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The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge of Town Story Box set

4.8 out of 5 stars 147 customer reviews

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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.

This extraordinary deluxe package comprises nearly six hours of film and more than two hours of audio across 3 CDs and 3 DVDs. It comes with an 80-page notebook containing facsimiles from Springsteen's original notebooks from the recording sessions, which include alternate lyrics, song ideas, recording details, and personal notes in addition to a new essay by Springsteen on the album and never-before-seen photographs.

The Deluxe Package also features The Promise: The Making of 'Darkness on the Edge of Town,' a documentary directed by Grammy- and Emmy-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny. The ninety-minute film combines never-before-seen footage of Springsteen and the E Street Band shot between 1976 and 1978, including home rehearsals and studio sessions with new interviews with Springsteen, E Street Band members, manager Jon Landau, former-manager Mike Appel, and others closely involved in the making of the record.

In addition, the set features more than four hours of live concert film from the Thrill Hill Vault, including the bootleg house cut (the footage that appeared on-screen at the concert) from a 1978 Houston show, and a 2009 performance of Darkness on the Edge of Town in its entirety from Asbury Park. The special performance in Asbury Park was shot in HD without an audience and successfully recreates the stark atmosphere of the original album.

The Deluxe Package also includes Darkness on the Edge of Town, digitally remastered for the first time, as well as the 2 CD set The Promise: The Lost Sessions from Darkness On The Edge Of Town. The two discs contain 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."

This package gives fans an unprecedented look into Springsteen's creative process during a defining moment in his career.

Blu-Ray 1: The Promise: The Making of "Darkness on the Edge of Town"

Blu-Ray 2: Darkness on the Edge of Town (Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ, 2009)
1. Badlands
2. Adam Raised A Cain
3. Something In The Night
4. Candy's Room
5. Racing In The Street
6. The Promised Land
7. Factory
8. Streets Of Fire
9. Prove It All Night
10. Darkness On The Edge Of Town

Thrill Hill Vault (1976-1978)
1. Save My Love (Holmdel, NJ 76)
2. Candy's Boy (Holmdel, NJ 76)
3. Something In The Night (Red Bank, NJ 76)
4. Don’t Look Back (NYC 78)
5. Ain't Good Enough For You (NYC 78)
6. The Promise (NYC 78)
7. Candy's Room Demo (NYC 78)
8. Badlands (Phoenix 78)
9. The Promised Land (Phoenix 78)
10. Prove It All Night (Phoenix 78)
11. Born To Run (Phoenix 78)
12. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (Phoenix 78)

Blu-Ray 3: Houston '78 Bootleg: House Cut
1. Badlands
2. Streets Of Fire
3. It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City
4. Darkness On The Edge Of Town
5. Spirit In The Night
6. Independence Day
7. The Promised Land
8. Prove It All Night
9. Racing In The Street
10. Thunder Road
11. Jungleland
12. The Ties That Bind
13. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
14. The Fever
15. Fire
16. Candy's Room
17. Because The Night
18. Point Blank
19. She's The One
20. Backstreets
21. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
22. Born To Run
23. Detroit Medley
24. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
25. You Can't Sit Down
26. Quarter To Three

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Badlands - Bruce Springsteen
  2. Adam Raised a Cain - Bruce Springsteen
  3. Something in the Night - Bruce Springsteen
  4. Candy's Room - Bruce Springsteen
  5. Racing in the Street - Bruce Springsteen
  6. The Promised Land - Bruce Springsteen
  7. Factory - Bruce Springsteen
  8. Streets of Fire - Bruce Springsteen
  9. Prove It All Night - Bruce Springsteen
  10. Darkness on the Edge of Town - Bruce Springsteen

