THE PROMISED LAND

Album version


On a rattlesnake speedway in the Utah desert
I pick up my money and head back into town
Driving cross the Waynesboro county line
I got the radio on and I'm just killing time
Working all day in my daddy's garage
Driving all night chasing some mirage
Pretty soon little girl I'm gonna take charge

The dogs on Main Street howl
'cause they understand
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister I ain't a boy, no I'm a man
And I believe in a promised land

I've done my best to live the right way
I get up every morning and go to work each day
But your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold
Sometimes I feel so weak I just want to explode
Explode and tear this whole town apart
Take a knife and cut this pain from my heart
Find somebody itching for something to start

The dogs on Main Street howl
'cause they understand
If I could reach one moment into my hands
Mister I ain't a boy, no I'm a man
And I believe in a promised land

Hmm
Hmmm
Hmmmm

Well there's a dark cloud rising from the desert floor
I packed my bags and I'm heading straight into the storm
Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain't got the faith to stand its ground
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted

Well the dogs on Main Street howl
'cause they understand
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister I ain't a boy, no I'm a man
And I believe in a promised land
And I believe in a promised land
And I believe in a promised land


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Info

THE PROMISED LAND is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and released on his 1978 album Darkness On The Edge Of Town. The above lyrics are for Bruce Springsteen's album version of THE PROMISED LAND as released in 1978.

The album version of THE PROMISED LAND was included on The Essential Bruce Springsteen (both 2003 and 2015 editions) compilation album and the Collection: 1973-2012 compilation album.

Composition and Recording

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Darkness On The Edge Of Town

Despite the marvelous reception received by both Born To Run and the tour which followed, the relationship between Bruce Springsteen and his now former manager and producer Mike Appel was deteriorating. In July 1976 the storm broke; Mike Appel wrote to Springsteen saying that he would not allow Jon Landau (Springsteen's friend and co-producer of Born To Run) to produce the next album, citing a particular paragraph from their original agreement. Bruce replied on 27 Jul 1976 by firing manager Mike Appel and suing him and his management company Laurel Canyon Ltd. in Federal Court in Manhattan, claiming fraud, breach of trust, and undue influence. Appel countersued on 29 Jul 1976 in New York State Supreme Court, asking the court to prohibit Springsteen and Jon Landau from working together in studio. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band were slated to enter the studio that year for the recording of a new album, except that on 15 Sep 1976 the judge in the lawsuits case ruled that Springsteen was enjoined from any further recording with Columbia Records until Appel's suit was resolved. This would drag for about a year.

Meanwhile, Springsteen continued gigging, and in the process broke his self-imposed rule of not playing the larger arenas. This was basically because he was not able to put a record out, and it was the only way his fans would be able to hear him at all.

Springsteen reached a final settlement in his yearlong litigation with Mike Appel on 28 May 1977. Effectively this meant that for the first time in a year Springsteen was able to go into a studio and record. The Darkness On The Edge Of Town recording sessions kicked off in early June 1977 at Atlantic Record Studios, New York City, NY. Springsteen had a considerable amount of new material, but the songs were in various stages of writing completion. Consequently many of the songs were shaped over the course of numerous sessions spanning several months.

The sessions at Atlantic Studios were only two or three weeks old when problems surfaced. Springsteen didn't like the sound he was getting from the studio, particularly the drums. On top of that Atlantic Studios did not offer a particularly comfortable or livable environment for the musicians. A decision was taken to shift operations to the nearby Record Plant where most of the Born To Run album had been recorded. However financial commitments to Atlantic Studios were already made, and on such short notice it was hard to find un-booked studio time at the popular Record Plant. Consequently the Jul-Aug 1977 period saw Springsteen and the band recording at both studios, but mostly Atlantic Studios. From September to late December, all the recording seems to have taken place at The Record Plant, where all the recordings issued on the original album emanate from.

