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Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town (1978)

November 10, 2016


Unbelievable USA logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

USA Artists (so far): Aimee Mann, Marty Robbins, D’Angelo, The Modern Lovers, Bruce Springsteen


[Album 484/1001]

As the story goes, in 2001, a few days after what is now known as 9/11, a stranger pulled up beside Bruce Springsteen and said, “we need you now.”

Shortly thereafter, The Boss delivered The Rising, exactly the right album at exactly the right time.

I’m not sure how to address what occurred earlier this morning, on the day that some have already started to call 11/9.

I don’t know if there will ever be a satisfactory answer to the question, what happened?

Like millions of others around the world, I’ve gone through a variety of emotions over the last 24 hours.

When I was about to launch into the dinner preparation tonight, I saw my copy of Darkness on the Edge of Town (DOTEOT) sitting by the stereo.

I picked up the album, and thought to myself, Bruce, I need you now.



Unsurprisingly, though released almost 4 decades ago, tonight, DOTEOT was exactly the right album at exactly the right time.

On the album opener, Badlands, some lyrics were depressingly prescient:220px-brucespringsteendarknessontheedgeoftown

poor man wanna be rich,
rich man wanna be king,
And a king ain’t satisfied,
’til he rules everything”

However, just a few lines later, there’s light in the darkness.

“I believe in the love that you gave me,
I believe in the faith that can save me,
I believe in the hope…”

And I believe that’s going to be the lasting message for me.

So much more could & should be said about DOTEOT but for now, all I feel is gratitude: thanks for another wonderful record Bruce.


It’s been heartening to see words like love, faith, and hope start to dominate my Facebook news feed this evening. It’s been especially life-affirming to see some of my friends responding to all the recent messages of hate & fear by challenging themselves to be more kind.

If you’ve got some words that have helped you through today, please share them in the comments, I’m sure they’ll help others (myself included) as well.

And I hope The Boss sees this Toni Morrison quote ASAP too.


From → 1970s

  1. What a wonderful quote. I want Toni Morrison to be boss. Excellent piece, too, Geoff. My minuscule contribution is this:

    “Mourn globally, love locally”

    Naturally, ‘local’ includes the blogosphere.

    • Never underestimate the power of small gestures Bruce – that minuscule contribution helped inspire my post.
      And I believe ‘local’ typically refers to your ‘community’ – so the blogosphere more than qualifies!

  2. I love this post, Geoff. Love Toni Morrison’s quote. Love Bruce’s, too.

    • Cheers J – both Toni & the Bruces (Springsteen and our friend Bruce) definitely helped bring some light back yesterday

  3. Has something happened?!

  4. Good post Geoff. I think Bruce is needed again. Hopefully he plans on sticking around at least 8 more years.

    • Thanks Mike – I gather he’s showing no sign of slowing down in his recent performances, so that’s quite encouraging!

  5. Great writeup Geoff! This is classic Bruce from the album cover down to the vinyl grooves! Reeks Blue Collar Rawk…..

  6. I’m sorry I missed this. We all need to believe in hope right now.

    I’m a big Springsteen fan. Usually I would ramble more about that, but I’m kind of choked right now. I’ve been listening to a lot of U2 the last few days, for some reason. I hope you and your family are doing well.

    • I remember U2’s ‘all that you can’t leave behind’ album being a nice one to turn to in the early 2000s during similarly bleak times, ‘Walk On’ I remember being a particularly life-affirming tune.
      Bruce rambles are always encouraged around here sourgirl 🙂

      • Yes, the album with the contagious “Beautiful Day” on it. I loved “Walk On”, his tribute to Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi. Most recently, I’ve been playing “One” over and over. Sometimes with Mary J. Blige. Sometimes with Michael Stipe. Sometimes just Bono.

        Bruce rambles….you know, I love “Brilliant Disguise”, though the storyline therein makes me cringe. I get a little freaked out when I’m driving at night and “I’m on Fire” comes on the radio. Not sure why. I could go for a little “Streets of Philadelphia” right now.

  7. This is a freaking GREAT record! Wahoo!

    Also: “As the story goes, in 2001, a few days after what is now known as 9/11, a stranger pulled up beside Bruce Springsteen and said, “we need you now.””

    Man, that’s not how I thought that story was gonna end. I was picturing mobsters, throwing the Boss into the trunk of a car and taking off with him. I’m so glad it ended the way it did, with a record!

    • Great freaking record indeed!
      Was exactly what I needed post-election too, a very comforting voice. And that Clarence Clemons saxophone, brings a smile every time!

      • It’s only a small part of the complete breakfast we need after that sh*tshow of an election. I think several pints and some comfort chocolate would also be required.

      • Pints + Chocolate + The Boss = My kind of prescription!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott – Supa Dupa Fly (1997) | 1001albumsin10years
  2. Steely Dan – Countdown to Ecstasy (1973) | 1001albumsin10years
  3. Grant Lee Buffalo – Fuzzy (1993) | 1001albumsin10years
  4. 2Pac – Me Against The World (1995) | 1001albumsin10years
  5. Harry Nilsson – Nilsson Schmilsson (1971) | 1001albumsin10years
  6. Linkin Park – Hybrid Theory (2000) | 1001albumsin10years
  7. Willie Nelson – Stardust (1978) | 1001albumsin10years
  8. Emmylou Harris – Pieces of the Sky (1975) | 1001albumsin10years
  9. Randy Newman – Good Old Boys (1974) | 1001albumsin10years
  10. The Monkees – Headquarters (1967) | 1001albumsin10years
  11. Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville (1993) | 1001albumsin10years
  12. The Byrds – Younger than Yesterday (1967) | 1001albumsin10years
  13. Anita Baker – Rapture (1986) | 1001albumsin10years
  14. Circle Jerks – Group Sex (1980) | 1001albumsin10years
  15. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1976) | 1001albumsin10years
  16. Wilco – Being There (1996) | 1001albumsin10years
  17. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet (1986) | 1001albumsin10years
  18. 1978 | 1001albumsin10years

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