Born To Run - Studio Sessions


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Commercially Released: September 1, 1975*
Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and Mike Appel**
Recorded May 1974-July 1975 at The Record Plant, New York and 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY
Recording Engineers: Jimmy Iovine - Record Plant and Louis Lahav - 914 Sound Studios
Mixed by Jimmy Iovine

* a small quantity of blank label, advanced promo copies (called “Script Covers”) were issued to VIPs about August 12, 1975. Normal promo copies were sent to radio stations on or about August 24.
** the track “Born To Run” was produced by Springsteen-Appel.

Overview

The Born To Run album sessions can be traced as far back as January 8, 1974, and concluded on July 20, 1975, though final mixing continued after the band went on tour. Unfortunately, Wings For Wheels, the official documentary film on the making of the album, fails to delve into any depth about the sessions. So very little can be gleaned by watching that documentary.

Sessions began at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, New York on January 8, 1974 with the first rehearsals of Born To Run and Jungleland, then resumed in May through October 1974. These sessions did not include Steve Van Zandt, Jon Landau, or (seemingly) any session musicians. Bruce met Landau after a May 1974 gig at the Cambridge Theater (see photo). The widely scattered sessions were conducted while the band was on tour. Sessions took place on May 11-22, early June, August 1-8 (when a version of "Jungleland" was recorded – see picture of the master tape for this recording, note the date written by Louis Lahav in the European d/m/y format) and October 16-17, for sure. There may have been further sessions at 914 Sound from this era undocumented. With the exception of the album's title song, "Born To Run", very little leaked out from these numerous sessions. There were initial takes of Walking In the Street, Night, She's the One, So Young and In Love, and A Love So Fine. Much intrigue remains about what was recorded during the May-October 1974 period. The primary reason for moving from 914 was equipment failure and technical hitches in the studio delaying the recording process.

Jon Landau officially came aboard April 13, 1975, while engineer Louis Lahav and his wife Suki, left and returned to Israel at the end of February. Recording sessions finally resumed at the Record Plant, New York, on April 18, 1975, with new engineer Jimmy Iovine. These sessions included Landau, Van Zandt and outside musicians, continuing right up until the start of the Born To Run tour on July 20. Final mixing (including 914 Sound Studio material) was undertaken at The Record Plant, and continued to July 25, with final vocal overdubs of "She's The One".

1. THUNDER ROAD 4:44 BORN TO RUN
2. TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT 3:08 BORN TO RUN
3. NIGHT 2:57 BORN TO RUN
4. BACKSTREETS 6:27 BORN TO RUN
5. BORN TO RUN 4:28 BORN TO RUN
6. SHE'S THE ONE 3:36 BORN TO RUN
7. MEETING ACROSS THE RIVER 3:11 BORN TO RUN
8. JUNGLELAND 9:32 BORN TO RUN

Additional Recordings

Details

BORN TO RUN - V1 uncirculating
BORN TO RUN - V2a 4:24 ESRR / BTRS
BORN TO RUN - V2b 4:28 BTRS
BORN TO RUN - V3 4:27 BTRS
BORN TO RUN - V4a 4:40 BIS / BTRS
BORN TO RUN - V4b 4:38 WAR / BTRS
BORN TO RUN - V4c 4:34 ETRJ / ETRV / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS / BIS / UBTROC / ROOI / WAR
BORN TO RUN - V4d 4:30 BIS / ROOI / ETRJ / ETRV / BTRS / BTRCS
BORN TO RUN - V4e 4:23 BTRS
BORN TO RUN - V4f 4:21 BTRS
BORN TO RUN - V4g 4:30 BTRS
BORN TO RUN - V4h 4:23 BTRS
BORN TO RUN - V4i 4:21 BIS / BTRCS
BORN TO RUN - V4j 4:21 BTRS
BORN TO RUN - V4k 3:20 Ktel-CBS
BORN TO RUN - V5a 4:28 BORN TO RUN
BORN TO RUN - V5b 4:28 ETRJ / ETRV / BTRS
BORN TO RUN - V5c 5:27 RTT

