Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Album : Bruce Springsteen – Darkness On The Edge Of Town

download (3)

So here it is. CB writing in the now. Warning! The longest take in CB’s history.

Writing about this record is going to be hard to keep short but I’m going to try my best for all our sake.

I’m sure there were bigger fans of Bruce Springsteen’s music back when this record was released than CB but not too many. Up until it’s release I had literally wore out copies of his previous 3 records. I loved them (Takes in CB’s archives). This record was delayed because of legal problems that a young CB could give two shits about ( I have since read all I want on the subject. Bullshit then and now ). Over the years I have anticipated new releases but none more than this one.

Basically I was jonesing for new material. His track record was setting me up for some more great music. All I can say is that I was ready for what this record delivered. From the first note from the first cut I knew it was going to be a special record. It was for me. Like a lyric from another Springsteen song it “Exploded like a runaway train”. ‘Badlands’ kind of lets us know where his head was at and where he was coming from. He was older, scarred , hardened. He was pissed off. What a great way to say I’m back. “I want control right now”. On top of all of that it’s just a great rock song.

Then he hits us with ‘Adam Raised A Cain”. If you thought he might go soft, don’t worry he doesn’t. I saw him perform this song when he toured this record. Probably the loudest cut I had ever heard live. Bruce rips one of my favorite guitar solo’s. He plays it hard and mean. He is letting some kind of demons out through that music machine of his. He was an intense individual on this cut (album). Still sends shivers down my spine. I could do a whole take on just this song. Need a breather after that.

‘Something In The Night” takes it down but is still bursting with energy and emotion. The Bruce wail is in action. Great car driving song

‘Candy’s Room’ Just love this song. Bruce and Max, drums/piano/vocals. What a great sound. Then the passionate wails. He was feeling it big time. You can feel the fire in this one. Max just keeps pushing it and Bruce strangles his guitar again (Have I said that his guitar playing is some of my favorite). Another killer solo. He’s letting the emotion out all over the place especially through the guitar.

‘Racing In The Streets’. Yeah another car song but with a great story. The character trying to hang onto that old life but he’s losing his grip. I knew guys like that. This song probably rubbed a few people the wrong way.  It felt real to me.

First side was a lot to deal with. A bit exhausting. I was feeling this record and I still do.

51kg_2Bqz4UUL_480x480

Side two doesn’t let up for a second

‘The Promised Land’. Springsteen sets the environment and you’re in the song.

“The dogs on main street howl cause they understand                                                                    … Mister I ain’t a boy, no, I’m a man”

You know where his heads at in this one. He’s fighting mad. More wailing and moaning. Both him and Clarence rip a couple beauties. The band is back in formation for this one and feeling what Bruce is feeling. He had come out of a shit experience and he wasn’t the same guy.

‘Factory’. He was feeling some kind of kinship, family, friends. I knew people like this. Again he is in a fighting mood.

“Someones going to get hurt tonight”

Danny’s organ is perfect.

Is there a better opening to a song  than ‘Streets Of Fire’? Maybe but I love this one. It just explodes. He really hurts on this one. Man is he letting it out. Again another fantastic guitar solo. He’s strangling that thing.  I mean fantastic!! Give that guy a chill pill.

‘Prove It All Night’. He and the band are letting us know their back 100%. Get on board or get out of the way. We’re not messin’ around. Again Clemons and him go to town on their solos. I guess Bruce just wanted to play again, get the rust off.

Title cut just stamps the record with his mind set. His lyrics sum it up.

“For wanting things that can only be found.                                                                                      In the darkness on the edge of town”

Man was he feeling it. When he couldn’t put his tongue to words he wailed. I wanted to be singing this song.

118601795-2

What a ride this record was. He came back and hit it out of the ball park. He was stepping up to the plate and he meant business. He was swinging a real big bat and going for the fences. Was it ever good. He’s never looked back.

