On The Tracks 2.20 – Darkness on the Edge of Town
Roy Bittan – Keyboards
Clarence Clemons – Sax, Vocal
Danny Federici – Keyboards, Vocal
Bruce Springsteen – g/v/hrc/b
Garry Tallent – Bass, Horn
Steve Van Zandt – Guitar, Vocal
Max Weinberg – Drums
All songs by Bruce Springsteen
Charts : Billboard #005, entered Jun 17, 1978
BADLANDS 4.01 (Take 23)
ADAM RAISED A CAIN 4.31
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT 5.08 (Take 42)
CANDYS ROOM 2.43 (Take 42)
RACING IN THE STREET 6.51 (Take 46)
THE PROMISED LAND 4.25 (Take 5)
FACTORY 2.15 (Take 28)
STREETS OF FIRE 4.02 (Take 28)
PROVE IT ALL NIGHT 3.54 (Take 4)
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN 4.23 (Take 28)
ADAM RAISED A CAIN 4.08 LMIII/LMC
This version has different guitar parts – recorded in August 1977
BADLANDS V1 (diff guitar) 3.47 WAY/DDO/LMIII
V2 (diff lyric) 3.44 LMIII
V3 (diff mix) 3.57 ODM
V4 (inst) 4.14 PROM/DDO/LMIII?
Versions 1, 2 & 4 date from August 1977 and feature different stages in the songs development from a basic instrumental track to the complete version
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT V1 diff lyric 4.35 WAY/DDO
V2 5.07 PROM
V3 diff mix 5.04 ODM
V1 has lyrics which are slightly changed in verses 1 and 2 – recorded 1/6/77
V2 – much closer to the released version
CANDYS ROOM V1 diff mix 2.41 ODM
V2 diff mix 3.00 ODM
The song grew from two different out-takes, “The Fast Song” and “Candys Boy”
RACING IN THE STREET V1 piano only 5.48 PROM/LMIII(cut)
V2 band/harmon 6.16 WAY/DDO/LMII
V3 alt mix 6.44 ODM
V4 band/diff end 6.50 LMIII
V1 – is a beautiful solo version which may have been used for the band to lay down further instrumental tracks onto and the take on LMIII is the same one but cut. These versions are radically different to the final take with only 3 main verses and different lyrics.
V2 – Harmonica introduction – from a rehearsal session, on some tapes the chat between Bruce and the engineers is heard. The track has many lyric differences – and the LMII version is the same but ends earlier
V4 has no harmonica and is a full band version much like the final take, with different lyrics in Verse 2 and a different ending.
PROMISED LAND diff mix 4.14 ODM
Main difference is the lack of the guitar solo
FACTORY V1 August 1977 2.10 LMIII
V2 violin added 2.13 ICE/DDO
V3 “LETS GO TONIGHT” ICE
V4 diff mix 2.12 ODM
V3 is the same music but with different lyrics
STREETS OF FIRE V1 slight lyric diff 3.54 ICE/DDO/LMIII
V2 more complete 3.51 ODM
V3 August 1977 3.45 LMII
V3 may be the same as V2
PROVE IT ALL NIGHT
V1 diff lyrics 3.28 LMIII
V2 diff mix 4.00 ODM
V3 diff mix 3.54 ODM
V1 has the same music but the main lyrics are the words to “Something In The Night“! – incredible
V2 & 3 are just different mixes of the final track – the guitar solo is different.
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN
V2 rockabilly version 4.26 PROM/DDO
V3 diff mix 4.21 ODM
V4 1976 demo
V2 – guitar line is different in the chorus sections
Many sources say track came in very late in the sessions, in fact the studio team were mixing down for the LP when Bruce decided to record it – and as the version used was Take 28 – this obviously delayed the LP for some time. Ultimately it became the title track and The Promise was dropped in it’s favor.
Other opinions vary however and some (including Dave Marsh) state that the track was one of the first ones cut in early June 1977. I have never heard the supposed early V1 from 1/6/77 which is quoted to exist. More recently Sandford’s “Point Blank” refers to Darkness as a track being complete and demo’d in January 1976 – kinda confusing ain’t it!
