Info

Total Darkness (1978)
Total Darkness baltimorejack production
Date: 1978
Location:
Format:
Duration:
artwork available | original info file available
Disc 1:
01- BADLANDS
02- STREETS OF FIRE
03- NIGHT
04- SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT
05- RENDEZVOUS
06- DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN
07- FACTORY
08- PROMISED LAND
09- PROVE IT ALL NIGHT
10- RACING IN THE STREETS
11- THUNDER ROAD
12- MEETING ACROSS THE RIVER
13- JUNGLELAND

Disc 2:
01- PARADISE BY THE C
02- THE TIES THAT BIND
03- SHERRY DARLING
04- FIRE
05- CANDY'S ROOM
06- ADAM RAISED A CAIN
07- IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY
08- THE FEVER
09- BECAUSE THE NIGHT
10- POINT BLANK
11- MONA - SHE'S THE ONE
12- GROWIN' UP

Disc 3:
01- BACKSTREETS
02- ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT)
03- INDEPENDENCE DAY
04- BORN TO RUN
05- TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT
06- DETROIT MEDLEY
07- RAISE YOUR HAND
08- QUARTER TO THREE
09- TWIST AND SHOUT

Disc 4:
01- SUMMERTIME BLUES
02- NIGHT TRAIN
03- DOUBLE SHOT OF MY BABY'S LOVE
04- LOUIE LOUIE
05- PRETTY FLAMINGO
06- IT'S MY LIFE
07- GOOD ROCKIN' TONIGHT
08- HEARTBREAK HOTEL
09- RAVE ON
10- OH BOY
11- IT'S GONNA WORK OUT FINE
12- CHIMES OF FREEDOM
13- HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL
14- SWEET LITTLE SIXTEEN
15- I FOUGHT THE LAW
16- HANG UP MY ROCK AND ROLL SHOES
17- SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN

Disc 5:
01- THE TIES THAT BIND
02- FOR YOU
03- SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT
04- INDEPENDENCE DAY
05- THE PROMISE
06- LOST IN THE FLOOD
07- KITTY'S BACK
08- 4TH OF JULY, ASBURY PARK (SANDY)
09- INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET
10- NOT FADE AWAY - GLORIA - SHE'S THE ONE