Note: On the road in the Mid-South late in 1973, he awoke suddenly one morning, grabbed his notebook, and inked in the title BORN TO RUN. A few weeks later, "Bruce, the band, and Appel got back to work at the 914 Sound Studios on January 8, 1974, spending a couple of days fiddling with rudimentary versions of both Born to Run V1 and Jungleland V1."-Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin. According to Bruce, the entire writing and recording process took six months while he was living at a rented cottage at 7½ West End Court in West Long Branch, which suggests it began in late 1973. V2a is the original backing track recorded at 914 Sound Studios on May 21, 1974, after obviously being rehearsed and practiced in prior days. V2b from June 26, 1974 dubs in Bruce's vocals to the V2a track. Bruce continued work on the song, adding lyrics and overdubs, at 914 Sound Studios, both in June and then starting a week's residency on August 1, 1974. Finally, on August 6, 1974. the final version was mixed down from seventy-two tracks to the sixteen available at 914 Studios, including strings, more than one dozen guitar tracks, sax, drums, glockenspiel, bass, multiple keyboards and a variety of voices. The core backing track V3 was mixed, along with numerous test arrangements V4x, with backing vocals, double-tracked vocals and strings, and finally the one chosen for release V5a. An advanced tape release of the official version V5b, first aired on WMMR in Philadelphia on November 3, 1974 (V5c), and subsequently broadcast by several USA radio stations during November 74-July 75. There is little difference between these versions.
Over the years, more than ten alternative mixes of Born To Run have leaked out, and this a short list and description of those we could identify. V4a has a double tracked vocal and strings; V4b has double tracked vocals. strings, and a female chorus; V4c also has a female chorus. V4d has a female chorus that doesn't kick in until the 3rd verse; V4e is an alternative mix with only basic instrumental backing; V4f has only guitars in the instrumental backing; V4g does not have a drum track. V4h is Bruce's vocal without any backing instruments; V4i features string and enhanced high end; v4j has less overdubbing; V4k does not include the middle verse and the sax solo; this was released by Ktel-CBS in Australia-only in early 1976 on a multi-artist LP called Supersounds.

JUNGLELAND - V1 uncirculating
JUNGLELAND - V2 uncirculating
JUNGLELAND - V3 uncirculating
JUNGLELAND - V4 9:30 ESRR / BTRS
JUNGLELAND - V5 1:03 BIS / WAR / ET / BTRS
JUNGLELAND - V6 9:43 DDITV / BTRS / BTRCS / UBTROC
JUNGLELAND - V7 9:34 WAR / URT1 / BTRS / BTRCS / UBTROC / ROOI
JUNGLELAND - V8 9:14 ROOI / UBTROC
JUNGLELAND - V9 9:32 BORN TO RUN
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Note: The first circulating live performance was on July 13, 1974, although it is believed to have been played live earlier than this. Studio recordings were made at 914 Sound Studios on January 8 (V1) and August 1 (V2), 1974, 2 takes on the latter date, with 1 completed, though outtakes from either date have never circulated. Bruce continued to play Jungleland live, and in the studio (V3 was attempted on October 17), over the course of a year, until Jon Landau moved the BTR sessions to the Record Plant on April 18, 1975, where all circulating outtakes emanate from. Sessions resumed on April 18 without Suki Lahav, who had returned to Israel (but would live on in overdubs) with her husband, engineer Louis Lahav, who was replaced by Jimmy Iovine. Much of the first day was devoted to Jungleland, heard in V4, take 16, with the full band (including an overdub of Suki Lahav from 914 Sound Studios). V5 is a famous 1:33 rehearsal segment featuring a female choir singing the song coda. V6 features string overdubs and is in exceptional sound quality. V7 has no strings and doesn’t feature the guitar heard on the official version. Studio logs show V5-7 were all recorded between April 18 and April 25, 1975. Final takes came down to the last minute, according to Bruce, "Clarence and I finishing the “Jungleland” sax solo (V9), phrase by phrase, in one (room), while we mixed “Thunder Road” in another, singing “Backstreets” in a third as the band rehearsed (for the Tour that was to begin that evening) in a spare room upstairs" on July 20, 1975, with She's the One still to follow. A 1974 document indicates that "Jungleland" was a candidate for the title of the album, as well as several phrases taken from the lyrics, "The Hungry and the Hunted", "From the Churches to the Jails", and "Between Flesh and Fantasy".

CHRISSIE'S SONG - V1 uncirculating
WINGS FOR WHEELS - V2 uncirculating
THUNDER ROAD - V3a 4:39 BIS / WAR / ET / BWNH / BTRCS / UBTROC
THUNDER ROAD - V3b 5:07 BTRS
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 4:44 BORN TO RUN

Note: Started out as a 1972 song called "Angelina", then after further development, Bruce did 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 composition he now called "Wings For Wheels" V2, recorded in February. The line, "they case the promised land" and verse, "Oh baby I can't lay the stars at your feet, but I think we could take it all, just you and me, Oh come on and see there's a lot of room, For you baby in this front seat". On February 5, 1975 at the Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA, with Angelina his new girl in the song, Ed Sciaky introduced the radio broadcast that included 'Born To Run', 'She's the One', 'Jungleland', and 'Wings For Wheels'. A memorable moment, not preserved for album #3, was Suki Lahav’s violin behind Bruce: "Now the season's over and I feel it getting cold, Well, I wish I could take you to some sandy beach, where we'd never grow old, ah, but baby, you know that's just jive, tonight's bustin' open and I'm alive, Oh, do what you can do to make me feel like a man". But "Wings" had a horrible jazz ending ("snake charmer's song with a beat"), and 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".