ALL NIGHT LONG (AKA “BREAKOUT“) V1 2.15 LMIII
V2 2.22 ICE/DDO
V1 is from September 1977 and has bluffed vocal
V2 Probably dates from around the same time in the sessions. Features the E St Band going at full tilt.
(AKA “NO ANSWER“)
(AKA “LA LA LA“) 3.09 ICE
Unfinished slow tune
BECAUSE THE NIGHT V1 early version (Atlantic) 3.17 WAY/LMIII
V2 more complete (R. Plant) 3.24 PROM
Both takes are unfinished and Bruce never completed a studio version. The LMIII take is incomplete and may be the same as V1, but in best ever quality
BO DIDDLY ROCKER (AKA “GOING BACK“) 5.35 ICE/DDO
Fairly complete and fast paced track.
BRING ON THE NIGHT 2.35 ATEOD
Unfinished, with bluffed vocal – one of the early tracks from Atlantic, which turns up again as acoustic and band demos in The River sessions tapes, and as a finished song on Tracks. One take which is said to be the River sessions seems to be the same as this version, which calls into question wether this song is a Darkness out-take at all – it did circulate on a tape which was supposedly from 12/8/77 with a lot of definate Darkness demos on it, so it is difficult to be precise on this.
BROKEN HEARTED 5.34 PRE TOUR TAPE
This track is known only from a pre-tour rehearsal tape but appears to be Bruce original and probably is a Darkness out-take song.
CANDYS BOY V1 June 1977 5.22 WAY/LMII
V2 Less guitar 4.48 PROM
V2 – Guitar part is edited out after verse 3, otherwise track is same as V1
Lyrics are virtually identical to Candy’s Room but the music is different.
CRAZY ROCKER 3.32 DDITV
Lots of Guitar from Bruce – recorded at the Record Plant.
DON’T LOOK BACK V1 instrumental (June 1977) 3.18 LMII
V2 instrumental (diff) 3.26 PROM/DDO
V3 incomplete lyric 2.58 WAY
V4 acetate version (2/7/77) 2.56 ODM/DDO/TRACKS
V5 rough vocal
Was included on the LP until very late on it was replaced by the title track. V4 was recorded on 1/3/78 and was on early acetates of the LP. V1 is completely different to the second instrumental backing.
DON’T SAY NO 3.48 WAY/DDO
Lyrics are unfinished. Music is the same as “I Wanna Be Wild”
DRIVE ALL NIGHT V1 8.37 ICE/DDO
(AKA “SAD EYES“) V2
V3 8.25 LMII
V4 4.42 LMII
V1 is the full take and is much longer than the version which would eventually appear on The River.
V2 is just a small section with Bruce humming a proposed string section
V3 is a different long version and V4 is completely different in feel and presentation – both these date from June 1977
ENGLISH SONS (AKA “ENDLESS NIGHT“) 3.52 WAY/DDO
Another fast paced track, with a driving guitar line, again from early in the sessions
THE FAST SONG V1 diff lyric 2.26 PROM
V2 new intro 2.58 WAY
V3 instrumental (8/77) 2.54 LMII
This track contributed the music to Candy’s Room. The lyrics here are diffent and less effective.
FIRE 5.14 WAY/DDO/LMII
Written as a tribute to Elvis Presley.
FRANKIE V1 incomplete vocal (Atlantic Studio) 4.46 WAY/DDO/LMII?
V2 ?river version? 5.46 DOT (tape)
V3 1976 demo
Superb song originally played on the 1976 tour. Also recorded for BITUSA
(GOTTA) GET THAT FEELING 3.00 WAY/DDO/LMII
V2 3.21 DDITV
Mid tempo song
GIVE THE GIRL A KISS 3.47 TRACKS
Recorded 10th November 1977
HEARTS OF STONE 5.39 WAY/DDO
Given to Southside Johnny – the basic track was used on the LP.
Version on Tracks recorded 14/10/77 – diff mix
THE ICEMAN 3.08 ICE/DDO
Some of the lyrics were later used in Badlands.
The track dates from late 1977 (27/10/77 – box set version)
INDEPENDENCE DAY 6.17 LMIII
This appears to be a rehearsal take – or a poor quality studio one with different if indistinct vocals from September 1977 – features an alternate and excellent guitar ending.
