Off Topic Messages

The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:15 am

Picked up Springsteen's new box set today, and from what I've heard and seen so far it's a fantastic release. The remaster of the original album sounds great to my ears, also listened to cd 1 of the outtakes, a decent collection of songs in its own right.

As far as video goes I've so far just sampled Badlands from 1978 and then the 2009 version played in an empty theatre. He's more electric and desperate in '78 but even the 2009 version is infused with a raging passion you've gotta see to believe. How the man keeps the fire burning after all these years is beyond impressive, one can't help but wish that Elvis had been able to do the same.

If you like Springsteen, this set is a must!

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:26 am

Right on, comes out here Tuesday, can't wait.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:12 am

Tuesday, November 16! I am looking forward to it!!

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:02 pm

Yesterday i bought the 2 cd set "The Promise" (The lost sessions: Darkness on the edge of town).
In the song : "Come On" he sings a line: There's a man on the radio says Elvis Presley's died!

A line he would use again on "Johnny Bye Bye" a few years later.

I listened two times at both cds and i like them, especially the second cd!

Did the studio version "Fire" ever came out before by Bruce?

Dennis.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:56 pm

There's also a page in the notebook (replica of Bruce's own) where there's a list of 33 songs along with the name of the artist: 1-10 Buddy Holly songs, and then 12-13 Elvis with "I Gotta Know" and "Little Sister", and once again at 16 with "His Latest Flame". No liner notes to explain what the list was intended for though.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:18 am

dennisdee wrote:In the song : "Come On" he sings a line: There's a man on the radio says Elvis Presley's died!

A line he would use again on "Johnny Bye Bye" a few years later.

Here's the song:

Come On (Let's Go Tonight)
Bruce Springsteen
The Promise (Sony, 2010)

http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=130858856&m=130837316

dennisdee wrote:Did the studio version "Fire" ever came out before by Bruce?

No; it is the first official studio release by Bruce.


HungerMoon wrote:There's also a page in the notebook (replica of Bruce's own) where there's a list of 33 songs along with the name of the artist: 1-10 Buddy Holly songs, and then 12-13 Elvis with "I Gotta Know" and "Little Sister", and once again at 16 with "His Latest Flame". No liner notes to explain what the list was intended for though.

I'll wager some of the Holly titles ended up in his set list in 1978, perhaps the two Elvis cuts were under consideration as well.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:21 am

On my own personal version of the Darkness album, I am replacing forevermore the originally released version of Racing In The Street with Racing In The Street '78 from The Promise. That is all.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:37 am

Frankie Teardrop wrote:On my own personal version of the Darkness album, I am replacing forevermore the originally released version of Racing In The Street with Racing In The Street '78 from The Promise. That is all.

I prefer the original arrangement, but the alternate is just one of several stunning examples from the vaults.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:01 am

The box set has arrived. It is a stunning package. I would rank it up near the very top with regards to packaging. Springsteen raised the bar with this one. Very much looking forward to exploring the content.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:03 am

I picked up the 2 disc version today at the store, but noone had the boxed set.

The music i have heard so far is absolutely fantastic.

Did anybody get a chance to listen in on Dave Marsh's 20 question E Street radio's, "Live On E Street Nation", interview with Bruce Sunday night ?

Not only intimate, quite revealing, yet entertaining!

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:16 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Frankie Teardrop wrote:On my own personal version of the Darkness album, I am replacing forevermore the originally released version of Racing In The Street with Racing In The Street '78 from The Promise. That is all.

I prefer the original arrangement, but the alternate is just one of several stunning examples from the vaults.

After checking it out, I also prefer the original arrangement. I of course, also dig the alternate.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:49 am

Thanks to Amazon's screwy new two-day delivery system that flings packages into the standard mail system halfway through transit, I sometimes get things a day early 'cause they're not so good at timing things anymore.

Such was the case with The Promise, so I've been listening to the set for more than a day now -- OK, a little sleep in there somewhere, but it's in pretty heavy rotation.

First let me say, I can say nothing but good things about the extensive video portion and the packaging. Consider those parts perfect. So, cool. The box is a big win right there. Oh, and though I'm not spending a lot of time on the original album just yet, the remasters I've spot-checked are a big improvement. Tripindicular.

But the rest of it tests whether an album can be pretty great or pretty close to pretty great and still be a bit of a bummer. For me, this album confirms that hypothesis.

How can I describe it?

Let's say you really want to go to Maui-- been waitin' for it for years. You block out the time; you're all set to go. Got your swimsuit packed. All of a sudden, wife shows up, says, "Surprise, honey, we're going to the Alps."

Christ, who can complain about a trip to the Alps? The Alps are beautiful, but, man, it ain't Maui.

In other words, this album doesn't really take me where I want to go. It takes me some place pretty great, sure. But I don't really feel like skiing. I wanted to hit the beach.

I know what Springsteen says in the liner notes, about only doing to these tracks what needed to be done, but his idea of what needed to be done -- or rather how it needed to be done ... man, that's a bummer.