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The exact mechanics behind moving "Walking In the Street" to "Wings For Wheels" is not known, but besides being mostly ignored, there seems to be no end of alternate explanations for the magic that suddenly came to "Thunder Road". While the contributions of people like Landau, Roy Bittan, and Max Weinberg cannot be overlooked, nothing came close to the new instrumental ending. According to the 2005 documentary, "Wings For Wheels the Making of Born to Run", Landau says he helped restructure some songs. Meanwhile, the film shows the band performing the old Wings for Wheels outro on February 6, 1975 at Widener College, Chester, Pennsylvania; then it cuts to the now familiar instrumental ending of "Thunder Road", implying Landau was the person who made the change, or you be the judge. Bruce has never breathed a word about this, which worked out quite well, except he claims to have lost the completed tape of "Walking In the Street", recorded May 28, 1975, which is also why it could not go on "Tracks". Another point of view is that most of "Walking In the Street" was incorporated into "Thunder Road", which brings up the question, what was recorded in two takes on May 28 at the Record Plant?

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 at the end of February (this is often misreported as months later, which is incorrect, and the story that she and Bruce were in love, and that the Lahavs left to save their marriage, has nothing to do with Thunder Road (Israeli newspapers…how do you say "Google" in hebrew?). 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 a total of three versions of Thunder Road would be recorded over April 18-19 and 23, 1975. V3a is a full-band version, the girl is now Chrissie, and ends with the build up, instrumental outro, 2 refrains led by Clarence, to a quick, full ending (no fadeout). V3b has 2 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, one of Bruce’s greatest studio performances; 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 we are almost ready to open "Born To Run". This take opens with saxophone and Roy's piano, which dominates the first 2 minutes with Bruce's now awesome vocal, introduces us to Mary, and rocks all the way through, dominated by guitar. The long outro mixes guitar, sax and piano just like the album, and has 7 refrains, though one variation only has 5. V7 now has piano and harmonica opening without sax, glock, the talking guitar and Mary, and after 12 hours mixing and dubbing guitars, was completed on July 16, 1975, with Mike Appel on background vocals.

BACKSTREETS - V1 uncirculating
BACKSTREETS - V2a 6:44 WAR / BTRS / BTRCS / UBTROC / ROOI
BACKSTREETS - V2b 3:12 private cdr
BACKSTREETS - V2c 6:26 ESRR / BTRS
BACKSTREETS - V3a 6:33 DDITV / BWNH / BTRS / UBTROC / ROOI
BACKSTREETS - V3b 6:02 BTRCS
BACKSTREETS - V4a 6:32 URT1 / BTRS / BTRCS
BACKSTREETS - V4b 6:42 UBTROC
BACKSTREETS - V4c 6:05 WAR / BWNH / ROOI
BACKSTREETS - V5 6:27 BORN TO RUN

Note: Much is made about how it took 6 months to finish the song, "Born To Run". However, Jungleland, Thunder Road, and Backstreets all probably took longer. Bruce Springsteen was determined to create a masterpiece, and he held off the record company and his managers until it was made, and even then his team had to convince him that it was done, to get him to stop. The musical tracks to these songs seemed to come together much more quickly than the lyrics, Backstreets being a prime example. The circulating outtakes are organized mainly by the progression of the lyrics, which are described below. The bridge was finally completed with the album in July 1975, months after all the music was in place. Some of these takes feature lavish overdubs of guitars and strings, but when the composition was finally complete, the experimentation was dropped, and the album version was Bruce's powerful vocal in front of the E Street Band.

After Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg joined the E Street Band in August 1974, "the new band went to [914 Sound Studios] Blauvelt in late October, made stabs at, "Backstreets" V1 (a late-night betrayal song)", Jungleland, and "So Young and in Love” (an up-tempo number)". You can add "She's the One" and "Walking In the Street" to the agenda, and all this occurred October 16-17, 1974. Apparently, these sessions did not go well, and after several months of slow progress, Bruce asked Jon Landau to come aboard in March 1975, and one of his first moves was to move the album #3 sessions to the Record Plant. On April 25, their second week there, Bruce opened his book to his latest lyrics for "Backstreets" (which was about 2 verses), and V2a was recorded; it can be identified because the 2nd verse starts with "Running in the dark"; also, the bridge is mostly unwritten, with, "Save yourself a new guitar string to get you around by", not one of his best lines. But by the 3rd verse, and on to the end, Backstreets is taking shape, with the band working hard, led by Roy's majestic piano, Danny's organ, Max and Garry. They have just learned Backstreets, and though sloppy, they are already playing like the machine they are. V2b is a short 3:12 take, and circulates in some private CDR sources; this is the same take and mix as V2a. Version 2c, released on E Street Radio, almost got it's own version, which would have been called "the guitar version", and the end actually sounds different, but that is Bruce guitar dominating this mix.

