Bruce Springsteen readies 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' reissue: New details

springsteenRumors of a deluxe reissue for 1978′s Darkness on the Edge of Town, arguably Bruce Springsteen’s finest hour, have reached legendary status among Springsteen fans since they first surfaced around 2008. Good news: That long-awaited project could be in your hands by this Christmas, if you believe E Street Band guitarist Steve Van Zandt’s latest interview.

Van Zandt told a British radio station (via Rolling Stone) that the reissue could include as many as 10 previously unheard outtakes from the Darkness sessions, along with remastered versions of the 10 amazing songs from the original album. The prospect of instantly doubling Darkness like that is enough to send any fan into hysterics.

But what to make of Van Zandt’s suggestion that Springsteen might be adding new vocals to some of those 30-year-old outtakes? “We’ll go back and he might finish a lyric on one or two, or finish a harmony on one or two, but we’ll keep them intact pretty much,” he said. The Rolling Stones did something similar for their recent Exile on Main Street reissue. I’m frankly not sure this kind of retroactive tampering makes sense in either case. Consider, by contrast, the Beatles’ mid-’90s Anthology series — the two new/old songs the surviving members doctored up were both excellent, but the most fascinating part of those discs had to be all the unfinished, unpolished, and relatively untouched outtakes.

That said, Van Zandt’s “we’ll keep them intact pretty much” is reassuring. And he’s one of the people most responsible for the raw, direct sound of the original Darkness, so I hope we can trust him to keep any 2010 embellishments in check. Anyway, what do you think of this trend of finishing old outtakes decades later? Are you looking forward to the Darkness reissue as much as I am?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (15 total) Add your comment
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  • CountryClub

    A remastered Darkness is enough for me. Any outtakes that are included (touched up or not), are just a bonus.

  • Mike Appel

    Darkness on the Edge of town is a horribly produced album.

    • moni

      LOL! Sour grapes!

    • tommy

      i disagree, it was meant to be a dark album, thats why it sounds like that so shut up!!!

  • Frank from MusicNerdClub.com

    Darkness On The Edge Of Town is arguably Springsteen’s greatest album. It’s been long overdue for the remaster. I am looking forward to this.

    • Josh

      I wouldn’t even say arguably. BTR is incredible, that goes without saying. But the rawness and emotion and lyrics of Darkness are just unmatched in anything Springsteen did before or since. It’s by far my favorite album and I can not wait til xmas!

  • Jeff

    To the person who posted as Mike Appel – genius!

    Darkness is my favorite collection of songs (at least for today), but the production is muddied. I hope there’s a live CD or DVD because Bruce’s guitar solo at the beginning of Prove it All Night is epic.

    Fingers crossed.

  • couchgrouch

    I’m more interested in live dvd from that era because my bootleg’s video is a little shaky. even so, the sound is great and the performance rivals even The Who for power.

  • njrising

    I don’t think the touching up would be new for Springsteen archival material. I’m pretty sure it was done on some of the songs on the Tracks box set.

  • Jeff R

    This should be great, as the Tracks outtakes were awesome. But we all know that the Boss’ best album is Wild Innocent and E Street Shuffle. Bruce never equalled the musical experimentation he employed on this album, and every song is great. No other album is close.

    • CountryClub

      Good album. But I, along with most other fans, would disagree about it being his best.

    • Rich

      It’s in a 5-way tie for first (along with BTR, Darkness, River, and Nebraska)!

  • norez

    The production of the album is completely beside the point of the brilliance of the album.

    I hope Bruce gets this thing together sometime this decade. He’s already late for the River’s 30th anniversary package.

  • Mindy

    Bruce is the best and BBWMeet

  • krista

    Has always been my favorite Bruce album and probably always will be. Can’t wait!

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