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Released: June 2, 1978

Rating: 4.533 (average of 19 ratings)

Genre: heartland rock

Quotable: “Material that mined [Springsteen’s] blue-collar roots with a vitality he never topped.” – Blender Magazine

Album Tracks:

  1. Badlands [4:04]
  2. Adam Raised a Cain [4:34]
  3. Something in the Night [5:14]
  4. Candy’s Room [5:14]
  5. Racing in the Streets [6:54]
  6. The Promised Land [4:29]
  7. Factory [2:19]
  8. Streets of Fire [4:03]
  9. Prove It All Night [4:01]
  10. Darkness on the Edge of Town [4:29]
All songs written by Bruce Springsteen.

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 3.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated 0.1
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 5.5


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 5
peak on U.K. album chart 16

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Prove It All Night (6/10/78) #33 US
  • Badlands (7/78) #42 US
  • The Promised Land (10/78) --


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. One of Blender’s 100 Greatest American Albums Mojo Magazine’s 100 Greatest Albums One of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Albums of All Time One of VH1’s 100 Greatest Rock & Roll Albums of All Time.

Darkness on the Edge of Town
Bruce Springsteen
“Coming three years and one extended court battle after” WR “the grandiose Born to Run (1975) [which] proved Springsteen was far more than just another New Dylan,” BLDarkness on the Edge of Town was highly anticipated. Some attributed the album’s embattled tone to Bruce Springsteen’s legal troubles, but it carried on from Born to Run, in which Springsteen had first begun to view his colorful cast of characters as ‘losers.’ On Darkness, he began to see them as the working class” WR and he subsequently “crafted material that mined his blue-collar roots with a vitality he never topped.” BL “His characters, some of whom he inhabited and sang for in the first person, had little and were in danger of losing even that. Their only hope for redemption lay in working harder, and their only escape lay in driving.” WR

“Springsteen presented these hard truths in hard rock settings, the tracks paced by powerful drumming and searing guitar solos. Though not as heavily produced as Born to Run, Darkness was given a full-bodied sound; Springsteen’s stories were becoming less heroic, but his musical style remained grand – the sound, and the conviction in his singing, added weight to songs like Racing in the Street and the title track, transforming the pathetic into the tragic. But despite the rock & roll fervor, Darkness was no easy listen, and it served notice that Springsteen was already willing to risk his popularity for his principles.” WR

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

Previous Album: The Promise (archives, 1976-78) Bruce Springsteen’s DMDB page Next Album: The River (1980)

Prove It All Night (live)

Badlands (live)

The Promised Land (live)

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Last updated January 26, 2011.