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The Promise: The Making of 'Darkness on the Edge of Town'


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This is a great documentary, real insight into Bruce's creative process on this album, but what struck me most as a GNR fan were the parallels with what Axl was trying to do with CD. 70 songs, barely any on the final record? Check. Issues with mixing for ages and ages? Check. Band not knowing when it's going to end? Check. Dark, introspective lyrical content? Yup. Even Bruce's reticence to put Because The Night on the album because it was a love song that was too personal is similar to Axl's hesitance to put TIL on CD.

And I'm almost certain that Axl could empathise with Springsteen with this quote:

“More than rich, more than famous, more than happy – I wanted to be great.” That's what Axl was trying to go for with CD, to go away from being seen as just another hard rock band and to make one of the all-time great albums.

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He was kind of on hold with recording music for a while, so in '76 & '77 when he wasn't in court, he took out his frustrations in the songs like "Backstreets" and "It's My Life".

I think "Born To Run" was more of an ordeal for the band as far as neverending sessions went, and they had far less songs to work on, but there was a lot riding on it because he probably was going to get dropped from the label. Axl didn't really have that pressure on his back.. ever, but Jimmy Iovine could have just put ChiDem on the shelf indefinitely.

Once things moved forward after the court stuff was settled, they were able to knock out the songs pretty fast, and have a handful left over for "The River". Mike Appel and Bruce put old resentments aside a long time ago.

The one thing both ChiDem and DOTEOT have in common - Jimmy Iovine.

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