The Promise


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Commercially Released: November 16, 2010
Label: Columbia
Produced by Bruce Springsteen and Jon Landau
Recorded by Jimmy Iovine and Toby Scott, assited by Rob Lebret, Thom Panunzio
Studios Atlantic Studios, The Record Plant, New York, NY and July 12-26, 2010 Stone Hill Studio, Rumson, New Jersey
Mixed by Chuck Plotkin, Bob Clearmountain, assisted by Brandon Duncan at Mix This!
Mastered by Mike Reese, Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME
Archive Research, Retrieval & Restoration by Donna Kloepfer, Matt Kelly, Sean Brennan, Tim Sturgis, Toby Scott

Overview

The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story is the long-anticipated boxset finally released by Columbia Records. It was expected for the June 2, 2008 30th anniversary of the release of Darkness, but that didn't happen, possibly due to Springsteen's touring schedule, but probably because he was fussing over it's contents, just like he fussed over Darkness, thus creating the vast surplus of material we are anxious to hear. The box set was finally announced on August 26, 2010.

Disc 1 is "Darkness On The Edge Of Town", digitally remastered by Bob Ludwig on June 2, 2010, which comes in a paper sleeve housed inside a cardboard sleeve.

Disc 2 and disc 3 are "The Promise", a two-CD album, a collection of unreleased songs from the Darkness On The Edge Of Town recording sessions (described by one hypster as "unearthed material"). It features photographs taken by Eric Meola on August 17-20, 1977, on a trip to Utah & Nevada with Bruce and Steve Van Zandt. It was also released separately, and it came in a 4-panel cardboard sleeve.

Disc 4 is the Blu-Ray/DVD "The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town", a documentary directed by Grammy- and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny, which comes in a paper sleeve housed inside a cardboard sleeve. The ninety-minute film combines never-before-seen footage of Bruce 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. Stephen Whitty For Inside Jersey reported from the Toronto Film Festival on September 13, 2010, that "Darkness" is now also "The Promise: The Making of 'Darkness on the Edge of Town'", a documentary that shows the building of that album, track by track, song by song. It will be shown on HBO on Oct. 7, and released by Columbia Records as part of a mammoth 3-CD, 3-DVD boxed set on November 16. On Tuesday evening (Sept 14), the hour-and-a-half film gets its first open-to-the-public showing at the Toronto Film Festival. Hear Bruce admit, "More than rich, more than famous, more than happy – I wanted to be great." It was released separately on May 3, 2011, in both DVD and Blu-Ray formats, with some bonus features.

Disc 5 "Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Paramount Theater, Asbury Park 2009" and "Thrill Hill Vault 1976-1978", comes in a paper sleeve housed inside a cardboard sleeve.. The former is a Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's live performance of the Darkness On The Edge Of Town album in its entirety, shot in HD on 13 Dec 2009 at Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ, without an audience. Thrill Hill Vault 1976-1978 is a collection of archival footage from Springsteen's personal vault It consists of an about-an-hour's worth (it clocks at about 56 minutes) of home rehearsals footage from 1976, studio sessions footage from 1978, and live in concert footage from 1978. It was produced and edited by Emmy- and Grammy-winner Thom Zimny and the audio for the live 1978 footage and some of the 1978 studio footage was mixed by Bob Ludwig. Zimny re-edited the 1978 concert footage making use of previously unseen camera angles. The home rehearsals and studio session footage was originally produced and directed by Barry Rebo, while the live in concert footage was originally directed by Arnold Levine.

Disc 6 is "Thrill Hill Vault Houston '78 Bootleg: House Cut", comes in a paper sleeve housed inside a cardboard sleeve. a video of the complete December 8, 1978 concert at The Summit in Houston, TX. The footage was taken from the in-house video screen at The Summit, which was one of the first arenas in the United States to have this system at the time. This gave the release its title "Houston '78 Bootleg: House Cut". Considering that it was taken from the mono soundboard, the sound is only available in PCM stereo and not in 5.1 surround. The video was produced by Emmy- and Grammy-winner Thom Zimny and the audio was mastered by Bob Ludwig. It clocks at around 176 minutes.

The five cardboard sleeves are placed in the pockets of an 80-page spiral-bound reproduction of Springsteen's original notebooks called the "Promise notebook" (of greatest interest to hardcore fans), with facsimiles of Bruce's original handwritten lyrics, production notes, song ideas, recording details, and many album sequencing lists, in addition to a new essay by Springsteen on the album and never-before-seen photographs. The set is housed inside a hard cardboard outer slipcase. The box set won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package.

The album features one of the last appearances of Clarence Clemons before his death in June 2011. Clemons is featured on the song "Save My Love", which was the only song on the album completely re-recorded by Springsteen and the E Street Band for the project.

