Even a musician as cool as Bruce Springsteen isn’t immune from a little ’80s awkwardness.
In recently unveiled footage of an unused video for Bruce’s 1984 hit “Dancing in the Dark,” the Boss stands alone in front of the camera with nothing but a plain white tank top, suspenders, his Jheri curl-like ‘do and some suspect dance moves. Watch below.
Highlights include: Bruce doing an inexplicable pirouette around 2:40, Bruce pointing directly to the viewer and saying “hey baby,” and Clarence Clemons ( R.I.P. Big Man) showing up in each take, always in the same all red suit. It looks more like an “Outsiders”-themed workout tape than a rock video.
The July 21, 1984 issue of Billboard reported that Bruce “did not like (original director) Jeff Stein’s concept,” which took a very literal interpretation to “Dancing in the Dark.” Famed “Scarface” and “Carrie” director] Brian de Palma was brought to St. Paul to work on a new video. De Palma’s now classic version featured 200 extras dancing along (not in the dark) to Bruce at St. Paul’s Civic Center, and a very young and excited Courtney Cox getting pulled onstage.
To be fair to Stein’s original vision, Bruce has many of the same arm flailing style dance moves in the final video. But this time, he is surrounded by cheering fans and not alone in a dark room, with nothing but a large man in a red suit for company.