About the song
If you are a fan of Bruce Springsteen, you probably know his hit song “Dancing in the Dark” from his 1984 album Born in the U.S.A. But do you know the story behind this song and how it became one of his biggest hits? In this blog post, we will explore the history of “Dancing in the Dark” and why it is still a classic today.
“Dancing in the Dark” was written by Springsteen himself, but not without some pressure from his manager and producer Jon Landau, who wanted him to write a catchy single for his upcoming album. Springsteen was not happy with this request, as he had already written 70 songs for the album and felt that none of them were good enough. He wrote “Dancing in the Dark” overnight, in a hotel room, as a way of expressing his frustration and boredom with himself and his career. The song reflects his feeling of isolation after the success of his previous album The River, and his desire for some change and excitement in his life.
The song was recorded on February 14, 1984, at The Hit Factory in New York, after six takes and 58 mixes. It was released as a single on May 9, 1984, and became Springsteen’s highest-charting song to date, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Cash Box Top 100 Singles chart. It also topped the charts in Belgium and the Netherlands, and reached the top 10 in seven other countries. It was the first of seven top 10 singles from Born in the U.S.A., which became Springsteen’s best-selling album of his career.
The song also featured a famous music video, directed by Brian De Palma, who was known for his films like Scarface and The Untouchables. The video shows Springsteen performing the song to a large and enthusiastic audience at the Saint Paul Civic Center in Minnesota. Among the crowd is a young Courteney Cox, who was not yet a star but was cast as an extra. Springsteen pulls her on stage and dances with her, creating one of the most iconic moments in music video history. The video was nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards in 1985, including Best Stage Performance.
“Dancing in the Dark” is still one of Springsteen’s most popular and beloved songs, and he often performs it live at his concerts. It is also listed among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The song showcases Springsteen’s ability to combine uptempo synthesizer riffs with his signature rock sound, creating a danceable and catchy tune that resonates with many listeners who can relate to his feelings of restlessness and hope.