Disc 1, track 01: Piece de Resistance (19 Sep 1978, Passaic, NJ)
Disc 1, track 02: Piece de Resistance (19 Sep 1978, Passaic, NJ)
Disc 1, track 03: The Promise (05 Jul 1978, Inglewood, CA)
Disc 1, track 04: Roxy Night (07 Jul 1978, West Hollywood, CA)
Disc 1, track 05: Paramount Night (19 Dec 1978, Portland, OR)
Disc 1, track 06: The Jersey Devil (19 Aug 1978, Philadelphia, PA)
Disc 1, track 07: Winterland Night (15 Dec 1978, San Francisco, CA)
Disc 1, track 08: Summertime Bruce (09 Aug 1978, Cleveland, OH)
Disc 1, track 09: Fox Theatre Presents The Boss (30 Sep 1978, Atlanta, GA)
Disc 1, track 10: Piece de Resistance (19 Sep 1978, Passaic, NJ)
Disc 1, track 11: Piece de Resistance (19 Sep 1978, Passaic, NJ)
Disc 1, track 12: Palladium (17 Sep 1978, New York City, NY)
Disc 1, track 13: Fox Theatre Presents The Boss (30 Sep 1978, Atlanta, GA)
Disc 2, track 01: Summertime Bruce (09 Aug 1978, Cleveland, OH)
Disc 2, track 02: Paramount Night (19 Dec 1978, Portland, OR)
Disc 2, track 03: Summertime Bruce (09 Aug 1978, Cleveland, OH)
Disc 2, track 04: Raising Cain (24 Jun 1978, Portland, OR)
Disc 2, track 05: Killers In The Sun (03 Sep 1978, Saginaw, MI)
Disc 2, track 06: Killers In The Sun (03 Sep 1978, Saginaw, MI)
Disc 2, track 07: Million Dollar Sound (31 May 1978, Boston, MA)
Disc 2, track 08: The Firecracker Show (31 Dec 1978, Richfield, OH)
Disc 2, track 09: Summertime Bruce (09 Aug 1978, Cleveland, OH)
Disc 2, track 10: Winterland Night (15 Dec 1978, San Francisco, CA)
Disc 2, track 11: Winterland Night (15 Dec 1978, San Francisco, CA)
Disc 2, track 12: Summertime Bruce (09 Aug 1978, Cleveland, OH)
Disc 3, track 01: Roxy Night (07 Jul 1978, West Hollywood, CA)
Disc 3, track 02: Fox Theatre Presents The Boss (30 Sep 1978, Atlanta, GA)
Disc 3, track 03: Roxy Night (07 Jul 1978, West Hollywood, CA)
Disc 3, track 04: Winterland Night (15 Dec 1978, San Francisco, CA)
Disc 3, track 05: Million Dollar Sound (31 May 1978, Boston, MA)
Disc 3, track 06: Winterland Night (15 Dec 1978, San Francisco, CA)
Disc 3, track 07: Roxy Night (07 Jul 1978, West Hollywood, CA)
Disc 3, track 08: Paramount Night (19 Dec 1978, Portland, OR)
Disc 3, track 09: Summertime Bruce (09 Aug 1978, Cleveland, OH)
Disc 4, track 01: Summertime Bruce (09 Aug 1978, Cleveland, OH)
Disc 4, track 02: Fox Theatre Presents The Boss (30 Sep 1978, Atlanta, GA)
Disc 4, track 03: South Bend (09 Sep 1978, South Bend, IN)
Disc 4, track 04: South Bend (09 Sep 1978, South Bend, IN)
Disc 4, track 05: The Firecracker Show (31 Dec 1978, Richfield, OH)
Disc 4, track 06: South Bend (09 Sep 1978, South Bend, IN)
Disc 4, track 07: Paramount Night (19 Dec 1978, Portland, OR)
Disc 4, track 08: Roxy Night (07 Jul 1978, West Hollywood, CA)
Disc 4, track 09: Roxy Night (07 Jul 1978, West Hollywood, CA)
Disc 4, track 10: Oh Boy (04 Aug 1978, Charleston, WV)
Disc 4, track 11: Veterans Memorial (25 Aug 1978, New Haven, CT)
Disc 4, track 12: Masonic Temple Auditorium (01 Sep 1978, Detroit, MI)
Disc 4, track 13: The Bosses Birthday Party (21 Sep 1978, Passaic, NJ)
Disc 4, track 14: The Jersey Devil (19 Aug 1978, Philadelphia, PA)
Disc 4, track 15: Paramount Theater (25 Jun 1978, Seattle, WA)
Disc 4, track 16: Killers In The Sun (03 Sep 1978, Saginaw, MI)
Disc 4, track 17: Paramount Night (19 Dec 1978, Portland, OR)
Disc 5, track 01: It's Dangerous Down There Tonight (02 Nov 1978, Largo, MD)
Disc 5, track 02: Million Dollar Sound (31 May 1978, Boston, MA)
Disc 5, track 03: Million Dollar Sound (31 May 1978, Boston, MA)
Disc 5, track 04: Fox Theatre Presents The Boss (30 Sep 1978, Atlanta, GA)
Disc 5, track 05: Paramount Theater (25 Jun 1978, Seattle, WA)
Disc 5, track 06: Masonic Temple Auditorium (01 Sep 1978, Detroit, MI)
Disc 5, track 07: Passaic Night (19 Sep 1978, Passaic, NJ)
Disc 5, track 08: Passaic Night (19 Sep 1978, Passaic, NJ)
Disc 5, track 09: Palladium (17 Sep 1978, New York City, NY)
Disc 5, track 10: Fox Theatre Presents The Boss (30 Sep 1978, Atlanta, GA)


CD-R > EAC > Flac Frontend (level 8) > TLH


Release notes:

This collection of recordings is taken from the Bruce Springsteens' 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town Tour that began May 23, 1978, and ended in January 1, 1979 and spanned 122 incredible performances. During this time, a number of performances were regionally broadcast on FM radio, preserved and made into legend, through the aforementioned process known as bootlegging. So while there may be debate Roxy Night, Summertime Bruce, Fox Theatre, Piece de Resistance, or Winterland Night is the "best" of the era, they are as unique as individuals, universally beloved, because they represent a breadth and range of music that was never captured by their more commercial counterparts.

