This is incredible! National Public Radio is offering a free preview of The Promise: The Lost Sessions, Darkness on the Edge of Town. You can listen to 57 minutes of select tracts or hear individual tracks from the album.
Here is a snippet from the accompanying NPR article:
The Promise, subtitled The Lost Sessions: Darkness on the Edge of Town, is not the usual odds-and-ends reissue package. In 1975, after Born to Run made him a megastar, Bruce Springsteen found himself in a lawsuit with his then-manager, which blocked the singer from making a follow-up for nearly two years until the suit was settled. While lawyers bickered, Springsteen toured and wrote prolifically. And the album that began taking shape in the months after Born to Run ultimately became — some 70+ songs later — a very different album: 1978’s fierce Darkness on the Edge of Town. As Springsteen himself reflected, “It’s a reckoning with the adult world … with a life of limitations and compromises.”
The 21 songs on The Promise, which are also included in a deluxe reissue of Darkness (both will be released on Nov. 16), are a hypothesis of the album that might have followed Born to Run. Many have circulated on bootlegs in various forms for years, but here they are, presented as complete, fully realized productions. As much as any music Springsteen has made, before or since, these songs are steeped in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. Elvis Presley, with whom the band was obsessed, died during these sessions, in August 1977. You can hear his influence in Springsteen’s phrasing all over the set, most explicitly in “Fire,” a Presley tribute so spot-on, it sounds like a cover. (Springsteen let his pal Robert Gordon record it; ditto The Pointer Sisters, who scored a 1978 hit with a version.) At one point in “Come On (Let’s Go Tonight),” a breathtakingly spooky early version of the somber Darkness track “Factory,” Springsteen intones, “The man on the radio said Elvis Presley died.”
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