Remember the classic video for Bruce Springsteen‘s Dancing in the Dark? The one with a young Courteney Cox (not Cox-Arquette, mind you) dancing around joyfully while a white-shirted Boss semi-awkwardly flailed his arms around onstage?
Take that iconic, ultra-80s moment and imagine it without a crowd, stage, or Cox. Imagine Bruce just standing in a room, dancing in place for the entirety of the video.
As recently-unearthed footage of the original video treatment for the song revealed, that nightmare-ish (and potentially embarrassing) video concept could have made the final cut. A Jazzercise-ready, headbanded Bruce bops back and forth when the camera starts rolling, and at no point does he look anywhere close to comfortable.
You see, before noted film director Brian de Palma stepped in and created the video that would go on to be one of the Boss’s biggest hits, director Jeff Stein had made his own video, which thankfully didn’t end up being the real thing. Stein would go on to direct less-awkward videos for heavy-hitters of the 1980s, including Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, The Cars, Billy Idol, Hall & Oates, and Fleetwood Mac, but his version of Dancing in the Dark should not reside on his career highlight reel.
Check it out below, and be glad that this wasn’t the final version of the video…if nothing else, for Bruce’s sake.