The Ties That Bind

THE TIES THAT BIND - V1 3:39 URT-1M
THE TIES THAT BIND - V2 2:24 PSC
THE TIES THAT BIND - V3 3:30 US6 / URT-1M / RRR
THE TIES THAT BIND - V4 3:38 URT-1M / US6 / DROC1
THE TIES THAT BIND - V5 0:45 URT-1M
THE TIES THAT BIND - V6 4:02 LM-14
THE TIES THAT BIND - V7 3:40 private
THE TIES THAT BIND - V8a take 8 3:25 LM-6
THE TIES THAT BIND - V8b take 8 3:29 TTTBR / TTTBJ / DROC2 / PYP / RIVER: SINGLE / LEK
THE TIES THAT BIND - V8c take 8 3:29 RIVER / ESSENTIAL: 2015

Note: V1 was played before the show on Wednesday, September 20, 1978, day 2 of one of the most memorable three-day stands in Springsteen history. Though it was referred to as a "sound check", the content and behavior of Bruce and the band has led many to recognize this as a studio recording session (click for bigger picture-Recordings tab). There was no crowd, the entire session was professionally recorded and filmed, and the material covered included new songs that needed studio work, which this session was meant to simulate. Bruce conducted the E Street Band in the same manner as at the Record Plant, constantly calling out chord changes and arrangements. "Go Away (Come Close)", "Wedding Bells" by Hank Williams, "Point Blank" and the debut of "The Ties That Bind" are the highlights, and all were worked on extensively.

Unlike many of his new songs, "The Ties That Bind" was developed musically and lyrically, so Bruce spent extra time teaching it to the band, who were obviously extremely unfamiliar with it. It seems like Garry and Roy can pick up a tune almost immediately, with Max right behind, and the core of this song is the rhythm section and Bruce's dominating guitar. It should be mentioned that while his guitar playing gets no mention, he once again uses it to convey pictures and feelings to the minds of his listeners. Springsteen uses all of the tools at his disposal to do this on every song, that is his method of writing and performing, and his band follows his lead. This first incarnation of TTTB is a blues driven hard rock song, dominated by Bruce in a manner not often seen. V2 is an alternate take featuring Clarence Clemmons on saxophone, and a different arrangement. The only copy discovered starts half way through the song, which explains it's 2:24 clocking, and claims to be from September 19, 1978. We are looking into it.

Though it sounds different than the River version, this is the original idea by Springsteen of TTTB, which he extensively revised by October 26, 1978, when V3-V5 were recorded at Telegraph Hill Studios. It was also worked on extensively in concert, during November and December on the Darkness tour. The band picked it back up in late March 1979 (V6) and V7, the latter still needeing work on verses 2 and 3. In April, work comenced at The Power Station on album #5, to be called, "The Ties That Bind". V8 take 8 was recorded on April 10-11, 1979. V8a needed some vocal overdubs and remixing before it was ready for release. V8b was mixed and ready for the album, but then Springsteen injured his leg in an off-terrain vehicle accident a few days later, which delayed further studio sessions until the middle of May. After the new album came back from mastering in October 1979, Bruce called a halt to the release, and resumed writing songs and recording. Jon Landau helped to sell him on the double album idea, and "the River" was released in 1980. The first track on side one was TTTB V8c. V8b was remixed into V8c on April 10, 1980. All the songs on the "The Ties That Bind" album that were released on "The River" were remixed or changed, the major victims being "Stolen Car", which was re-written, and bears little resembelance to it's earlier self, and "The Price You Pay", which had a great verse chopped off.

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