“Darkness On The Edge Of Town” by Bruce Springsteen - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1978Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

Shockingly, legal wrangles delayed Springsteen's follow up to “Born To Run” for almost three whole years, but the highly anticipated and much acclaimed set finally arrived in June, 1978. It houses three singles, two in America and one in Europe: “Prove It All Night” (#33; pretty but middle-of-the-road), “Badlands” (#42; classic status but I feel uneasy shades of Meat Loaf) and “The Promised Land” (European single, philosophizing the American dream). However, the best tracks lie outwith these realms. “Candy's Room” is delivered on a rhythm that gallops and stomps, with emotive music and a melancholy vocal from our man, regaling the tale of an unhappy doll whose material gains are paid for by her very soul. For me, the album's undoubted highlight is “Factory” – I guess I’m a sucker for a working class hero. There’s no escapism here – this is sheer drudgery. This is how it is. Apparently, it’s a song he wrote with his own father in mind. Although they never got on well, he later came to appreciate the sacrifices that his old man had made for him. It's where he got his earthy fashion sense: “When I went to work, I really went to work in my dad’s clothes, and it became a way, I suppose, that I honoured him and my parents’ lives, and a part of my own young life. And then it just became who I was.” Similarly reflecting the drudgery of working life, the title-track closes the set anthemically with empathy for the every-man. It was partly inspired by a chance ride from a cabbie who bemoaned the fact that all your life you gotta prove something to somebody: “I go home, I gotta prove it to my wife – I come to work, I gotta prove it to my boss.” Ha, ain't it the truth? In the grand scheme of things, Bruce’s brand of AOR will never truly rock my world but he seems like a good lad, and he most certainly has his moments, fair play.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [04:03] 5.5.png Bruce Springsteen - Badlands (Bruce Springsteen) Rock
A2 [04:32] 5.1.png Bruce Springsteen - Adam Raised A Cain (Bruce Springsteen) Rock
A3 [05:11] 5.1.png Bruce Springsteen - Something In The Night (Bruce Springsteen) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
A4 [02:51] 6.6.png Bruce Springsteen - Candy’s Room (Bruce Springsteen) New Wave
A5 [06:53] 5.3.png Bruce Springsteen - Racing In The Street (Bruce Springsteen) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
B1 [04:33] 5.6.png Bruce Springsteen - The Promised Land (Bruce Springsteen) Folk Rock / Americana
B2 [02:17] 7.7.png Bruce Springsteen - Factory (Bruce Springsteen) Folk Rock / Americana
B3 [04:09] 5.6.png Bruce Springsteen - Streets Of Fire (Bruce Springsteen) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B4 [03:56] 4.3.png Bruce Springsteen - Prove It All Night (Bruce Springsteen) Rock
B5 [04:30] 6.1.png Bruce Springsteen - Darkness On The Edge Of Town (Bruce Springsteen) Soft Rock / A.O.R.

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