The actual recording sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town were completed by early January 1978. The mixing sessions began in early January 1978 and dragged on until late March. There was a tremendous amount of different mixes considered, with Springsteen changing his mind on the mix of THE PROMISED LAND as late as early April.

Darkness On The Edge Of Town was released on Columbia Records on 02 Jun 1978. It was produced by Bruce Springsteen and Jon Landau.

Bruce Springsteen -- Darkness On The Edge Of Town
Bruce Springsteen -- Darkness On The Edge Of Town

The album features 10 new Springsteen compositions and clocks at 42:55.

The Essential Bruce Springsteen

The Essential Bruce Springsteen is a compilation album released as part of Sony BMG'S (previously Sony Music Entertainment) series of "Essential" sets. According to Springsteen's liner notes comments, the collection was intended as an introduction to his music for new fans who attended shows on The Rising Tour.

The collection is fundamentally a 2-disc set (clocking at 153:37) compiling songs from all of Springsteen's studio albums to date plus his Live In New York City release. A 3-disc limited edition (clocking at 201:04) was also released. It includes a bonus third disc comprising of a selection of rarities and previously unreleased recordings.

The Essential Bruce Springsteen was released on 11 Nov 2003 on Columbia Records. It debuted and peaked at #14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart where it spent 13 weeks. It also reached #28 on the UK Albums Chart. The album was awarded certified gold and platinum records by the RIAA on 16 Dec 2003.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 edition)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 edition)

The Essential Bruce Springsteen was reissued on 16 Oct 2015, this time as a 2-disc set (clocking at 156:25) with an updated track list, compiling songs from all of Springsteen's studio albums to date plus his Greatest Hits (1995 edition) collection. This 2015 reissue features remastered tracks not found in that form on other Springsteen releases.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2015 edition)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2015 edition)

Collection: 1973-2012

Collection: 1973-2012 is a Bruce Springsteen compilation album released on Columbia Records in 2013. It was released on 08 Mar 2013 in Australia and 15 Apr 2013 in Europe. The compilation was not released commercially in the United States. Instead, a promotional version was given out exclusively to $1,500 ticket holders at the "MusiCares Person Of The Year" tribute event held in Los Angeles, CA, on 08 Feb 2013. The event honoured Springsteen for both his artistic achievements and philanthropic efforts. The compilation consists of 18 previously released studio tracks.

Bruce Springsteen -- Collection: 1973-2012
Bruce Springsteen -- Collection: 1973-2012

Other Official Releases

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Other versions of THE PROMISED LAND were also officially released.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- The Agora, Cleveland 1978
The live 09 Aug 1978 version of THE PROMISED LAND was released on The Agora, Cleveland 1978 official live download in 2014.
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind: The River Collection
The live 05 Nov 1980 version of THE PROMISED LAND was released on The Ties That Bind: The River Collection box set in 2015.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980
The live 31 Dec 1980 version of THE PROMISED LAND was released on the Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980 official live download in 2015.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Brendan Byrne Arena, New Jersey 1984
The live 05 Aug 1984 version of THE PROMISED LAND was released on the Brendan Byrne Arena, New Jersey 1984 official live download in 2015.
Bruce Springsteen -- King's Hall, Belfast March 19, 1996
The live 19 Mar 1996 version of THE PROMISED LAND was released on the King's Hall, Belfast March 19, 1996 official live download in 2017.
Various artists -- Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame + Museum Live: Light My Fire
The live 15 Mar 1999 version of THE PROMISED LAND was first released on the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame + Museum Live: Light My Fire home video in 2009.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Madison Square Garden, New York 07/01/2000
The live 01 Jul 2000 version of THE PROMISED LAND was released on the Madison Square Garden, New York 07/01/2000 official live download in 2017.
Bruce Springsteen -- Schottenstein Center, Ohio 2005
The live 31 Jul 2005 version of THE PROMISED LAND was released on the Schottenstein Center, Ohio 2005 official live download in 2015.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA 10/20/09
The live 20 Oct 2009 version of THE PROMISED LAND was released on the Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA 10/20/09 official live download in 2017.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY 11/22/2009
The live 22 Nov 2009 version of THE PROMISED LAND was released on the HSBC Arena, Buffalo, NY 11/22/2009 official live download in 2016.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Apollo Theater 03/09/12
The live 09 Mar 2012 version of THE PROMISED LAND was released on the Apollo Theater 03/09/12 official live download in 2014.

