Category Archives: Rock Out Loud

Who’s the Boss? – Darkness on the Edge of Town

Who's The Boss?
Hi Everybody! We are back with a new album for “Who’s the Boss?” If you are new, or missed the previous “Who’s the Boss?” articles, you can go ahead and see what this is all about. Kristin, from Rock Out Loud, had suggested that I start my Bruce Springsteen journey with the Live 1975/85 album. This was a stroke of genius on her part. A lot of songs from that album were also on the Born to Run album as well as today’s album, Darkness on the Edge of Town. I feel that if I had just jumped right into these studio albums first, I wouldn’t have appreciated the songs as much. Bruce’s storytelling and the emotions, that he poured into the live versions of these songs, got me warmed up and ready for the studio versions.

Now let’s get into the next album of the “Who’s the Boss?” series – Darkness on the Edge of Town.

Darkness on the Edge of Town was Bruce Springsteen’s fourth studio album. It was the follow-up to Bruce’s big breakthrough album, Born to Run. Darkness on the Edge of Town was released in 1978 – three years after Born to Run. It took so long because Springsteen got into a legal battle with his former manager and producer, Mike Appel. Without getting bogged down into too much detail, basically Springsteen was young and naive when he first signed on with Mike Appel. It turns out that Bruce was getting a raw deal on royalties, and he did not have the publishing rights to his own songs. While Bruce was getting out of that contract, he signed with a new producer, Jon Landau. Appel filed an injunction that prevented Bruce from entering a recording studio. The matter was finally settled out of court. To get more details about this, and to see the recording process of this album, I highly recommend watching the awesome documentary, The Promise: The Darkness On the Edge of Town Story – Bruce Springsteen.
Although this album did not have any high charting singles, it is one of Springsteen’s most beloved albums. It actually stayed on the charts for nearly two years and is certified triple-platinum.

So, let’s see what everybody is raving about. You can click on the song title to listen to the song/watch the video.

 


Side One

1. “Badlands”

Love! I first heard this song on Live 1975/85. The music and vocals are great. So far, I really enjoy the songs where Bruce’s voice is at a deeper tone. And of course the lyrics are awesome. Here is a perfect example,

Talk about a dream
try to make it real
You wake up in the night
with a fear so real
Spend your life waiting
for a moment that just don’t come
Well, don’t waste your time waiting

2. “Adam Raised a Cain”

I know this song from Live 1975/85. I like this song. It rocks. But, I prefer the live version. So far in this series, I kind of liked the live versions and the studio versions of songs equally. But, this is one of those instances that the live version is far superior.

3. “Something in the Night”

Time to slow things down a bit. We have another winner here. The music itself really brings me back to the late ’70s. This is angsty Bruce, who I’m beginning to like more and more.

4. “Candy’s Room”

Here is another one that I discovered on Live 1975/85. I liked that performance, and I love this studio version as well. It is a great rocker. The drumming on this one is incredible.

5. “Racing in the Street”

Another song that is on Live 1975/85. If I started the series with this album, I would be bored with this song. But as I become more educated, I know to pay special close attention to the lyrics on these slow songs. Bruce really paints a picture in his storytelling.

Side Two

1. “The Promised Land”

Not to sound like a broken records, but this is another one that I first heard on Live 1975/85. This is another classic Bruce song with incredible lyrics.

Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain’t got the faith to stand its ground
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted

2. “Factory”

This is Bruce being Bruce, hammering into your head that he speaks for the working man. Putting my facetiousness aside, I do like this song. I’m finding that not too many people, if any, can tell a story in song better than Bruce.

3. “Streets of Fire”

I’ve come to accept the fact that anytime there is a Springsteen song with the word “Fire” in the title, it is going to be a slower paced song.

4. “Prove It All Night”

This is a new one for me. I like this song a lot. It kind of feels like a Jackson Browne song. I love the sax solo and then how it goes into a guitar solo. I think this is my favorite of the songs that were new to me on this album.