Version 3, the "strings Backstreets", was cut May 19 or 23, and now has "St. Johns" in the 2nd verse; the bridge needs work, in fact the bridge is so bad, that instead of "the heroes in the funhouse ripping off the __", two guitar solos would have been preferable. But a great piece of rock and roll music is starting to rise. v3a and 3b are vastly different mixes; the only reason they are not separate versions is they share the same lyrics, and were probably cut on the same day. Version 4 had to be cut on May 23 or July 6; the source quality is poor (version 4b is pitch correction remastered by Fanatic Records, V4c is 30 seconds short), but what stands out is the second verse is complete. However, the bridge remains incomplete; the writer envisions a confrontation of great emotional power, but the words are still not there. The strings do not make the song, and when they go away, they are not missed. Bruce and the band have conquered the end of the song. Version 5, which is the album take and final mix, was completed on July 6 or 18, 1975, probably the latter, with a vocal overdub of the bridge, which makes Backstreets the classic powerhouse that it is, one of Bruce's finest compositions. Nobody who listens to this song can come away without being impressed by the musicianship of Roy Bittan; Backstreets remains his finest hour. It would be hard to pull off a song that projects this kind of power, without a roomful of fantastic musicians, and a vocalist equal to the task. When critics were raving about Bruce Springsteen in the fall of 1975, Thunder Road, Jungleland and Backstreets were the best of the best; their reaction was from being blown away multiple times by the same album.

The story only started here. Soon after the band took Born To Run on the road, Bruce and especially Roy started performing Backstreets with another segment added after the third verse and chorus, refusing to let all the built up emotion go to waste. Bruce developed "Sad Eyes" and "Drive All Night" during these interludes, with his voice and the piano dictating the pace of emotions, eventually joined by Max pounding his drums to add to the build up, which would finally go back to Backstreets and finish the song. This went on for years, through many tours, becoming a regular part of the show, with nobody quite knowing what to expect each night.

NIGHT - V1 2:55 ESRR / BTRS
NIGHT - V2 2:51 WAR / VAFH / BWNH / BTRS
NIGHT - V3 - take 8 2:57 BORN TO RUN

Note: Ten takes recorded at the Record Plant on May 10, 1975. Take 8 was marked 'Great - Hold', which suggest this one was the recording used for Born To Run. The three recordings above are all different performances. V1 is core rhythm track with guide vocal and guitar, recorded at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY in early August 1974. V2 includes double tracked vocals, and was recorded at the Record Plant in April 1975. Included in a possible album sequence of late-autumn 1974. First line of the song was re-used from Springsteen's Steel Mill composition "Oh Mama", from 1970.

SHE'S THE ONE - V1 6:17 BIS / WAR / ET / BTRS / BTRCS
SHE'S THE ONE - V2 4:22 ESRR / BTRS
SHE'S THE ONE - V3 3:36 BORN TO RUN

Note: The earliest audio-circulating live performance was at Avery Fisher Hall in New York on October 4, 1974. V1 was recorded on October 16, 1974 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, New York. Acording to studio logs, the next take (V2) was recorded on May 4, 1975 at the Record Plant, New York, which was shorter and added lyrics in the final verse that were eventually used in “Backstreets”. On July 19, after all the tracks for Born to Run had been completed, Springsteen brought in a new 2nd verse and bridge, "and just one kiss she fills them long summer nights with her tenderness, that secret pact you made, back when her love could save you from the bitterness", completely changing the song from a fight with his girlfriend to a magical love song. Springsteen's vocal was added to complete the track V3 on July 25 for the album.

THE HEIST - V1 2:54 ESRR / BTRS
THE HEIST - V2 - take 14 0:13 BTRCS
THE HEIST - V3 - take 15 0:33 BTRCS
THE HEIST - V4 - take 16 3:11 WAR / ROU / BWNH / BTRCS
THE HEIST - V5 - take 18 0:11 BTRS / BTRCS
THE HEIST - V6 - take 19 3:16 WAR / ROU / BTRCS
MEETING ACROSS THE RIVER - V7 4:21 BORN TO RUN

Note: Not written by Bruce until late April or May 1975 – working title was “The Heist’ and that title was utilized even on test pressing of the album. V1 contains just piano and vocal, features some different words and may be Bruce’s original guide demo. V2 (take #14), V3 (take #15) and V5 (take #18) are short, aborted takes. V4 (take #16) and V6 (take #19) are shorter than the BTR version and use alternate horn arrangement. All likely recorded May 28, 1975. Included on a July 2 album sequence, and final album take on July 18, 1975.

TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT - V1 0:34 private cdr
TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT - V2 3:25 BTRS
TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT - V3 3:08 BORN TO RUN

Note: V1 is a brief snippet of the tail section of what appears to be a different performance. V2 is an early, complete take that was originally broadcast on E Street Radio in late 2005; this take has some considerable lyrical differences to the released version and has Springsteen phrasing the horn parts during the opening. A stereo fold down mono version is also available as the b-side of the white label promo 45. v3 was recorded on July 13, 1975 at the Record Plant, but not without difficulty. The Brecker Brothers. top session horn players, had been hired to play on Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out, but the charts Springsteen and Roy Bittan had prepared, and Bruce's instructions, were not producing the sound needed. Landau and Bruce told Steve Van Zandt, who was with them in the control room, to take charge and instruct the horn players. They both knew he was playing guitar and managing Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, who had the sound they were looking for. Miami Steve "sang each horn player his part, with the lines, the timing and the inflection all perfect. The sessionmen obediently played their parts, and the horns were recorded. When they’d finished, Springsteen turned to Mike Appel, “Okay”, he said. “It’s time to put the boy on the payroll. I’ve been meaning to tell you—he’s the new guitar player.” - Two Hearts by Dave Marsh. Steve officially joined the E Street Band a week later on July 20, the opening night of the Born To Run tour.

LINDA LET ME BE THE ONE - V1 4:32 BIS / WAR / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS
LINDA LET ME BE THE ONE - V2 4:27 TRACKS / BTRCS

Note: Two different recordings, although similar. V1 (recorded either May 8 or 19) has a more tentative vocal and is shorter (or the tape speed is running too fast). V2 was recorded at The Record Plant on June 29, 1975 (not June 28, as found in the Tracks liner notes) and features a much stronger vocal, a different intro and a different sax part. Further work undertaken (either mixing or overdubs) on July 8. Springsteen recorded two different versions on June 29, a 'hard slow version' and a 'ballad version'. Considered for the original album but bumped in favor of “Meeting Across The River”.

LONELY NIGHT IN THE PARK 4:48 ESRR / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS / UBTROC

Note: Recorded at The Record Plant on May 4-5, 1975. This long-documented song finally surfaced (along with other previously uncirculating Born To Run studio session audio) in late 2005 during broadcasts by Sirius radio. The version that has surfaced is clearly only an unfinished, early workout. This early May recording is the only mention of the song in studio logs. Included on a July 2, 1975 album sequence. Early working title may have been "Lonely Night At The Beach".

SO YOUNG AND IN LOVE 3:47 TRACKS / BTRCS
A LOVE SO FINE 3:47 BIS / WAR / ET / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS / ETRJ

Note: Much confusion surrounds the exact recording date of this song. The Tracks notes claim that it was recorded 1/6/74 (January 6, 1974) - this is clearly incorrect, since Bruce was on the road, embarking on a three-night stand at Joe's Place that day. The Record Plant is listed as the recording venue, but this is also impossible, because Engineer Louis Lahav left the country at the end of February 1975, before Record Plant sessions began. Much more likely is Louis wrote the date in his native European format, therefore the recording date was June 1, 1974. That week, Springsteen was at 914 Sound Studios, working on "Born To Run". Other reports say "So Young And In Love" was recorded in late May 1974, which does not conflict with early June. By September 1974, Bruce had tinkered with the lyrics, reinventing the song as "A Love So Fine". A version was recorded at 914 Sound Studios on October 16, 1974. It is unclear if the long-circulating backing track found on War And Roses and Born In The Studio emanates from this October 16 session or whether it's from the 1975 sessions at The Record Plant, but 1974 seems most likely. Although it may have been played live sooner, the earliest circulating confirmed and recorded performance of "A Love So Fine" is from September 22, 1974. This particular version is especially interesting since the chorus is sung "A Night Like This", however by the time the next gig came around at Avery Fisher Hall on October 4 the chorus had changed to the familiar "A Love So Fine". Going by a newspaper review, it's likely that the "A Love So Fine / A Night Like This" hybrid was also performed at The Main Point on September 19. Bruce then performed the song live (as "A Love So Fine") on a semi-regular basis through August 1975, after which it was dropped from the set. It was reborn on the Lawsuit Tour as "Action In the Streets"; in interviews Springsteen has related this song to the Darkness sessions, which may be true, because he started playing it again in February 1977, under it's new name and arrangement. When the Darkness tour began, the second set was opened every night by "Paradise By The C", it's next incarnation. This song bears no relationship to The Chiffons early '60s hit except the use of a common title.

WALKING IN THE STREET - V1 uncirculating
WALKING IN THE STREET - V2 3:58 BIS / WAR / ET / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS / ETRJ
WALKING IN THE STREET - V3 uncirculating
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Note: "Lovers In The Cold", interchangeable with it's other title, "Walking In the Street" was first worked on V1 on around August 10, 1974, and then a rough, clearly unfinished V2 was recorded October 16-17, 1974 at 914 Sound Studios. In January 1975, Bruce decided to move the following lyrics to a composition called "Wings For Wheels". The line, "they case the promised land" and verse, "Oh baby I can't lay the stars at your feet, but I think we could take it all, just you and me, Oh come on and see there's a lot of room, For you baby in this front seat". Then in March, he took the main coda of Walking In the Street, and used it as the instrumental outro of "Wings for Wheels", which became "Thunder Road".