This boxset was under development for years, which was why so few Darkness outtakes were included in Tracks. Difficult choices were made, and finally the master tapes from 1977-78 were assembled. Unfortunately, Bruce still felt that many of the tracks were incomplete, and required re-recording or overdubbing. Recording sessions were held in the Summer of 2010 at Stone Hill Studio, at Springsteen's home in Colts Neck, NJ. For reference, we have produced a table below that lists known modern elements in the songs. However, it is extremely likely that other modern elements exist that have not yet been identified. Tracks that appear untouched from 1977 include "Candy's Boy", "City of Night" and "The Way". Please contact Brucebase if your perception differs, we want to hear your thoughts, and we have changed this table on occasion, based on good arguments or convincing information. Let's get to the truth.

Released

# Song Title Running Time Release
1.1. RACING IN THE STREET ('78) 6:50 PROMISE
1.2. GOTTA GET THAT FEELING 3:20 PROMISE
1.3. OUTSIDE LOOKING IN 2:19 PROMISE
1.4. SOMEDAY (WE'LL BE TOGETHER) 5:39 PROMISE
1.5. ONE WAY STREET 4:21 PROMISE
1.6. BECAUSE THE NIGHT 3:25 PROMISE
1.7. WRONG SIDE OF THE STREET 3:37 PROMISE
1.8. THE BROKENHEARTED 5:20 PROMISE
1.9. RENDEZVOUS 2:40 PROMISE
1.10. CANDY'S BOY 4:39 PROMISE
# Song Title Running Time Release
2.1. SAVE MY LOVE 2:39 PROMISE
2.2. AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU 4:03 PROMISE
2.3. FIRE 4:10 PROMISE
2.4. SPANISH EYES 3:51 PROMISE
2.5. IT'S A SHAME 3:16 PROMISE
2.6. COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) 2:20 PROMISE
2.7. TALK TO ME 4:22 PROMISE
2.8. THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES) 3:19 PROMISE
2.9. BREAKAWAY 5:33 PROMISE
2.10. THE PROMISE 5:54 PROMISE
2.11. CITY OF NIGHT 2:58 PROMISE
2.12. THE WAY 1 3:47 PROMISE

Total Running Time: 1:28:44

1: Hidden in the previous track.

Visit our release-pages for additional information.

Details

RACING IN THE STREET - V1 5:48 DO-3 / LM-3 / UP / AM
RACING IN THE STREET - V2a 6:42 LM-3 / UP
RACING IN THE STREET - V2b 6:44 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
RACING IN THE STREET - V2c 6:51 DARKNESS
RACING IN THE STREET - V3a 6:22 LM-2 / DDO / DO-2 / DDOC / O711S
RACING IN THE STREET ('78) - V3b 6:47 PROMISE

Note: Springsteen started writing "Racing In The Street" in 1976, and working titles included "'32 Ford" (found in a document titled "New Songs", reproduced in The Promise facsimile book), and "Dying In The Street", according to author Clinton Heylin. The latter phrase appears twice in the earliest known circulating recording (V1), a slow solo piano arrangement from July 2, 1977 at Atlantic Studios, verified in Sony's studio logs. This take uses an incomplete version of the alternate "Got a '32 Ford, she's a 318…" lyrics, and is also missing verse three, perhaps not yet written, alongside the Darkness On The Edge Of Town album melody. After a two week break, sessions resumed on August 1, with four consecutive days working on "Racing." Sessions continued on August 10, 12, 29-30, 1977, at either Atlantic Studios or Record Plant. Which arrangement(s) were worked on during this period is unknown. However, V2a (the first known take with the album arrangement) was likely from one of these sessions, as indicated in the 'Lost Masters III' liner notes, and this take would eventually be utilized for the album (V2c), with a vocal overdub in the second verse. Heylin recounts it's "transfer to a 'comp.' reel at August’s end", which, according to studio logs, was possibly August 30, 1977. Mixing and overdub sessions were held March 21-23, 1978, and mix take 46 went on Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

According to the only source we have, the 'Lost Masters II' liner notes, the earliest known version of the 'alternative' "Racing In The Street" (V3a) with wailing harmonica and tremendous vocal, was also recorded in August 1977 at Atlantic Studios. It is perhaps most likely that this arrangement was worked on during the early part of August, before Springsteen refined the lyrics and settled on the Darkness album arrangement at month's end.

Record Plant logs show Springsteen returned to "Racing" later in the sessions, on November 28-30 and December 6 and 9, 1977. Very little is known about what was undertaken at this time. In any case, the officially released V3b, titled "Racing In The Street ('78)" on The Promise, uses the same 1977 vocal take from V3a apart from one small overdub, replacing a bluffed/slurred line in the third verse (that ends "…just to make it alright") with a modern vocal. David Lindley plays violin, perhaps on December 9, 1977, the same day as a known take for "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)", which he also played on.