5. “Darkness on the Edge of Town”

This song became an instant classic to me. This song is always popping up in my heat, perhaps more than any other Springsteen tune. I can’t explain it other than it is a great song.

Fun Facts

Fun Facts. Woo-ooo-ooo. Say it proud and Geek Out Loud, it’s fun facts

I have gotten all of these facts from 100.7 WZLX (a Boston classic rock station)

The album cover was shot at the photographer’s home in New Jersey.
After doing photography for Patti Smith and notable early punk rockers, photographer Frank Stefanko was given the task of shooting the album cover and inner photos for Darkness. The two met through Patti as a mutual connection. Bruce drove down to Stefanko’s house in Haddonfield, New Jersey with just a change of clothes and shot both inside the house and on surrounding streets. The cover for Darkness was shot in Stefanko’s bedroom, while a photo from the same shoot was later used for The River.

Bruce wrote 70+ songs for the album
According to Jimmy Iovine, Springsteen wrote at least 70 songs to be chosen for final inclusion on Darkness, and over 50 of them were at least partially recorded but not completed. Bruce ultimately wanted to retain the themes present in the album’s main tracks and avoid “singles” that may not have fit the narrative. But some of those songs eventually saw the light of day…

Unreleased tracks like “Because the Night” were re-purposed or given to other artists
Springsteen’s compilation The Promise contains 21 unreleased tracks that were recorded mostly from 1976-1978, many of which from the Darkness sessions. Most notable is “Because the Night”, which Bruce gave to Patti Smith and became one of the latter’s signature songs.

At least 16 songs remain unreleased
Despite the dozens of recordings that eventually saw release on the River or subsequent compilation albums, there are at least 16 known recordings that are circulating as bootlegs but have never been given an official release. These songs include “Preacher’s Daughter”, “Down By the River”, “Castaway”, “Cheap Thrills”, and “Blue Moon”.


Does anybody else like this album or have any memories you would like to share? And don’t forget, please check out my friends Steve and Kristin on the Rock Out Loud podcast. It is a lot of fun, and it is a great place to rock out and enjoy music that you may not hear on any other podcast.

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Who’s the Boss? – Live/1975–85: Disc 1

Who's The Boss? Hi Everybody, welcome to the first album of the “Who’s the Boss?” series. On my quest to become a Springsteen fan, as I mentioned in the introductory article, Rock Out Loud’s Kristin suggested that I begin with the album Live/1975–85. There were several reasons for this. Among them are the fact that Bruce Springsteen has a reputation for putting on incredible live shows. Also, this album is a collection of tunes from several of his earlier albums. So, we get a little taste of everything. It also works out in that this album was released in the ’80s. We will be delving into pre and post ’80s albums. But this is a great place to start.
Since Live/1975–85 consists of 3 discs, this premiere album will be split up into 3 parts. So, let’s begin.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band released the 40-track box set Live 1975/85 on November 10th, 1986. The set either consisted of 5 records (ahhh, vinyl), 3 cassettes, or 3 cd’s. This album is not from one particular concert. These tracks span through several concerts. For each song, I will list the date and venue from which it came. Live 1975/85 became the first album since Stevie Wonder‘s 1976 set Songs In The Key Of Life to debut at Number One. This album is the second-best-selling live album in U.S. history, going 13x platinum. It only trails Garth Brooks’ Double Live, which is 21x platinum.

I can’t remember what I did 5 minutes ago. But, I do remember seeing this album in the store for the first time. It was the first box set I had ever seen. I didn’t have a job yet, so I didn’t have the money to buy a box set like that. But now, with the click of a button, this album is mine!

Now let’s play this thing! You can click on the song title if you want to listen to the song on YouTube.

Thunder Road

Recorded October 18, 1975 at The Roxy Theatre
Initial thought: I knew the title, but not the song. Usually, a concert starts out rocking. This is more intimate. It’s a different approach, and I like it! I like the song too. Good start!

