By now The Sex Pistols had been ripped apart, The Clash were navigating their way past their stodgy second album and The Jam had finally found the direction/action/creation they'd been striving for since Weller first heard 'My Generation'.
Into this mix of discomfort came the lumpen bleatings of a true (according to his fans) blood and guts performer from New Jeresy, namely Mr Bruce Springsteen. Dressed like a cutting room floor reject from Starsky & Hutch. Springsteen shed a touch of 'real(!) realism' with his breakthrough album 'Darkness on the edge of town'. It was touted as true blue collar rock and roll, the middle way through the path of decimation left by the warring Punk & Rawk factions.
In reality it was (and still unsurprisingly is) one of the most tepid 'significant' albums of the last century. The bag of a fag packet portraits of real life only ever appealed to the emotionally limited grammar school suburbanites who associated everything American as being real and everything else as being somehow substandard. The music was/is truly dull. Springsteen's muscular (read clumsy) approach was justified by the fact that he could play four hour sets. Four hours of the same song. God give me strength!
In short, 'Darkness on the edge of town' is an over-hyped and under-powered collection of average songs by a distinctly average musician. He may well be a nice bloke but quite frankly who cares.
This album has no place in your record collection!