There's no escaping the fact that this album sounds a lot like Springsteen in the summer of 2010. OK, sure, it's Springsteen, so groovy. But this stuff ... the instrumentation, the timbre of the drums, the pitch of the horns, the new vocals, the production .... ummm ... I dunno.

It's really not even coming out of the same spirit that drove the Darkness stuff. Springsteen talks about trying to get away from style and go for voice on Darkness. Man, this stuff is thick with "style" now.

In fact, the Springsteen of 2000 wouldn't/couldn't have made this album sound this way, the Springsteen of 1990 wouldn't/couldn't have made it this way. This is a Darkness production he could only make in 2010, and OK, that's fine. Hell, call it a new album and then call it a better new Springsteen album than his last two, three, four, whatever. There are great songs on here from the Boss's greatest period, and there are a lot of 'em. So how bad can it be?

But this just isn't Maui.

I think of how he handled Thundercrack on Tracks, and that's a patch-up job that's convincing. Hell, he even brought in Vini Lopez for authenticity. Kewl.

This stuff, Springsteen says himself he knocked it off casually a few hours at a time last summer. If you heard that interview, you know, he's not sweating the details. Said so himself, basically. Man, that's not Darkness!

So, what can I say? Drop the vacation metaphor. Let's talk about sex. It's like the old saying. Even when it's bad it's pretty good. But I don't feel like I'm doing it with a woman I really love here.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:47 am

I don't hear Maui or the Alps, just great songs and performances of a lifetime.

The main point of the package is to revisit, celebrate and explore what Bruce was doing after the epochal release that was 1975's Born To Run.

It not only includes the original album sounding better than ever before, but an incredible "making of" documentary, all the officially released live material captured on film in 1978 (and more), and ... a complete 1978 performance on DVD, from what many call the greatest tour in the history of rock 'n' roll.

If there is such a thing as a "Holy Grail" of rock, this set has staked its claim in big, bold letters.

The two disc set of outtakes assembled as The Promise, which offers some tunes completed in recent years, others left mostly as they were done back in the 70s, cannot be seen as definitive since a lot of other cuts exist outside of the box set. Tracks, Springsteen's studio box set issued ten years ago, collected core Darkness outtakes like "Don't Look Back" and "The Iceman." More amazing numbers remain to be heard, such as "The Preacher's Daughter."

But there is enough on The Promise to convey the story: Bruce rejected great songs, or tremendous arrangements, if they did not fulfill his specific vision for Darkness on the Edge of Town. Few artists then or now have ever made such a journey, but it's a big reason why the songs from the 1978 album and performances from the tour which supported it that year remain so vivid, inspiring and crucial today.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:36 am

I watched Booce on Jimmy's little show tonight.
Elvis made it into the conversation.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:49 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
dennisdee wrote:In the song : "Come On" he sings a line: There's a man on the radio says Elvis Presley's died!

A line he would use again on "Johnny Bye Bye" a few years later.

Here's the song:

Come On (Let's Go Tonight)
Bruce Springsteen
The Promise (Sony, 2010)

http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=130858856&m=130837316

dennisdee wrote:Did the studio version "Fire" ever came out before by Bruce?

No; it is the first official studio release by Bruce.


HungerMoon wrote:There's also a page in the notebook (replica of Bruce's own) where there's a list of 33 songs along with the name of the artist: 1-10 Buddy Holly songs, and then 12-13 Elvis with "I Gotta Know" and "Little Sister", and once again at 16 with "His Latest Flame". No liner notes to explain what the list was intended for though.

I'll wager some of the Holly titles ended up in his set list in 1978, perhaps the two Elvis cuts were under consideration as well.


In the interview with Fallon last night, Bruce noted that these were songs that they were considering to add to the live show. Some verry interesting choices!! I also loved the vote tabulation sheet for songs making the LP. As Bruce noted last night, the band gets to vote but it was still his final decision.

Doc, did you notice the pic of Bruce wearing the Elvis t-shirt in the booklet with the lyrics to the new songs. It is the one published in Rolling Stone August of 1977 one week before Elvis died. It appears to be the record cover for the Heartbreak Hotel EP.
Last edited by Mike C on Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:04 am

The outtakes certainly have a 2010/Darkness-era hybrid feel. For the most part, they do not sound like authentic vault items from the period with a few touch-ups. It was been quite clear over the past 6 weeks that Bruce really reworked some of this material. Many find it disappointing, but this is the artistic approach he decided to take. Many music enthusiasts prefer the vault material to be in its natural (even incomplete) state. I would hate to hear Led Zeppelin or The Who or Clapton go into the studio 30+ years later and “complete” unreleased or unfinished songs (anyone digging The Stones’ Exile outtakes that Mick reworked versus the stunning originals from the sessions?). Some Springsteen supporters cannot find it in their minds to question his motives and decisions, but I would have preferred a different route. The material is good and in some instances very good. He was such a prolific writer. I am thrilled to hear it – even in this context. But I think it would have been more intriguing and revealing had the material been left in its natural state. Regardless, this is an amazing box set. It has raised the bar - raised it to a point where I don't know if even Springsteen will ever top it with future archival reissues.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:59 am

midnightx wrote:The outtakes certainly have a 2010/Darkness-era hybrid feel.