Upon further listening: I already liked this song right from the start. I like it more and more with each listen. This Springsteen dude might make it big someday!

Adam Raised a Cain

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: This song has a bluesy sound to it. It rocks a little too, especially during the chorus. I love the guitar in this. Bruce has the perfect voice for the Blues. 2 for 2 so far!

Upon further listening: During my Springsteen education, I have learned that Bruce and his dad had a tumultuous relationship. With that knowledge, the lyrics are a lot more powerful.

Spirit In the Night

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: Another Rock ‘n’ Blues song. While the last song was more guitar heavy, this one is more keyboards and sax heavy. I like this one too. I’m not sure if there is a studio version of this song, but it seems like this would be a much better live song than a studio song.

Upon further listening: This one didn’t get any better, or any worse for me. I still think this is a cool live song.

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

Recorded December 31, 1980 at Nassau Coliseum

Initial thought: OK, I have a new favorite Bruce Springsteen song, and this is it! At the beginning of the song, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. But by the time he hit the first chorus, I was hooked!

Upon further listening: Still love it!!! It is in regular rotation on my iPod.

Paradise By the “C”

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: Well, I suppose since Springsteen’s concerts are like 20 hours long, that he needs to rest his voice for a few minutes. I like how this brings the E Street Band to the forefront.

Upon further listening: I really love this band. And I believe everybody gets showcased here.

Fire

Recorded December 16, 1978 at the Winterland. The short spoken intro is from July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: It might take me a few more listens to like this song. It’s not bad. But, if you’re doing something else while it’s on, you forget that it’s playing.

Upon further listening: I totally forgot that this was a Pointer Sisters song. I love the Pointers, and their version of this song is on my iPod. Now this is coming back to me. I do like this song a lot more now too. This is another one that just keeps getting better and better.

Growin’ Up

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: Nice recovery. I like this song a lot. Clarence Clemons rocks! Wait a minute. Where did the music go, and what is this yapping?! Oh my God, shut up already!! Can’t Clarence jump back in? OK, after four long painful minutes this song is finally rocking again. I would have absolutely loved this song if the four minutes in the middle were cut out.

Upon further listening: This is one of the first things that Kristin schooled me on. Apparently, Bruce is known for talking in his shows. It is all part of his storytelling. That helps a little. It seems like this would be better to see live than just listening on my headphones. That’s no a knock. Seeing him do this in person would make it feel like he’s connecting to his audience on a more personal level. I appreciate this more now, thanks to Kristin. If there is a studio version of this song, I’m sure I will love it.

It’s Hard to Be a Saint In the City

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: This song is rockin’! I like it! Especially the guitar towards the end.

Upon further listening: I love this one! So, so good!

Backstreets

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: I’m really liking the piano at the beginning. This is a pretty epic song. We have a winner here. It didn’t seem like a seven minute song.

Upon further listening: This is another song that I liked from the first time I heard it, and it just keeps getting better.

Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: Like “Thunder Road”, I had heard of this song, but don’t ever remember listening to it. OK, this is a really good one too.

Upon further listening: This is a great, fun, upbeat song! What’s not fun about getting a girl you like to come out with you, even though her parents disapprove?! There’s nothing like forbidden love!

Raise Your Hand

Recorded July 7, 1978 at The Roxy Theatre

Initial thought: This is a good bar song. I think I would rather listen to “Raise Your Hands” from Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet. This isn’t bad though. Oh dear God! There is just over 2 minutes left in the song and he’s yapping again!  I liked the song. That was a fun one.

Upon further listening: This is another winner. I really like this one too.  The part of the song where he is talking, he is getting the crowd into the song even more.

Hungry Heart

Recorded December 28, 1980 at Nassau Coliseum

Initial thought: Finally a song I know! I always liked this one a lot. It does sound good live.

Upon further listening: I always liked this song a lot, and it is great live. Outstanding!