Bruce adapted the lines "summer's here and the time is right / for goin' racing in the street" from Martha and the Vandellas' 1964 hit, "Dancing In The Street", as well as The Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man". He has also acknowledged the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby", also from 1964, and it has been said the instrumental break is a tribute to the earlier song.

GOTTA GET THAT FEELING - V1 3:21 DDITV / AM / UP
GOTTA GET THAT FEELING - V2 3:07 LM-2 / DDO / DO-2 / MT1 / AM / UP
GOTTA GET THAT FEELING - V3 3:15 PROMISE

Note: Studio documentation indicate takes were recorded at Atlantic Studios or Record Plant studios on August 9, 11 and 12, 1977. A recording from August 9 was transferred to a cassette, and a reproduction of the tape inlay can be found in the facsimile book included with The Promise box set. V1 may emanate from one of those sessions and dates from before V2 because Bruce is still teaching the song to the band. Logs show another recording session on August 30, 1977, which may be the source for V2. V1 has a "baby just come dry your eyes" theme, which is gone by V2. The officially released V3 contains a modern vocal take and horns, along with elements of the V2 recording. First two versions bootlegged for years under the title "Get That Feeling".

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN - V1 2:25 DDO / DO-1 / LES / MT1 / AM / EC
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN - V2 2:16 PROMISE

Note: V1 probably recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 1, 1977, a year before the Buddy Holly Story came out. This is a very rough early take with an uneven mix, but the scheme of Springsteen singing a line, then muttering under his breath, is unique. Logs show another take was recorded on September 27, 1977 at the Record Plant, this may be V2, now with revised lyrics. It did not circulate until it was released (said to be untouched) on The Promise in 2010. Springsteen is angry, "You've got all the answers, you and your friends, I'm on the outside looking in". Performed live once, in December 2010, in a small gig to promote The Promise.

SOMEDAY (TONIGHT) - V1 4:43 LM-3 / AM / UP
SOMEDAY (WE'LL BE TOGETHER) - V2 5:32 PROMISE

Note: V1 is an instrumental backing track that was bootlegged under the title "Someday, Tonight". Since there are no vocals, it has been assumed that the creators of the 'Lost Masters' CDs took the title from a cassette tape label, and maybe they did, but it appears on the studio logs as "Someday (Tonight)". According to the logs, Springsteen worked on the song over three days at the Record Plant on September 26 and 29-30, 1977. This backing track circulated for fifteen years until V2 was released on The Promise box set in 2010 as "Someday (We'll Be Together)". Those three days in September '77 apparently didn't yield a acceptable vocal take since Bruce added a modern vocal take in 2010 alongside backing vocals by the Alliance Singers (Tiffeny Andrews, Corinda Crawford, Michelle Moore, and Antoinette Savage), who contributed choir vocals on The Rising album, in addition to Patti Scialfa and Soozie Tyrell.

ONE WAY STREET - V1 5:46 LM-2 / LMEC2 / AM / UP
ONE WAY STREET - V2 4:16 PROMISE

Note: "One Way Street" was recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 17, 1977. V2 was officially released on The Promise in 2010, with modern vocals and horns over a 1977 base track. Original alternative title may have been "Dead End".

BECAUSE THE NIGHT (Belongs To Lovers) - V1 3:17 DO-3 / UP / AM
BECAUSE THE NIGHT - V2 - fade in 2:32 LM-3 / UP / AM
BECAUSE THE NIGHT - V3 3:19 DO-2 / DDO / DDOC / ESR / O711S
BECAUSE THE NIGHT - V4 3:22 PROMISE / 2010 SINGLE

Note: First appeared on pre-sessions song list as "The Night Belongs To Lovers". V1 "Because the Night (Belongs To Lovers)", was recorded at Atlantic Studios, New York on June 1, 1977 with the lyrics not finished. V2 was recorded July 1, 1977 at Atlantic Studios, and is less embryonic but still with some unfinished lyrics. Springsteen cut his last take on September 27, 1977 V3. It is not clear if this was a demo for Patti Smith. The transfer of the song was orchestrated by Jimmy Iovine, who, in his own words, "was engineering Darkness and producing Easter at the same time. Now, Bruce was very understanding and very flexible, because he realized that this was my first real break as a producer. Anyway, one night whilst we were lounging around the Hotel Navarro in New York I told Bruce I desperately wanted a hit with Patti, that she deserved one. He agreed. As he had no immediate plans to put "Because The Night" on an album, I said why not give it to Patti. Bruce replied, If she can do it, she can have it." Iovine brought Smith the September 27 demo of the song, and Smith added her own lyrics, recording it for her album Easter, and scoring her first and biggest hit single. The officially released V4 uses Smith's lyrics and is a modern vocal take, recorded 2010 in the Record Plant Studio truck parked on his Colts Neck, NJ property.