Live History: on-tour

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Live History: off-tour

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Appearance in Movies

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Promotional poster for the film "Mask"
It was used in the 1985 film Mask, directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Cher, Sam Elliott, and Eric Stoltz. The song was not included in the film's soundtrack album.

The movie originally featured extensive use of Springsteen's music in the soundtrack, including: BADLANDS, THUNDER ROAD, THE PROMISED LAND, THE RIVER, and BORN IN THE U.S.A.. The music was used to set a timeline for the story, and Springsteen is a favorite of Roy "Rocky" Dennis, about whom the story is based. By the time the movie was released to theaters, the Springsteen element had to be stripped down (against the director's will) and replaced by Bob Seger songs. A new director's cut was released on DVD from Universal Studios in September 2004, and is seven minutes longer with the original Bruce Springsteen songs score restored. "Now it exists in the form it should have been 20 years ago," Bogdanovich told ESPN. "I think you'll find it a much better picture." Bogdanovich also discusses the Springsteen element in a commentary track on the DVD.
Promotional poster for the film "Kurt Cobain About A Son"
It was used in the 2006 documentary film Kurt Cobain About A Son, directed by AJ Schnack. The song was not included in the film's soundtrack album.

Five songs from Bruce Springsteen's Darkness On The Edge Of Town album were used in the film, and none of them was included on the film's soundtrack album. These are: SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT, BADLANDS, CANDY'S ROOM, THE PROMISED LAND, and RACING IN THE STREET. Very brief snippets of each are played in the background and they can barely be heard.

Covers

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Various artists -- Light Of Day: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen
Various artists -- Light Of Day: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

3xCD - Good Sounds (DM 797-02) - Spain, 2003

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. There are six issues of this album (with three track configurations) and this track was only included on the issue listed above. THE PROMISED LAND is performed by Georges Imbert.
The Bruceband -- Greetings From Moskou
The Bruceband -- Greetings From Moskou

CD - no label (no catalog number) - Holland, 2006

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Various artists -- Play Some Pool, Skip Some School, Act Real Cool: A Global Pop Tribute To Bruce Springsteen
Various artists -- Play Some Pool, Skip Some School, Act Real Cool: A Global Pop Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

2xCD - Where It's At Is Where You Are (WIACD20) - UK, 2009

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. THE PROMISED LAND is performed by Darren Hanlon.
Frans Pollux -- Pollux Duit Springsteen
Frans Pollux -- Pollux Duit Springsteen

CD - hippoproducties (no catalog number) - Holland, 2012

This is a live Bruce Springsteen tribute album. The songs are in Dutch.
The Boss Tribute To Springsteen -- Jelling Musikfestival 2012
The Boss Tribute To Springsteen -- Jelling Musikfestival 2012

Digital album - Next2Live (unknown catalog number) - Denmark, 2012

This is a download-only digital live Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Hungry Hearts -- Darkness Night
Hungry Hearts -- Darkness Night

Digital album - no label (no catalog number) - Italy, 2015

This is a download-only digital live Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Hungry Hearts -- Live In My Hometown
Hungry Hearts -- Live In My Hometown

CD-R - no label (no catalog number) - Italy, 2015

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album, recorded live on 09 Jan 2015 at Inferno Di Dante in Tortona, Italy.

Available Versions

List of available versions of THE PROMISED LAND on this website:

THE PROMISED LAND [Album version]
THE PROMISED LAND [Live 05 Oct 2004 version]

Page last updated: 26 Dec 2016