Bruce Springsteen – The Promise
Ah, today is Sunday… a day of rest and contemplation… a day of frustration, knowing the weekend is over, but also a day of joy. There is something comforting about Sundays. My cousin is off to see Paul Simon in Santa Barbara with friends… She is going to have such a great evening. There are shows and movies and dinners… So many plans to be made. BBQs and beach trips, football, hockey and family. Like any day, I guess, it is what you make of it.
There is something similar about this record, there is utter joy and bitter frustration. The frustration comes out of course, mostly in the accompanying documentary, Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town. It documents the making of Darkness on the Edge of Town and the three-year period where Bruce could not record because of his legal battle with former manager Mike Appel. The joy is obvious. It took all of that crap to make Darkness and all of this music.
The Promise is Bruce’s 17th studio album, was released November 16, 2010, and is a collection of previously unreleased songs from the Darkness sessions.
Ah, The Promise… What is always so astounding to me is the sheer number of songs Bruce leaves OFF albums… amazing, stunning rockers. It’s like going into an outlet store to buy seconds and walking out with a fricking gold mine of firsts.
While we have heard many of these on bootlegs, in concert and on things like the Tracks collection, many were new, at least to my ears.
Look at who benefited from these not immediately coming out as “Bruce” tunes:
Patti Smith – “Because the Night”
The Pointer Sisters – “Fire”
Greg Kihn – “Rendezvous” (Okay, yes I don’t know much more than this one and “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em)” and “Jeopardy“).
Gary U.S. Bonds – “This Little Girl”
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes – “Talk To Me” and “Hearts of Stone” (In fact, the entire Hearts of Stone album was written by Bruce (2 songs) or Little Steven Van Zandt (6 songs and one co-written with Bruce and Southside Johnny (aka John Lyon).
“Racing In The Street” is of course a classic and I love when Little Steven sidles up to Bruce on songs like “Gotta Get That Feeling”. “Because the Night” is great no matter who is doing it… but especially Bruce…
“Candy’s Boy”, “Ain’t Good Enough For You”, “The Promise” and “City of Night” are other highlights and road maps of what will be coming. But I’ll tell ‘ya, hanging out in The Promise, is like hanging out in the promised land!
Hey Boss, thank you for an amazing week, a year and a lifetime… Bruuuuuuuuuce!