Protection

PROTECTION - V1 3:30 LM-4 / MI / GS / MILM / UH / BUERM
PROTECTION - V2 3:35 GUEST: DONNA / 1983 single
PROTECTION - V3 uncirculated

Note: "Protection" V1 was recorded by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at The Hit Factory on February 23, 1982. Earlier in the year, David Geffen had contacted Jon Landau to ask if Springsteen would write a song for Donna Summer. In response, Bruce wrote "Cover Me", but after hearing it, Landau said, "You aren’t giving this one away". Even though he disagreed, Springsteen wrote another song, "Protection", in early February. A song of the same name was recorded during The River sessions in 1979, and six short acoustic demos were included on 'Lost Masters Volume VIII', released in 1996. It is not clear if it was titled by Springsteen or the bootleggers, and this song was not published or copyrighted at that time. It bears little in common musically or lyrically with this song, composed three years later, and copyrighted on March 8, 1982. The demo of "Protection" was sent to Summer and her producer, Quincy Jones, and it was arranged for Roy Bittan and Bruce to fly out to Los Angeles to cut the track. On March 8, they arrived at Westlake Audio Studios, on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, where Summers's tenth album, Donna Summer, was in production. Bruce struck up a friendly relationship with Jones, who he would work with again in 1985, recording "We Are the World". He also apparently got along with Donna, sleeping on her couch that evening as they worked on the song. He played guitar and provided backing vocals for the recording V2, which consisted of multiple takes. Quincy was thoroughly impressed, later saying Bruce "was one of the nicest people I have ever worked with…The man has more musical knowledge than a lot of people think and has a deep sense of commitment to music. You could feel his spirit in the sessions". It is not clear whether one of the takes was a vocal duet with Donna V3. The album was released later in the year, without the success of her disco records of the 1970s, but she was nominated for the Grammy, "Best Female Rock Vocal Performance" for "Protection" 1983. Springsteen has never performed the song in concert, although it was rehearsed in early 1988 for the upcoming Tunnel Of Love Express tour.

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