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Darkness on the Edge of Town is the fourth studio album by the American singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen, released on June 2, 1978, by Columbia Records. The album was recorded after a series of legal disputes between Springsteen and his former manager Mike Appel, during sessions in New York City with the E Street Band from June 1977 to March 1978. Springsteen and Jon Landau co-produced, with assistance from bandmate Steven Van Zandt.
|Darkness on the Edge of Town
|Studio album by
|June 2, 1978 (1978-06-02)
|June 1977 – March 1978
|Atlantic and Record Plant (New York City)
|Bruce Springsteen chronology
|Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band chronology
|Singles from Darkness on the Edge of Town
For the album's lyrics and music, Springsteen took inspiration from sources as diverse as John Steinbeck novels, John Ford films, punk rock, and country music. Musically, the album strips the Wall of Sound production of its predecessor, Born to Run, for a rawer hard rock sound emphasizing the band as a whole. The lyrics on Darkness focus on ill-fortuned characters who fight back against overwhelming odds. Compared to Springsteen's previous records, the characters are older and the songs are less tied to the Jersey Shore area. The cover photograph of Springsteen was taken by Frank Stefanko in his New Jersey home.
Released three years after Born to Run, Darkness did not sell as well as its predecessor but reached number five in the US, while its singles—"Prove It All Night", "Badlands", and "The Promised Land"—performed modestly. Springsteen promoted the album on the Darkness Tour, his largest tour up to that point. Upon release, critics praised the album's music and performances but were divided on the lyrical content. It placed on several critics' lists ranking the best albums of the year.
In later decades, Darkness has attracted acclaim as one of Springsteen's best works and one that anticipated later records. It has since appeared on various professional lists of the greatest albums of all time. Outtakes from the recording sessions were given to other artists, held-over for Springsteen's next album, The River, or later released on compilations. Darkness was reissued in 2010, accompanied by a documentary detailing the album's making.
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