It seemed that there was nothing left, but "Walking" refused to die. The one recording made from 1974 appeared in the first Springsteen studio bootleg, "E Ticket" by Ruthless Rhymes Records, described as "a totally unreleased song from the Born to Run sessions". This was the first of an almost endless stream of bootlegs it appeared on as both "Walking In the Street(s)" and "Lovers In the Cold", like Born In the Studio, War And Roses - The Definitive Born To Run Outtakes Collection, and Running Out Of Innocence.

Springsteen mentioned in interview in 1999 that he had wanted to release this song on Tracks but they were unable to locate the completed take in the archives – so whether V3 has been misplaced, misfiled or accidentally destroyed remains a mystery. The Wings For Wheels documentary (at about 40:55) shows a Record Plant reel with a label that indicates that at least two complete takes of "Walking In The Street" were recorded on May 28, 1975. This could well be the missing reel, but we can't be certain. Springsteen later taped a rehearsal at Monmouth Post Theater in January 1999, perhaps with a view to recording and issuing "Walking In The Street" on 18 Tracks alongside "The Promise". This suggests he never completed it in 1975.

A NIGHT LIKE THIS uncirculating

Note: Recorded at 914 Sound Studios on October 16, 1974. There is only one live performances known, which happens to exists as an audio recording: the acoustic opener in Toledo on June 2, 1974, with Bruce introducing it as a “new song” but not mentioning the title. Known among collectors by the titles “Angel Baby” or “Dance On Little Angel”. Core elements of the lyrics (though not the melody) of this song were later incorporated into “Lonely Night In The Park”, a track recorded in the spring of 1975 at The Record Plant.

JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V1 6:02 US6 / EY / ATMF
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V2 uncirculating
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V3 uncirculating
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V4 6:50 DDO / DO-1 / EC / ATMF
JEANNIE NEEDS A SHOOTER - V5 1:34 LM-8
JEANNIE NEEDS A SHOOTER - V6 2:08 LM-8

Note: V1 recorded in a solo piano arrangement at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY, on January 29-30, 1973. The lyrics were written during 1972, although the melody was culled from a 1971 Springsteen composition, performed by the Bruce Springsteen Band called “Talking About My Baby”. After 1973 studio take, it appeared on provisional lists for The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle album, but did not make the final cut. Listed on the earliest known album #3 sequence, from spring 1974. Session log documents indicate that a Spanish-flavored, full-band arrangement was recorded at 914 Sound Studios in October 1974 (V2), and again in February 1975 (V3), but again was bypassed for Born To Run. V4 is a full band recording originally attributed to the Darkness On The Edge Of Town sessions, and later to the October 1978 rehearsal session at Telegraph Hill, Holmdel, NJ. Given the evidence (including audio not circulating), we can confirm it is a Telegraph Hill rehearsal from May 1979. The quality of the private audio is far superior to that found on the 'Definitive Darkness Outtakes' or 'Iceman' CDs, and includes the count-in and runs at the correct speed. Included on a very early tracklist for the upcoming album, 'The River'. Warren Zevon has said that he became obsessed with the title line after Jon Landau mentioned it along with other songs that Springsteen was intending to record. Zevon pestered Bruce, pleading to hear the song. He ended up working on his own version of the song, his interpretation of "Jeannie Needs A Shooter" (he had misheard the name), and played an incomplete version to Bruce sometime in the Spring of 1979. Springsteen loved the arrangement, and they wrote the remainder of "Jeannie Needs A Shooter" together. The Zevon/Springsteen version is "a romantic saga of an outlaw pursuing a maiden while her father tries to gun him down," the opposite of Springsteen's original. Zevon's studio take of "Jeannie Needs A Shooter" from the Bad Luck Streak album was recorded during the summer of '79. V5 and V6 are acoustic demos Bruce recorded during March - April 1979, at Telegraph Hill.

