Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, "Something In The Night" (1978)

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The weight of desperation infuses “Something In The Night.” But then again, in one form or another, it infuses the whole of Darkness On The Edge Of Town. From a down tale of hope abandoned to Bruce’s mournful vocal refrains, the song is a slow-burning powerhouse.

It also contains one of my absolute favorite Springsteen guitar moments, one that illustrates just how difficult it to pin down the “why” of musical resonance.

The band drops away leaving Max playing a simple beat which frames Bruce’s vocals:

When we found the things we loved,
They were crushed and dying in the dirt.
We tried to pick up the pieces,
And get away without getting hurt,
But they caught us at the state line,
And burned our cars in one last fight,
And left us running burned and blind,
Chasing something in the night.

Directly after that last line, Bruce grinds on a simple G chord before exploding into that wordless refrain. I can’t explain why I love those few bars of guitar but they get to me every single time. I will say that that first pair of lines — “When we found the things we loved/They were crushed and dying in the dirt” — is one of my favorite lyrics as well, perfectly encapsulating the song as well as the entire vibe of the album.

Up next: Candy’s Room

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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