Darkness on the Edge of Town

Roughly two weeks ago, the following was anounced on the SPL (the Springsteen forum I’m on) :

Lawrence Kirsch Communications, creator of the recent book For You, is beginning work on a new book called The Light in Darkness, to focus specifically on the Darkness on the Edge of Town era. Like For You, the forthcoming book will feature concert photography and stories from fans. Kirsch tells Backstreets, “This tribute to Darkness will be something special: more passionate stories, breathtaking never-seen-before photos, and some discovered artwork and memorabilia gems that will be of great interest to fans no matter when they were introduced to Bruce’s music.” Visit www.thelightindarkness.com for more information and to contribute.

This led to me listening to “Darkness on the Edge of Town” for the first time in a long time and thinking about how much I love this album. It took until today, but here is my contribution to the book:

‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ was the first album that taught me how deeply music can cut you. I was a teenager when I first listened to it and the things Bruce spoke about instantly made sense to me. My world was scary and confusing, there seemed to be so much pain and not much hope. In the 20 years since, I have listened frequently to all of Springsteen’s albums, but Darkness is the one I love most.

It is the album that I turn to in dark times. Darkness is haunting, listening to it hurts. It opens a wound deep in my heart and then tells me how to mend. The pent-up anger, the doubt and the hurt I find on the album feel real. It is not music to soothe me, but music that will feed my anger and pain and then, eventually, bring the healing I sought for.

Darkness fills a void, it comes to you when you need a friend, someone who understands, someone who will stand by your side no matter what and share your pain. There’s no simple solution offered, no easy way out and one might just give up, but for me there is always hope, there is the belief that if one does not give up fighting, there just may be better days ahead.

When I listen to Darkness, it is not so much “Been there, done that”, but rather “Been there, felt that and survived (if barely).” This feeling that someone out there has understood and shares my pain has kept me going many times. For this reason alone, I will continue to cherish it.

Edit: My words are published on page 41 of ‘The Light in Darkness’


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