One night was enough for Bruce Springsteen to compose «Dancing in the dark», the song that was indeed a hit… and a big one.
Bruce Springsteen wrote «Dancing in the dark» under pressure. The album he had been working on for two years (Born in the U.S.A.) was already complete, but his manager and producer, Jon Landau, was asking him to make a hit single.
According to the journalist Dave Marsh in the book Glory Days, the singer replied growling:
«Look. I’ve written seventy songs and you want another one. You write it.»
After the brief altercation, Bruce did as he was asked. He sat down in his hotel room and composed a song in one night that summed up his mood: tiredness, boredom, dissatisfaction, loneliness, frustration …
As it usually happens in life, money moves the world and the big record executives usually have more love for the money than for the music. This was something that irritated Bruce Springsteen, a musician accustomed to singing and composing from the heart, just as he felt like it.
Now, with the last addition, the 12-song repertoire of Born in the U.S.A. was ready.
Recording of «Dancing in the Dark»
On February 14, 1984, in the New York studios of The Hit Factory, accompanied by the E Street Band, he recorded «Dancing in the dark».
The song was released three months later, on May 9, and was the first single from the ‘Boss»s seventh studio album. What was born one night and ‘on demand’, became his biggest hit and boosted the album’s sales… the best-selling album of his career.
This brutal «Dancing in the Dark» served as the album’s vanguard, being presented as the first and only single prior to the album’s release.
The first single from Born in the U.S.A. is a classic at Springsteen’s concerts, and every time he sings the song, he picks someone from the audience at random and dances with him/her on stage. On more than one occasion, Bruce has brought out Adele Ann Zerilli, his mother, and the videos have gone viral.
Born in the U.S.A.
The rest of the songs, on the other hand, also triumphed. The songs were played on every possible radio station and the Boss’s career took off like never before.
A strange phenomenon occurred: his most loyal fans still loved him. This «commercial» turn did not hurt his image. There is no doubt that, in part, this is because, even in his most successful songs, Springsteen never stopped being himself.