It took three years due to legal and managerial disputes, but we have the next release from Bruce Springsteen, “Darkness On the Edge of Town”. My reaction is rather divided on this album, there are songs I really like, and several I really don’t care for that much. Like many of his albums, it is highly regarded by many, and it is rated #91 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Both sides open with two of Bruce’s most frequently played live tracks. To start side one, we have “Badlands”. I like the overall melody but there is something about the chorus I don’t really enjoy. No mixed emotions on the next song, I find “Adam Raised a Cain” to just be really, really annoying. Most of the rest of side one doesn’t do much for me, although the last song on side one, “Racing in the Street” is much more endearing.
“The Promised Land” starts off side two, and this is much more to my liking. It’s upbeat without being too much, just a really enjoyable listen and a real favorite on this album. “Factory” is another powerful song, and although I run hot and cold with “Streets of Fire”, the rest of side two ends on a high note with “Prove It All Night”, probably the most well-known song on this record, and the title track.
I’m glad I have given the Springsteen catalog a much more extended consideration during this journey. I will never be a passionate fan of “The Boss” like many of my friends, including my friend Dan who puts Bruce at the very top of his list. That said, his impact, particularly as a live performer and storyteller of American music and society is unmistakable.