The intention with this compilation was not was not only to preserve the most well known recordings, but also to retain the between song dialogue and explore some of the lesser known bootlegged recordings that have noteworthiness or historical interest. Discs 1 through 3 follows a blended format of a typical Darkness show. Disc 4 explores the covers that Bruce and the E-Street Band would play, while Disc 5 explores some of the material that was played less often. While there is some loss of audio quality with some of the audience-taped selections on Discs 4 and 5, they remain nonetheless interesting.

Many thanks to my fellow lakers who assisted with the development of this compilation.

-- baltimorejack


Release notes (disc 1):

We begin our documentary of the timeless Darkness on the Edge of Town tour by presenting songs that would feature in the first part of the show, in the sequence they would typically appear on any given night. The Darkness tour was the first to see the marathon length performances that Bruce would become legendary for; and this was facilitated by the introduction of a short intermission, which divided the main body of the concert into two different sets. Shows in 1978 usually included twenty one to twenty six songs, and lasted up to three hours or more, not including the intermission. This fifteen to twenty minute break did more than merely give the band and audience some respite, and energy to go on for longer. It created two separate and very distinct sets, and facilitated a new model of concert, which would remain in place for many years to come. While the first set would develop subtly over the course of the tour, it quickly established its role of presenting the more serious, mature and reflective music in a deliberate sequence of delivery, which changed little. This was a pattern that Springsteen would follow for much of his career.

Some songs would be played every night. "Badlands" was the most likely choice for the vital opening song slot, and much of the rest of the first set was taken up by songs from the new album; music that Bruce had worked so hard and long to create and release to the public. "It's a different kind of fun. It's more fulfilling. I don't mean they're fuller. There's this stretch where we go from "Darkness" to "Thunder Road", a stretch of songs that we do basically in the same order every night because there's this continuity thing that happens. It makes connections and it gives the rest of the show resonance." Other songs featured here, such as "Meeting Across the River" and the Darkness outtake "Rendezvous", appeared only on a few occasions. "Night" was only played early in the tour, while "Jungleland" would not become a standard until almost two months on the road. "Streets of Fire" was hardly played at all during the initial summer tour, but would be entrenched in the set by the fall.

The first hour of a Darkness tour show was of course anything but plodding and bleak. In fact the most obvious highlight of the first set was arguably the lusty "Prove it all Night", delivered in an extended guitar dominated rendition, which made the original album version sound downright pedestrian. While the overall tone of Darkness on the Edge of Town very much lived up to its sombre title, live performances of the new songs were characterised more by intensity than darkness.


Release notes (disc 2):

The second half of the main set was inevitably more laid back and fun, but also more intense, building up momentum before the inevitable multiple encores brought the house down. Before he had even played a note, this lighter mood was often evident from Bruce's onstage banter before he kicked off with a lively second set opener like the instrumental "Paradise by the 'C'" or "The Ties that Bind".

The Darkness tour can be divided into several periods, each with its distinctive sound and mood, and this is most evident in the different kinds of songs which might be included in the flexible second set. The shows in the early summer are brash, violently in your face, almost like a hangover from the intensity of the '77 tour; witness for instance the crashing assault of "Saint in the City", only a week into the tour. The mid-to-late summer saw a much more light hearted and joyous show, including an early "Sherry Darling", and humorous monologues in the middle of "Growin' Up", both preserved here from the Cleveland Agora radio broadcast. By the early fall the mood was darker again, less vicious but more moody than it had been at the beginning of the tour. The particularly desperate version of "Point Blank" included here is taken from the classic Winterland show in December; perhaps the best known of all the '78 tour shows. Even when the overall tone of the show was a darker one, the second set with its added unpredictability and lustful intensity made for a different mood than the first set.

The second set was above all an exercise in extremes. The raw edgy electric power of "Adam Raised a Cain" would contrast with the defeatist despair of "Point Blank". Bruce would approach the same themes from different musical angles. That timeless rock 'n' roll theme - sex, would be amply represented by "Candy's Room" and "Because the Night" but also "Fever" and "Fire". During August, "Sherry Darling" and "Sandy" (included on disc 5) might appear side-by-side, combining to lend a romantic summery feel to the show.

