Bruce Springsteen - Dancing In The Dark (1984)
Dancing In The Dark was the first of seven single releases from Bruce Springsteen's best-selling album of the 80's (and his career!) Born In The U.S.A., and the song was written and co-produced by Springsteen.
Interestingly, it was the last track to be written for the album, but the first single to be released from it!
The song reached #2 in the U.S. and #4 in the UK in 1984. Five more hits singles from the album were to follow; Cover Me (#16), Born In The USA (#5), I'm On Fire (#5), Glory Days (#17) and Hometown (#9).
Born In The USA was Springsteen's seventh studio album and it was his most successful. In fact, it was a commercial triumph achieving 15x Platinum in the US, 12x Platinum in Australia, 10x Platinum in Canada and 3x Platinum in the UK.
Born in New Jersey, "The Boss" achieved his first hit single in 1975 with Born To Run which reached #23 in the U.S., although it didn't break the Top 40 in the UK. Born To Run was also covered (brilliantly) by Frankie Goes To Hollywood on their Welcome To The Pleasuredome album.
This track was the follow-up single to Dancing In The Dark and reached #7 in the U.S. and #16 in the UK. The song was actually recorded as a demo in 1982 and was nearly handed over to disco queen Donna Summer. However, Springsteen's managaer, Jon Landau, like the track so much that he decided to keep it. In fact, the song wasn't even re-recorded for the Born In The U.S.A. album.
The lyrics deal with the Vietnam war and the problems faced by the soldiers when they returned home. I remember that the song was often criticized as being a hollow, anthemic rock song, but these critics failed to actually listen carefully to the subject matter of the lyrics.
Although not released until May '85, Glory Days was recorded three years earlier in 1982. The Heartland rock song was released as the fifth single from Born In The U.S.A. and was yet another U.S. Top Ten hit. However, in the majority of countries the song failed to break into the top ten, including the UK where it stalled at #17. That's still pretty decent for a fifth single, though.
The lyrics reflect on Springsteen's high school days, with my favourite first verse referring to his encounters with an old baseball team mate. "Saw him the other night at this roadside bar, I was walking in, he was walking out, we went back inside sat down had a few drinks, but all he kept talking about was Glory Days..."
Far better than the inane, meaningless lyrics that we find in much of today's rubbish, at least!