“The Promise: The Making of Darkness On The Edge of Town” was directed by Grammy- and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny. The film premiered on HBO and received a rapturous critical response around the world, including as an official selection, Toronto International Film Festival, The BFI London Film Festival, and The International Rome Film Festival. The Los Angeles Times gave ‘The Promise’ five stars, while Variety called it “thrilling–a vivid portrait.”
The ninety-minute documentary combines never-before-seen footage of Springsteen and the E Street Band shot between 1976 and 1978—including home rehearsals and studio sessions—with new interviews with Springsteen, E Street Band members, manager Jon Landau, former-manager Mike Appel, and others closely involved in the making of the record.
The film was also included in the 2010 box set ‘The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story,’ which Rolling Stone called “extraordinary [and] fascinating” and The Washington Post described as “a revelation.”
“Songs From The Promise” was filmed before an audience of approximately sixty fans in December, 2010, in Asbury Park, NJ’s historic carousel house. For this one-time concert event, Springsteen and members of the E Street Band lineup—Clarence Clemons, Stevie Van Zandt, Max Weinberg, Roy Bittan, and Gary Tallent—were joined by keyboardist Charles Giordano, a full horn section—Ed Manion, Barry Danielian, Curt Ramm, Clark Gayton and Stan Harrison—and special guest David Lindley, who played violin during the original recording sessions. Directed and edited by Zimny and mixed by Emmy-winner Bob Clearmountain, the concert features the only live E Street Band performances of four tracks from ‘The Promise’ plus “Blue Christmas.”
“Songs From The Promise” Tracklist:
1. “Racing in the Street (’78)
2. “Gotta Get That Feeling”
3. “Ain’t Good Enough For You”
4. “The Promise”
5, “Blue Christmas”
Hosted by music critic and Springsteen biographer Dave Marsh, “A Conversation With His Fans” is an intimate, 22-minute question-and-answer session featuring Springsteen at his most candid. Before a small audience in the studios of Sirius XM’s E Street Radio channel, Springsteen discusses the writing and recording of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ and the decision to release the extensive collection of songs that didn’t make the record. “We worked hard on the music that we didn’t put out,” Springsteen tells one fan. “The nice thing about it is it’s still there, it hasn’t gone anywhere–and I think we’re at a point where it’s nice to have the stuff sufficiently see the light of day.” Questions are intercut with highlights from the ‘The Promise’ box set, including the Paramount Theater concert and rare archival footage from 1978.
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