Bruce Springsteen wrote more than 70 songs during a period in his career when a lawsuit with his former manager, Mike Appel, prohibited him from recording. He and the rest of the E Street Band spent the down time at his farm in Holmdel, NJ, rehearsing incessantly and going into debt. When they were able to finally get back in the studio, the 70 tracks were whittled down to ten and those ten made up the classic, Darkness on the Edge of Town. The other 60 were either given to other artists (“Because the Night” to Patti Smith and “Fire” to Robert Gordon and later the Pointer Sisters) or tucked away for another day. Well, more than 30 years later, the other day has finally arrived in the form of The Promise.
Many of the 21 songs (22 if you’re lucky) were unfinished. Some were lacking lyrics, while others needed more instrumentation and vocal work. It’s not hard to tell which songs were recorded back in 1977 and which ones were recorded recently, but who cares? New/old Springsteen, it’s all good.