"E" Ticket Revisited - Born In The Studio

E Ticket Revisited (aka Born in the Studio)
Studio Outtakes and Alternates 1973-1975
JEMS Archive

CB circa 1975 cassette > Nakamichi CR-7A (azimuth-adjusted) > Sound Devices USBPre2 (24/96 Audacity 2.0 capture) > Peak 6.0 with iZotope Ozone > .wav > iZotope MBIT+ convert to 16/44.1 > FLAC

01 Rosalita (instrumental)
02 Kitty's Back
03 Zero and Blind Terry (instrumental)
04 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (instrumental)
05 Walking In the Street
06 She's the one
07 A Love So Fine (instrumental)
08 Born to Run
09 Thunder Road
10 Thunder Road (acoustic)
11 Jungleland (ending only)
12 Born to Run
13 Born to Run
14 Born to Run

The material on this 14-song tape is the source for one of the most famous Springsteen bootleg LPs of all time, E Ticket, and was later released in full on CD as Born in the Studio. If you're reading this, you probably already own it in some form. As far as I know, E Ticket was the first Springsteen bootleg LP to feature unreleased studio material, and if you are like me, you know pretty much every second of these tracks by heart.

E Ticket offered a treasure trove of rarities going back to 1973 with instrumental versions of songs like "Rosalita" and "Zero and Blind Terry" on through essential alternate takes (most with lyric variations) from the Born to Run sessions, including "She's the One" and the title track, which features back-up singers, forward-mixed strings and double-tracked vocals across four takes.

"Thunder Road" is presented in two wonderful versions: one full band, a kindred soul to the "Wings For Wheels" arrangement of early 1975; the second, a jaw-dropping, solo acoustic re-imagining that deserved to be on the BTR30 anniversary set. And then there's "Walking in the Street," which remains a totally unreleased song from the Born to Run sessions.

E Ticket surfaced in the late '70s; Born in the Studio in the late '80s. CD releases since Born in the Studio, including E Street's terrific War and Roses and EV2's fine Born With Nothin' In Hands (both of which take the BTR songs only and put them with other BTR outs and alts) appear to be versions of each other with different mastering, meaning they all come from the same source recording, presumably Born in the Studio itself.

Late last year, JEMS' friend and fellow collector CB told us that he believed a cassette he had received from someone in the New York music publishing business not long after the release of Born to Run could likely be the original source tape for all subsequent copies and releases of this material. Once again, the generous CB loaned the tape to JEMS for a fresh transfer to see if it might be an improvement over what's in circulation.

The tape certainly sounded fresh, full and clear, and I could hear some minor details, some just before a song started, that I couldn't remember hearing before. We pitch corrected every track and then to see if my memory was correct, I did an A-B comparison with War and Roses.

I had forgotten how clean War and Roses sounded, with almost no hiss whatsoever, even on the acoustic "Thunder Road." But what was unmistakable on that track, and even more so on the band songs, was that there is almost no low end to speak of, and the tracks, clear as they were, sounded thin.

The new transfer of CB's tape completely restores the low frequencies and the songs have considerably more body and heft. There's a bit of hiss (not a lot), but the richness and more natural sound of the result seems like a worthy tradeoff. While the tape is lightly mastered (and a few channel dropouts were fixed), what you hear is all from the tape, not any post-production trickery.

It is almost as if when the tape was first transferred, someone cut the first 3-4 bands on a 10-band EQ and applied that to the copy—the difference is that significant. At least we think it is. Samples provided.

The quality is high enough that we are making an exception to our 24/96 rule (which we reserve for masters only) and making this available in both 24/96 and 16/44 as I don't believe we'll ever get to a better copy of this material.

Thanks once again to CB, who along with JK, got this whole Bruce taping and collecting thing started. We all owe them a tip of the cap.

Wayne Darlington

PS: I don't remember "Walking in the Street" sounding this compelling

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