This is one of Bruce’s best albums for me. I still feel that emotion/passion that comes through it. Especially in his vocals, lyrics and guitar playing. The E Street Band is really tight. He came out of his negative experience and was changed. His music was changed. Things were different. Some battle scars but he was still a rocker. An all time favorite in my pile.

(I apologize for all the words. CB indulged a little. I’ll shorten it up in the future)

 

 

Advertisements

50 comments on “Album : Bruce Springsteen – Darkness On The Edge Of Town

  1. Aphoristical
    August 11, 2019

    This is my favourite Springsteen and your take has done it justice. ‘Factory’ is just OK, everything else is great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 11, 2019

      I didn’t want to be over dramatic with it but it really was and is a special album in my music journey. There was so much good stuff coming out at that time. a lot of it flew under the radar. I was lucky to be exposed to some very exciting music at that time. Creative years,
      This album for me was kind of “Yeah, music is in a good place and Bruce is helping the cause big-time” . ‘Factory’ is probably a throw away for a few folks. There’s something about it that strikes a chord with me. I have it on a 45 and it’s one of your B-sides. Thanks for the comment Aph.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hotfox63
    August 11, 2019

    A solid effort with some real standouts. At some points the vocals really get in the way but he sings with such emotion and pain that it’s easy to put that aside. The instrumental side of things is spot on as well. My favorites include: “Racing In The Street”, “Candy’s Room” and “Something In The Night”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 11, 2019

      Cool thing about music Fox. We all take away different things. I never thought about the lyrics in that way before. My feeling was and is he had so much he wanted to get out of his system. It all worked for me. All those songs you mentioned stir up emotions for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hotfox63
        August 12, 2019

        It’s always hard to write about music, because music is mainly a matter of taste, on the other hand, we are also happy when we receive the opinions of others. I’m not a real followers of Bruce, but I had “DOTEOT” already many years ago and still find it worth listening to, even though it’s sometimes on the productions-overkill line …

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        August 12, 2019

        I guess I try to express how the music moves or moved me. At the time this record did that in a big way. Like a lot of the records I like they have stayed timeless for me. It doesnt take long to catch the groove or vibe that attracted me. Like you said Fox it’s a matter of taste and this one tasted good to me.
        I had a friend over a while ago and He wanted me to play a certain piece of music for him. I did and he closed his eyes and was taken away by it. Just seeing his enjoyment I was witnessing what music does to people. It was a good piece but he was hearing it on a different level. A cool moment.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim S.
    August 11, 2019

    I think CB knows what a big Springsteen fan the Doc is. And while I like this album, I am aware that I am likely in the minority when I say that as an album it never fully resonated with me. I was so in love with his first three albums I think I was expecting more of the same, maybe “Greetings from E Street/Born to Run, Doin’ the E Street Shuffle.” This one was harder-edged, less romantic. Plus while I had by no means abandoned Bruce, I’d started listening more to New Wave and was heavily into that.

    All that said I’d rank this high in the Bruce canon but not as high as maybe the average fan. Bruce started getting heavy with all the meaningful shit. But my deal was always “I ain’t here on business, baby, I’m only here for fun.” But now that I just got myself a fancy new non-factory radio in my car that fucking CRANKS, I will give it a spin or two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 11, 2019

      I totally get where you’re coming from on this Doc, Those first 3 were special also. I’ve heard you talk about ‘Wild, Innocent’. That album has a real great feel. Almost a celebration feel. Different sound and different mind set. It put the hook into CB.
      I still like t when he gets back to the reason he got into music. The good time rock n roll that is all over his later records also. You know the ones.
      There was a lot of good music being made at this time and I was with you on it, “Crank” up ‘Adam Raised a Cain’

      Like

  4. hanspostcard
    August 11, 2019

    My favorite Bruce album.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 11, 2019

      They kind of choose you don’t they. I’ll bracket some time and get over to your page. Lots of good stuff there.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. deKE
    August 11, 2019

    No worries about the number of words! It’s cool to read about how one was impacted by a certain artist/band/album. Great read I myself prefer a story behind it as opposed to something less!
    Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 11, 2019

      Thanks deKe. Yeah, you know those albums that nail you to the wall. We all have them.
      I was reading your Kiss solo takes. Same thing as far as our personal experience. Way more interesting to me. I got a few chuckles on the Gene take. I should have dropped a comment or two. Later deKe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • deKE
        August 11, 2019

        Ah, no worries! Glad you’re​ reading them!

