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1. 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' (1978)
A lacerating look at our own sins and our inability to rise above them no matter what our circumstances. Recorded after the breakthrough of “Born to Run,” which left him feeling isolated, and after a protracted legal battle that kept him out of the studio, “Darkness” is Springsteen’s rawest, most primal album. He unleashes hell on the searing “Adam Raised A Cain,” which features one of his most wicked guitar solos and riveting, unhinged vocal performances. Steadied by Max Weinberg’s metronome-like precision, “Candy’s Room” steams up the room with pent-up desire, as does “Prove It All Night.” “Racing In the Street” may be the saddest song he ever recorded in a passel of them. “Badlands” and the title track bookend a set that has no weak moments, but plenty of shattered dreams.