PHANTOMS - V1 inst track 6:04 BIS / ROOI / ATMF
PHANTOMS - V2 inst track 5:44 US5 / ROOI / SA914
PHANTOMS - V3 5:37 uncirculating
PHANTOMS - V5 5:37 DDITV / MT1 / ROOI / SA914

Note: Phantoms, also known by the title "Over The Hills Of St George", was written during early 1973, and apparently performed live several times during May and June, most famously on June 13 in Binghampton, NY. Sony logs during the Wild, Innocent sessions show Phantoms worked on June 22 and 26, V1 and V2, the backing track for Phantoms and Zero, of which two versions survive. On June 28, vocal tracks and instrumentation was added to both Phantoms and Zero and Blind Terry, completing each. But on July 1, 1973, Bruce added final dubs to Phantoms V5, the final take. While he was singing "To be free is to be lonely", Bruce had been writing another song with the Phantoms backing track, "Zero and Blind Terry", with lyrics about "the kid they just call Zero", and a wild love story ("Pack your bags baby and together they ran like reindeer through the streets") that is what makes the Boss magic. This was an E Street version of "West Side Story", the kind of music that would vanish after his bitter lawsuit with Mike Appel a few years later. Zero and Blind Terry was first played live July 18, 1973, at Max's Kansas City, New York, NY. Sony logs only mention "Zero" on June 28 and August 7, 1973. V1 is a stand-alone instrumental arrangement called "Wild Zero" that absolutely rocks; V2 is another instrumental take that serves as the backing track for which adds vocals and a sax solo. It was pressed on acetate, used as the publishing demo, but not included on album #2. It has circulated on various boots for many years, much loved by collectors and hardcore fans.

According to the Tracks session data, V6, the version on the 1998 set comes from the June 28 session. This is confirmed by the logs, which show that the June 28 version was referenced on November 5, 1997. But this does not explain the overdubs on the version used on Tracks. Sancious’s piano was certainly not recorded on June 28, nor presumably were the acoustic guitar and backing vocals by Suki Lahav found on that Tracks mix (the basic track was sent out as a publishing demo in its raw original mix – before a flute was removed from the backing). The vocals were also probably overdubbed in August. There are slight lyrical changes to the final verse as performed at Max’s Kansas City in mid-July 1973, which fails to specify whether Zero and Blind Terry got away. In all likelihood it was the June 28 basic track that was overdubbed on August 7. V6 had never circulated prior to its emergence on Tracks and it’s stunning. Suki is not credited in the Tracks booklet, but we know who she is.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License