Today it can be easy to forget that much of the second set featured songs which were then unreleased and would have been unfamiliar to all but the most frequent concert goers. Upon comparing early versions of "Sherry Darling", "Point Blank" and "Because the Night" with their later released versions, it is clear that these songs were very much works in progress. In fact, "Point Blank" underwent several lyrical changes during the tour and "Because the Night" developed (alongside "Prove it all Night" and the ever changing "She's the One" medley) to become a tour de force for Bruce's exceptional guitar antics, which truly reached their peak in this period. It might be observed that these unreleased songs would never again sound quite so vibrant and downright excellent as when they were fresh, being played live and experimented with night after night.


Release notes (disc 3):

Before the encores could be allowed to bring the house down, the fluid second set would be tied up with two key songs. Nearly every night, "Backstreets" would inject shot of bitter desperate longing to the end of the main set. By the late 70s, this song regularly featured an intensely emotional monologue known to the fans as "Sad Eyes", which would later develop into "Drive all Night". This unique story/song changed every night, and brought the already powerful song to new heights. Its unexpected absence from Live 1975-85 was perhaps the hardest to forgive of that album's numerous edits; and the version from the legendary Roxy show can be heard here in its full glory. No song could be rival "Backstreets" for emotion, so the time honoured show closer "Rosalita" was the ultimate rock "n" roll antidote, once again shifting the tempo and mood, and culminating with the traditional band introductions before the band left the stage.

Of course Bruce wouldn't be done by then. Upon returning to the stage, he liked to take a moment to thank the audience for their continued support over the recent few years when the band had been barred from the recording studio, before launching into a taut and frantic "Born to Run".

Most shows during the summer months seem to have ended with around three songs in two separate encore sets, but by the end of the tour, fortunate crowds might be treated to up to half a dozen more songs. It was not unknown for the band to return to the stage after the exhausted crowd thought the show was all over. On at least one occasion the band returned to play a fourth encore set for the dumbstruck few hundred fans that had been too wiped out to leave their seats after the house lights had gone up. Several of the radio broadcasts of shows even have parts of the final encores cut from the broadcast because the radio DJs assumed the concert was over when the band returned for one final encore.

The final songs of the evening would usually be covers of rock 'n' roll chestnuts the band loved to play at full tilt. These would be extended with numerous false endings, and humorous interaction with the crowd. By the end of the show everyone would be physically and emotionally spent. "I can see some people that ain't up back there! Do you think this is a free ride? You wanna' play, you gotta' pay!" Sometimes the last image the crowd might have seen would be Bruce being carried off the stage by his band mates. Looking back on it all much later Bruce remarked; "We took our fun very seriously".

Bruce's music of the 80s and beyond would explore broader and bolder themes and more important ideas, but it was his uncompromising attitude towards rock "n" roll during the 70s which earned him the devotion of a core of diehard followers, many of whom have stayed with him to this day. The Darkness tour encapsulated the youthful music of this vital first decade in what many fans regard to be his finest concerts ever.


Release notes (disc 4):

Night after night Bruce would pay tribute to his musical heroes and influences by performing a slew of cover songs. Here we collect many of the ones which were played at one time or other, especially the ones which were played several times and therefore exist in high sound quality on readily available recordings.

It is pretty clear from listening to the light-hearted rock 'n' roll songs just how much Bruce enjoyed performing them. While introducing "Sherry Darling", Bruce had frequently referred to the "fraternity rock" songs "Double Shot of my Baby's Love" and "Louie Louie" as inspiration (see disc 2), and one night at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, he performed both songs, seemingly inspired by the campus surroundings of the venue. Many of the short fun rock 'n' roll songs are taken from the mid tour period, when they provided a kind of antidote to, or release from, some of Bruce's own darker, more intense original material (and later in the tour, the seasonal Santa Claus is Coming to Town provided the same counterbalance). If he was in the right mood, Bruce might decide to kick-start his show with one of these before going forging on into Darkness mode with "Badlands".

A few of the slower paced songs had been played on earlier tours. "It's My Life" and "Pretty Flamingo" had both been standards in the set several years prior but returned for rare appearances. Conversely "Chimes of Freedom" was premiered in a rare performance in 1978, but ten years later would become part of the set for the European leg of the Tunnel of Love Express tour and the Amnesty tour in 1988.

