Click the links below for details of each album session
KEY : C, SM, BSB : Demo : GfAP : WIESS : BTR : Darkness : 1979 Solo : River : 1981 Solo : Nebraska : BITUSATOL : HT : LT : 1993 Solo : GH : GOTJ : Tracks : Rising : Essential : D&D : Seeger : Magic : WOAD : Promise : WB : HH
Recent large updates to Darkness, River and BITUSA pages


bruce-springsteen-darkness-on-the-edge-of-town-1978.jpg
Commercial Release: June 2, 1978
Produced by Bruce Springsteen and Jon Landau
Recorded at Atlantic Studios, New York City (June-August 1977) and The Record Plant, New York City (July 1977-March 1978)
Recorded by Jimmy Iovine
Part One - Darkness On The Edge Of Town Sessions Overview

Springsteen reached a final settlement in his year-long litigation with Mike Appel on May 28, 1977. Effectively this meant that for the first time in a year Springsteen was able to go into a studio and record. He wasted no time. Recording sessions for the fourth album began just four days later, on June 1, 1977 at Atlantic Studios in New York City. Springsteen had a considerable amount of new material – but the songs were in various stages of writing completion. Consequently many of the songs were shaped over the course of numerous sessions spanning several months.

The sessions at Atlantic Studios were only two or three weeks old when problems surfaced. Bruce didn't like the sound he was getting from the studio (particularly the drums). On top of that Atlantic did not offer a particularly comfortable or livable environment for the musicians. So there was a decision taken to shift operations to the nearby Record Plant (where most of the Born To Run album had been recorded). However they’d already made financial commitments to Atlantic Studios, plus on such short notice they were unable to find much un-booked studio time at the popular Record Plant. Consequently the period July and August 1977 saw Springsteen and the band recording at both studios – but mostly Atlantic. However from September thru late December all recording seems to have taken place at The Record Plant – where all the recordings issued on the original album emanate from.

The actual recording sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town were completed by early January 1978. The mixing sessions began in early January 1978 and dragged on until late March – there were a tremendous amount of different mixes considered, with Springsteen changing his mind on the mix of one song (“The Promised Land”) as late as early April. From March 1978 to the start of the Darkness tour in late May Steve Van Zandt and Max Weinberg were very busy at nearby Secret Sound Studios with Southside Johnny’s Hearts Of Stone album (released early October 1978). Springsteen donated two non short-listed songs from the Darkness sessions to the Southside LP project.

According to comments by Darkness sessions recording engineer Jimmy Iovine about 30 songs were recorded to a completed state and available for inclusion on the Darkness album. There were an unknown number of additional songs not fully completed. What “not fully completed” means is uncertain. At this stage 32 songs have been officially released (the ten on the original album, four on Tracks and 18 on The Promise) but several of these have modern vocal takes, and their 1978 state remains unknown. There is also an unknown amount of not fully finished recordings. The list below contains 54 songs from the period that likely encompass all or nearly all of the 30 songs Jimmy Iovine was alluding to, as well as most of the ones never completed.

The audio from the Darkness sessions that has surfaced unofficially over the years has been of rather disappointing quality. During the late 1970s and 1980s most of it was of very weak quality. However over the past 15 years lower generation audio specimens have emerged and the CD-era boots of this audio have been a noticeable improvement over their vinyl era counterparts. Yet in many cases it has become apparent that there were flaws in the way the original source individuals taped these studio sessions. There certainly appears to have been some hidden “fly-on-the-wall” type tapings. The other problem is that much of the leaked audio is of early studio workouts of these songs, rather than later, fully realized renditions. Most of the leaked studio material emanates from the June-October 1977 period, so the later November 77-January 78 sessions may include several other songs that remain undocumented, even after the release of The Promise.

The 2010 release of The Promise is somewhat of a double-edged sword. We now have a slightly better understanding of the Darkness sessions, as well as access to several tracks that were previously unknown to us such as "Save My Love" and "Breakaway". However, the wonderful notebook facsimile included in the box set lists titles of many songs (see Part Four below) that are totally new to us. It is unknown how many of these songs actually exist; many may not be songs at all - just titles. Jimmy Iovine mentions in the making of documentary that Springsteen wrote 70 songs for potential use on "Album IV". It remains a possibility that even the 70 songs mentioned by Iovine is a conservative estimate of Springsteen's true output at this time. A case of three steps forward, two steps back?

BADLANDS..........................................
4:01....
DARKNESS...............................
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT
5:08
DARKNESS
RACING IN THE STREET
6:51
DARKNESS
STREETS OF FIRE
4:02
DARKNESS
PROVE IT ALL NIGHT
3:54
DARKNESS
FACTORY
2:15
DARKNESS
ADAM RAISED A CAIN
4:31
DARKNESS
CANDY’S ROOM
2:43
DARKNESS
THE PROMISED LAND
4:25
DARKNESS
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN
4:23
DARKNESS
DON’T LOOK BACK
2:56
TRACKS
HEARTS OF STONE
4:27
TRACKS
ICEMAN
3:13
TRACKS
GIVE THE GIRL A KISS
3:47
TRACKS
GOTTA GET THAT FEELING
3:15
PROMISE
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
2:16
PROMISE
SOMEDAY (WE'LL BE TOGETHER)
5:32
PROMISE
ONE WAY STREET
4:16
PROMISE
BECAUSE THE NIGHT
3:22
PROMISE
WRONG SIDE OF THE STREET
3:31
PROMISE
THE BROKENHEARTED
5:16
PROMISE
RENDEZVOUS
2:35
PROMISE
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU
3:59
PROMISE
FIRE
4:05
PROMISE
SPANISH EYES
3:47
PROMISE
IT'S A SHAME
3:12
PROMISE
TALK TO ME
4:17
PROMISE
THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES)
3:15
PROMISE
BREAKAWAY
5:26
PROMISE
THE PROMISE
5:47
PROMISE
CITY OF NIGHT
2:56
PROMISE
THE WAY
3:40
PROMISE
SAVE MY LOVE

