Be Together) (5:38)
  5. 5 One Way Street (4:20)
  6. 6 Because the Night (3:25)
  7. 7 Wrong Side of the Street (3:36)
  8. 8 The Brokenhearted (5:19)
  9. 9 Rendezvous (2:39)
  10. 10 Candy's Boy (4:39)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Save My Love (2:38)
  2. 2 Ain't Good Enough For You (4:03)
  3. 3 Fire (4:09)
  4. 4 Spanish Eyes (3:50)
  5. 5 It's a Shame (3:16)
  6. 6 Come On (Let's Go Tonight) (2:20)
  7. 7 Talk To Me (4:21)
  8. 8 The Little Things (My Baby Does) (3:18)
  9. 9 Breakaway (5:32)
  10. 10 The Promise (5:54)
  11. 11 City of Night (7:07)
Disc 4
  1. 1 A Commitment To Life
  2. 2 Two Clouds
  3. 3 The Sound Picture
  4. 4 The Process
  5. 5 Notebook
  6. 6 Pop Songs
  7. 7 Varying Opinions
  8. 8 Adult Music
  9. 9 Making an Album
  10. 10 Vision of Now
  11. 11 Sense of Possibilities
  12. 12 Credits
Disc 5
  1. 1 Badlands
  2. 2 Adam Raised a Cain
  3. 3 Something In the Night
  4. 4 Candy's Room
  5. 5 Racing In the Street
  6. 6 The Promised Land
  7. 7 Factory
  8. 8 Streets of Fire
  9. 9 Prove It All Night
  10. 10 Darkness On the Edge of Town
  11. 11 Save My Love
  12. 12 Candy's Boy
  13. 13 Something In the Night
  14. 14 Don't Look Back
  15. 15 Ain't Good Enough For You
  16. 16 The Promise
  17. 17 Candy's Room
  18. 18 Badlands
  19. 19 The Promised Land
  20. 20 Prove It All Night
  21. 21 Born To Run
  22. 22 Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
Disc 6
  1. 1 Badlands
  2. 2 Streets of Fire
  3. 3 It's Hard To Be a Saint In the City
  4. 4 Darkness On the Edge of Town
  5. 5 Spirit In the Night
  6. 6 Independence Day
  7. 7 The Promised Land
  8. 8 Prove It All Night
  9. 9 Racing In the Street
  10. 10 Thunder Road
  11. 11 Jungleland
  12. 12 The Ties That Bind
  13. 13 Santa Claus is Comin' To Town
  14. 14 Fever
  15. 15 Fire
  16. 16 Candy's Room
  17. 17 Because the Night
  18. 18 Point Blank
  19. 19 She's the One
  20. 20 Backstreets
  21. 21 Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
  22. 22 Born To Run
  23. 23 Detroit Medley: Devil With the Blue Dress/Good Golly Miss Molly/C.C. Ri
  24. 24 Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
  25. 25 You Can't Sit Down
  26. 26 Quarter To Three
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bruce Springsteen Primary Artist, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
David Lindley Violin
Clarence Clemons Percussion, Saxophone, Vocals
Patti Scialfa Background Vocals
Roy Bittan Piano, Keyboards
Barry Danielian Trumpet
Danny Federici Organ, Glockenspiel
Rick Gazda Trumpet
Charlie Giordano Organ
Stan Harrison Tenor Saxophone
Jon Landau Drums
Dan Levine Trombone
Garry Tallent Bass, Bass Guitar
Soozie Tyrell Background Vocals
Max Weinberg Drums
Curt Ramm Trumpet
Bob Muckin Trumpet
Kevin Buell Guitar
Harry McCarthy Drums
Michelle Moore Background Vocals
Corinda Carford Background Vocals
Steve Van Zandt Guitar, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Tiffeny Andrews Background Vocals
Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg Trombone
Ed Manion Baritone Saxophone
Bob Chirmside Bass
Antoinette Savage Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Bruce Springsteen Composer, Producer, Executive Producer, Additional Production
Gene Barge Composer
Dee Clark Composer
Bob Crewe Arranger
Gary Anderson Composer
Richard Blackwell Composer
Barbara Carr Executive Producer, Management
J. Fred Coots Composer
Haven Gillespie Composer
Jimmy Iovine Engineer
Jon Landau Executive Producer, Management
Bob Ludwig Mastering, Remastering
Kal Mann Composer
Ellas McDaniel Composer
Thom Panunzio Memorabilia
Mike Reese Mastering
Toby Scott Engineer
Patti Smith Composer
John Landau Producer
Ken Asher String Arrangements
Richard Penniman Composer
David Bett Art Direction
Arnold Levine Director
Randy Tuten Memorabilia
Enotris Johnson Composer
John Marascalco Composer
Joseph Royster Composer
Frank Guida Composer
George Travis Executive Producer
Barry Rebo Director, Producer
Traditional Composer
Cornell Muldrow Composer
Michelle Holme Art Direction
Alison Oscar Management
Thom Zimny Producer, Filmmaker
Marilyn Laverty Publicity
Sophia Pecora Management
Steve Van Zandt Horn Arrangements
Rob Light Booking
William Stevenson Composer
Frederick Long Composer
Nick Loss-Eaton Publicity
Jan Stabile Management
Dale Adamson Liner Notes
Barry Bell Booking
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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