Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen song)

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"Dancing in the Dark"
DancingInTheDark.jpg
Single by Bruce Springsteen
from the album Born in the U.S.A.
B-side "Pink Cadillac"
Released May 3, 1984
Format
Recorded March 1984
Genre Synthrock
Length 3:59
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Bruce Springsteen
Producer(s)
Bruce Springsteen singles chronology
"Fade Away" (US) (1980)
"Open All Night" (UK) (1982)
"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. With added uptempo synthesizer riffs and some syncopation to his sound for the first time, the song spent four weeks at number two on the Billboard Hot 100[1] and eventually sold over one million singles in the U.S. alone. As the first single released from his 1984 album, Born in the U.S.A., it became his biggest hit and propelled the album to become the best-selling one of his career.

Composition[edit]

The song is written in the key of B major with a tempo of 149 beats per minute[2] in common time. Springsteen's vocals span from G4 to G5.[3]

Remixes[edit]

In a first-for-Springsteen effort to gain dance and club play for his music, Arthur Baker[4] 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,[5] and had the most sales of any 12-inch single in the United States in 1984.[4]

Live performance history[edit]

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.[citation needed]

During the 2012 tour the song again became a regular at live shows with audience members selected to dance not just with Bruce, but with other band members too, especially new band member Jake Clemons. Springsteen family members appeared on stage for this song on occasion, with mother Adele doing the 'Courteney Cox' dance at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia at the start of the tour,[6] and daughter Jessica dancing on stage with Bruce in Paris on 5 July.[7]

Track listings[edit]

7": Columbia / 38-04463[edit]

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

12": Columbia / 44-05028[edit]

  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[edit]

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

Music video[edit]

Directed by Brian De Palma, the video was shot at the Saint Paul Civic Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota on 28 and 29 June 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.[8] In September 1985, the video won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Stage Performance.[9]

Chart success[edit]

Released as a single prior to the album's release, the song spent four weeks at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart (his highest charting song to date) in June–July 1984 (it was kept off the #1 spot by Duran Duran's "The Reflex" and that year's song of the summer, Prince's "When Doves Cry").[10] It did reach #1 on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles chart.[11] 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 #1 spot for six weeks on Billboard's Top Tracks chart.[12]

In the UK, "Dancing in the Dark" originally reached number 28 in the UK Singles Chart when released in May 1984.[13] However, the song re-entered the chart in January 1985 and subsequently reached number 4,[14] becoming the 29th best-selling single of the year.[15]

The recording also won Springsteen his first Grammy Award, picking up the prize for Best Rock Vocal Performance in 1985.[16] In the 1984 Rolling Stone readers poll, "Dancing in the Dark" was voted "Single of the Year".[17] 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.[18]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart succession[edit]

Preceded by
"The Reflex" by Duran Duran
Canadian CHUM Chart number-one single
30 June 1984 - 21 July 1984 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"When Doves Cry" by Prince
Cash Box Top 100 number-one single
30 June 1984 – 7 July 1984 (2 weeks)
Preceded by
"Magic" by The Cars
Billboard Top Tracks number-one single
9 June 1984 – 14 July 1984 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"No Way Out" by Jefferson Starship
Preceded by
"19" by Paul Hardcastle
Ultratop 50 Flanders number-one single
6 July 1985– 3 August 1985 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I'm On Fire" by Bruce Springsteen
VRT Top 30 Flanders number-one single
6 July 1985 (1 week)
27 July 1985 - 3 August 1985 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"A View to a Kill" by Duran Duran
Succeeded by
"Tarzan Boy" by Baltimora
Preceded by
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
22 June 1985 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"19" by Paul Hardcastle

See also[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bruce Springsteen – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Bruce Springsteen. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  2. ^ "BPM for 'dancing' by bruce springsteen | songbpm.com". songbpm.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  3. ^ Springsteen, Bruce. "Bruce Springsteen "Dancing In the Dark" Sheet Music in B Major (transposable) - Download & Print". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  4. ^ a b Bruce Springsteen: Two Hearts : The Definitive Biography, 1972-2003, Dave Marsh, Psychology Press, 2004, p.491
  5. ^ a b "Billboard August 18, 1984" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA. 18 August 1984. p. 31. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  6. ^ Hollywood Reporter, 30 March 2012
  7. ^ "Brucebase - 2012". Brucebase.wikispaces.com. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  8. ^ Gillian G. Gaar (1 July 2016). Boss: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - the Illustrated History. Quarto Publishing Group USA. p. 88. ISBN 978-0-7603-4972-4. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Volume 97 No. 38, DECEMBER 28, 1985" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA. 28 September 1985. p. 40. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  10. ^ Marsh, Glory Days, p. 219.
  11. ^ a b CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending JUNE 30, 1984 at the Wayback Machine (archived 11 September 2012). Cash Box magazine.
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), p. 593.
  13. ^ a b "Archive Chart: 1984-06-02" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  14. ^ a b "Archive Chart: 1985-02-16" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  15. ^ a b 1985 in British music#Best-selling singles
  16. ^ "Winners". www.grammy.com. The Recording Academy. Retrieved October 15, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Readers' Poll" Rolling Stone February 28, 1985: 26
  18. ^ "Experience the Music: One Hit Wonders and the Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll". rockhall.com. he Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. 
  19. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  20. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6758." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  21. ^ CHART NUMBER 1436 – Saturday, July 07, 1984 at the Wayback Machine (archived 7 November 2006). CHUM.
  22. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3. 
  23. ^ "Le Détail par Artiste". InfoDisc (in French). Select "Bruce SPRINGSTEEN" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  24. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Dancing in the Dark". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  25. ^ "HitParadeItalia Indice per Interprete: S". HitParadeItalia (in Italian). Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  26. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  27. ^ "Topp 20 Single uke 24, 1984 – VG-lista. Offisielle hitlister fra og med 1958" (in Norwegian). VG-lista. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  28. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1965 – 1989 Acts S". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  29. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  30. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – Chart history" Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs for Bruce Springsteen. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  31. ^ "Ultratop.be – Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  32. ^ "Radio 2 Top 30" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  33. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  34. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 25, 1985" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  35. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts - 1980s". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  36. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9638." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  37. ^ "Official New Zealand Music Chart - End of Year Charts 1984". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  38. ^ "Volume 96 No. 51, DECEMBER 22. 1984" (PDF). Billboard. New York, NY, USA. 22 December 1984. p. TA-19. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  39. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1984 at the Wayback Machine (archived September 11, 2012). Cash Box magazine.
  40. ^ "Ultratop Jaaroverzichten 1985". Ultratop 50 (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  41. ^ "Dutch Charts Jaaroverzichten Single 1985". Single Top 100 (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  42. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1985". Dutch Top 40 (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  43. ^ a b "Canadian single certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark". Music Canada. 
  44. ^ "British single certifications – Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Dancing in the Dark in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  45. ^ "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
  46. ^ "rocking buddies, dozi, ghapi, Mark Haze, Album Info, Tracks, Lyrics". Markhaze.co.za. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  47. ^ Tully, Gabriela (2015-05-05). "Stream Downtown Boys Full Communism". Stereogum. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  48. ^ Strauss, Matthew (9 June 2015). "Hot Chip Cover Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  49. ^ "Marit Larsen - Dancing In The Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)". Retrieved 2016-06-29. 

References[edit]

  • 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.