‘Dancing in the Dark,’ Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Bruce Springsteen with his mother Adele and Clarence Clemons, onstage in 1988.

Bruce Springsteen with his mother Adele and Clarence Clemons, onstage in 1988.

(UPDATE: The 1988 Shoreline video is no longer available so I have substituted a different live video of “Dancing in the Dark”).

Bruce Springsteen did not always have a great relationship with his father. But he never has expressed anything other than utter adoration for his mother Adele, now 90.

He also has danced with her many times onstage. So with Mother’s Day coming up tomorrow, today’s entry in the 350 Jersey Songs series is “Dancing in the Dark,” with guest dancing by Adele Springsteen, at a 1988 E Street Band concert at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif. “That’s where I got all my moves!,” Springsteen tells the crowd, after the song is over. Check it out below.

“Dancing in the Dark” is, of course, one of the most important songs in Springsteen’s career: the lead single from the Born in the USA album that launched the superstar phase of his career, and his biggest hit, ever, on Billboard magazine’s singles chart. (It rose to No. 2; Springsteen has never been No. 1 on that chart.) He still performs it frequently, and it’s a song, I believe, that has always been a bit underrated by Springsteen fans because of the slick production on the original single and its video (in which a then-unknown Courteney Cox did the guest dancing).

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.


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