Racing In The Street

RACING IN THE STREET - V1 5:48 DO-3 / LM-3 / UP / AM
RACING IN THE STREET - V2a 6:42 LM-3 / UP
RACING IN THE STREET - V2b 6:44 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
RACING IN THE STREET - V2c 6:51 DARKNESS
RACING IN THE STREET - V3a 6:22 LM-2 / DDO / DO-2 / UP / LMEC2 / DDOC / O711S
RACING IN THE STREET ('78) - V3b 6:47 PROMISE

Note: Springsteen started writing "Racing In The Street" in 1976, and working titles included "'32 Ford" (found in a document titled "New Songs", reproduced in The Promise facsimile book), and "Dying In The Street", according to author Clinton Heylin. The latter phrase appears twice in the earliest known circulating recording (V1), a slow solo piano arrangement from July 2, 1977 at Atlantic Studios, verified in Sony's studio logs. This take uses an incomplete version of the alternate "Got a '32 Ford, she's a 318…" lyrics, alongside the Darkness melody. The logs show that Bruce worked on the song throughout August 1977, with entries on August 1-4, 10, 12 and 29-30 at either Atlantic Studios or Record Plant. Which arrangement(s) were worked on during this period is unknown. However, V2a (the first known take with the album arrangement) was likely from one of these sessions, as indicated in the Lost Masters III liner notes, and this take would eventually be utilized for the album (V2c), with a vocal overdub in the second verse. Heylin recounts it's "transfer to a 'comp.' reel at August’s end", which, according to studio logs, was August 30, 1977. Mixing and overdub sessions were held March 21-23, 1978, and mix take 46 went on Darkness.

According to the only source we have, the Lost Masters II liner notes, the earliest known version of the 'alternative' "Racing In The Street" (V3a) with wailing harmonica and tremendous vocal, was also recorded in August 1977 at Atlantic Studios. It is perhaps most likely that this arrangement was worked on during the early part of August, before Springsteen refined the lyrics and settled on the "Darkness" arrangement at month's end.

Record Plant logs show Springsteen returned to "Racing" later in the sessions, on November 28-30 and December 6 and 9, 1977. Very little is known about what was undertaken at this time. In any case, the officially released V3b, titled "Racing In The Street ('78)" on The Promise, uses the same 1977 vocal take from V3a apart from one small overdub, replacing a bluffed/slurred line ("Yeah the truth it hurts, we turn out the lights just to make it go away") in the third verse with a modern vocal. David Lindley plays viola, perhaps on December 9, 1977, the same day as a known take for "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)", which he also played on.

Bruce adapted the lines "summer's here and the time is right / for goin' racing in the street" from Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing In The Street", as well as The Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man".

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