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6 Music News

Springsteen's Darkness

The boss casts his mind back to the making of Darkness On The Edge Of Town

  • 02/11/2010
  • Mark Savage
Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen says he was "filled with doubt" when recording his career-defining 1978 album Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

The record, which was the follow up to the hugely successful Born To Run, had a famously difficult birth.  The Boss was dealing with his new-found fame and trying to tackle more serious lyrical themes, all while trapped in a legal battle with his former manager.

Producer Jon Landau told the BBC the sessions were "very strenuous" and "very emotionally complex".

"Bruce was building the scaffolding for the rest of his career," he continued. "Darkness is where he finds his adult voice and that's the voice he's sustained ever since then."

Springsteen has been in the UK this week to promote a re-release of the album, which comes with two discs of songs discarded during the sessions, many because they sounded too similar to Born To Run.

"It was filled with elaborate arrangements and all of that had to go, because it was too rich," he said. "[It] really didn't fit into the record we made but really stands I think as a record on it's own."

Long-time Springsteen collaborator Tommy Zimny has also crafted a feature-length documentary about the recording of Darkness On The Edge Of Town, using video footage shot by a friend of the band over a year of recording sessions.

"I was thrilled to find this archival footage," Zimny said, "because there wasn't a reality show structure set up yet, so they weren't playing for the camera. I ended up real, pure footage."

Speaking exclusively to the BBC's David Sillito, Springsteen cast his mind back to the sessions over 30 years ago:

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