Bobby Jean

BOBBY JEAN - V1 uncirculating
BOBBY JEAN - V2 uncirculating
BOBBY JEAN - V3a 3:44 BUERM / 1984AC
BOBBY JEAN - V3b 3:47 BITUSA

Note: After sparks finally flew over Bruce's latest album sequence, which only included three songs from 1982, he came to the Hit Factory on July 28, 1983 with a new song, "Bobby Jean". After playing into the wee hours of the next morning, eight takes were recorded. There was another session logged on October 10, 1983, and the track was completed. Though it was not known at the time, this was the tenth track confirmed for the eventual BITUSA, with "No Surrender" and "Dancing In the Dark" still to come.

Brian Hiatt, in "Stories Behind the Songs", said this song might have come from the feelings Bruce was dealing with when his best friend, production partner and band mate Steve Van Zandt left the band, which had to be a massive blow. Bruce said, “Bobby Jean” and “No Surrender” were great tributes to the bonding power of rock and my friendship with Steve. One can only assume that Springsteen learned of Van Zandt's future plans before he wrote this song, since he was still an active member of the band and production team, and did not leave until 1984. One of the reasons theorized for Van Zandt's departure was Springsteen constantly pushing for new sessions, and discarding completed tracks, which is a tradition dating back to album #3 in 1975. On the late date of July 2, 1975, he decided to delete "Born To Run" from the album #3's final sequence. It was restored at the last moment July 7, thanks to the intervention of Mike Appel. Next was album #4, "Badlands", which his record company was preparing for release in October 1977, until he cancelled it, and decided to continue recording and mixing for another six months+ (seq 4-8). Then, "The Ties That Bind" was cancelled in 1979, finally released (after much mixing and re-recording) as part of the double album, "The River, almost a year later. His seventh album, "Born In the USA", was eventually released in mid-1984 with seven 1982 tracks, including the title track, which Bruce planned to leave off. Quoting Brucebase, Phase Three Sessions, "All too aware that Springsteen was having difficulties making the final selection, Jon Landau took the unique step of creating his own ideal album, based on what had been recorded to date…Bruce had all but abandoned what Landau felt were his best songs, those recorded in the early sessions in May 1982." Hiatt's account credits Chuck Plotkin with making the acetate Landau played for Bruce, along with writing a five page letter. Regardless of the details, he promptly came to work on July 28 with the last song he needed to finish the album. However, one co-producer (Van Zandt) insisted he include "No Surrender", and the other co-producer (Landau) needed a single, which resulted in "Dancing In the Dark" in February 1984.

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