Bruce Springsteen’s “The Promise” Premiering on HBO Tonight, New “Darkness” Box Set Out Next Month

The Promise (10/07/10 on HBO)
The Promise

The Promise, a documentary detailing the recording of Bruce Springsteen‘s fourth album The Darkness on the Edge of Town, premieres tonight (Oct 7) on HBO.

After the success of “Born to Run,” [Springsteen] had been kept from recording for a year and a half as a result of a legal battle with a former manager. When he finally got back in the studio in the fall of 1977, after much touring and woodshedding — we see shirtless rehearsals of new songs at his New Jersey farmhouse — he had something different in mind from the Turnpike operas and alley-ballet scores he was famous for, a “music that felt angry and rebellious yet it also felt adult,” informed, spiritually if not sonically, by punk rock on the one hand and country music on the other. The very sound of the record, stripped and stark and evocative of “the players fighting for space” (in the words of Chuck Plotkin, who mixed the record) obliges Springsteen’s theme of a “life of limits and compromise but also a life of resilience and commitment to life.”

The heart of “The Promise,” which takes its name from one of the many songs that didn’t make the album’s final cut, is the black-and-white video footage shot in the studio during those months of recording. We see it in snippets rather than in scenes, but it gives some indication of the tediousness and intensity (and the technical issues) that make up making a record. There is some allusion to creative tensions, but this is more declared than shown — there are no thrown chairs, or petulant ultimatums, or sudden walk-outs — and it’s no revelation to learn that the Boss can be a demanding boss. [LA Times]

The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story
The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story

The new deluxe box set of The Promise comes out on Nov 16 in 3 CD/3 DVD, 3 CD/3 Blu-Ray and triple vinyl versions. You can also download two free essays penned by Springsteen on the making of Darkness over here.

Though he has no tour dates currently scheduled, Bruce Springsteen will be appearing at Bob Woodruff’s Stand Up For Heroes benefit at on November 3 and the Beacon Theatre.

Watch a teaser video for The Promise after the jump.

One thought on “Bruce Springsteen’s “The Promise” Premiering on HBO Tonight, New “Darkness” Box Set Out Next Month”

  1. With the much-anticipated release of the commemorative box set for Darkness on the Edge of Town slated for this November, Bruce Springsteen’s classic record is getting renewed attention in the music world. Fans are surely hungry for all the historic material they can get from the 1978 recording sessions and subsequent tour.

    For our own preview of what’s to come, we contacted Dick Wingate, who was intimately involved in the launch and marketing of the album and tour. He offers an insider’s view of what the Darkness era meant to Bruce and the band, while painting an often-humorous behind-the-scenes account of some of the tour’s highlights.

    Enjoy, and be certain to check out the book The Light in Darkness, which one fan said, “… would make a great companion piece to the commemorative Darkness box set…”

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