10 Years Ago Today: Bruce Springsteen Releases ‘The Promise’


It was 10 years ago today (November 16th, 2010) that Bruce Springsteen released his third multi-disc archival collection, The Promise: The 'Darkness On The Edge Of Town' Story box set. The package featured the first remastered version of the Darkness album, along with two CD's of previously unreleased outtakes, an 80-page notebook, three DVD's — featuring The Promise: The Making Of 'Darkness On The Edge Of Town' documentary; a private 2009 E Street Band performance of the Darkness album in its entirety; assorted footage of Springsteen in concert and rehearsal with the band from 1976, '77, and '78; and the full in-concert video feed of the December 8th, 1978 concert at Houston's The Summit.

Springsteen's manager and producer, Jon Landau, believes that The Promise represents the missing link between "The Boss'" 1975 Born To Run album and his 1978 release Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Landau told us that The Promise could very well have been Springsteen's fourth release in 1977 had he not been barred from recording due to legal hassles. He recalled how Springsteen pushed aside the songs which comprise The Promise because they felt too influenced by Phil Spector or other '60s rock genres: ["But now, when you go back and listen to all that stuff, yes, it shows his influences — but so what? It's all great. Y'know, I've been saying that this is the album that I think might have come between Born To Run and Darkness if he had he not been locked out of the studio for a couple of years."] SOUNDCUE (:15 OC: . . . couple of years)

On November 17th, 2010 both Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt appeared on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to talk about the then-just released box set. Springsteen explained why the songs were ultimately excluded from the running for Darkness On The Edge Of Town: ["The stuff that we didn't put out, I think it wore its influences on its sleeve more. And at the time I was very, very, concerned with forging my own voice and having something. . . I didn't want to be a revivalist, I didn't want to just be updating old styles."] SOUNDCUE (:19 OC: . . . updating old styles)

Van Zandt poked fun at the fact that all of the song rejects that are featured on The Promise, were tracks that he had fought tooth and nail for Springsteen to originally include on Darkness: ["Why don't we call it The Promise? The Promise, yeah. Well, I wanted to call it, A Bunch Of Lost Arguments. (Crowd laughter) (Jimmy Fallon): Is that what it felt like? (Van Zandt): Yeah. But there are some good songs on there."] SOUNDCUE (:11 OC: . . . songs on there)

The Promise two-disc outtakes collection featured 22 unreleased Springsteen studio tracks featuring: a previously-unbooted "rock version" of "Racing In The Street ('78)," "Gotta Get That Feeling," "Outside Looking In," "Someday (We'll Be Together)," "One Way Street," "Because The Night," "Wrong Side Of The Street," "The Brokenhearted," "Rendezvous," "Candy's Boy," "Save My Love," "Ain't Good Enough For You," "Fire," "Spanish Eyes," "It's A Shame," "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)," "Talk To Me," "The Little Things (My Baby Does)," "Breakaway," "The Promise," "City Of Night," and the hidden bonus track, "The Way."

LATE NIGHT Steven Van Zandt Wanted To Call The Promse A Bunch Of Lost Arguments :

LATE NIGHT Bruce Springsteen Says He Didn’t Release The Songs Originally Because They Were Influenced By Old Styles :

Jon Landau On Springsteen’s Influences Behind ‘The Promise’ :