THRILL HILL VAULT
PREACHER’S DAUGHTER

complete
I’M GOIN’ BACK

complete but mix flaw
BREAK OUT

complete but mix flaw
CRAZY ROCKER

rough
DOWN BY THE RIVER

rough
FRANKIE

rough
INDEPENDENCE DAY

rough
SHERRY DARLING

rough
DRIVE ALL NIGHT

rough
RAMROD

rough
DON’T SAY NO

rough
I WANNA BE WITH YOU

rough
CASTAWAY

very rough
OUR LOVE WILL LAST FOREVER

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CHEAP THRILLS

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TRIANGLE SONG

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I GOT MY EYE ON YOU

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AFTER DINNER

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KING'S BIG CHANCE

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BLUE MOON

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(I LOVE) EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU

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Much of the studio session detail below is courtesy of Clinton Heylin's book E Street Shuffle - The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.

Part Two - Darkness Sessions Details

BADLANDS – V1a------------------------------------
4:14----
LM-3 / DDO / DO-3----------------------
BADLANDS – V1b
3:44
LM-3
BADLANDS – V1c
3:47
LM-3 / DDO / WAY
BADLANDS – V2a
3:58
ODM
BADLANDS – V2b
4:01
DARKNESS
Note: V1 (three different mixes, with V1a being instrumental backing only) is apparently from August 1977 at Atlantic Studios. V2 (two different mixes) is from the winter of 1977 at The Record Plant. According to studio logs, takes recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 27 and 30 and July 11 + 13, 1977, at Atlantic or Record Plant on August 24 and 30, plus December 12 and February 22-23 and 25, 1978, all at The Record Plant. A stereo fold down mono version is also available as the b-side of the white label promo 45.
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT – V1-----------------------
4:35----
WAY / DDO------------------------------
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT – V2a
5:07
DO-3
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT – V2b
5:04
ODM
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT – V2c
5:08
DARKNESS
Note: V1 is from early in the sessions - logs show there were takes recorded on June 1, 14 and 16, 1977 at Atlantic studios. V2 (three different mixes) was previously thought to emanate from later in the sessions at The Record Plant, but this does not appear to be the case. Early alternative title was "Night Shot".
RACING IN THE STREET – V1-------------------------
5:48----
DO-3 / LM-3----------------------------
RACING IN THE STREET – V2
6:50
LM-3
RACING IN THE STREET – V3a
6:16
LM-2 / DDO / WAY
RACING IN THE STREET - V3b
6:47
PROMISE
RACING IN THE STREET – V4a
6:44
ODM
RACING IN THE STREET – V4b
6:51
DARKNESS
Note: V1 is a nice solo piano take (the LM-3 audio cuts prematurely) from early in the sessions, perhaps July 2, 1977. V3a is a stunning alternate band performance with wailing harmonica and tremendous vocal by Bruce. The officially released V3b utilises a different vocal take, and is improved with the addition of David Lindley on violin. Takes are known from July 2, 1977 at Atlantic, August 1-4, 10, 12, 29-30, 1977 (either Atlantic or The Record Plant), and November 28-30, December 6 + 9, 1977 and March 21 and 23, 1978, all from The Record Plant. One working title was "Dying In The Street".
STREETS OF FIRE – V1------------------------------
3:45----
LM-2-----------------------------------
STREETS OF FIRE – V2a
3:54
LM-3 / DDO / ICE
STREETS OF FIRE – V2b
3:52
ODM
STREETS OF FIRE – V2c
4:02
DARKNESS
Note: V1 is apparently from Atlantic Studios in August 1977. V2 (three mixes) is from The Record Plant in December 1977. Takes recorded June 24 at Atlantic, either Atlantic or The Record Plant on August 24 and 30, plus December 6, 12 and 29, 1977 at The Record Plant.
PROVE IT ALL NIGHT – V1---------------------------
3:28----
LM-3-----------------------------------
PROVE IT ALL NIGHT – V2a
4:00
ODM
PROVE IT ALL NIGHT – V2b
3:54
ODM
PROVE IT ALL NIGHT – V2c
3:54
DARKNESS
Note: V1 is from The Record Plant, perhaps on September 12, 1977, prior to Bruce having the lyrics written – the lyrics to “Something In The Night” are used instead, thus making for fascinating listening. V2 (three mixes) is from The Record Plant on September 14-16, 1977. A stereo fold down mono version is also available as the b-side of the white label promo 45.
FACTORY (Come On (Lets Go Tonight)) – V1----------
2:07----
DO-3-----------------------------------
FACTORY (Come On (Lets Go Tonight)) – V2
2:16
PROMISE
FACTORY – V3
2:10
LM-3
FACTORY – V4a
2:13
DDO / ICE
FACTORY – V4b
2:12
ODM
FACTORY – V4c
2:15
DARKNESS
Note: The early, work-in-progress title was “Let’s Go Tonight”.
Come On, Let's Go Tonight: V1 is a rough workout, probably from either July 2 or 13 at Atlantic Studios, with the melody complete but with embryonic, different lyrics (bits would turn up a couple of years later in “Johnny Bye Bye”). V2 is the finalised officially released take, and titled "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)". Also recorded at either Atlantic or Record Plant on August 23-24 and 30, at The Record Plant on September 8, November 2, 7-8 and December 9 and 29, 1977.
Factory: V3 is from Atlantic Studios in August 1977. V4 (three different mixes) is from The Record Plant sometime October-November 1977. V2 and V4a include a violin overdub from David Lindley (from Jackson Browne’s band). The only takes listed as "Factory" in the logs are from March 10 and 14, 1978.
ADAM RAISED A CAIN – V1---------------------------
4:08----
LM-3 / LMEC1---------------------------
ADAM RAISED A CAIN – V2
4:31
DARKNESS
Note: V1 is apparently from August 1977 at Atlantic Studios, although "Adam" doesn't appear in the studio logs until November. V2 is from October - November 1977 at The Record Plant. Takes recorded November 9 and December 15, 1977 and February 15-17, 1978. Bruce’s work-in-progress title was “Daddy Raised A Cain”.
CANDY'S ROOM (Candy's Boy) – V1

