Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen Song)
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Dancing in the Dark Bruce Springsteen Song

"Dancing in the Dark"
DancingInTheDark.jpg
Single by Bruce Springsteen
from the album Born in the U.S.A.
"Pink Cadillac"
Released May 3, 1984[1]
Format
Recorded March 1984[2][3]
Length 3:59
Label Columbia
Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen singles chronology
"Fade Away"
(1980)
"Dancing in the Dark"
(1984)
"Cover Me"
(1984)

"Fade Away"
(1980)
"Dancing in the Dark"
(1984)
"Cover Me"
(1984)
Born in the U.S.A. track listing

"Dancing in the Dark" is a song written and performed by American rock singer Bruce Springsteen. Adding uptempo synthesizer riffs to his sound for the first time, the song spent four weeks at number two on the Billboard Hot 100[4] and sold over one million singles in the U.S. It was the first single released from his 1984 album Born in the U.S.A.; it became his biggest hit and helped to propel the album to become the best-selling album of his career.

Composition

The song is written in the key of B major with a tempo of 149 beats per minute[5] in common time. Springsteen's vocals span from G4 to G5.[6]

Remixes

In a first-for-Springsteen effort to gain dance and club play for his music, Arthur Baker[7] created the 12-inch "Blaster Mix" of "Dancing in the Dark", wherein he reworked the album version. The remix was released on July 2, 1984. The result generated a lot of media buzz for Springsteen, as well as actual club play; the remix went to #7 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart,[8] and had the most sales of any 12-inch single in the United States in 1984.[7]

Music video

Directed by Brian De Palma, the video was shot at the Saint Paul Civic Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on June 28 and 29, 1984. The first night was a pure video shot, the second was on the opening date of the Born in the U.S.A. Tour. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed the song twice during that show to allow Brian De Palma to get all the footage he needed. The video is a straight performance video, with Springsteen not playing a guitar, allowing him to invite a young woman from the audience, performed by Courteney Cox, to dance along with him on the stage at the end. Although De Palma had told him that it was she whom he was supposed to select, Springsteen thought she was just a pre-selected fan attending and did not know until afterward[9] that she was a professional actress, brought in from New York City, who had already played in As the World Turns.[10] In September 1985, the video won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Stage Performance[11] and was nominated for Best Overall Performance.

Live performance history

On the 2009 Working on a Dream Tour, the song appeared intermittently during the encores. However, Springsteen for the first time played a number of music festivals during the routing, and "Dancing in the Dark" closed all of them: Pinkpop Festival, Bonnaroo Music Festival, Glastonbury Festival, and Hard Rock Calling. When played live in recent years, the song features a harder, guitar-driven sound, with the distinctive synthesizer riff being supplied by Soozie Tyrell's violin.[]

During the 2012 tour the song again became a regular at live shows with audience members selected to dance not just with Bruce (reenacting the Courteney Cox scene from the video), but with other band members too, especially new band member Jake Clemons.[12][13][14] Springsteen family members appeared on stage for this song on occasion, with mother Adele doing the 'Courteney Cox' dance at The Spectrum (now the Wells Fargo Center) in Philadelphia at the start of the tour,[15] and daughter Jessica dancing on stage with Bruce in Paris on July 5.[16]

Chart performance

Released as a single prior to the album's release, the song spent four weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (his highest charting song to date) in June-July 1984 (it was kept off the No. 1 spot by two songs, Duran Duran's "The Reflex" and Prince's "When Doves Cry").[17] It did reach No. 1 on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles chart.[18] It was also the first of a record-tying seven top 10 hit singles to be released from Born in the U.S.A. "Dancing in the Dark" also held the No. 1 spot for six weeks on Billboard's Top Tracks chart.[19] The song reached No. 1 on the Radio & Records CHR and AOR airplay charts.[20]

In the UK, "Dancing in the Dark" originally reached number 28 in the UK Singles Chart when released in May 1984.[21] However, the song re-entered the chart in January 1985 and subsequently reached number 4,[22] becoming the 29th best-selling single of the year.[23]

The recording also won Springsteen his first Grammy Award, picking up the prize for Best Rock Vocal Performance in 1985.[24] In the 1984 Rolling Stone readers poll, "Dancing in the Dark" was voted "Single of the Year".[25] The track has since gone on to earn further recognition and is as such listed one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.[26]

Track listings

7": Columbia / 38-04463

  1. "Dancing in the Dark" - 3:59
  2. "Pink Cadillac" - 3:33

12": Columbia / 44-05028

  1. "Dancing in the Dark" (Blaster Mix) - 6:09
  2. "Dancing in the Dark" (Radio) - 4:50
  3. "Dancing in the Dark" (Dub) - 5:30

12": Epic / TA4436

  1. "Dancing in the Dark" (Extended Remix) - 6:09
  2. "Pink Cadillac" - 3:33

Charts and certifications

See also

Cover versions

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen on Amazon Music". amazon.com. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ Himes, Geoffrey (2005-08-19). Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. p. 102. ISBN 9781441115157. 
  3. ^ "Born In the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen". classicrockreview.com. Oct 2014. Retrieved . [Album] Recorded: The Power Station and The Hit Factory, New York, January 1982-March 1984 ... 'Dancing In the Dark' was the last song recorded for the album and the first released as a single 
  4. ^ a b "Bruce Springsteen Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  5. ^ "BPM for 'dancing' by bruce springsteen | songbpm.com". songbpm.com. Retrieved 2016. 
  6. ^ Springsteen, Bruce. "Bruce Springsteen "Dancing In the Dark" Sheet Music in B Major (transposable) - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Bruce Springsteen: Two Hearts : The Definitive Biography, 1972-2003, Dave Marsh, Psychology Press, 2004, p.491
  8. ^ a b "Billboard August 18, 1984" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA. August 18, 1984. p. 31. Retrieved 2016. 
  9. ^ Bream, Jon (September 27, 2016). "In new memoir, Springsteen recalls opening Born in USA Tour in St. Paul". startribune.com. Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018. 
  10. ^ Onofrio, Jan (1998). Alabama Biographical Dictionary. Somerset Publishers. p. 90. ISBN 9780403098118. 
  11. ^ "Volume 97 No. 38, DECEMBER 28, 1985" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA. September 28, 1985. p. 40. Retrieved 2016. 
  12. ^ Bruce Springsteen danced with a dude dressed like Courteney Cox to Dancing In The Dark and it was epic, Metro, June 6, 2016
  13. ^ Bruce Springsteen Helps Pregnant Fan Complete Bucket List By Dancing With Her On Stage, Inside Edition, February 4, 2016
  14. ^ 'Dancing in the Dark,' at 88, with Bruce Springsteen, CTV News, February 3, 2016
  15. ^ The Hollywood Reporter, March 30, 2012
  16. ^ "Brucebase - 2012". Brucebase.wikispaces.com. Retrieved 2015. 
  17. ^ Marsh, Glory Days, p. 219.
  18. ^ a b "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles - Week ending JUNE 30, 1984". Archived from the original on September 30, 2012. Retrieved 2014. . Cash Box magazine.
  19. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), p. 593.
  20. ^ a b "National Airplay" Radio & Records June 29, 1984: 88
  21. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  22. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  23. ^ a b 1985 in British music#Best-selling singles
  24. ^ "Winners". www.grammy.com. The Recording Academy. Retrieved 2015. 
  25. ^ "Readers' Poll" Rolling Stone February 28, 1985: 26
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  28. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6758." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  29. ^ "CHART NUMBER 1436 - Saturday, July 07, 1984". Archived from the original on November 7, 2006. Retrieved 2016. . CHUM.
  30. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3. 
  31. ^ "Le Détail par Artiste". InfoDisc (in French). Select "Bruce SPRINGSTEEN" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved 2016. 
  32. ^ "The Irish Charts - Search Results - Dancing in the Dark". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
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  35. ^ "Topp 20 Single uke 24, 1984 - VG-lista. Offisielle hitlister fra og med 1958" (in Norwegian). VG-lista. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  36. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1965 - 1989 Acts S". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2016. 
  37. ^ "Swedishcharts.com - Bruce Springsteen - Dancing in the Dark". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
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  39. ^ "Bruce Springsteen". Radio & Records, Inc. Retrieved 2017. 
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  41. ^ "Radio 2 Top 30" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved 2016. 
  42. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl - Bruce Springsteen - Dancing in the Dark" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  43. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 - week 25, 1985" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  44. ^ "Forum - ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts - Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts - 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on August 28, 2014. Retrieved 2016. 
  45. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9638." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  46. ^ "Official New Zealand Music Chart - End of Year Charts 1984". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 2016. 
  47. ^ "Volume 96 No. 51, DECEMBER 22. 1984" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA. December 22, 1984. p. TA-19. Retrieved 2016. 
  48. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1984". Archived from the original on September 30, 2012. Retrieved 2017. . Cash Box magazine.
  49. ^ http://www.popradiotop20.com/Year/RR-CHR-1984-Year.htm
  50. ^ "Ultratop Jaaroverzichten 1985". Ultratop 50 (in Dutch). Retrieved 2016. 
  51. ^ "Dutch Charts Jaaroverzichten Single 1985". Single Top 100 (in Dutch). Retrieved 2016. 
  52. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1985". Dutch Top 40 (in Dutch). Retrieved 2016. 
  53. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2017 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  54. ^ "Canadian single certifications - Bruce Springsteen - Dancing in the Dark". Music Canada. 
  55. ^ "Italian single certifications - Bruce Springsteen - Dancing in the Dark" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 2017. 
  56. ^ "British single certifications - Bruce Springsteen - Dancing in the Dark". British Phonographic Industry.  Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Enter Dancing in the Dark in the search field and then press Enter.
  57. ^ "American single certifications - Bruce Springsteen - Dancin' in the Dark". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
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  71. ^ O'Connor, Roisin (March 14, 2017). "Frightened Rabbit, Clean Cut Kid, Honeyblood, Rationale, Wild Beasts and more on their favourite festival moments". The Independent. Retrieved 2017. 
  72. ^ "Dan Black - Weird Science (Mixtape)". PigeonsandPlanes. February 10, 2010. Retrieved 2017. 
  73. ^ ""Drowning In The Dark Drake" / "Dancing In The Dark" - Dan Black". BoxSpeaker Music Blog. July 8, 2013. Retrieved 2017. 
  74. ^ "Welcome!". Sara Beck. February 26, 2014. Archived from the original on October 19, 2014. Retrieved 2017. 
  75. ^ Bialas, Michael (May 8, 2013). "These Wilder Things: Ruth Moody Goes Dancing in the Dark with Springsteen, Knopfler - Huffington Post". Ruth Moody. These Wilder Things. Retrieved 2017. 
  76. ^ "Editors". OÜI FM (in French). September 3, 2015. Retrieved 2017.  (in French)
  77. ^ Martins, Chris (May 17, 2013). "Watch Laura Marling Slay 'Dancing in the Dark' Without Lifting a Finger". Spin. Retrieved 2017. 
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  82. ^ Tully, Gabriela (May 5, 2015). "Stream Downtown Boys Full Communism". Stereogum. Retrieved 2015. 
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  84. ^ Lægland, Martin (April 27, 2016). "Et lite stykke popfolk-magi på Verdensteatret" (in Norwegian). iTromsø. Retrieved 2017.  (in Norwegian)
  85. ^ "Oct 29, 2016 - The Stone Pony - Asbury Park, NJ". Jackie Greene. Archived from the original on May 2, 2017. Retrieved 2017. includes a Rare live version of Ghosts of the Promised Land, and a cover of The Boss's "Dancing In The Dark." 

References

  • Born in the U.S.A. Tour (tour booklet, 1984), Springsteen chronology.
  • Born in the U.S.A. The World Tour (tour booklet, 1985), Tour chronology.
  • Marsh, Dave. Glory Days: Bruce Springsteen in the 1980s. Pantheon Books, 1987. ISBN 0-394-54668-7.

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