However, most of the songs included here were only played up to a dozen or fewer times in 1978 and subsequently more or less left out of Bruce's live catalogue. Some, like the spontaneous "Night Train" and Charleston set opener "Oh Boy" were probably only played once ever, in the performances documented here. It is a testament to the E Street Band not only that they were able to break into any number of old classics at the drop of a hat if Bruce needed to mend his guitar mid set, but that they performed them to such perfection. The E Street band's characteristic combination of double guitars, piano, keyboard and sax in addition to the standard bass guitar and drums all merged to form a very loud and full sound, which brought a new dimension to songs which may have been first performed with far more limited instrumentation.


Release notes (disc 5):

While the setlist on the Darkness tour did not tend to change wildly from night to night, a wide selection of original material was played during the course of the tour, including all of Born to Run, all of Darkness and about half of the material from the first two albums. In addition, there was a wealth of new original material, which had not made the Darkness, although most of these songs would be eventually released on subsequent albums and later, box sets. There is not enough space on the first three discs to include all the essential original songs played on the tour; here we compile a number of excellent performances of various songs played throughout the tour in a sort of "the rest of the best" compilation.

None of these songs were standard inclusions throughout the tour. Songs like "For You" and "Sandy" moved in and out of the set throughout the tour. But "Lost in the Flood" was only played a couple of times during the entire tour. Of particular note on this set is "The Promise", which was used as an encore early on in the tour before disappearing from the live set for over twenty years. This track had almost made it to the Darkness album and was long considered to be one of Bruce's best ever unreleased tunes. Fans and critics alike have speculated over whether the song is about the infamous lawsuit that kept Bruce from the recording studio. According to the man himself, the song was written before the lawsuit, but by 1978 Bruce was singing the song with a rewritten final verse.

Songs like the then unreleased "Independence Day" and "The Ties that Bind" underwent lyrical or music changes; compare for instance the versions here with versions on the other discs of the set. "She's the One", on the other hand was already an established live favourite from Born to Run and was played in a medley with various songs, which might change from night to night. The rampaging version from the Fox Theatre radio broadcast for instance, incorporates covers of "Not Fade Away" and "Gloria", and has some spectacular guitar work not included in the version on disc two.

By the late seventies, the E Street Band was a red hot live band routinely performing songs in renditions far superior to the versions originally laid down in the recording studio. "Incident of 57th Street" was brought to new heights by an anguished guitar solo at the end, beautiful in its mournful simplicity. While on home turf at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ, the band played what may have been the tightest show of the tour; and "Kitty's Back" from that night demonstrates just how well the band could jam as a cohesive unit.

1978 represented a time when Bruce was a rising star shining at his very brightest. The music of Darkness tour can be best described as intense, emotional and sometimes dark rock 'n' roll, delivered at its most energetic and exciting. The compilation has tried to distil what is left of that energy through "the magic of bootlegging". As you listen to these discs, close your eyes and be transported back in time to that magic era.

Original info file

Download original info file.

Artwork

"4603_artwork_01.jpg": disc 1, booklet p. 04-01
"4603_artwork_02.jpg": disc 1, booklet p. 02-03
"4603_artwork_03.jpg": disc 1, back insert
"4603_artwork_04.jpg": disc 1, disc
"4603_artwork_05.jpg": disc 2, booklet p. 04-01
"4603_artwork_06.jpg": disc 2, booklet p. 02-03
"4603_artwork_07.jpg": disc 2, back insert
"4603_artwork_08.jpg": disc 2, disc
"4603_artwork_09.jpg": disc 3, booklet p. 04-01
"4603_artwork_10.jpg": disc 3, booklet p. 02-03
"4603_artwork_11.jpg": disc 3, back insert
"4603_artwork_12.jpg": disc 3, disc
"4603_artwork_13.jpg": disc 4, booklet p. 04-01
"4603_artwork_14.jpg": disc 4, booklet p. 02-03
"4603_artwork_15.jpg": disc 4, back insert
"4603_artwork_16.jpg": disc 4, disc
"4603_artwork_17.jpg": disc 5, booklet p. 04-01
"4603_artwork_18.jpg": disc 5, booklet p. 02-03
"4603_artwork_19.jpg": disc 5, back insert
"4603_artwork_20.jpg": disc 5, disc

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