ENGLISH SONG - V1 3:52 DDO / DO-2 / LES / MT1 / AM / SYMKB
WRONG SIDE OF THE STREET - V2 3:31 PROMISE

Note: V1 was recorded at Record Plant on October 14, 1977, and logged as "English Song". This is a fully finished performance but the circulating audio is marred by the vocal being buried in the mix (a flaw in the bootleg audio source). The officially released and titled V2, "Wrong Side of the Street", has a modern vocal take. Originally bootlegged under the titles "English Sons" (the original bootlegger probably misread the tape label as 'Sons' instead of 'Song' - see "Down By The River" for more information) and "Endless Night". Parts bear resemblance to "Loose Ends".

THE BROKENHEARTED - V1 uncirculating
THE BROKENHEARTED - V2 5:16 PROMISE

Note: "The Brokenhearted" was originally recorded at the Record Plant on November 29, 1977, and officially released on The Promise 2010. Contains a vintage vocal take with some modern parts, plus a modern horn section, recorded July 16, 2010 at Stone Hill Studio, and overdubbed later that month. The horn section consists of Barry Danielian (trumpet), Stan Harrison (tenor sax), Dan Levine (trombone), Ed Manion (baritone sax) and Curt Ramm (trumpet). Originally known from circulating audio of a Darkness tour rehearsal in May 1978.

RENDEZVOUS - V1 2:47 DDO / DO-3 / LES / MT1 / AM / SYMKB
RENDEZVOUS - V3 2:36 PROMISE

Note: The same night Springsteen introduced "Something In the Night" at the Monmouth County Arts Center, Red Bank, NJ, he also played "Rendezvous" for the first time. The song remained a regular in the setlist throughout the remainder of the 1976-77 tour. When the Darkness sessions began on June 1, it was one of the ten songs recorded that evening, and additional takes were logged on June 2, 3, 8 and 17, 1977, all at Atlantic Studios. One of these was V1, an otherwise good take, but the audio is marred by a vocal drop-out during the first verse. According to the logs, "Rendezvous" was not cut again during the sessions, and not included on the album. In a 1978 interview, Springsteen said the song was kept off because it didn’t fit thematically. Bruce personally demonstrated it to Greg Kihn in October 1978, who soon after recorded a cover (released in April 1979). A live-version recorded December 31, 1980, at Nassau Coliseum, was used for Tracks, which may indicate Bruce wasn't satisfied with the available studio versions, but nor did he attempt to re-record it. V2, officially released on The Promise, has lead vocals recorded July 18, 2010 at Stone Hill Studio, Colts Neck, New Jersey.

CANDY'S BOY - V1 5:03 PROMISE: DELUXE
CANDY'S BOY - V2 5:22 LM-2 / DO-2 / LMEC2 / DDOC / LES
CANDY'S BOY - V3 4:48 LM-3 / DO-3 / AM / ATEOD
CANDY'S BOY - V4 5:12 ESR
CANDY'S BOY - V5 4:31 PROMISE

Note: "(I Will Forever Be) Candy's Boy", or simply "Candy's Boy", was composed in 1976, though lyrics were not completed until 1977. V1 is a summer 1976 band rehearsal at Bruce's house in Holmdel, NJ (referred to as Telegraph Hill), and is included on the Thrill Hill Vault DVD/Blu-ray in The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set. V2 was recorded in June 1977 at Atlantic Studios, New York, and sounds complete in all respects; several alternate takes or mixes exist, with different vocal tracks and lyrics. V3, V4 and V5 are also thought to be from June. The last two dates in the studio logs, August 24 and September 2, are designated as mixing and overdub sessions. The officially released V5, released in 2010 on the The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story, adds "My Sweet Love" to his vows, also from June, with possible later overdubs. In October 1977, an album #4 sequence entitled 'Badlands' was delivered to the record company, and artwork was drawn up. The project, which had included "Candy's Boy", was withdrawn by Springsteen, but it would not be unreasonable to think complete versions of "Candy's Boy", "Independence Day", "The Promised Land" and "Badlands" were ready at the time. In mid-September, a decision was made to re-organize "The Fast Song" into "Candy's Room", with the first verse of "Candy's Boy" incorporated, along with lines from "Frankie". Other elements were exported to "Prove It All Night" (the dynamo) and "Drive All Night" (Well there’s machines and there's fire Waiting for us on the edge of town).

SAVE MY LOVE - V1 3:19 PROMISE: DELUXE
SAVE MY LOVE - V2 2:39 PROMISE / 2010 SINGLE

Note: V1 is a summer 1976 band rehearsal filmed by Barry Rebo in Holmdel, NJ and is included on the Thrill Hill Vault DVD/Blu-ray on The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set. V2 is a completely modern take of this song, recorded July 22, 2010 at Colts Neck, and included on The Promise. It appears it was never recorded in the studio.

AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - V1 3:49 DROC2 / RRR
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - V2 4:06 DDITV / MT1 / AM / DROC2
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - V3a 4:01 PROMISE
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - V3b 1:49 PROMISE: DELUXE

Note: V1 is a recording on 'The Definitive River Outtakes Collection Volume 2' under the title "What's The Matter Little Darling", and that title was used for many years. V2 first appeared in the 1990s on 'Deep Down In the Vaults' with the same title, slower pitch, better quality and runs 15 seconds longer. In the studio logs of the Darkness sessions, there are no records of "Ain't Good Enough For You" or "What's The Matter Little Darling". Author Clinton Heylin believes takes were recorded on August 9 and September 26, 1977 at the Record Plant, under the names, "New Rocker" and "First New Rocker".

The first official appearance of this song was on the second CD of "The Promise" as "Ain't Good Enough For You", and he makes the good point that on the accompanying Thrill Hill Vault DVD (V3b), Bruce is shown trying to add a vocal overdub to an already existing track at the Record Plant, which suggests it had been recorded earlier. V3a has more developed lyrics than V2, including "getting cool like Jimmy Iovine" and "Sherry Darling" party noises. This song bears some slight resemblance to "This Little Girl", the hit song Bruce donated to Gary U.S. Bonds in 1980.

FIRE - V1 5:14 LM-2 / DDO / DO-2 / MT1 / AM
FIRE - V2 4:05 PROMISE

Note: Written in May 1977, a few days after Bruce and Steve attended an Elvis Presley concert in Philadelphia. V1 (which is not a final take) comes from June 17, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. Introducing the song on November 20, 1978 in Champaign, IL, Bruce said "This is a song I wrote, oh, we jammed it up in the studio one night in twenty minutes". Allegedly (and this may be myth) a finished demo take was sent to Elvis Presley in July or August 1977, shortly before his death, with the hope that Elvis might cover it. Bruce ended up donating the song to Robert Gordon, who recorded his cover (with Bruce on piano) in early December 1977 (released April 1978). The Pointer Sisters then quickly covered Gordon's released version and had a major international hit in early 1979. The officially released V2 was partly recorded in 1977, and partly recorded in 2010.

SPANISH EYES - V1 3:42 LM-3 / DO-2 / MT1 / AM
NEW SPANISH - V2 6:14 DDO /DO-3 / AM / DDOC
SPANISH EYES - V3 3:47 PROMISE

Note: "Spanish Eyes" V1 takes were recorded on June 30, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. V2, under the name, "New Spanish" was recorded on July 13, 1977. The officially released V3 has a modern vocal, and potentially some modern band elements, recorded 2010 at Stone Hill Studio, Colts Neck, New Jersey. Shares several lyrics with "I'm On Fire".

JON'S JAM - V1 uncirculating
IT'S A SHAME - V2 3:12 PROMISE

Note: An unknown composition before it was officially released as "It's A Shame" on The Promise in 2010. V1, titled "Jon's Jam", was recorded June 14, 1977 at Atlantic Studios, featuring Jon Landau on drums, and Bob Chirmside (Bruce's road manager between '75 and '81) on bass. V2 overdubs a modern horn section of Barry Danielian (trumpet), Stan Harrison (tenor sax), Dan Levine (trombone), Ed Manion (baritone sax) and Curt Ramm (trumpet). Music later adapted for "Prove It All Night", according to Bruce.

COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V1 uncirculating
COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V2 2:07 DO-3 / UP / SC / LUTHER
COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V3 2:12 LM-3 / LMEC2 / AM / UP
COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V4 2:09 DDO / DO-1 / UP / DDOC / LES
COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V5 uncirculating
THE FACTORY SONG - V6a 2:15 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
FACTORY - V6b 2:15 DARKNESS
COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V7 2:16 PROMISE

Note: "Come On (Let’s Go Tonight)" was written in the Spring of 1977, and V1 was cut on June 1, 1977, complete with Vox [organ], at Atlantic Studios, on the first night of the Darkness sessions. V2 is the earliest take we have in circulation, a rough workout, probably from either July 2 or 13 at Atlantic Studios, but further progress was needed on the lyrics. At this point, Bruce had written, "Everybody wants heaven, but nobody wants to die, Come on, come on, lets go tonight". Two out of three verses had "death in their eyes". V3 represented a sudden shift as the song began its metamorphosis into "Factory"; though it retained it's original name (Sony logs show all sessions to the end of 1977 under this name), the lyrics were radically rewritten to the story of Douglas Springsteen, Bruce's father, who worked at a machine factory under harsh conditions. An interview quoted Bruce, "I remember my old man was working in this plastics factory… and all I remember, when we used to go in that place, was him standing near 'em loud fucking machines". Now he sang "Factory takes his hearing, but he understands", but the third verse was the outcome of working under these conditions, "somebody's gonna get hurt tonight". It is possible that Bruce worked with both ideas for a while, but after September, all energies went toward "The Factory Song", though it was not named this until January 2, 1978.

