My new book, Bruce Springsteen: The Stories Behind the Songs, tells the tales behind every officially released studio recording of Bruce Springsteen’s career so far. In addition to my years of Springsteen reporting, including five interviews with the man himself, the book draws on over 60 hours of brand-new interviews with musicians, producers, and other collaborators from throughout his career (including Max Weinberg, Roy Bittan, Nils Lofgren, Soozie Tyrell, Tom Morello, David Sancious and many, many more). I’m proud to debut this exclusive excerpt here at Rolling Stone, where I’ve been on staff since 2004. Every song gets its own entry in the book; the one you’re about to read chronicles the making of the opening track of Darkness on the Edge of Town. (The “Born in the U.S.A.” entry can also be read here.) He had a title, and some anthemic music to go with it. All he needed was something worth singing about. “I said, ‘Now I have to write something to make this real,’” Springsteen told me in 2010. “‘I’ve got to find something in me that gives the character in this song life, breath, heart, soul, spirit, experience.’ ‘Badlands,’ that’s a great title, but it would be easy… Read full this story
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