Thunder Road

CHRISSIE'S SONG - V1 uncirculating
WINGS FOR WHEELS - V2 uncirculating
THUNDER ROAD - V3a 4:39 BIS / WAR / ET / BWNH / BTRCS / UBTROC
THUNDER ROAD - V3b 5:12 BTRS / BTRO
THUNDER ROAD - V4 4:35 BIS / WAR / ET / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS / UBTROC
THUNDER ROAD - V5 5:03 ESRR / BTRS
THUNDER ROAD - V6 5:22 WAR / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS / UBTROC
THUNDER ROAD - V7 4:45 BORN TO RUN / ESSENTIAL / GREATEST

Note: Started out as a 1972 song called "Angelina", then after further development, Bruce played V1, a solo recording in October 1974 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt NY of "Chrissie’s Song", including the line "Leave what you’ve lost, leave what’s grown cold, Thunder Road". Sometime between November 1974 and January 1975, Bruce took 'Chrissie' and the following lyrics from "Walking In the Street", and combined them into a new composition, coined "Wings For Wheels" by bootleggers. V2, recorded in February. Sometime after March 9 (the last time "Wings" appeared on a set list), Bruce took the music he had written for "Walking In the Street", and patched it on to the end of "Wings for Wheels"; now his new lyric "this is a town for losers, I'm pulling out of here to win" was followed by the new instrumentral outro. "The night's bustin' open, these two lanes will take us anywhere", and a poster for a 1958 Robert Mitchum movie in the lobby of a movie theater, provided the final ingredients for "Thunder Road".

April 13, 1975 was the day Jon Landau officially joined the album #3 production team. Louis Lahav, chief engineer, and his wife Suki, the violin player, quit and returned to their native Israel in late March. Jimmy Iovine reported to work at the Record Plant on April 18, after Landau was instructed to find better accommodations. "Thunder Road" and "Jungleland" were the first two songs recorded that day, and three versions of "Thunder Road", recorded over April 18-19 and 23, 1975, would later leak out on bootlegs. V3a is a full-band version, the girl is now Chrissie, and ends with the build up, instrumental outro, two refrains led by Clarence, to a full ending with no fadeout. V3b has two extra refrains for an extra long ending. The lyrics are getting there, but the guitar is not yet talking, and "Leave what you’ve lost, leave what’s grown cold, Thunder Road" from "Chrissie's Song" is still there. V4 is a haunting acoustic solo version, the girl is now Christina, but otherwise no lyrical changes. V5, released on E Street Radio, is from April 23, starts with Roy Bittan's piano, base rhythm and Bruce's vocal and guitar (no organ or sax). "Leave what you’ve lost, leave what’s grown cold" now replaced with "Sit tight, take hold", a major change. The final refrain is led by piano, with Bruce's overdubbed guitar. V6, recorded, or at least overdubbed, on July 15 or 16, and is almost ready to open Born To Run. This take opens with saxophone and Roy's piano, the latter which is featured in the first two minutes, Bruce's now awesome vocal, introduces us to Mary, and dominated by guitar. The long outro mixes guitar, sax and piano just like the album, and has seven refrains, though one variation only has five. V7 now has piano and harmonica opening without sax, glock, the talking guitar and Mary, and after twelve hours mixing and dubbing guitars, was completed on July 16, 1975, with Mike Appel on background vocals.

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