Disc: 2

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

Disc: 3

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

Disc: 4

  1. A Commitment To Life - Bruce Springsteen
  2. Two Clouds - Bruce Springsteen
  3. The Sound Picture - Bruce Springsteen
  4. The Process - Bruce Springsteen
  5. Notebook - Bruce Springsteen
  6. Pop Songs - Bruce Springsteen
  7. Studio Opinions - Bruce Springsteen
  8. Adult Music - Bruce Springsteen
  9. Making An Album - Bruce Springsteen
  10. Vision Of Now - Bruce Springsteen
  11. Sense Of Possibilities - Bruce Springsteen
  12. Credits - Bruce Springsteen
  13. A Commitment To Life - Bruce Springsteen
  14. Two Clouds - Bruce Springsteen
  15. The Sound Picture - Bruce Springsteen
  16. The Process - Bruce Springsteen
  17. Notebook - Bruce Springsteen
  18. Pop Songs - Bruce Springsteen
  19. Studio Opinions - Bruce Springsteen
  20. Adult Music - Bruce Springsteen
  21. Making An Album - Bruce Springsteen
  22. Vision Of Now - Bruce Springsteen
  23. Sense Of Possibilities - Bruce Springsteen
  24. Credits - Bruce Springsteen
  25. A Commitment To Life - Bruce Springsteen
  26. Two Clouds - Bruce Springsteen
  27. The Sound Picture - Bruce Springsteen
  28. The Process - Bruce Springsteen
  29. Notebook - Bruce Springsteen
  30. Pop Songs - Bruce Springsteen
  31. Studio Opinions - Bruce Springsteen
  32. Adult Music - Bruce Springsteen
  33. Making An Album - Bruce Springsteen
  34. Vision Of Now - Bruce Springsteen
  35. Sense Of Possibilities - Bruce Springsteen
  36. Credits - Bruce Springsteen

Disc: 5

  1. Opening - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  2. Badlands - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  3. Adam Raised a Cain - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  4. Something in the Night - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  5. Candy's Room - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  6. Racing in the Street - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  7. The Promised Land - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  8. Factory - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  9. Streets of Fire - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  10. Prove It All Night - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  11. Darkness on the Edge of Town - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  12. Credits - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  13. Opening - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  14. Save My Love (Holmdel, NJ 76) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  15. Candy's Boy (Holmdel, NJ 76) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  16. Something In The Night (Red Bank, NJ 76) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  17. Don't Look Back (NYC, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  18. Ain't Good Enough For You (NYC, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  19. The Promise (NYC, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  20. Candy's Room Demo (NYC, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  21. Badlands (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  22. The Promised Land (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  23. Prove It All Night (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  24. Born To Run (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  25. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  26. Credits - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  27. Opening - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  28. Badlands - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  29. Adam Raised a Cain - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  30. Something in the Night - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  31. Candy's Room - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  32. Racing in the Street - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  33. The Promised Land - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  34. Factory - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  35. Streets of Fire - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  36. Prove It All Night - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  37. Darkness on the Edge of Town - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  38. Credits - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  39. The Promise (NYC, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  40. Badlands (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  41. The Promised Land (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  42. Prove It All Night (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  43. Born To Run (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  44. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  45. Credits - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  46. Opening - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  47. Badlands - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  48. Adam Raised a Cain - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  49. Something in the Night - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  50. Candy's Room - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  51. Racing in the Street - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  52. The Promised Land - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  53. Factory - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  54. Streets of Fire - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  55. Prove It All Night - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  56. Darkness on the Edge of Town - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  57. Credits - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  58. The Promise (NYC, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  59. Badlands (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  60. The Promised Land (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  61. Prove It All Night (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  62. Born To Run (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  63. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (Phoenix, 78) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  64. Credits - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Disc: 6

  1. Badlands - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  2. Streets of Fire - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  3. It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  4. Darkness on the Edge of Town - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  5. Spirit In The Night - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  6. Independence Day - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  7. The Promised Land - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  8. Prove It All Night - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  9. Racing in the Street - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  10. Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  11. Jungleland - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  12. The Ties That Bind - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  13. Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  14. The Fever - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  15. Fire - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  16. Candy's Room - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  17. Because the Night - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  18. Point Blank - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  19. She's The One - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  20. Backstreets - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  21. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  22. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  23. Detroit Medley - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  24. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  25. You Can't Sit Down - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  26. Quarter To Three - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  27. Credits - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 16, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: November 16, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Columbia
  • Run Time: 1113 minutes
  • ASIN: B0040JHXTS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,621 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bornintime VINE VOICE on November 18, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Often I see a comprehensive box set released and it looks so good but I wish I was just a little more interested in the subject album or artist. I didn't have that problem with this one. At 16 years old back in 1978 Darkness On The Edge Of Town was the first serious album I ever bought. Up to then I was buying Aerosmith, Kansas, Rush and the like, didn't own a thing (yet) by Bob, Bruce, Van, Neil etc. Back in those days we all listened to the radio because it was fresh and exciting. WPLJ in New York City was my station. They started playing 4 songs from Darkness constantly (as well as broadcasting the Cleveland '78 show which I taped on my radio shack 8-track stereo - still have the tapes). Carol Miller, an amazing DJ at WPLJ, seemed to have a major crush on Bruce. Soon I was hooked on an artist that would remain in my top 3 to this day.