Sessions took place on August 23, 24 and 30, and September 8, 1977 at the Record Plant. Roy Bittan played his piano Floyd Cramer style to give it a Chet Atkins produced-country feel, and an organ was not in the mix at this point. Further work was undertaken on November 2, 7, and 8, and December 9, 27, 1977 - a violin overdub by David Lindley was added, possibly on December 9. V7, released on the The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set in 2010, is the finished take of "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)". The vocal is vintage, but the recording date has not been determined. V6 was the result of overdub/mixing sessions on March 10 and 14, 1978, all at the Record Plant. The 1978 sessions were under the name "The Factory Song". Danny recorded new organ tracks, which featured prominently in the final album V6b. Bruce recorded new vocals over the "Come On (Let's Go Tonight) backing track and changed, "Factory takes his hearing, but he understands" to "Factory takes his hearing, factory gives him life". V6c is mix take 28 from April 3, 1978, and it was pressed to metal acetate with the title "Factory Song" on April 12, 1978. By the time the album was released however, the title was simply "Factory".

What ever happened to "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)"? In March 1981, Bruce wrote new music and recorded a demo at his home in Colts Neck, NJ with the original name. However, he decided to rearrange it once more, combining several lines with new verses, and the first two lines from Chuck Berry's 'Bye Bye Johnny', to create "Johnny Bye-Bye".

TALK TO ME - V1a 3:59 LM-2 / DO-1 / ATEOD / AM
TALK TO ME - V1b 4:05 DDO / DDOC / UP
TALK TO ME - V2 uncirculating
TALK TO ME - V3 uncirculating
TALK TO ME - V4 4:17 PROMISE

Note: V1a and V1b are takes recorded on July 8 or 13, 1977 at Atlantic Studios, both are basic backing tracks without vocals or horns, which were not added, along with the lyrics, until August. Final demo takes were recorded on October 14 of both "Talk to Me" V3 and "Hearts Of Stone", and the tapes were given to Steve Van Zandt for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes' third album, which Steve was producing. V2 consists of five takes recorded at either Atlantic Studios or Record Plant on August 5, 9, 24, 26 and 30, before it was realized that "Talk To Me" would never fit Darkness thematically, and they all remained in the vault.

The October 14 track was used for V4, officially released on The Promise in 2010 with modern horns added, featuring original Jukes/Miami Horns members Rick Gazda on trumpet, Stan Harrison on tenor sax, Ed Manion on baritone sax, Bob Muckin on trumpet, and Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg on trombone. Both songs handed to Steve for the album Hearts Of Stone, released on October 13, 1978 by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (Epic JE 35488), which ranks on several polls of best albums of the 1970s. According to Max Weinberg, who played on both Darkness On The Edge Of Town and Hearts of Stone, the E Street Band backing tracks included on Steve's tape were utilized for Southside Johnny's album. Bruce has performed it with the Jukes and the E Street Band over the years to great response.

THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES) - V1 take 6 uncirculating
THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES) - V2 3:15 PROMISE

Note: Recorded at Atlantic Studios or Record Plant Studios, New York, on August 15, 1977, "The Little Things (My Baby Does)" was completed in six takes. It was dubbed to a Ruffs compilation tape by engineer Thom Panunzio, joining other tracks successfully recorded that month, for Bruce to listen to on his trip (to Utah-Nevada, where Eric Meola shot what would become the cover of The Promise). Thematically incompatible with the Darkness concept, it remained in the vaults until 2010, when it was selected for release. Modern band elements and vocals recorded on July 18, 2010 at Stone Hill Studio, Colts Neck, New Jersey, were overdubbed to the 1977 master, and mixed by Bob Clearmountain.

BREAK AWAY - V1 uncirculating
BREAKAWAY - V2 5:26 PROMISE

Note: "Break Away" (how it was spelled) was another song recorded the first night of the Darkness sessions, June 1, 1977, but according to the somewhat unreliable logs it was never worked on again. "Breakaway" was an unknown composition prior to the release of The Promise in 2010. The officially released cut features a possibly modern vocal over a vintage backing. The modern horn section comprises Barry Danielian (trumpet), Stan Harrison (tenor sax), Dan Levine (trombone), Ed Manion (baritone sax) and Curt Ramm (trumpet) and backing vocals by Patti Scialfa, Soozie Tyrell and the Alliance Singers of Tiffeny Andrews, Corinda Crawford, Michelle Moore, and Antoinette Savage.