I WANNA BE WITH YOU (Atlantic Studio) 3.04 ICE/DDO
One of the first tracks laid down in the sessions. Was also re-recorded for The River. The words on this version are pretty close to the River version released on Tracks, but there are some differences and this version features a guitar solo part which the later versions do not.
I WANNA BE WILD 3.32 DDITV
Music is the same as “Don’t Say No”
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER V1 band 6.49 ICE/DDO
V1 is a rough rehearsal run through.
V2 is a full studio take which may date from the Born to Run sessions
LETS GO TONIGHT 2.07 PROM
Ideas from this track would be used in both Factory and Johnny Bye Bye.
ONE WAY STREET 5.46 LMII
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN V1 (Atlantic Studio) 2.25 ICE/DDO
Again, one of the first songs laid down at Atlantic – dreadful backing vocals
PREACHERS DAUGHTER 5.15 ICE
Later incorporated in part into “Shes The One” in concert.
V1 incomp lyric (June 1977) 5.35 WAY
V2 more comp (August 1977) 5.25 PROM/DDO/LMII
V3 different arrangement 7.11 DDITV
V1 has different (slightly) lyrics although it’s not certain that this was an earlier take. V2 has a slightly faster pace.
Originally titled “The Loser” (the very first concert version on 3/8/76 had this as the lyric in the chorus) and was seriously considered for the LP. Dropped off the LP in favour of the title track. One of the best unreleased classics, and worth getting LMII for alone – the quality here is astounding.
V3 is arranged differently with a full band backing track virtually from the start and a long instrumental ending. The lyrics are a mix of different versions done in concert and the studio – absolutly stunning.
The track has now been officially released on 18 TRACKS, with a new recorded version.
RENDEZVOUS (Atlantic Studio) 2.47 PROM/DDO
One of the early tracks cut at Atlantic
RAMROD V1 3.58 ICE
Another track recorded in the Darkness sessions and then shelved until the River.
SAY SONS (AKA “DOWN BY THE RIVER“) 2.15 ICE/DDO
Fast paced track which ends with Bruce commenting that it should be only one verse. May be one of those songs written around the same story with a different perspective as the story line is similar to “Don’t Say No”
SHERRY DARLING V1 last verse X2 4.51 PROM/DDO
V2 diff ending 3.42 WAY/LMIII
V1 – fades in and has less background vocals
V2 – the ending has a guitar and then a sax solo
The track was re-recorded for The River
SPANISH EYES V1 early lyric 3.42 WAY/LMIII
V2 more complete 6.14 PROM/DDO
Slow unfinished tune, which must have been considered for the LP. V1 has lyrics later used in “I’m On Fire” in the first verse.
SOMEDAY TONIGHT (inst – September 1977) 4.33 LMIII
TALK TO ME instrumental only – August 1977 3.59 ICE/DDO/LMII
Again a track given to Southside – although a version with Bruce on vocals is supposed to exist.
TAXI CAB (AKA “CITY AT NIGHT“) 3.08 ICE/DDO
Slow and unfinished. Some lyrics were later used in Ramrod and in All That Heaven Will Allow.
THE WAY V1
All the above are essentially different mixes of the same basic track. A few of the lyrics were later used in The River. Was probably seriously considered for the LP considering the number of mix downs of what is clearly a finished track.
WHAT’S THE MATTER LITTLE DARLING 4.06 DDITV
Recorded at the Record Plant. Previously attributed to a River session, it may have been re-tried later.
Recent information suggests that demos of the following tracks were cut as early as January 1976. All of these are uncirculated in this form. Darkness and Frankie also date from this time.
YOU’RE GONNA CRY
All the Darkness sessions were from either:-
A/ Atlantic Studios, NYC from 1/6/77 to November 1977
B/ Record Plant, NYC from November 1977 to May 1978
Sherry Darlin’ was one of the first tracks recorded at these sessions and Promised Land was the last track mixed down prior to the LP release. Factory was written in 20 minutes – a shorter time than Bruce would spend deliberation on a single word change in other lyrics. As detailed above, Darkness was added to the LP very late in the sessions (it’s unconfirmed but it might have been around April 1978) and in fact the studio technicians were mixing down Racing in the Street and adding backing vocals to Adam Raised a Cain when Bruce started recording the title track.