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        August 11, 2019

        You have me very curious deKe. I’m afraid you might convert me and I’ll come home all decked out in Kiss clothes and have my wife tell me to get the hell out of the house.

        Liked by 1 person

      • deKE
        August 11, 2019

        Ok just​ stick to reading haha

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah, Another Blogger
    August 11, 2019

    An explosive album.

    Bruce better get back on the road. His Broadway stint lasted too long. By the way, have you heard his new album? If so, what’s your opinion? I haven’t heard it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 11, 2019

      “Explosive”. Yup
      I still enjoy his music Neil but I never felt any great pull to catch the Broadway thing. I’m sure it was really good and heard it was from a few folk.
      Dragging my heels on the new record. Heard a couple cuts and really liked them. Saving it for a day that I can bracket some time and give it a good go. I’m sure it will deliver some good stuff. He always does. Later and thanks for dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. christiansmusicmusings
    August 11, 2019

    Undoubtedly one of the standouts among the Springsteen albums I know. While I probably listened to each of his studio records at least once or twice over the past 35 years or so, I still cannot claim I know all of his music – not even sure this is truly possible for an artist with such a long catalog!

    Already “Badlands”, “The Promised Land”, “Prove It All Night” and the title track make this record a gem that’s in my personal top selections. Three other albums I would put there are “Born To Run”, “The River” and “Born In The U.S.A.” The last was my intro to the Boss and will always hold a special place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 11, 2019

      It’s the “personal” thing again Christian. What hits you and moves you. Part of the thing for me on ‘Darkness’ was the wait for new material. See what he had to offer. Plus mot being able to record added to the anticipation.
      The 3 albums you mentioned will get their own takes (Born To Run already did). ‘USA’ I think grabbed a few people. I’ve had ‘I’m Goin Down’ in my head the last few days. I guess i need to do a take on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Vinyl Connection
    August 12, 2019

    Love the enthusiasm, CB. As what could best be described as a ‘part time’ Springsteen fan, I’m nevertheless slightly embarrassed to say I don’t know this one at all, though a few of the cuts appear on the Live box. Based on this, I’ll watch out for a copy.

    PS. Isn’t it interesting how Springsteen generally, and indeed any particular album, seem to draw out quite different responses from people? Ms Connection can’t stand him. It puzzled me and I gently dug and dug and eventually got the story. She was taken to a Bruce concert by her first boyfriend who was, unfortunately, something of a psychopath. This has understandably coloured her opinions of the Boss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 12, 2019

      You know I’m all over the map with my listening and can name a few other albums (and will or have) that I awaited like this one. Springsteen just hit me at a young age and at the right time. When I first heard him I was definitely in the minority and there was a strong backlash to his music. I never paid any attention to it. At the same time people started to hype the hell out of him which is a turn off to me but the music kept delivering. Plus he has such a cool name .. Bruce!
      Any kind of head case fanatic would turn me off also. Hopefully CB doesn’t come across like that. My Gal doesn’t share my love of music but does enjoy some of what I listen to. She looks at me sometimes and gives me that “Are you kidding me?” look. I think Bruce was kind of a guy thing especially at the start.
      A lot of the music you and I have common ground (more than not) on but some of your other musical interludes might not grab my ear but the “enthusiasm” and enjoyment you get comes through. I like that. I’m getting pretty long winded these days. Time to take a breath.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jim S.
      August 14, 2019

      VC, I got lucky on this one. My wife is every bit the Bruce fan that I am. We’ve seen almost all the shows together and she knows a lot of his tunes inside and out.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Vinyl Connection
        August 14, 2019

        And Jim, when that happens we love it, don’t we?!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim S.
        August 14, 2019