THE PROMISE - V1 5:32 DO-2 / UP / SOTE / LUTHER
THE PROMISE - V2 5:27 LM-2 / DDO / DO-3 / AM / SC / O711S
THE PROMISE - V3 7:11 DDITV / AM / UP / MT1
THE PROMISE - V4 7:24 PROMISE: DELUXE
THE PROMISE (strings-full harmony) - V5 uncirculating
THE PROMISE (solo) - V6 uncirculating
THE PROMISE - V7 uncirculating
THE PROMISE - V8 uncirculating
THE PROMISE - V9 4:41 18TRACKS
THE PROMISE - V10 5:49 PROMISE
recording_19780217-ruffs-mixs-tape.jpg

Note: First debuted live on August 3, 1976 at the Monmouth Performing Arts Center in Red Bank, New Jersey, featuring Bruce solo on the piano, and deeply personal lyrics. Later live versions would continue to feature Bruce on piano, with Roy or Danny accompanying him on glockenspiel. The song was played live 22 times during the 1976-1977 Lawsuit Tour, but according to studio documentation it was not recorded in the studio until late June 1977. V1 was one of the takes recorded during the sessions on June 30, July 1, 7, 8 and 13, 1977. Unlike his live versions, all of the Darkness studio recordings in circulation include the E Street Band, though solo takes were attempted. After a break that included a trip with Steve to Utah and Nevada, Bruce came back to the studio with slightly revised lyrics, and recorded V2 on August 24 or 30, 1977, which was on the tracklist for the aborted 'Badlands' release (see artwork). However, Bruce was back on September 28, 1977, recording V3 at the Record Plant, which some collectors and hardcore fans consider the definitive version. Over 7 minutes long, and sporting an arrangement for the full E Street Band, it was first released unofficially on 'Deep Down In the Vaults' in the mid 1990s. This version was barely in the can when a Rolling Stone reporter suggested that the song was about his now-settled lawsuit with Mike Appel, which Bruce sternly denied, and has denied ever since. Nevertheless, Springsteen soon re-wrote the first two lines of verse 3, with "Well, my daddy taught me how to walk quiet and how to make my peace with the past, I learned real good to tighten up inside and I don’t say nothing unless I’m asked" replacing "I won big once and I hit the coast, oh but somehow I paid the big cost". Landau agreed with solidifying the narrative, and when recording concluded in January, and a ten-song track sequence for Album #4 was prepared, "The Promise" was the last song on side two.

On January 12, 1978, V4, with revised lyrics, was recorded with the band, and also filmed live in-the-studio by Barry Rebo, later released with the The Promise:The Darkness On the Edge Of Town Story. It is confirmed that strings were recorded and dubbed to the January 12 master (Landau confirmed this, and a mix tape exists with three versions; V3 "old verse", V4 "new verse", and V5 "strings and full harmony" (see illustration). But on January 24, 1978, without the E Street Band, Springsteen sat down at the piano and recorded V6 by himself, just as he did for 22 shows while locked out of the recording studio. There is no doubt that Springsteen cared deeply about "The Promise", as a total of ten sessions were held from January 17 to March 7 (a seven week period). Meanwhile, he finished "Candy's Room", "The Factory Song" and "Darkness On the Edge of Town" in early March, and decided to not include "The Promise". He has said he could not get a recording he was happy with, and that he "felt too close to it". In 2010, Springsteen noted that "It was a song about defeat, and it was self-referential, which made me uncomfortable. I didn't want it to overtake the album, which in the end, was not my personal story. I wanted Darkness to be completely independent of that, so I left it off. But I remember saying to myself, this is something I can sing later; the distance helps it now."

During a Darkness Tour rehearsal in Asbury Park on May 19, 1978, a full band version (including the "Daddy taught me how to walk quiet" lyric) was rehearsed, and full band version was performed on the tour's opening night in Buffalo. The next night, Bruce reverted to the solo piano version, which was played at 22 of the first 33 shows on the tour, and dropped after the July 15, 1978 show in Houston, Texas. When Tracks was released in 1998, both "The Fever" and "The Promise" were absent from the 66-song tracklist. Both were later included on 18 Tracks, in part due to fan demand. Instead of releasing the existing V3 or V5 versions, Springsteen re-recorded "The Promise" from scratch (V9) on February 9 and 12, 1999 at Boxwood Studios, Colts Neck, New Jersey, in a solo piano version that many felt paled in comparison to the 1976-78 versions. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Springsteen stated, "Basically, I went back and I listened to it and we never really got a good recording of it in my opinion. It’s been a favorite song of a lot of people … It sort of was the sequel to "Thunder Road" in some fashion, it referred back to those characters. But I went back and we sort of had a very plodding, heavy-handed version of it. I couldn't quite live with it, so maybe another time."

