Working On A Dream

A personal rule of mine as a music geek:

“Never listen to new releases before the release date: even if the album leaks out or are deliberately given to selected sources.”

The reason for this is not complicated. It’s the same reason you open your Christmas presents on Christmas Day rather than Christmas Eve: the anticipation makes the unveiling even more exciting.

This rule wasn’t a problem before the interwebz came along. How was I going to find the new Springsteen release back in the ’80’s? Mug someone at (then) Columbia Records? Now, early leaking is an amazingly routine process. Hell, respected sites like have featured free streaming of entire new albums for the week prior to release date. Do you know how hard it was for me to stay away from the new Gaslight Anthem disc “American Slang?”

I now face the biggest challenge ever to this rule. Bruce Springsteen’s massive box set reissue of Darkness On The Edge of Town drops on November 16th. Included in this set are 21 songs reorded at that time, yet never released: the “missing” Springsteen album which has been titled “The Promise.” The Springsteen camp has been releasing these tracks early to places such as Sirius’ E Street channel and iTunes–and hence then everywhere on the web. Often with videos.

What has really twisted my resolve is the recent release of the straight-ahead hard rock version of my alltime favorite Springsteen tune “Racing In The Street.” (see blog title) The album version is a lovely and stately ballad and I’ve been dying to hear how it sounds with Bruce’s squalling guitar rather than the down tempo piano.

But I will wait. 3 more weeks. as the man says (sort of):

“some guys they just start listening/ new release by new release/ some guys come home from work and wash up/ and suck it up for three more weeks.”


3 thoughts on “Working On A Dream

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


    1. Yep! The box set is in my possession. It’s a throwback to those times when album packaging was an art. The box contains an old fashioned spiral notebook–inside are duplicates of pages from Springsteen’s notebooks at the time–alternative lyrics, reams of potential song names, potential sequencing of songs on the album. There are separate section dividers, made of stiffer paper and each holding a CD or DVD.

      Amazing stuff–I’ve of course already heard the actual album and I saw the “making of” doc on HBO in October. The 21 new songs, the Darkness concert staged this past year in an empty Asbury Park theatre, the entire ’78 Houston show and clips from that era from other places. . . . and he’s on Jimmy Fallon tonight w/ Roy, Steve and The Roots! He’s the only guest. Happy Bruce Day!


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