        Yes, she and I are not 100% on the same page. But to a large extent, yes. We are going to see two concerts next week that I will later write about.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. BuriedOnMars
    August 12, 2019

    Your “longest take” is about average for me, lol. I’m not much of a Bruce fan but I did luck into finding this one at a garage sale years ago and really dug it when I brought it home. I still spin it once in a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 12, 2019

      I thought I was pretty clear that I liked the guy. Glad you picked up on that. Again the smorg thing. Sounds like he gets a few tastes from you.
      Not being into Bruce is a good thing. Keeps things balanced.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BuriedOnMars
        August 12, 2019

        Just a few of his tunes were overplayed for me. I bet I would like him more if I dived further into the albums.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        August 12, 2019

        Yeah he kinda got big. Back when I hooked into him it wasnt that way. He was like an underdog.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Jim S.
    August 14, 2019

    So I listened to this in the car today. Take into consideration that I have the Bruce satellite channel on in the car and they play some of these tunes (live and otherwise) relentlessly so it’s really hard to listen to these with anything resembling fresh ears.

    For me, this is an album that I like but don’t love. When it came out, I said to myself – where’s Clarence? (He’s there but seems to be missing a lot.) Where’s the jazzy stuff? Where’s the fun? This all seemed quite hard-edged and it seemed to me – and I’ve always had this problem with Bruce – that he was just taking himself too seriously. These people struggling to get off the boardwalk (or whatever) mean nothing to me.

    Whereas that three-year gap from “Born to Run” somewhat whetted your appetite, for me, I just started getting into other stuff. (Petty, Elvis Costello, etc. And of course, big fat fucking heaping gobs of disco. You should have seen my Travotal moves in my white suit.)

    And so I can now tell how disengaged I was from this as an album – rather than a few key songs – by the fact that I couldn’t even tell you the tracklisting. This by no means suggests that I turned away from BS as an artist. Far from it. We’d seen him in ’77 and six times since then. But I think if this had been the first Bruce album I heard I don’t think I’d be as much of a Bruce fanatic and maybe more of a casual fan.

    All that said, some of this shit sounds great live and I always look forward to hearing it. But when I last saw him a couple of years ago I was so happy that he focused on the first three albums, I sobbed like a little baby. (Well, not really but I dug it. And bought it.)

    Over and above the first three albums, I suppose I’d put “The River,” and “USA” before this. After that, crap shoot. The last album I bought was ‘Magic’ and that only because I was going to the show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 14, 2019

      Yeah i hear you and get it Doc. It was a big departure from his previous track record. I think we established being on the same page with the sound. ‘Wild, Innocent’ to me is musically something he never went back to (Sancious?). It is a special record. But all his albums have a different vibe.
      ‘Darkness’ was dark but I liked the emotion and the “hard edge” like you said. Thing is when I saw him on that tour he was still a good time rocker pulling out ‘Devil With The Blue Dress’ and the like. It was a party.
      I’m sure he’s been told to lighten up by his buds. But he has some angst in him that he has to let out.
      Also there was so much good new music coming out like you mentioned. A lot of it I will feature (‘My Aim Is True” being one. People called Elvis angry. I didn’t get that. The album is so full of humor it reeks. ‘Darkness’ was angry).
      Yeah he lightened up on “River’ and ‘USA’. Some good old time rockers on them two. I havent fell off the Bruce music just have so much other stuff I listen to. ‘Devils & Dust’ was the last one I played the heck out of.
      OK the disco suit thing is not an image I want. The only way you and I would ever find ourselves in one of those places was if we were shit faced or lost a bet. I did hear though that there were girls in those places.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        August 14, 2019

        Sancious was a big part of it. But really it was his producer Jon Landau as much as anybody who steered him away from the free-association lyrics and the jazzy stuff. I never forgave him for that. That said, I’ll have to give ‘Devils and Dust’ a spin. I don’t think I know it at all.