Two Hearts

Recorded July 8, 1981 at Meadowlands Arena

Initial thought: I had never heard this song before. I love it! Great way to end the first disc. Max Weinberg is awesome on drums!

Upon further listening: I still love this one. It really puts me in a good mood.

Fun Facts

Fun Facts. Woo-ooo-ooo. Say it proud and Geek Out Loud, it’s fun facts

– Now I have an idea to why I took an instant liking to “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy).” Long time readers may know that Kiss Unmasked was one of the first albums I ever owned. There was a ballad called “Shandi” on that album. Well, according to KISS: Behind the Mask: The Official Authorized Biography, “Shandi” was inspired by the Hollies cover of “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

And special thanks to Kristin for providing the rest of these fun facts:

– Last week, one of the fun facts was that the first song Bruce learned to play on guitar is “Twist and Shout.” In relation to that, the night John Lennon was murdered (December 8, 1980), Springsteen was playing in nearby Philadelphia. He also played another show in the same place the next night, and addressed the tragedy – “It’s a hard night to come out and play, but there’s just nothing else you can do.”

– Bruce won’t have an opening band because he was actually booed (not BRUUUUUUCED) as an opening act, and he said he never wanted to put another band in a position like that.

– Bruce’s only #1 single is not sung by him… Manfred Mann’s cover of “Blinded By The Light


I hope you enjoyed this installment of Who’s the Boss?. We’ll be back with disc 2 next Monday. Please leave your thoughts and/or Bruce Springsteen memories you may have.

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Who’s the Boss? – Introduction

Who's The Boss? Hi Everybody, welcome to “Who’s the Boss?”, a new Return to the ’80s series. My introduction to Bruce Springsteen was his “Dancing in the Dark” video. I loved that song, as well as “Born in the U.S.A.” Then I discovered that Springsteen had been around for a while when I saw the episode of Growing Pains where Jason and Mike Seaver bonded over their love of “The Boss” – until Jason embarrassed Mike when they were interviewed by the local news when leaving the concert.

After that, I was only aware of Springsteen’s big hits, and never followed him closely. However, Bruce Springsteen does have an extremely rabid fan base. Some friends of mine are included in that group of people. I had heard that his concerts are incredible, and that he plays for a long time, and usually has no opening act. An amazing feat since I think I only knew about 6 or 7 songs by him!

Then came the Rock Out Loud podcast! I just wrote a whole article dedicated to that podcast, so you can go check that out. Basically, I love all the same music that the hosts, Steve and Kristin, listen to. Except Kristin is a HUGE Springsteen fan. I was thinking that she was just a fan because she is from New Jersey. I’m not sure if this is true, but I think if you are in New Jersey and don’t admit your love for The Boss, then you will be thrown out of the state. However, her passion for Bruce is definitely genuine. Steve and I have the same taste of music, and he was starting to like Springsteen more and more. Around a time that they were talking a little Springsteen, I was hanging with some friends who are Springsteen fans. A day or two later, an idea struck me.

I decided to challenge myself (and Kristin) by seeing if she could turn me into a Bruce Springsteen fan. She accepted this challenge. Along my quest of discovering who is “The Boss,” Kristin is giving me the albums in order of how I should listen to them. For this series, I am going to list each song, and write my initial thoughts as I listen to each song. Then I am going to forward these thoughts on to Kristin. Then she will either agree with my assessment, or let me know if I am missing the point. And if you listened to the most recent (as of this posting) Rock Out Loud episode – “When Love and Hate Collide,” you know that Kristin, thankfully, is not going to be afraid to lay the smackdown on me if I trash any song that a respectable Springsteen fan shouldn’t be trashing. As with most albums that you listen to for the first time, some songs are great the first time you hear them, and some take a few listens in order to grow on you. And a new element here is that Kristin can help me hear some songs in a different way, which may change my opinion. So for each album, I’ll give my initial thoughts, and then let you know if my opinion changed one way or another.