Additional Information

  1. Suki Lahav plays violin on “Jungleland”
  2. Charles Calello arranged and conducted the strings on “Jungleland” as well as all the strings and choir effects heard on un-issued mixes of other songs from the sessions
  3. Mike Appel provided background vocals on “Thunder Road”
  4. Richard Davis (who had previously played upright bass on the Greetings track “The Angel”) plays bass on “Meeting Across The River”
  5. Randy Brecker plays trumpet on “Meeting Across The River” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”
  6. Michael Brecker plays tenor sax on “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”
  7. David Sanborn plays baritone sax on “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”
  8. Wayne Andre plays trombone on “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”

Potential Album Sequences

1. Angel Baby
2. Saga of the Architect Angel
3. Thundercrack
4. Vision at Fort Horn
5. Two Hearts In True Waltz Time
6. Here She Comes
7. Glory Road
8. Janey Needs A Shooter

Possible BTR-era Songs

The following titles emanate from the late 1973 to early 1975 period. All the titles below are based on information garnered from completed lyric sheets, partially completed lyric sheets or documents in Bruce’s handwriting containing song titles (but no lyrics). Springsteen often creates song titles first and then attempts to write words and music around it - so the existence of a song title is no guarantee that a song was ever created. There is as yet no evidence these were completed songs (words and music) and no evidence they were recorded during any of the Born To Run sessions. If they do exist as recordings then they would most likely be either as work-in-progress home cassette recordings or from the little known about 1974 sessions at 914 Sound Studios. It's also possible that some of these songs are merely work-in-progress titles for other tracks that we are more familiar with.

Some of the songs listed below are included on early draft listings of what Springsteen imagined "Album #3" (i.e, Born To Run) might look like. Bruce noted song timings for several of these tracks, so presumably recordings of some kind existed. Five of these lists are known, all apparently composed at some point in 1974.

Listings #2 and #3 appear to be composed on the same sheet of paper. It is unknown whether the two lists are contemporary, or if Springsteen returned to the same page some time later to add a second track list. Source for these two lists is a display at the From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen exhibition, a typed version of which is reproduced in issue 89 of Backstreets magazine. A sixth draft listing includes the songs "Angel Baby", [Saga of the] "Architect Angel", "Thundercrack", "Vision (sic) at Fort Horn", "Two Hearts" [In True Waltz Time], "Here She Comes", "Glory Road", "Janey Needs A Shooter", and "Jungleland". This particular listing dates from very early in the sessions, perhaps as early as the spring of 1974.

ANGELS SONG listing #6

Note: It is not certain which song Springsteen is referring to - it could potentially be "A Night Like This" (aka "Angel Baby") or "Angel('s) Blues (aka "Ride On Sweet William"). The former is known to have been performed on June 2, 1974 in Toledo, OH and was certainly recorded at 914 Studios in October 1974 (see above). The latter was performed live on March 10, 1974 in Houston, TX. No studio recording of this song is known.

BABY & ME (BLONDIE) listing #2, #3 and #4

Note: Potentially the same song. No other details known.

BORN TO BE ALONE listing #4

Note: Written as "Orbison - Born To Be Alone". Could very well be an early working title for the Orbison-influenced "Thunder Road", even before it was called "Glory Road".

BORN TO WIN listing #4

Note: No details known.

DOWN AT THE CLUB listing #6

Note: With a running time of 4:00. No other details known.

DUEL / DUAL listing #5

Note: Written as "Dual", but given the tone of other titles from the same era, we think Springsteen meant "Duel".

ELVIS STYLE listing #2

Note: Could be a working title for another song.

EVERY LITTLE BIT listing #2

Note: Title known only from this early track listing.

GLORY ROAD listing #1, 2, 3, 5 & 6

Note: During an interview with Australian journalist Ian "Molly" Meldrum in April 1995, Springsteen was asked: "was Thunder Road originally called Glory Road?" Springsteen: "That title sounds familiar. That sounds right." He goes on to say that he is "…not sure if that song started out as Glory Road or not but the title came out of the [Robert] Mitchem picture". A lyric sheet that has emerged since the Meldrum interview suggests that "Glory Road" may actually have been a title or phrase used by Springsteen while he was in the process of composing "Born To Run". However, since "Glory Road" and "Born To Run" both appear on listings #1 and #4, it seems possible that they were individual songs at some point before they were combined to form the final version of "Born To Run".

HERE SHE COMES WALKIN' listing #1 and 5

Note: Also known as "Here She Comes". Apparently resurrected in 1980 during The River Tour as introduction to "I Wanna Marry You". The title would crop up once again in 1988 during the introduction to "All That Heaven Will Allow". Title also found on a circa 1975 worksheet, and appears to be contemporary with songs such as "Lonely Night In The Park", "Janey Needs A Shooter" and "Thunder Road".

HIDIN' ON THE RIVER N/A

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross. No other details known.

JR. WALKER GROOVE - A LOVE SO FINE listing #4

Note: Another title of "So Young And In Love", "A Love So Fine", and later "Action In the Streets". Junior Walker was a saxophonist, whose group Junior Walker & the All Stars played for the Motown label in the 1960s, with many hits like "Shotgun" and "What Does It Take". In early 1974, Springsteen regularly incorporated "Shotgun" into performances of "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)".

