NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t


Darkness on the Edge of Town came out of a huge body of work that had tons of very happy songs,” Bruce Springsteen told actor Ed Norton at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. “It was all music that we recorded, we wrote and made a very distinct decision to not use.” Twenty-one songs Springsteen originally recorded for Darkness on the Edge of Town are now being released for the first time as part of a collection called The Promise. Here, we feature some of Springsteen’s conversation with Norton at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the two men talked about the making of Darkness, as well as a new documentary about the album, titled The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town.’ Many of the songs cut from Darkness on the Edge of Town are being released in the box set The Promise, comes out tomorrow.  The box set also includes a remastered version of Darkness, 2 CDs of songs that were recorded but not used for the album, along with the documentary, The Promise, and DVDs of other live performances. MORE

RELATED: Lots of those ideas never made it on to Darkness – whose cover shot of a greasy haired Springsteen was shot by Frank Stefanko in Haddonfield – because they didn’t fit into the always analytical Springsteen’s concept. “I had a big junkyard of stuff,” Springsteen says in Zimny’s film. With plenty of time to write, thanks to a legal ruling that prevented him from recording until a lawsuit filed by former manager Mike Appel was settled, he accumulated more than 70 songs. “The ideas I was concentrating on would have been diluted if I had made a miscellaneous grab bag of an album. No matter how entertaining.” The most startling video segments on The Promise come from footage shot at the Record Plant in New York in 1977 by Barry Rebo. The clip finds Springsteen and Van Zandt at the piano in creative camaraderie, joyfully banging out songs – frat rock singalong “Sherry Darling,” soul rumbler “Talk To Me” – that wouldn’t make it to Darkness. “Sherry” ended up on 1980’s The River. “Talk To Me” was recorded by Southside Johnny. “Talk To Me” isn’t the only song on The Promise that Springsteen gave away. “Rendezvous” went to rocker Greg Kihn. The smoldering “Fire,” was a 1979 hit for the Pointer Sisters. And the majestic “Because The Night” got passed on to Patti Smith in an act of munificence from one Jersey kid to another. MORE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *