Documentary shines light on Bruce Springsteen's relationship with E Street band

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The Independent Culture

A new documentary, The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story provides an insight into the working methods of Bruce Springsteen, and his relationship with E Street band members. Made by Grammy and Emmy Award-winning film-maker Thom Zimny, it features candid interviews with Springsteen, E Street Band members and the singer's manager, record producer Jon Landau.

The highlight of the film is the footage shot in the 1970s that shows Springsteen at work.

Springsteen's 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town is re-released in a new box-set next month. For the first time, some of the 70 songs written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at the time that weren't included on the 10-song album will be released. The fact that Springsteen was such a perfectionist infuriated his fellow musicians. They are seen continually being frustrated by the whims of the singer, who from day to day would change his mind about songs that he wanted on the album.

It is clear that Springsteen believes that the album was seminal because it was the first time he began to tell the story of America, and was the start of a vision that continues in his albums today. He recalls how his principal musical influence was Bob Dylan; "When I first heard Highway 61, as a teenager, it was the first real picture of how our country felt at the time. Small-town American was like a David Lynch film. There was a darkness running underneath everything. So suddenly what Dylan did was take the dark stuff running underneath and put it on the surface with great courage."

'The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story' box set is out on 16 November