Darkness is a landmark Bruce album, certainly worthy of the box set treatment. But who would have thought we would get anything like this? Let's break things down:

1. THE PACKAGING
Very different than anything you have seen before. It comes in a large slipcase that is made to look like a worn copy of the album. Inside the slipcase is an actual spiral notebook that is very thick, a reproduction of one of the worn notebooks that Bruce used when creating the album. The 6 discs are spread out inside the contents of the notebook in little envelopes built into the extra thick pages. The notebook will be fascinating to the Bruce fanatic. It has tracklists for different darkness running orders, handwritten lyrics often different than the released songs, pictures and other ephemera. An unusual item that will take a couple enjoyable hours to go through.

2.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In this review, I'll cover just the remastered original Darkness On The Edge of Town album itself. Other reviewers have covered the extra content. Also, this isn't an "album review". I'll assume that if you are considering dropping $80+ on this set, you know this is a classic.

The overall sound quality is significantly improved by this remaster. Recall that the original CD issue of Darkness really was just a transfer of the original master to CD format. No "re" mastering was done at the time. As a result, the original CD lacked low end definition, suffered greatly from audible tape hiss, and was generally "muddy".

All of those issues have been resolved in this excellent remaster. You notice from the opening drum fill of "Badlands" that the low end now is much tighter and well-defined. Gary Tallent's bass lines can now be felt as much as heard, which is how good rock bass should be.

Tape hiss is now reduced significantly; you'll notice this especially on the intros to "Something in the Night" and "Racing In The Street". Tape hiss is still present on those tracks, so don't expect it to disappear completely, but it is much less distracting.

One improvement I didn't expect was the increased presence and clarity of the electric guitars. While Bruce's guitar parts were prominent in the original release, they now have greater presence and a little more "bite", meaning high frequency volume. But even more importantly, Steve Van Zandt's guitar work has gone from almost inaudible in the original release to very easy to hear in the remaster. This is most noticeable on "Adam Raised A Cain". If you have the
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I originally considered just buying the DVD, The Promise, after all, I already had the CD of Darkness At The Edge Of Town. How much was a remaster really going to change it? Then I realized how much new music from the original sessions was included and I had to spring for the whole package. Who would want to miss songs from that era? DAET has long been my favorite Springsteen record. I love it's wall-to-wall noir element, the quality of the writing, the continually ominous interaction of the bass and the bass drum. I'm a all-record fan, but driving to work I turn most often to this record.

There are a number of features about this reissue that improve on other important reissues which undoubtedly, Springsteen and his colleagues bought and noted. The packaging is spectacular. It's a lot like Bob Dylan's Scrapbook, in that it's a reproduction of Springsteen's notebook in which he wrote the songs that make up this record. Unlike the Dylan book, though, it contains 3 CDs and 3 DVDs all from that era, so if you're nostalgic for 1970s Bruce, this content is spine tingling. The remastering, unlike the Beatles box set from last year, and The Rolling Stones remaster of Exiles on Main Street earlier this year, sit quite comfortably on your iPod next to the original recordings. They don't replace your older recordings as the Beatles' and Stones' work did.

If you love Bruce Springsteen, I would tell you not to hesitate to spend the extra money for this box set. It's hours of infotainment. In most cases, you just have to have it.

If you're someone who looks at Springsteen as a major mover of the rock idiom and is simply interested in how someone like this works, this is s seminal document.
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