In revisiting his 1978 classic Darkness on the Edge of Town, Bruce Springsteen realized he had a double-album’s worth of unreleased material on his hands, now delivered as The Promise.
The two-disc collection contains 21 tracks from one of the Boss’ most prolific periods, when legal battles caused a delay in the release of the follow-up to his immense breakthrough album, Born to Run. While many of the songs have circulated on bootlegs for decades, this marks their first official release — and the first time they’ve been presented in the proper context.
The Promise includes tracks that Springsteen originally gave to other artists (“Because the Night,” “Fire”), alternate versions of songs from Darkness (“Racing in the Street,” “Candy’s Room”), and lost epics, such as the title track. Where necessary, he added new elements to the recordings to complete what was left unfinished, ranging from slight flourishes to the creation of an entirely new studio version of “Save My Love.”
The result is an offering that goes far beyond any semblance of castoffs or B-sides, comprising an immersive, masterful, painstakingly crafted classic album of its own. Plus, for diehards, a deluxe box set, also including a remastered version of Darkness on the Edge of Town, three DVDs, and a spiral notebook filled with lyrics and studio artifacts is available as The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story.