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Bruce Springsteen Celebrates 45th Anniversary Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town With Rare Live Tracks, Photos

New playlist features 20 live tracks from the 1978 'Darkness' tour
Bruce Springsteen
(Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

In celebration of the 45th anniversary of his classic Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce Springsteen has revealed several rare audio and visual treats for fans.

A playlist of rare live versions of every track from the album was released today (June 2) and includes 10 additional songs from the period, which were recorded at legendary stops on the Boss’ 1978 tour such as the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, N.J., the Agora in Cleveland, the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, and the Summit in Houston, Tx. None of these selections have been previously available on streaming platforms.

Also out today is photo album of unseen material from the era shot by photographer Frank Stefanko, including alternate looks at the album’s cover shoot, as well a newly cut trailer for the 2010 documentary The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town, which was directed by Thom Zimny.

Springsteen’s fourth studio album, Darkness on the Edge of Town followed his 1975 breakthrough Born To Run, which made him a household name and landed him on the cover of Time and Newsweek. Instead of a victory lap, the next three years were a slow and embattled process to craft a more serious follow-up, at a time when most artists were expected to release a new LP or two every year.

First, a legal dispute with Springsteen’s former manager Mike Appel kept him out of the studio, and once a settlement was reached and the Boss began recording, dozens of songs began spilling out. Once Springsteen whittled Darkness to the 10 songs that perfectly expressed his ideas about hope and despair in working-class America, he’d cut out the most accessible tracks. Indeed, outtakes that were given to other artists, such as Patti Smith’s “Because the Night” and the Pointer Sisters’ “Fire,” became bigger hits than any of the songs on Darkness. But it became a cornerstone of Springsteen’s legend, his uncompromising dedication to the rock album as an artistic statement on par with novels or films.

Springsteen and the E Street Band are on tour in Europe and will perform next on June 11 in Landgraaf, Holland.


Additional reporting by Al Shipley.