On June 2, 1978, a second chapter in Bruce Springsteen's career opened for us all to read between the lines for the rest of our lives.
"Darkness On The Edge Of Town" was unleashed on this day 35 years ago, and we all grew up a little bit. In the long-anticipated sequel to "Born To Run," long delayed by a lawsuit against manager Mike Appel, Bruce Springsteen made a lot of statements in song that have sustained anyone who heard them for decades. At a distance from the street characters and the boardwalk folklore of his previous dreamy lyrics, "Darkness" was the opera for the wide-awake real-life stage of everyone's life.
It's almost pointless to talk about it because the songs were so good you have to hear them. Many of the tracks on the album are the perfect meshing of lyric and music and emotion, and if you hear them at a poignant point in your life, where they seem to make sense of the chaos, you won't ever forget them. That's because they replay through all the changes, circumstances, hard times and good times of your life no matter how many decades have passed.
The reason the songs were so good was they were chosen from so many written and performed to perfection during the forced hiatus of the lawsuit that prevented Springsteen from recording for two-and-a-half years, a lifetime in the radio-driven music business at the time. It was do or die for Springsteen, and he knew it. The songs he chose have provided the soundtrack for our doing or dying ever since.