I figured the first album would be Born to Run, or one of his other earlier works. Wrong! There’s a saying that I love – “Go big, or go home.” Kristin shares this same sentiment. My first homework assignment – Live/1975–85. Just in case you’re not familiar with that one (yet), it is a 3 disc live set. I was not expecting that, which is totally awesome! This is going to be more fun than even I imagined! Beginning on Monday, we will take a look into that album. It will be split up into three different articles – one for each disc.

In the meantime, here are some facts that I have learned so far in my quest to discover Who’s the Boss:

(I can’t get this jingle out of my head from another GOLiverse podcast, Disney Vault Talk – Fun Facts. Woo-ooo-ooo. Say it proud and Geek Out Loud, it’s fun facts)

– Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born September 23, 1949, in Long Branch, New Jersey. was raised in a working-class household in Freehold Borough. (Biography.com)

– Realizing her son’s interest in music, his mother got an $18 guitar for the 13-year-old Springsteen. His family’s financial situation was so tight that later when she bought a $60 Kent Guitar for her son, she had to take a loan to do so. (Celebrity Fun Facts)

– The first song Bruce Springsteen learnt to play on his guitar was ‘Twist and Shout’ by the Beatles. (Celebrity Fun Facts)

– In his adolescent years, when the Springsteens were living in New Jersey, their house was near a Nestle Factory. Bruce now reminisces that in those days, when the wind was just right, he could smell the chocolate all day long. (Celebrity Fun Facts)

– An outsider and recluse in school, Springsteen frequently got in trouble at his Catholic elementary school. “In the third grade, a nun stuffed me in a garbage can under her desk because she said that’s where I belonged,” he said. “I also had the distinction of being the only altar boy knocked down by a priest during mass.” Several years later, he skipped his own high school graduation because he felt too uncomfortable to attend. (Biography.com and Celebrity Fun Facts both refer to this)

– Bruce Springsteen is known to his fans as ‘The Boss’, but he is not particularly fond of this nickname. The name comes from the time when Springsteen and his band used to play for clubs in the 60s and resulted from him taking on the duty of collecting their nightly earnings and distributing them among the members. Before that time, he was called ‘Doctor’. (Celebrity Fun Facts)

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Rock Out Loud

The Early Podcast Listening Days

On Christmas of 2005, I got my first iPod. While learning about iTunes, I saw a section called Podcasts. I had vaguely heard of podcasts, but didn’t really know what they were. I saw there were all different kinds of topics that may have interested me. And best of all, they were free! Podcasts are basically radio talk shows on the internet. I love Star Wars, so I did a search for Star Wars, and came across a podcast called The ForceCast. I liked it a lot. Hmm, I wonder what else is out there. I also love Disney, and found quite a few Disney podcasts. Most of them were really good, but my favorite is called Inside the Magic (which happens to be the only one still around of this first group of Disney podcasts that I listened to). Being obsessed with the ’80s, I did a search for 80s. The only one to come up was Stuck in the 80s. I loved it instantly, and still listen to each episode the day it comes out whenever possible. Then I came across a couple of podcasts about the television show 24, where they would talk about each episode as it aired. Since I found there were television recap podcasts out there, I looked for one for my favorite show at the time – Smallville. I found one called Starkville House of El (or SHOE). It became one of my favorite podcasts. The hosts Derek and Steve were hilarious, and really knew their stuff. They had great chemistry, and were very entertaining.

Geek Out Loud

During the run of this podcast, they sometimes mentioned another podcast that co-host Steve Glosson had of his own – Geek Out Loud. I loved Steve on SHoE, so I figured this other podcast would be good. Mylanta! Geek Out Loud was even better than I had expected! Steve talks about everything I love. There was Star Wars talk, as well as talk about comic book movies, Muppets, and professional wrestling. He also played a lot of ’80s rock music, and talked about the music he loves, which happened to be the music I love. After the Smallville series wrapped up, I still got my Steve Glosson fix on Geek Out Loud. He also hosts The Big Honkin’ Show, which is a potpourri of different topics, in a radio type of format. During the breaks, there are some funny fake commercials. And when the show comes back from commercial, there is usually an awesome ’80s rock song playing. When Steve records this show, you can actually listen live, and participate by live chatting.

