Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!
Bruce Springsteen released Darkness on the Edge of Town in 1978, three years after the commercially and critically successful juggernaut that was Born to Run. Although Darkness didn’t reach the commercial heights of its predecessor (due largely to the lack of any huge singles), many critics and fans took to the album, which cemented Bruce’s artistic path of writing songs about the common man. If Born to Run focused on the magic of youth, Darkness found Bruce growing up and not always liking what he found.
Decades later, Darkness has solidified itself as a core album in the Springsteen canon. Yesterday it got the deluxe treatment with a grand re-release including a remastered version of the album, a reproduction of Bruce’s recording notes, two live concert DVDs, two discs of unreleased music from the Darkness sessions, and, last night, Bruce Springsteen covering Will Smith’s daughter with Jimmy Fallon. What better time for Cover Me to pay homage to this rock masterpiece?
Cristina Donà – Badlands
Italian singer/songwriter Cristina Donà dropped this beautiful and intense rendition of Springsteen’s rallying cry of defiance at a 2001 show in her native land, providing us a perfect entry point into Darkness.
Post Mortem – Adam Raised a Cain
“Adam Raised a Cain” maybe be the heaviest Bruce song on record. So let’s turn things over to Boston death metal band Post Mortem for their take on this cross between the Biblical and the Oedipal.
Alexander Willms & Stefan Antheck – Something in the Night
This pair of friends from Wilhelmshaven, Germany records YouTube covers under the name UnTechWHV, employing the nyckelharpa, a traditional Swedish instrument. Their wonderful take on “Something” emphasizes its haunting, ethereal nature.
Crazysloth – Candy’s Room
Cracker lead guitarist Johnny Hickman formed Crazysloth solely for the purpose of recording this tune for the Springsteen tribute album Light of Day. Check out the cool electronic vocal and guitar effects on display here, especially during the solo. Perhaps Hickman is singing his version to some strange future version of Candy who lives in outer space.
Serena Ryder – Racing in the Street
Canadian songstress Serena Ryder brings us a beautiful acoustic rendition of perhaps the saddest song on Darkness, a tune that some rank as Bruce’s best.
Sleater-Kinney feat. Eddie Vedder – The Promised Land
Anyone who’s seen Springsteen live knows that Bruce really likes “The Promised Land”; he plays it as often as hits like “Born to Run.” Bruce’s Pearl Jam pal Eddie Vedder joined Portland indie rock titans Sleater-Kinney onstage for a rocking performance of the tune in 2005.
The Tindalls – Factory
U.K. folk band The Tindalls deliver a great a cappella performance of “Factory,” one of the first songs to lay bare Bruce’s blue-collar fascination.
Graziano Romani – Streets of Fire
Italian balladeer Graziano Romani has covered a lot of Springsteen tunes throughout his career. This reading of “Streets of Fire” comes from a live performance in 2001.
Doop & the Inside Outlaws – Prove it All Night
These Detroit boys give a bit of a country feel to the first single off Darkness and a Springsteen concert staple.
The Winter Blanket – Darkness on the Edge of Town
Coming off their 2005 album Prescription Perils, Midwestern indie band The Winter Blanket delivering a sparse, downbeat take on this album’s title track provides an emotionally resonant finale to our journey through Darkness.