New Bruce Springsteen Book, "The Light in Darkness," Takes a Special Fan-focused Look at Springsteen's "Darkness on the Edge of Town"

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With more than 200 photos and 100 original stories penned by Springsteen's legendary fans, "The Light in Darkness" is a look at Springsteen's fourth album, "Darkness on the Edge of Town," from the fan's perspective.

I really had to listen to that album, hard, over and over again, to find where I could meet him, or really, where he was meeting me

"With "Darkness on the Edge of Town" Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band took a stand at a time and place where everything was on the line," writes Vike Savoth in the foreword to "The Light in Darkness." "They were prepared to pay the price of hurtling headlong into rock and roll oblivion by walking away from the sound and look that took them to the heights of fame and fortune."

Often overlooked in favor of other classic Springsteen records, "Darkness on the Edge of Town" provided a much rawer and angrier sound than anything Springsteen had done previously. Coming at the end of a bitter, three-year legal battle with Springsteen's first manager, the album's darker sound was difficult at first for many fans and critics to grasp.

"I really had to listen to that album, hard, over and over again, to find where I could meet him, or really, where he was meeting me," writes Suzanne Scala. "This was when listening to an album meant lying on the floor, head between your speakers, dropping that needle over and over to play that song again and again. Skipping this one or that one, it's formulaic and tired, or is it? Play it again and realize, no, there's something different here."

Despite that, the album has grown on many fans during the last 30 years, with many finding comfort in it's difficult messages.

"The songs on "Darkness" spoke to me personally," said the book's editor, Lawrence Kirsch. "Yes, the mood is darker than previous albums, but not entirely without hope. "Darkness on the Edge of Town" is pure, energetic rock and roll and one of the best works that Springsteen would create."

Despite the album's darker tones, the accompanying tour was one the most raucous and energetic of Springsteen's career. With more than 200 photos, "The Light in Darkness" shows Springsteen at his peak, bounding across the stage, leaping from pianos and wading into the crowd. With the 1978 tour, Springsteen began a tradition of epic, three-plus-hour shows, something so incomprehensible to fans at the time that many, thinking the show was over, got up to leave at the intermission. As Springsteen turns 60 this year, he continues the tradition of epically long shows that outdo all other musicians.

"It was like lightning flashing through the darkness and the band was the thunder," writes Ron Wells. "I had never seem any performer so full of energy and joy. He was definitely on a mission. This was not just a gig for him; it was freedom and exhilaration personified."

Chronicling some of his most famous shows, such as the Agora in Cleveland, The Roxy in L.A. and San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom, "The Light in Darkness" brings to life some of the final concerts Springsteen would play in small venues.

"The book will give readers at least a small perspective of what we experienced in 1978," Kirsch said. "The connection and bond made between performer and audience during this tour set the stage for all future albums and tours to come."

More than 30 years later, the excitement and passion this album and tour invoke in fans has not diminished. "The Light in Darkness" brings to life the incredible connection fans have with this period in Springsteen's career, making it one book fans don't want to miss.

About the book: Limited Collector's Edition
This 208 page, large format, 9.25" x 12" full-color book is printed on EuroArt Silk 200m paper stock and contains more than 200 photographs reproduced from the original negatives and slides. The book is only available online for purchase at: http://www.thelightindarkness.com

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LAWRENCE KIRSCH
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