DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN

Album version


Well, they're still racing out at the Trestles
But that blood it never burned in her veins
Now I hear she's got a house up in Fairview
And a style she's trying to maintain

Well, if she wants to see me
You can tell her that I'm easily found
Tell her there's a spot out 'neath Abram's Bridge
And tell her there's a darkness on the edge of town
There's a darkness on the edge of town

Well, everybody's got a secret Sonny
Something that they just can't face
Some folks spend their whole lives trying to keep it
They carry it with them every step that they take

Till some day they just cut it loose
Cut it loose or let it drag 'em down
Where no one asks any questions
Or looks too long in your face
In the darkness on the edge of town
In the darkness on the edge of town

Well, now some folks are born into a good life
And other folks get it anyway anyhow
Well, I lost my money and I lost my wife
Them things don't seem to matter much to me now

Tonight I'll be on that hill 'cause I can't stop
I'll be on that hill with everything I've got
Well, lives on the line where dreams are found and lost
I'll be there on time and I'll pay the cost
For wanting things that can only be found
In the darkness on the edge of town
In the darkness on the edge of town


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Info

DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and released on his 1978 album Darkness On The Edge Of Town. The above lyrics are for Bruce Springsteen's album version of DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN as released in 1978.

The album version of DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN was included on The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 edition) compilation album and the Greatest Hits (2009 editions) compilation album.

Composition and Recording

According to Sony's database of Bruce Springsteen's recording sessions, DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN was recorded on 06, 08-09, 20, and 23 Jun 1977 at Atlantic Studios in New York City, NY, and on 8-10 Mar 1978 at The Record Plant in New York City, NY.

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Darkness On The Edge Of Town

Despite the marvelous reception received by both Born To Run and the tour which followed, the relationship between Bruce Springsteen and his now former manager and producer Mike Appel was deteriorating. In July 1976 the storm broke; Mike Appel wrote to Springsteen saying that he would not allow Jon Landau (Springsteen's friend and co-producer of Born To Run) to produce the next album, citing a particular paragraph from their original agreement. Bruce replied on 27 Jul 1976 by firing manager Mike Appel and suing him and his management company Laurel Canyon Ltd. in Federal Court in Manhattan, claiming fraud, breach of trust, and undue influence. Appel countersued on 29 Jul 1976 in New York State Supreme Court, asking the court to prohibit Springsteen and Jon Landau from working together in studio. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band were slated to enter the studio that year for the recording of a new album, except that on 15 Sep 1976 the judge in the lawsuits case ruled that Springsteen was enjoined from any further recording with Columbia Records until Appel's suit was resolved. This would drag for about a year.

Meanwhile, Springsteen continued gigging, and in the process broke his self-imposed rule of not playing the larger arenas. This was basically because he was not able to put a record out, and it was the only way his fans would be able to hear him at all.

Springsteen reached a final settlement in his yearlong litigation with Mike Appel on 28 May 1977. Effectively this meant that for the first time in a year Springsteen was able to go into a studio and record. The Darkness On The Edge Of Town recording sessions kicked off in early June 1977 at Atlantic Record Studios, New York City, NY. 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. Springsteen didn't like the sound he was getting from the studio, particularly the drums. On top of that Atlantic Studios did not offer a particularly comfortable or livable environment for the musicians. A decision was taken to shift operations to the nearby Record Plant where most of the Born To Run album had been recorded. However financial commitments to Atlantic Studios were already made, and on such short notice it was hard to find un-booked studio time at the popular Record Plant. Consequently the Jul-Aug 1977 period saw Springsteen and the band recording at both studios, but mostly Atlantic Studios. From September to late December, all the 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 was a tremendous amount of different mixes considered, with Springsteen changing his mind on the mix of THE PROMISED LAND as late as early April.

Darkness On The Edge Of Town was released on Columbia Records on 02 Jun 1978. It was produced by Bruce Springsteen and Jon Landau.

Bruce Springsteen -- Darkness On The Edge Of Town
Bruce Springsteen -- Darkness On The Edge Of Town

The album features 10 new Springsteen compositions and clocks at 42:55.

The Essential Bruce Springsteen

The Essential Bruce Springsteen is a compilation album released as part of Sony BMG'S (previously Sony Music Entertainment) series of "Essential" sets. According to Springsteen's liner notes comments, the collection was intended as an introduction to his music for new fans who attended shows on The Rising Tour.