KILLERS PARADISE (THE VIOLENT ONES) listing N/A

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross. Possibly one of a number of songs that evolved into "Born To Run". During an interview with Australian journalist Ian "Molly" Meldrum in April 1995, Springsteen was asked "When you are writing do you take parts of different songs and combine them into a single song? Because “Born To Run” itself seemed to have parts of “The Violent Ones” in it". Springsteen seems surprised by the question, and responds "I don't remember it but I would like to hear it because it's a good title".

LATIN SONG listing #5

Note: No details known.

LIVIN' IN THE GHETTO (HARLEM) listing #2 and #3

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross, and found as track ten on listing #2 as "Harlem".

LONESOME TOWN (BLONDIE) listing #2, #3 and #4

Note: Possibly the same song as "Baby & Me (Blondie)", listed above. Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross, but apparently misread and listed as "Lonesome Train".

LOVE AND DEFIANCE N/A.

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross. A handwritten lyric sheet was sold at auction in June 2014. "Of Love & Defiance" can also be found in a handwritten list of potential titles for album #3.

MARY'S SONG N/A

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross.

NEW DELINQUENT LOVERS listing #5

Note: No details known.

THEME FOR AN IMAGINARY WAITRESS (FONTAINBLEU WALTZ) listing #6

Note: Also known as "Portrait Of An Imaginary Waitress (Fountainableu)", as found in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross. Cross notes that this song may have evolved into "Linda Let Me Be The One". Easily the most curious song title from this era.

PRETTY THING listing #6

Note: No details known.

SAINT JIMMY'S DREAM N/A

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross.

SHA LA LA N/A

Note: The Shirelles. Played live during the Born To Run Tour. Also could be a Springsteen original that shares the same title.

SHANGHAI listing #3

Note: Also known as "Tokyo" and "And The Band Played". Performed live as late as June 1974 and apparently considered for several albums before disappearing without trace.

SHE COMES UNTO MY ROOM (SCENE #1) N/A

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross.

SHOOTOUT IN CHINATOWN listing #4

Note: No details known.

SOMETIMES AT NIGHT N/A

Note: Known from a 1974 list of potential album titles. Previously, a song titled "Sometimes At Night" was performed by the Bruce Springsteen Band in 1972, and a handwritten lyric sheet was displayed at the Brussels Hard Rock Cafe in 2013. It seems unlikely that Springsteen was considering using "Sometimes At Night" for the album, but instead appropriated the title.

SONG FOR ORPHANS listing #2, #3, #4 and #5

Note: Also known as "Song To Orphans". Also as "Wild Billy's Song To Orphans" (although this could potentially be a different song altogether) and as "A Song For Orphans". Clearly a strong candidate for inclusion on album #3 during the early days of the sessions. Recorded at 914 Studios in February 1973 during the Wild & Innocent sessions.

STILL THERE N/A

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross.

STREET FIGHT listing #4 and #5

Note: No details known.

THE STREET N/A

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross.

THE STREET GOES ON FOREVER N/A

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross. May not be a song, since "The Street Goes On Forever" can also be found in a handwritten list of potential titles for album #3.

SURRENDER AT THE CITADEL N/A.

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross. May not be a song, since "Surrender At The Citadel" can also be found in a handwritten list of potential titles for album #3.

THUNDER HILL listing #5

Note: No details known.

VIRGIN SUMMER NIGHTS N/A

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross. According to Louis P. Masur's 2009 book Runaway Dream: Born To Run And Bruce Springsteen's American Vision, "She's The One" was originally titled "Virgin Summer Nights". It's more plausible that "Virgin Summer Nights" was a different song that later evolved into "She's The One".

WAR ROSES listing #3

Note: Also known as "War And Roses". May have been considered for the title of album #3.

WILD ANGELS N/A

Note: Probably not a song title - handwritten lyrics for an early draft version of "Born To Run" include the phrase "Wild Angels" in the margin.

WILD BILLY'S LULLABY listing #3

Note: Written by Springsteen as "Wild Billy's Lullabye or (Dream)". We can't be certain what Bruce means here, but "Wild Billy's Dream" may be an alternative title for "Wild Billy's Lullaby". May be a sequel to "Wild Billy's Circus Story". Also of interest is track six of listing #3, "Wild Billy's Song To Orphans". There appears to be a connection, but the nature of the relationship between "Song To Orphans" and "Wild Billy" is a mystery.

WILD FIRE N/A

Note: Or "Wildfire". Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross.

WILD ONES listing #6

Note: Also known as "Wild One". Springsteen may have taken the title from the 1953 Marlon Brando movie The Wild One. Indeed, the leather motorcycle jacket worn by Brando in the movie is very similar to that sported by Springsteen on the Born To Run album sleeve. Title also seen on another handwritten document, Springsteen's note reads "Janey Need A Shooter to Wild One chords".

WILD ROSES N/A

Note: Title printed in the second edition of Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross.


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