A GoLiverse is Born

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A couple of years ago, different Geek Out Loud shows spin-off shows started rolling out. There would be a host, and Steve would be the co-host. One of the first spin-offs was Know What I’m Saying, which Steve and Karl talk about whatever’s on their mind. I’m still not sure whether I find the bromance entertaining or disturbing. In one of the early episodes, they talked music, and I was hooked. There is also Mark Out Loud, where Steve and Mark talk about professional wrestling. They talk about the current wrestling world. However, I love the episodes in which they cover old school wrestling matches and events. Another awesome podcast is Disney Vault Talk in which Steve and Teresa watch and review every animated Disney film in order. Being a huge Disney fan, this is one of my favorite podcasts. As much as I love all of these podcasts, my favorite of them all is…drum roll please, Rick Allen…

Rock Out Loud!

Rock Out Loud

The idea of Rock Out Loud came about when Steve would play a lot of awesome rock music, on The Big Honkin’ Show, that Kristin from Jersey loved. After hanging out in the chat, discussing the music, they decided to start up this podcast. With Steve being one of the best podcasters, if not THE best, and Kristin being the heart and soul of this podcast, this is easily one of my favorite podcasts ever. I always listen as soon as each episode is available. I love that Steve and I have the same taste in music. But, it’s Kristin that totally impressed me. Her knowledge and love of ’80s rock is unsurpassed. What’s more impressive is that Kristin was not even alive in the ’80s! And it’s not just encyclopedic knowledge that she has. Kristin understands and feels the music more than most people that actually lived through that time period. Kristin’s aunt (who is my new hero) was an influence on Kristin’s taste in music. So we can thank her for keeping the ’80s alive! And for the younger folks out there, Kristin is also into current music too. So there is something for every rock fan in this podcast.

Each Rock Out Loud episode begins with Steve and Kristin having a fun conversation for a few minutes. And then they read emails that are sent in to them by listeners, and they discuss and answer questions for each email. After the emails, they go into the main topic of the episode. For example, one episode was about road trips. In this episode, Steve and Kristin discussed what makes a good road trip playlist. They take turns going through their picks of songs, and they play a little of each song as they discuss and/or debate each pick. Other great episodes include Feel Good Music (Kristin and Steve discuss the songs that pick them up when they’re feeling low), Power Ballads, Cover Songs, Dust in the Wind where Kristin and Steve talk about Rockers who left us too soon. They also have covered albums like Hysteria and one of my favorite episodes – New Jersey. Each episode seems to push 2 hours, but they go by so fast. Between the entertaining discussions and awesome music, the episode is over before you know it.

 

Who’s the Boss?

Being from New Jersey, Kristin is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. While her aunt was a big influence for a lot of her music taste, her father was the one who turned her on to Springsteen. Again, her passion is unsurpassed. Now, I was never a big Springsteen fan. All I know are his big hits. But, there are millions of people like Kristin who are obsessed with him and his music. So, I decided to challenge myself (and Kristin) by seeing if she could turn me into a Bruce Springsteen fan. She accepted this challenge. I asked her which albums to start with. Then I would go there each album on this site. I figured the first album would be Born to Run, or one of his other earlier works. Nope! She threw me into the deep end of the pool! My first homework assignment – Live/1975–85. Just in case you’re not familiar with that one, it is a 3 disc live set. I was not expecting that, which is totally awesome! This is going to be a lot of fun.  So, you will be seeing my review on this album shortly.

In the meantime, please check out the Rock Out Loud Podcast, and subscribe on iTunes. You won’t be sorry. And if you like rock music, you will love this podcast.

 

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