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Darkness' Reissue To Include Unheard Springsteen Tunes

E Street guitarist Steven Van Zandt unveils details about Christmas release

June 29, 2010 12:20 PM ET

Bruce Springsteen is rolling out a deluxe version of his classic 1978 disc Darkness on the Edge of Town this fall, and, according to E Street Band guitarist Steve Van Zandt, the set will feature at least ten outtakes - and possibly more. In an interview with a U.K. radio station, Van Zandt said, "We're doing a little bit of fixes on some Darkness on the Edge of Town outtakes, which is going to be a really fun reissue coming for Christmas."

Van Zandt also revealed that Springsteen's engineer has been combing the vault for unheard material from the Darkness era and - much like the Rolling Stones’ recent Exile on Main Street reissue - the release will likely include new vocal overdubs on the old material. "We put ten or so outtakes on the [1998] Tracks box set and we [have since] found ten more," Van Zandt said. "I'm not sure how many we'll put on there. We'll go back and he might finish a lyric on one or two, or finish a harmony on one or two, but we'll keep them intact pretty much."

Van Zandt didn't mention whether or not the reissue will feature a bonus concert film, similar to the 1975 live footage that appeared on the 2005 reissue of Born to Run. The 1978 Darkness On The Edge of Town tour is considered to be one of Springsteen’s greatest – and several complete filmed shows circulate through the fan community in various degrees of quality.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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