The collection is fundamentally a 2-disc set (clocking at 153:37) compiling songs from all of Springsteen's studio albums to date plus his Live In New York City release. A 3-disc limited edition (clocking at 201:04) was also released. It includes a bonus third disc comprising of a selection of rarities and previously unreleased recordings.

The Essential Bruce Springsteen was released on 11 Nov 2003 on Columbia Records. It debuted and peaked at #14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart where it spent 13 weeks. It also reached #28 on the UK Albums Chart. The album was awarded certified gold and platinum records by the RIAA on 16 Dec 2003.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 edition)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 edition)

The Essential Bruce Springsteen was reissued on 16 Oct 2015, this time as a 2-disc set (clocking at 156:25) with an updated track list, compiling songs from all of Springsteen's studio albums to date plus his Greatest Hits (1995 edition) collection. This 2015 reissue features remastered tracks not found in that form on other Springsteen releases.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2015 edition)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2015 edition)

Greatest Hits 2009 Edition

Greatest Hits (2009 edition) is a compilation album released by Columbia Records on 13 Jan 2009 in the United State where it was sold exclusively through Wal-Mart retailers. The album was also released (but non-exclusively) in Canada. Unlike the 1995 Greatest Hits release and The Essential Bruce Springsteen in 2003, this compilation was billed to "Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band" instead of just "Bruce Springsteen". The album contains 12 previously released studio tracks and clocks at 53:08.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Greatest Hits (2009 USA edition cover art)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Greatest Hits (2009 USA edition cover art)

On 01 Jun 2009, Columbia Records released a European edition of the compilation album with an alternative track listing to promote Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's European leg of the Working On A Dream Tour. The European edition was also released in Israel and Mexico, and in Australia in August 2009. The album comes in a standard jewel case, but a limited digipack edition was also released in Europe. Greatest Hits (2009 European edition) contains 16 previously released studio tracks and 2 live bonus tracks taken from the Live/1975-85 box set. It clocks at 79:03.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Greatest Hits (2009 Europe edition cover art)
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Greatest Hits (2009 Europe edition cover art)

The album charted in several countries, but only made it to # 1 in Sweden. In general, the album did much better in Europe than in North America.

Other Official Releases

Other versions of DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN were also officially released.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- The Agora, Cleveland 1978
The live 09 Aug 1978 version of DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN was released on The Agora, Cleveland 1978 official live download in 2014.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Arizona State University, Tempe 1980
The live 05 Nov 1980 version of DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN was released on the Arizona State University, Tempe 1980 official live download in 2015.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980
The live 31 Dec 1980 version of DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN was released on the Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980 official live download in 2015.
Bruce Springsteen -- The Christic Shows, November 16 & 17, 1990
The live 16 Nov 1990 version and the live 17 Nov 1990 version of DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN were released on The Christic Shows, November 16 & 17, 1990 official live download in 2016.

Live History

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Covers

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Paul Baribeau & Ginger Alford -- Darkness On The Edge Of Your Town Tour
Paul Baribeau & Ginger Alford -- Darkness On The Edge Of Your Town Tour

CD - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2006
CD - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2009

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. All songs are performed/recorded live. CD-R copies were sold on tour and online. The 2006 issue contains 10 tracks and the 2009 reissue contains 5 additional tracks.
Andrew Nicholson -- Driving All Night: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen Volume II
Andrew Nicholson -- Driving All Night: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen Volume II

CD - no label (no catalog number) - UK, 2009

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Various artists -- Play Some Pool, Skip Some School, Act Real Cool: A Global Pop Tribute To Bruce Springsteen
Various artists -- Play Some Pool, Skip Some School, Act Real Cool: A Global Pop Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

2-CD - Where It's At Is Where You Are (WIACD20) - UK, 2009

This is a various artists Bruce Springsteen tribute album. DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN is performed by The Vatican Cellars.
George Mileson -- Leap of Faith: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen
George Mileson -- Leap of Faith: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

CD - Growin' Up Records (8471812289631) - Spain, 2012

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Sergio Gisbert -- Loose Ends: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's 78-80 Era
Sergio Gisbert -- Loose Ends: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's 78-80 Era

CD - no label (no catalog number) - Spain, 2014

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.

Credits / References

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Available Versions

List of available versions of DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN on this website:

DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN [Album version]
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN [Unofficial studio version]

Page last updated: 01 Jun 2016