        As to disco, a lot of women still love it. That’s one of the many reasons why I avoid wedding receptions. And funny, but when I last saw Springsteen, as we were leaving the theater somebody decided to play a Donna Summer tune. And I swear to God every woman in that place started immediately dancing and singing along like a switch had been thrown. I think women just like to dance and that gets them going. I’m generalizing here I know but I think it’s by and large true.

        I joke about disco but I’m not on the “I hate it so much I could scream” bandwagon any more. Hell, it’s been 40 years. Plus in a lot of ways it’s won. Pop radio is filled with its descendants. Rock ins nowhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        August 15, 2019

        I forgot about the Landau influence. You’re right. It’s been a while since i thought about that stuff. One of the reasons I like Mink DeVille. The same sound as the early Bruce stuff. I wonder if he’s ever thought of revisiting that sound? I know where you are with this but he went on to cut some great music that we both listened to.
        Funkier is the answer. I can get into that.
        That popular music i hear by accident is no different from the stuff years ago. My ears don’t get it. Earls Gal loves that stuff and I give her a hard time about it. She laughs her head off at me. Sees my pain. same as the stuff they watch on TV. Her and Falda watch … I can’t put my tongue to it.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        August 15, 2019

        Boy, wait till you see my next post on popular music. It’s based on a book I read. Probably not post till next week ‘coz I have to dig deep into it. But it’ll give you some idea of where all this crappy music is coming from.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        August 15, 2019

        Don’t do this to me. I’m trying to clean up my mouth and my attitude and be open minded like …. Doc.

        Like

      • Jim S.
        August 15, 2019

        Good luck with all that.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Tony
    August 16, 2019

    My favourite Springsteen album, easily in my all time Top Five and one I own on multiple formats. When you take in the music that didn’t make that record as well? The man was in a fucking fever of productivity.

    Like

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 16, 2019

      It certainly was a big change. It is a fantastic record. It just explodes with emotion and a time capsule of exactly where he was at, at that time.
      On another comment I said despite his mindset on the record his tour at that time still was a celebration of rock n roll. And yes his “productivity” was at a max. The show I saw at the time he did songs like ‘Because The Night’, like where could I get that tune?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Chris
    August 18, 2019

    Great take which has me interested in revisiting this 70s classic. Wondered if you knew about new Springsteen coming-of-age movie Blinded by the Light (2019) ? The trailer features characters sharing tapes of Darkness and Born in the U.S.A.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      August 18, 2019

      Thanks Chris. It’s easy to speak about something you really like. The reason I started doing this CB thing. Sharing my thoughts on music/film that has moved me and stayed with me.
      I’ve heard adds for the film. Cool that people are being inspired by his music and stories. I’ll probably take a pass and wait for your review.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. J.
    October 4, 2019

    Man, I dig your enthusiasm for this one. Absolutely. This is one of the few Springsteen albums I reach for on a regular basis… for pretty much all the reasons you mention here. I never liked Candy’s Room, though. Not sure why, but that changed a couple of years ago… one of those moments when it hit me. Then it was a start to finish bowl of awesome. And as Tony mentioned, there was so many great tunes that didn’t make it! Jeez.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 4, 2019

      We could have done Vinyl Daft/CB 2 on this one.
      Just found this. Over 30 years later and he plays it straight so acoustic just lets it rip like his original vibe. Max’s opening always gets me and Bruce’s short solo.

      Like

      • J.
        October 7, 2019

        Yeah… maybe Nebraska?

        Anyhoo, this Paramount Theatre thing looks pretty good, eh? I see there are a few other videos from that performance… I’ll need to watch them.

        Like

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        October 7, 2019

        Nebraska, lets file that for a to do project for sure. I can get behind that. I think it works with us coming at it from our different perspectives and reaching the same end. We love it.
        If it’s like the cut above yes. The thing with Bruce is he used to be so hard to find clips of but now it’s saturation. I don’t indulge much but there’s no denying the guy is still good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        October 8, 2019

        Deal! I dare say I would have a fair bit to say about Nebraska.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        October 8, 2019

        When it works for you, lets do it.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Aphoristical Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: