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The Promise

4.2 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 16, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

"Darkness was my 'samurai' record," Springsteen writes, "stripped to the frame and ready to rumble. But the music that got left behind was substantial." For the first time, fans will have access to two discs containing a total of 21 previously-unreleased songs from the Darkness recording sessions, songs that, as Springsteen writes, "perhaps could have/should have been released after Born To Run and before the collection of songs that Darkness on the Edge of Town became."

Highlights include the extraordinary rock version of "Racing in the Street," the never-before-released original recordings of "Because the Night," "Fire," and "Rendezvous," the supreme pop opus "Someday (We'll Be Together)," the hilarious "Ain't Good Enough for You," the superb soul-based vocal performance on "The Broken Hearted," the utterly haunting "Breakaway," and the now finally released, fully orchestrated masterpiece and title song, "The Promise." All 21 songs have been mixed by Springsteen's long-time collaborator, Bob Clearmountain. According to long-time manager/producer Jon Landau, "There isn't a weak card in this deck. 'The Promise' is simply a great listening experience."

Lyrics to all of the songs, a new essay from Bruce Springsteen and never-before-seen photographs from the Darkness sessions are also included.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Racing in the Street
  2. Gotta Get That Feeling
  3. Outside Looking In
  4. Someday (We'll Be Together)
  5. One Way Street
  6. Because the Night
  7. Wrong Side of the Street
  8. The Brokenhearted
  9. Rendezvous
  10. Candy's Boy

Disc: 2

  1. Save My Love
  2. Ain't Good Enough for You
  3. Fire
  4. Spanish Eyes
  5. It's a Shame
  6. Come On (Let's Go Tonight)
  7. Talk to Me
  8. The Little Things (My Baby Does)
  9. Breakaway
  10. The Promise
  11. City of Night

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 16, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: November 16, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Columbia
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • ASIN: B0040JHWKS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,238 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Red on Black TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 16, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Oh the agonies of being Bruce Springsteen. You have recorded what many consider to be one of the best ever rock albums in 1975's high adrenaline anthem laden "Born to Run", you have been proclaimed the "future of rock n roll" and expectations are running at a fever pitch that after a three year lay off compounded by legal disputes you are about to release "Born to Run - part 2". So what do you do? Answer - like all great artists you confound expectations and by doing so release the brooding and primal masterpiece 1978's "Darkness on the edge of town". On it Springsteen combined songs like "Adam raised a Cain" that contained so much raw fury it could have started a war with the sheer unadulterated beauty of other songs like the towering "Racing in the street". In addition with his well known prolificness he recorded enough material to literally swamp the 16 track equipment of New York's legendary Record Plant.

The Darkness sessions are now captured in all their glory on a huge box set release and hopefully Santa's elves have already packed it in a parcel marked "Cardiff". But in the meantime we have the music that got left behind from those sessions captured on this essentially "new" double album "The Promise" and frankly your humble reviewer has died and gone to heaven. This album represents a completely essential addition to the Springsteen canon and must be viewed as one of his great seventies albums albeit over thirty years late. "The Promise" very much prefigures "The River" and is packed full of so many styles from joyous jukebox rock n roll such as the Buddy Holly like thumping "Outside looking in" and the wonderful soulful Graham Parker sounding "Talk to me".
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Format: Audio CD
Bruce delivers big time! Imagine... The Beatles found extra tracks for Revolver; another side of the moon was discovered by Pink Floyd; U2 planted another Joshua Tree. Sounds impossible, doesn't it? Well, the Boss had arguably the best three album run of the seventies (The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town) and now he's just dropped a fourth masterpiece from that peak period thirty-something years later. These twenty one tracks are not b-sides,Darkness cast-offs or novelties. They are the most thrilling and eclectic bunch of songs you'll hear in 2010. It sounds like Bruce's London Calling.

Disc one begins with Racing in the Streets ('78). I'm getting chicken skin just thinking about this track. Bittan's piano marches us into an electric track that sounds as if it could have been recorded for Born to Run. The songs are so strong on this disc that the one track I was really excited about hearing, Because the Night, is not one of the better songs (and it's great!) Candy's Boy brings out a sensitive side to that wild girl that we could have never imagined on Darkness.

Now I was fully prepared to be let down by the second disc. I thought Bruce had obviously front loaded this package. Was I wrong. If anything the second disc is more upbeat and melodic,revealing Springsteen's fifties and sixties influences. By the time the refrain on the second track, Ain't Enough for You kicked in, I felt like clapping right along. Also, the second disc contains the best track on the album, The Promise. It's as good as anything Springsteen has recorded (man, is that saying something!)

Okay, I'll take a breath and let the hurricane of hyperbole die down to a steady rain.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Back in the `70s, any recording artist worth his or her salt was expected to release an album per year, every two years tops. If there were a lapse in this rote pattern, the record company would put out a "greatest hits," or some type of "best of" compilation to appease hungry fans. Everybody thought Dylan was finished when there was no follow-up to "Blonde on Blonde" in 1967, and after an unheard of three-year lull in Van Morrison's recording career, Van the Man released an LP with the apparently explanatory title "A Period of Transition."

I remember the seemingly endless barren stretch that followed "Born to Run" (was Springsteen not "Rock and Roll Future" after all? my friends and I wondered aloud), and it would be years before I found out Bruce had actually written and recorded several songs in the limbo between his 1975 epic and 1978's "Darkness On the Edge of Town." Now, three decades later, this material is finally, officially, seeing the light of day.

"The Promise" is best appreciated not as a fully realized whole like "Born to Run" or "Darkness," but as a transitional journey between the two, from the wide-eyed optimism of the former, when Bruce believed (and we did right along with him) that Rock and Roll was bigger than life, to the harder-edged latter, forged by the trials and stresses of an increasingly imposing real world. It makes for an engrossing, sometimes downright intoxicating mix, and serves as a welcome, long lost bridge between two masterpieces seemingly half a world apart. It's also, to me, an invigorating reminder of why I became a Bruce fan in the first place.

And it's a tribute to the Boss that he could produce such a vast storehouse of great songs--some of which ("Because the Night," "Fire," "Talk to Me," et al.
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