V3 was used as the base track for V10, on The Promise outtake album in 2010, with overdubbed strings, guitars, glockenspiel, and double tracked vocals. Two lines of verse three were removed ("I followed that dream through the southwestern tracks, the dead ends and the two-bit bars / When the promise was broken I was far away from home, sleeping in the backseat of a borrowed car") and a modern string arrangement by Ken Ascher was added. The full-band version was performed by the E Street Band at a promotional video shoot in 2010, and again on April 1, 2012 in Washington, DC. In a curious parallel to 1978, after performing the full-band version exactly once on the 2012 tour, Springsteen has reverted to solo-piano versions for all performances since.

CITY OF NIGHT - V1 3:04 DDO / DO-1 / AM / UP / LES / SYMKB
CITY OF NIGHT - V2 2:56 PROMISE

Note: V1 recorded October 14, 1977 at the Record Plant under working title "Taxi Driver"; also known as "Taxi Cab" and "City At Night". V2 officially released on The Promise; changes intro to two repetitions instead of the original four, organ is added in the third verse (it is unknown if this is modern or a different take or mix from 1977), and sax is turned up at the fade-out, still vintage.

THE WAY - V1a 3:47 URT-1 / AM / RN / ROU
THE WAY - V1b take 49 3:53 URT-1 / DO-2 / DDO / AM / UP / GT
THE WAY - V1c 3:41 PROMISE

Note: According to studio documentation "The Way" was first recorded on August 5, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. On August 15, six takes were recorded. At the Record Plant on September 12, 1977, V1, which may be a fresh take, or one of the August recordings with overdubbing, was marked 'complete'. As of January 16, 1978, "The Way" was sequenced on album #4 as track three on side two, between "Adam Raised A Cain" and "Prove It All Night". Vocal overdubs and mixing took place over three days, February 10-12, 1978, culminating in some 66 mix takes. It was not officially eliminated from Darkness until April 18, 1978. After being passed up for Tracks and The Essential, V4c was included as a hidden track on The Promise in 2010.

Modern Elements

Brucebase Modern Elements Identification System

This section was created to describe archived tracks with modern overdubs such as vocals and strings. The chart only concerns material released on compilations like The Promise, The Ties That Bind (The River Collection), Tracks, The Essential, Greatest Hits, etc. Many songs included on these collections may not have been completed to Springsteen's satisfaction during their respective recording sessions, so require modern additions. Unfortunately, the work undertaken on these tracks is not described in liner notes, so we cannot be certain exactly what has been added.

Though this information has been researched and reviewed for accuracy, there may remain elements of subjectivity or opinion. Please don't hesitate to inform us, so we can make this as factual as possible.

# Song Title Modern Element(s) Recording Date / Location
1.1. RACING IN THE STREET ('78) vocal - one line only identifiable as modern August, Nov 28-Dec 9, 1977 + 2010
1.2. GOTTA GET THAT FEELING lead vocal / Mexican horns/backing vocals-unidentified males Aug 30, 1977 Record Plant + July 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.3. OUTSIDE LOOKING IN poss guitar, organ, backing vocals-unidentified males September 27, 1977
1.4. SOMEDAY (WE'LL BE TOGETHER) lead vocal / guitar / choir vocals July 18, 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.5. ONE WAY STREET horns, possible vocal sections overdubbed June 17, 1977 Atlantic Studios + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.6. BECAUSE THE NIGHT lead vocal September 27, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.7. WRONG SIDE OF THE STREET lead vocal October 14, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.8. THE BROKENHEARTED some lead vocal / horns November 29, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.9. RENDEZVOUS background vocals. other instruments, poss roy piano overdub June 8 or 17, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.10. CANDY'S BOY June - Sept 1977
2.1. SAVE MY LOVE new recording July 22, 2010 Stone Hill Studio, Colts Neck, New Jersey
2.2. AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU September 1977 at The Record Plant
2.3. FIRE June 17, 1977 Atlantic Studios
2.4. SPANISH EYES lead vocal July 13, 1977 Atlantic Studios + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.5. IT'S A SHAME horns, background vocals June 14, 1977 Atlantic Studios + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.6. COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) Aug - Dec 1977
2.7. TALK TO ME horns, vintage Bruce, not sure about ending Sept - Oct 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.8. THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES) sounds like doubletracked vocals-modern and vintage Bruce-prob both modern August 15, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.9. BREAKAWAY horns / backing vocals / possible lead vocal June 1, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.10. THE PROMISE modern string arrangement Ken Asher, overdubbed guitars, glock, double tracked vocals, and backing vocals. 2 lines of last verse edited out September 28, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.11. CITY OF NIGHT Intro section is edited, two reps instead of four, organ added 3rd verse (don't know if this is modern or a different take or mix from 1977), sax turned up in this mix October 14, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.12. THE WAY August - Sept 1977, Feb 1978

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