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Bruce Springsteen, The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town 

Directed by Thom Zimny (Sony)

In 1977, on his fourth record, Bruce Springsteen came to grips with the biggest follow-up album pressure in rock history. His first two hadn’t done much, but Born to Run put him on the cover of Newsweek and Time in 1975, a huge hit anointing New Jersey’s favourite son the savior of rock ’n’ roll. That outsized approbation---combined with a lawsuit with his former manager Mike Appel---had Springsteen questioning his songs, his direction...everything. Using a whack of archival footage, along with recent interviews with Springsteen and the E Street Band, this doc peels back Springsteen’s massive, youthful ambition and exhaustive creative process to make his ’78 record, Darkness on the Edge of Town. “More than rich, more than famous, I wanted to be great,” he says, looking back more than 30 years. The Promise shows that he was.

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Vol 25, No 20
October 12, 2017

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