Some do, some don't. On a first pass, given the tunes known from bootleg, it's probably 50-50.



Mike C wrote:Doc, did you notice the pic of Bruce wearing the Elvis t-shirt in the booklet with the lyrics to the new songs. It is the one published in Rolling Stone August of 1977 one week before Elvis died. It appears to be the record cover for the Heartbreak Hotel EP.

Did not notice that at all.

Nov 11, 2010
ELVIS ... Is a KNOCK-OUT! (September 1962)

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=57009&p=834536&#p834536

Feb 3, 2010
Bruce and Elvis -- On The Road, Summer 1977

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=50918

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:26 am

Picked this up yesterday - the box set is top notch, very well done. The 2 CD The Promise was in the car stereo all day, with disc 2 getting a second spin. This weekend I'll read through the replica of the spiral notebook which looks great, and watch the DVD's. If you are a fan of the Boss, you must get this set! Also, watch Bruce on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon online from Tuesday night - it's worth a look.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:25 pm

Got the box set today. It's done beautifully. Probably one of the finest looking box sets ever produced. Haven't had the chance to dig into the contents yet.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:46 pm

The video material on the set is fantastic. The Houston '78 gig is awesome. The Promise is an enjoyable album. I dig it even though it sounds like Bruce did a lot of work on the songs recently as noted above. It would have been interesting to hear the raw recordings on a bonus cd. The one thing that dissapointed me was the remastering of the orginal album. I did a quick A-B comparasion on few tracks and I prefered the mastering on the original cd release. Granted I didn't compare every track but the few I did the difference was obvious. Did anyone else notice this?

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:33 pm

I prefer the remaster. The "standard" master on the previous CD edition was somewhat dull.

On a side note, I hope we get a hi-fidelity, multitracked 1978 show issued to coincide with this Darkness era celebration. Houston kicks ass, but the Roxy and Winterland shows are screaming for an official release.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:46 am

midnightx wrote:I prefer the remaster.


Me too.

The "standard" master on the previous CD edition was somewhat dull.


Well, the very first pressing transfered to the digital spectrum, straight from vinyl, was done in the early 80's from Japan.

The version available to U.S. consumers was originally mastered by Bob Ludwig in 1984. That's a long time and that version still didn't sound bad at all.

The 2010 "Darkness" remaster sounds wonderful, also done by Bob Ludwig in June.



On a side note, I hope we get a hi-fidelity, multitracked 1978 show issued to coincide with this Darkness era celebration. Houston kicks ass, but the Roxy and Winterland shows are screaming for an official release.


Can't argue with that.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:20 pm

Marko wrote:The video material on the set is fantastic. The Houston '78 gig is awesome.

The 1978 live DVD from Houston (Dec 8) is incredible. At last, official proof of why every single person I know who saw this tour said their life was changed. It is beyond question now that Springsteen's 1978 tour may be argued as the greatest in the history of rock 'n' roll.



midnightx wrote:Houston kicks ass, but the Roxy and Winterland shows are screaming for an official release.

Well, yes and no.

Both classic FM broadcasts are in the archives, professionally recorded on multi-track, and Winterland (Dec 15) may well be the single best recording of Bruce's career. But the Roxy show (Jul 7) is unlikely to be issued in full because of the miscues.

For example, Bruce blows a verse of "Independence Day" during the encores. It was a tour debut, and he gave it a shot solo on piano. And the version of "Point Blank" is a bit rough -- the tempo is fast, the lyrics a bit rushed as well. Both songs found themselves by the end of the tour, in arrangements that were perfection by December. The Houston DVD has examples of both.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:36 pm

I hear what you are saying about the few issues plaguing the Roxy show, but let's face it, Bruce isn't opposed to tweaking archival recordings. That is a tremendous concert regardless of any imperfections. Perhaps it is better suited for a future release as part of a "Dick's Picks" type of collectors label.

Re: The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story

Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:29 am

All the concert footage, from 1978 to 2009 was outstanding. The consistent thread through these performances, is the man's lack of pretension. There's very little artistic references that distance him from the average person, just a simple set of "I/We" statements in his lyrics and interviews. That makes him consistently real (that's a sentence he would use!) through the ages. I'm sure that ageless attitude is what keeps him young!

And he does live in the present moment, so there is that energy and creativity that comes as the result. He never looks like he is waiting for something like a muse to inspire him to produce some great art. He just knows that it's all about this moment, right now,

And like all such people who live in the moment, he takes it all seriously, and yet he has a lot of silly fun, too. That's a great balancing act. No wonder he's a compelling performer, and a highly perceptive person and that more and more younger people have been won over.