THRILL HILL VAULT
CANDY'S ROOM (Candy's Boy) – V2-------------------
5:22----
LM-2 / WAY-----------------------------
CANDY'S ROOM (Candy's Boy) – V3
4:48
LM-3 / DO-3
CANDY'S ROOM (Candy's Boy) – V4
5:12
ESRR
CANDY'S ROOM (Candy's Boy) – V5
4:31
PROMISE
CANDY'S ROOM (The Fast Song) – V6
2:54
LM-2
CANDY'S ROOM (The Fast Song) – V7
2:26
LM-3 / DO-3
CANDY'S ROOM (The Fast Song) – V8
2:58
WAY
CANDY'S ROOM – V9a
2:41
ODM
CANDY'S ROOM – V9b
3:00
ODM
CANDY'S ROOM – V9c
2:43
DARKNESS
Note: The versions above provide a good insight into how Springsteen develops some songs through the course of numerous sessions, with all three being distinctive songs.
Candy's Boy: V1 is a summer 1976 band rehearsal in Bruce's house in Holmdel, NJ and is included on the Thrill Hill Vault DVD/Blu-ray on The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set. V2 and V3 are from Atlantic Studios in June and August 1977 respectively and contain the familiar lyrics but utilize a different melody. V4 is longer, and includes an extra instrumental section. The officially released V5 (from June 1977) bears a strong resemblance to V3. Logs show takes of "Candy's Boy" were recorded on June 3, 6 and 27, August 24 and September 2, 1977). Early alternative title was "(I Will Forever Be) Candy's Boy". Included on an October 1977 album cover mock-up.
The Fast Song: V6 is the familiar "Candy's Room" melody, with no lyrics. V7 and V8 feature nondescript, bluffed lyrics (all three from August 1977 at Atlantic). Takes of "The Fast Song" were recorded June 6, 9-10, 13-14, 20 and 24, 1977 at Atlantic, with further work undertaken on August 24 and September 1-2. Lyrics found at the beginning of "The Fast Song", "I wish God's angels would tear this town down / and blow it into the sea", are also found in some performances of the "Backstreets" interlude from 1977's Lawsuit Tour (most famously on March 25 in Boston), as well as some early versions of "Something In The Night", e.g. February 13, 1977 in Toronto. Original or alternative title of "The Fast Song" may have been "God's Angels", one of the song titles found in The Promise book.
Candy's Room: V9 is three mixes of the same recording. Cut at the Record Plant on September 27 and December 12, 1977, with further work undertaken on March 3-5, 1978. This version marries the melody of "The Fast Song" to the lyrics of "Candy's Boy".
THE PROMISED LAND – V1a---------------------------
4:14----
ODM------------------------------------
THE PROMISED LAND – V1b
4:25
DARKNESS
Note: One of the last songs written and recorded for the album. Both V1a and V1b are the same performance, recorded at Record Plant in December 1977. V1a is a slightly different mix (no lead guitar) that was only dumped from the album in favor of V1b at the very last moment. Three takes were recorded on September 30, 1977, plus another 20 on October 27. Further work was undertaken on December 1 and 27.
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - V1-----------------
4:26----
DO-3 / DDO-----------------------------
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - V2a
4:23
ODM
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - V2b
4:23
DARKNESS
Note: Takes recorded June 6, 8-9, 20 and 23, 1977 at Atlantic Studios, and March 8-10, 1978 at The Record Plant. Written about six months after Born To Run was finished and selected for the album title but, ironically, this song wasn't completed until late in the recording sessions in March 1978. Cut in a studio with bare concrete walls after the room was gutted prior to renovation. Original artwork mock-ups for the album from October 1977 (when the album was to be titled Badlands) do not even include "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" on the album. V1 is a rockabilly arrangement. V2a and V2b are different mixes of the same basic recording. Early alternative title was "The Racer".
DON'T LOOK BACK – V1------------------------------
3:18----
LM-2-----------------------------------
DON'T LOOK BACK – V2
2:26
DO-3 / DDO
DON'T LOOK BACK – V3
3:02
DO-3
DON'T LOOK BACK – V4
2:56
TRACKS / ODM / DDO
Note: V1 and V2 are different backing tracks. V3 contains a rough Springsteen vocal. V1 thru V3 were recorded at Atlantic Studios in June 1977. Logs show there were takes recorded on June 1, 6-8, 17 and 24). V4 was also recorded at Atlantic on July 2 and 7, 1977 (the March 1, 1978 recording date often cited was actually the final mix date). Also cut at The Record Plant late in the sessions, on February 28 and March 2, 1978. Under consideration for release on the Darkness album up to the last minute, included as it was on several provisional album sequences including one from October 1977.
HEARTS OF STONE – V1a-----------------------------
5:22----
DDO / WAY------------------------------
HEARTS OF STONE – V1b
4:29
TRACKS
Note: Two different mixes of the same core recording. V1a seems to be running at too slow a speed. Recorded at The Record Plant on October 14, 1977. V1b includes a horn section (Cruz-Manion-Pender-Rosenberg-Spengler) that was recorded in 1998 (not 1977) and then added to create the end product on Tracks. However this E Street Band base recording (i.e., without the 1998 horns) was used as the base recording for Southside’s original 1978 album track, with Southside merely replacing Bruce’s vocal with his own and adding in his own horn players at the time.
ICEMAN – V1a--------------------------------------
3:08----
DDO / ICE------------------------------
ICEMAN – V1b
3:13
TRACKS
Note: Recorded at The Record Plant on October 27, 1977. Both are the same recording but different mixes. V1a suffers from drop- outs.
GIVE THE GIRL A KISS------------------------------
3:47----
TRACKS---------------------------------
Note: Recorded at The Record Plant on October 11, 1977. The November 10 recording date in the Tracks liner notes appears to be an error - there was no session on that day. Premiered live on March 19, 1999 in Asbury Park at a public rehearsal show before the start of the Reunion Tour.
GOTTA GET THAT FEELING – V1.......................
3:00....
LM-2 / DDO / WAY....-........-.........
GOTTA GET THAT FEELING – V2
3:21
DDITV
GOTTA GET THAT FEELING - V3
3:15
PROMISE
Note: V1 recorded at Atlantic Studios in August 1977. V2 is more fully realized. Up-tempo, pop-flavored. The officially released V3 contains a (unnecessary) modern vocal take. V1 and V2 were bootlegged under the title "Get That Feeling". Takes recorded at either Atlantic or Record Plant on August 11-12 and 30, 1977.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN - V1...........................
2:25....
DDO / ICE.....-----....................
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN - V2
2:16
PROMISE
Note: V1 recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 1, 1977. This is a very rough early take with an uneven mix and some seriously off-key harmony vocals by Van Zandt. V2 was recorded September 27, 1977 at The Record Plant, officially released (unmolested) on The Promise in 2010.
SOMEDAY (WE'LL BE TOGETHER) - V1....----..........
4:43....
LM-3...--..............................
SOMEDAY (WE'LL BE TOGETHER) - V2
5:32
PROMISE
Note: V1 recorded at The Record Plant in September 1977. This is only the backing track - Bruce’s vocal is missing (assuming there was one). Takes recorded at The Record Plant on September 26 and 29-30, 1977. Bootlegged with the title "Someday Tonight". V3 is officially released on "The Promise" with a probably completely modern vocal take. The track features backing vocals by the Alliance Singers (Tiffeny Andrews, Corinda Crawford, Michelle Moore, and Antoinette Savage), who contributed choir vocals on The Rising album, in addition to Patti Scialfa and Soozie Tyrell.
ONE WAY STREET - V1...............................
5:46....
LM-2...................................
ONE WAY STREET - V2
4:16
PROMISE
Note: V1 Recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 17, 1977. This is a complete take but it’s clearly not a final take. V2 officially released on The Promise with what appears to be a modern vocal. It is also likely that the horns were re-recorded as well. Original alternative title may have been "Dead End".
BECAUSE THE NIGHT – V1............................
3:17.-..
LM-3 / WAY.....-.......................
BECAUSE THE NIGHT – V2
3:24
DO-3
BECAUSE THE NIGHT – V3
3:10
ESRR
BECAUSE THE NIGHT – V4
3:22
PROMISE
Note: V1 is from Atlantic Studios in June 1977 with the lyrics not finished. V2 (recorded a month or so later) is less embryonic but still with some bluffed lyrics. It was soon after (late September 1977) that fellow NJ poet/rocker Patti Smith, who was also recording at The Record Plant, became aware of the tune via Jimmy Iovine (who was engineering both artists). The not-quite-finished song was handed to Smith, who fine-tuned the lyrics and released the song in March 1978, three months before the Darkness album was issued – and it was a worldwide hit. V3 was recorded September 27, 1977 at The Record Plant. This take was broadcast on Sirius / E Street Radio, is more realised but still not the finished item. The officially released V4 uses Smith's lyrics and is a modern vocal take.
WRONG SIDE OF THE STREET - V1---------------------
3:52----
DDO / WAY------------------------------
WRONG SIDE OF THE STREET - V2
3:31
PROMISE
Note: V1 recorded at The Record Plant on October 14, 1977. This is a fully finished performance but the circulating audio is marred by the vocal being buried in the mix (a flaw in the bootleg audio source). The officially released V2 has what is most likely a modern vocal take. Originally bootlegged with the title "Endless Night". The very strange, seemingly unrelated alternative title for this was “English Sons”. Parts bear resemblance to "Loose Ends".
THE BROKENHEARTED.................................
5:16-...
PROMISE................................
Note: Recorded at the Record Plant on November 29, 1977 and officially released on The Promise. Contains a vintage vocal take with some modern parts, plus a modern horn section consisting of Barry Danielian (trumpet), Stan Harrison (tenor sax), Dan Levine (trombone), Ed Manion (baritone sax) and Curt Ramm (trumpet). Originally known from circulating audio of a Darkness tour rehearsal in May 1978.
RENDEZVOUS - V1-----------------------------------
2:47----
DDO / DO-3-----.-----------------------
RENDEZVOUS - V2
2:36
PROMISE
Note: V1 emanates from June 1-3, 8 and 17, 1977 at Atlantic. This is good take but the circulating audio is marred by vocal drop-out during the first verse. In a 1978 interview Springsteen said the song was kept off the album because it didn’t fit thematically. Bruce personally demonstrated the song to artist Greg Kihn in October 1978, who soon after recorded a cover (released in April 1979). A live version was used for Tracks, which may indicate Bruce wasn't satisfied with the available studio versions. The officially released V2 appears to have a modern vocal take which supports that position.
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU – V1....................
3:50....
DROC2.........................-........
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU – V2
4:06
DDITV
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU – V3a
3:59
PROMISE
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU – V3b

THRILL HILL VAULT
Note: V1 and V2 are both from The Record plant during September-December 1977. V2 is more fully developed and in better sound quality. V3a was probably recorded in early January 1978 at The Record Plant and is officially released on The Promise CD. V3b is an aborted take of Springsteen singing over the top of a backing track and is included on the Thrill Hill Vault DVD/Blu-ray on The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set. Oddly absent from the studio logs, September 26, 1977 under the title "First New Rocker" is the most likely. This song bears some slight resemblance to “This Little Girl”, the hit song Bruce donated to Gary US Bonds in 1980. Previously bootlegged with the titles “What’s The Matter Little Darling” or "What's The Matter Darling".
FIRE - V1.........................................
5:14....
LM-2 / DDO / WAY...--..................
FIRE - V2
4:05
PROMISE
Note: Written in May 1977, a few days after Bruce and Steve attended an Elvis Presley concert in Philadelphia. V1 (which is not a final take) comes from June 17, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. Introducing the song on November 20, 1978 in Champaign, IL, Bruce said "this is a song I wrote, oh, we jammed it up in the studio one night in twenty minutes". Allegedly (and this may be myth) a finished demo take was sent to Elvis Presley in July or August 1977, shortly before his death, with the hope that Elvis might cover it. Bruce ended up donating the song to Robert Gordon, who recorded his cover (with Bruce on piano) in early December 1977 (released April 1978). The Pointer Sisters then quickly covered Gordon’s released version and had the major international smash hit in early 1979. The officially released V2 is a stronger, more developed take with potentially some modern vocal elements.
SPANISH EYES – V1.................................
3:42....
LM-3 / WAY....-........................
SPANISH EYES – V2
6:14
DDO /DO-3
SPANISH EYES – V3
3:47
PROMISE
Note: V1 apparently dates from August 1977 at Atlantic Studios, although studio logs indicate takes were only recorded on June 30, 1977. V2 likely dates from around the same time and is more developed but still features some bluffed lyrics. The logs say a song called "New Spanish" was recorded two weeks later on July 13; one assumes that is "Spanish Eyes". The officially released V3 has a modern vocal, and potentially some modern band elements. A great song that shares several lyrics with "I'm On Fire".
IT'S A SHAME--------------------------------------
3:12----
PROMISE-..-----------------------------
Note: An unknown composition before the official release of The Promise. Features Jon Landau on drums, Bob Chirmside (Bruce's road manager between '75 and '81) on bass and a modern horn section of Barry Danielian (trumpet), Stan Harrison (tenor sax), Dan Levine (trombone), Ed Manion (baritone sax) and Curt Ramm (trumpet). Early working title may be "Jon's Jam", as found in the studio logs. A lone take was recorded June 14, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. The connection is Jon Landau, who provides the drums.
TALK TO ME - V1...................................
3:59....
LM-2 / DDO / ICE.......................
TALK TO ME - V2
4:17
PROMISE
Note: Takes recorded at Atlantic Studios on July 8 and 13, either Atlantic or Record Plant on August 5, 9, 24, 26 and 30, and at the Record Plant on October 14, 1977. V1 (missing Bruce’s vocal) is from Atlantic Studios in August 1977. V2 is the officially released take from The Promise, and features some original Jukes/Miami Horns members: Rick Gazda on trumpet, Stan Harrison on tenor sax, Ed Manion on baritone sax, Bob Muckin on trumpet, and Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg on trombone. It is uncertain whether the horns are contemporary to the original recording, or a modern addition. The latter seems more likely. Bruce donated this composition (and "Hearts Of Stone") to Southside Johnny in spring 1978 for use on his upcoming third album. According to Max Weinberg, as with "Hearts Of Stone", the Darkness session E Street Band backing track was utilized for Southside Johnny's album.
THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES) - V1-------------
3:15----
PROMISE-----------------.--------------
Note: Unknown composition until officially released on The Promise. Modern vocals, with possibly some modern band elements. Appears just once in the logs, a single take recorded August 15, 1977 at either Atlantic or Record Plant.
BREAKAWAY - V1------------------------------------
5:26----
PROMISE---------------.---..-----------
Note: Unknown composition until officially released on The Promise. Recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 1, 1977, but modern vocals have been added, along with some modern band elements. Features a modern horn section of Barry Danielian (trumpet), Stan Harrison (tenor sax), Dan Levine (trombone), Ed Manion (baritone sax) and Curt Ramm (trumpet) and backing vocals by the Alliance Singers (Tiffeny Andrews, Corinda Crawford, Michelle Moore, and Antoinette Savage), who contributed choir vocals on The Rising album, in addition to Patti Scialfa and Soozie Tyrell.
THE PROMISE – V1----------------------------------
5:35----
WAY------------------------------------
THE PROMISE – V2
5:25
LM-2 / DDO /DO-3
THE PROMISE – V3
7:11
DDITV
THE PROMISE - V4
5:47
PROMISE
THE PROMISE - V5
7:25
THRILL HILL VAULT
THE PROMISE - V6

uncirculating
Note: Considered for the album, but ultimately rejected due to the personal lyrics. "It was a song about defeat, and it was self-referential, which made me uncomfortable," said Springsteen in 2010. "I didn’t want it to overtake the album, which, in the end, was not my personal story. I wanted ‘Darkness’ to be completely independent of that. So I left it off. But I remember saying to myself, 'This is something I can sing later.' The distance really helps it now.” Premiered live on August 3, 1976 at Red Bank's Monmouth Arts Center. V1 is from June or July 1977 (takes were recorded June 30 and July 1,7-8 and 13, 1977). V2 is from August 1977 (takes recorded August 24 and 30), both from Atlantic Studios. Both feature slightly different lyrics. V3 is probably from The Record Plant in the September-October 1977 period (perhaps the September 28, 1977 performance recorded in the studio logs) and is the completed recording, the one Bruce rejected for Tracks. He instead opted to record a new version (issued on 18 Tracks) that pales in comparison to the stunning V3. V4 (also recorded August 1977) is the official release included on The Promise CD, featuring a string arrangement by Ken Asher. Interestingly, V4 lacks the "...dead ends in the two-bit bars" and "...backseat of a borrowed car" lyrics from the final verse, both of which are present in all other circulating studio takes. V5 is a studio rehearsal recorded at The Record Plant in (probably early) January 1978 and is included on the Thrill Hill Vault DVD/Blu-ray on The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set. V6 was recorded after this rehearsal, on January 12, 1978.
CITY OF NIGHT - V1--------------------------------
3:08----
DDO / ICE------------------------------
CITY OF NIGHT - V2
2:56
PROMISE
Note: V2 officially released on The Promise, recorded October 14, 1977 at The Record Plant. Bruce’s working title was "Taxi Driver". Also known as "Taxi Cab" and "City At Night". Shares a line with 1988's "All That Heaven Will Allow".
THE WAY – V1a-------------------------------------
3:54----
URT-1----------------------------------
THE WAY – V1b
4:00
URT-1 / WAY / DDO
THE WAY - V1c
3:40
PROMISE
Note: Three slightly different mixes of the same performance. Takes recorded at either Atlantic or Record Plant on August 5 and 15, and at The Record Plant on September 12 and December 10-12, 1977. V1c is slightly faster, and officially released on The Promise, albeit as a hidden bonus track. Considered and rejected for Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Tracks and The Essential.
SAVE MY LOVE - V1......................----.......
.....-..
THRILL HILL VAULT......................
Note: A completely modern take of this song, recorded July 22, 2010 at Colts Neck, is included on The Promise. It appears it was never recorded in the studio. V1 is a summer 1976 band rehearsal filmed by Barry Rebo in Holmdel, NJ and is included on the Thrill Hill Vault DVD/Blu-ray on The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set.
PREACHER'S DAUGHTER--.-----.............---.------
5:15----
ICE------------------------------------
Note: Recorded at The Record Plant on October 27, 1977. This is a completed take and one of the few that has surfaced from the sessions with the vocals mixed correctly. Also known as "New BoDo Rocker" in the studio logs. Bruce incorporated elements of the song into the middle of “She's The One” during the latter stages of the Darkness tour.
I'M GOIN' BACK-............................-- ----
5:35----
DDO / ICE------------------------------
Note: Recorded at The Record Plant on October 14, 1977. This is fully finished take but the circulating audio is slightly marred by the vocal being buried in the mix. The working titles were "Bo Diddley Rocker" or "Bodo Rocker".
DOWN BY THE RIVER---------------------------------
2:15----
DDO / ICE---------------.--------------
Note: Recorded at The Record Plant, perhaps on September 27, 1977. The circulating audio is marred by the vocal being buried in the mix. The very strange working title for this was "Say Sons". Short rocker.
BREAK OUT – V1....................................
2:15....
LM-3........---........................
BREAK OUT – V2
2:22
DDO / ICE / LOOSE
Note: V1 is from September 1977 at The Record Plant and is a rough workout with lyrics very bluffed. V2 is more developed, with nearly finished lyrics and is likely to date from shortly after. Takes recorded on September 26-28 and November 4 + 7, 1977. Mixed in November 1997 for the Tracks project, but not used. Also known in collector circles as “All Night Long”. The audio quality on LOOSE is the best.
FRANKIE – V1......................................
4:46....
LM-3 / DDO / WAY.......................
FRANKIE – V2
5:46
DOT TAPE
Note: V1 dates from June 3, 1977, V2 from just over a month later, July 12, 1977. Both recorded at Atlantic. Bruce re-recorded the song five years later during the Born In The USA sessions and that later version (on Tracks) is far superior to either of these renditions.
I WANNA BE WITH YOU...............................
3:04....
DDO / ICE........--....................
Note: Recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 1, 1977. Takes also recorded on July 1 (also at Atlantic), as well as September 12 at The Record Plant. This is complete but clearly not a final take. Bruce re-recorded it during the River sessions and it’s that version which is found on Tracks.
DON'T SAY NO – V1.................................
3:48....
DDO / WAY....................-.........
DON'T SAY NO – V2
3:04
DDITV
Note: It is uncertain from which period of the Darkness sessions these two versions emanate from – probably from The Record Plant. V2 (which is in very weak sound quality) is sometimes listed under the alternate title of “I Wanna Be Wild” but these are clearly the same song with just alternate work-in-progress lyrics. A take of this song with the title "I Want To Be Wild" was recorded at the Record Plant on November 11, 1977. "Don't Say No" was registered with the US Copyright Office in November 2010, suggesting that it may have been a candidate for inclusion on The Promise.
CRAZY ROCKER......................................
5:02....
DDITV / GT....................-........
Note: This is an early (but entertaining) take with bluffed lyrics and called out key changes. "Crazy Rocker" was a working title, and it has also been known under the title "It's Alright". Does not specifically appear in the studio logs, but it may be "New Rocker", recorded at either Atlantic or The Record Plant on August 9, 1977.
BRING ON THE NIGHT.............-..................
2:35....
ATEOD............-............-........
Note: Recorded at Atlantic Studios, probably very early in the sessions, perhaps June 1977. The audio take is very unfinished, with bluffed lyrics. No complete take is circulating from the Darkness sessions, although this song (like several others from these sessions) was re-recorded in 1979-80 during sessions for The River and that version has been issued on Tracks.
CASTAWAY..........................................
3:12....
ICE / LOOSE.........--.....-...........
Note: The only circulating audio is apparently from Atlantic Studios in June 1977, although the only appearance in the logs is October 14 at The Record Plant. An embryonic take with very unfinished lyrics and a lovely melody. Bruce’s work-in-progress title was “The Ballad”.
DRIVE ALL NIGHT – V1..............................
4:42....
DDO / ICE......--..........-...........
DRIVE ALL NIGHT – V2
8:25
DDO / ICE
DRIVE ALL NIGHT – V3
8:37
DDO / ICE
Note: all three of these performances date from Atlantic Studios. V1 and V2 are from June 1977 (probably June 16) and V3 is shortly afterwards, on August 24. Listed on some early vinyl boots by the title "Sad Eyes". Bruce re-vamped and re-recorded the song during The River sessions and released it on that album.
SHERRY DARLING – V1...............................
3:50..-.
LM-3 / WAY.............................
SHERRY DARLING – V2
4:51
DDO /DO-3
Note: V1 recorded at Atlantic Studios June 1977. V2 fades in, repeats the last verse and is likely to emanate from the same time period. Takes were recorded June 24 and 27, and July 1, 1977. Re-recorded for The River album.
RAMROD............................................
3:58....
ICE....................................
Note: At least four takes recorded at The Record Plant on September 12, 1977 and played once on the Darkness Tour on December 28, 1978 in Pittsburgh, PA. Re-recorded for The River. A song titled "Rocker" was registered with the US Copyright Office in January 2011 but information on the copyright claim suggests this is actually "Ramrod". It was registered because a short audio snippet was included in The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town, the documentary included on the box set. It can be heard at exactly 1:00.00.
INDEPENDENCE DAY.................--...............
6:17....
LM-3...................................
Note: Recorded at The Record Plant, probably September 26-27, 1977. The sound quality of this particular piece of audio is weak. Also recorded at either Atlantic or Record Plant on August 15. Further work undertaken at The Record Plant on November 4 + 11 and December 9. Short-listed for inclusion on Darkness On The Edge Of Town, included as it was on an October 1977 album cover mock-up. Bruce re-recorded this for release on The River.
OUR LOVE WILL LAST FOREVER - V1...................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 1, 1977. Also known from a tape inlay image in the The Promise - The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set book. The lyric "Our love will last forever" does appear in "Someday (We'll Be Together)", which was recorded later in the sessions.
CHEAP THRILLS.....................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: A lone take of "Cheap Thrills" was recorded June 14, 1977, and would not make another appearance at the sessions. Based on the theme, Clinton Heylin surmises it may be what would become "Darlington County", which does appear on a work-sheet from the first Atlantic sessions, as reproduced in The Promise book. Also found in the book is the familiar couplet "My eyes have seen the glory of the comin' of the Lord / He was peelin' down the alley in a black and yellow Ford", not too different than what could be found in song recorded some five years later during the Born In The USA sessions.
TRIANGLE SONG.....................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Uncirculated outtake from the sessions. Recorded at The Record Plant on December 1, 1977. A song with this title was registered with the US Copyright Office in January 2011, around the same time as other songs included on The Promise. It was registered because a short audio snippet of the song was included in The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town, the documentary included on the box set. About 30 seconds can be heard in chapter 6 at 00:39.36, played by Springsteen on piano.
I GOT MY EYE ON YOU...................--.--.......
.....-..
uncirculating..........................
Note: As reproduced in The Promise book. take #14 of this song was recorded sometime after August 1977, probably at Atlantic Studios. Takes are known to have been cut at either Atlantic or Record Plant on August 15 and September 14, 1977.
AFTER DINNER......................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Uncirculated outtake from the sessions. Takes were recorded at either Atlantic or The Record Plant on August 10-11, 1977. Later mixed for Tracks but unused.
KING'S BIG CHANCE.................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Uncirculated outtake from the sessions, also known as "King's Ransom" and "The King's Revenge". Takes recorded at The Record Plant on September 1 and 8-9, 1977.
BLUE MOON.........................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Uncirculated outtake from the sessions, recorded at The Record Plant on September 9 and October 14, 1977.
(I LOVE) EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU.....................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Uncirculated outtake from the sessions, recorded at The Record Plant very late in the sessions, on March 14, 1978.

Part Three - Other Songs

ACTION IN THE STREETS.............................
........
N/A....................................
Note: This song made its live debut in February 1977 at the start of the final leg of the Lawsuit tour but was not recorded during the sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town.
LOVE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF TOWN...----------.......
........
N/A....................................
Note: Co-written by Springsteen and Van Zandt in December 1976 during sessions for Southside Johnny’s second album (issued in May 1977). Not recorded during the sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town.
LITTLE GIRL SO FINE...............................
........
N/A....................................
Note: Co-written by Springsteen and Van Zandt in December 1976 during sessions for Southside Johnny’s second album (issued in May 1977). Not recorded during the sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town.
TRAPPED AGAIN.....................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Co-written by Southside Johnny, Springsteen and Van Zandt in early 1978 during sessions for Southside Johnny’s third album. According to Southside he predominantly wrote the song, with Bruce and Steve merely adding bits and pieces. So a Springsteen studio recording of this song is highly unlikely to exist.
PARADISE BY THE C.................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: This instrumental made its live debut at the start of the Darkness tour in May 1978. Apparently not recorded during the sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town.
SO YOUNG AND IN LOVE------------------------------
3:47----
TRACKS---------------------------------
Note: The official Tracks booklet lists the recording date as January 6, 1974 but this is clearly incorrect, given that Bruce and band were embarking on a three-night stand at Joe's Place in Cambridge, MA that day. The other production, engineering and musician credits for this recording point to it as being a Darkness session outtake, as has comments by Springsteen, who has always alluded to this recording within the context of the Darkness sessions. However, "So Young" hardly feels like a Darkness-era song and it's possible that the day/month recording date has been transposed (by Louis Lahav, an Israeli), so 1/6/74 would actually read June 1, 1974. It's therefore likely that the Tracks credits are incorrect, and "So Young" is actually a Born To Run outtake.

Part Four - More Songs From The Darkness Era

The following titles emanate from the 1976-78 era. The information is based on the book included in The Promise - The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set. It is unknown if these songs were ever recorded, or just standalone titles. Springsteen often creates song titles first and then attempts to write words and music around it - so the existence of a song title is no guarantee that a song was ever created. There is as yet no evidence these were completed songs (words and music) and for the majority no evidence they were recorded during any of the Darkness sessions. If they do exist as recordings then they would most likely be either as work-in-progress home cassette recordings or from Atlantic Studios sessions. It's also possible that some of these songs are merely work-in-progress or alternative titles for other tracks that we are more familiar with.

GOD'S ANGELS (alternative title for "The Fast Song")
IS IT YOU
SOUL ROCKIN'
CLINT EASTWOOD THEME
SO KISS ME TONIGHT
THE WILD ONES (also considered for album #3, i.e. Born To Run)
SHUFFLE (likely to be another song)
SPECTOR SONG (likely to be early title for another song)
SPEEDWAY
NITE / NIGHT SHIFT
NIGHT FIGHTER
(THE) OUTRIDER(S)
POWERGLIDE
STREET & STRIP
NIGHT PATROL
AMERICAN
COBRA JET
RAMCHARGER
RIDERS ON THE RAIN
SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE BIG HOUSE
SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE
TONIGHT WILL LAST FOREVER
IT'S MY LIFE (The Animals. Springsteen performed this live regularly in 1976 and 1977)
SOMEONE WAITS
THERE'S NO LIVIN' WITHOUT YOUR LOVIN'
LITTLE GIRL OF MINE (probably "This Little Girl", which Springsteen gave to Gary U.S. Bonds who recorded it in 1980)
ARCHITECT ANGEL (Saga Of The Architect Angel, recorded in 1973. Springsteen may have considered resurrecting it for the new album)
DREAM GOES ON FOREVER
(JERSEY / JOEY) BIKERS
LINDA WILL YOU LET ME BE THE ONE (considered for Born To Run)
DARLINGTON COUNTY (possibly recorded during the sessions as "Cheap Thrills")


Page last edited by Peteadmin on Jan 9, 2014 7:54 am
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