Born To Run - Studio Sessions


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Commercially Released*: August 25, 1975
Label: Columbia
Produced** by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and Mike Appel
Recorded by Jimmy Iovine and Louis Lahav, assisted by Thom Panunzio, Ricky Delena and Corky Stasiak
 at The Record Plant and 914 Sound Studios (January 1974 - July 1975)
Mixed by Jimmy Iovine, assisted by Thom Panunzio, Dave Thoener, Andy Abrams and Corky Stasiak 
Mastered by Greg Calbi
Design by John Berg and Andy Engel
Photography by Eric Meola

* 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 sessions can be traced as far back as January 8, 1974 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, New York, with the first rehearsals of "Born To Run" and "Jungleland", and concluded on July 20, 1975 at the Record Plant, though final mixing continued after the band went on tour. The recording process was famously lengthy; Springsteen's perfectionism and frustration with the antiquated studio slowed progress to a crawl. Impatient with the grueling sessions, David Sancious left the band in August 1974 for a solo deal and took Ernest "Boom" Carter with him, leaving the band without keyboards and drums. Refusing to use session musicians, Springsteen and Appel placed a classified ad in The Village Voice for replacements, leading to the recruitment of Max Weinberg and Roy Bittan. Engineer Louis Lahav's wife Suki, a violinist and singer, joined the touring band around this time and would participate in the Born To Run sessions as well.

In March 1975, over Mike Appel's vociferous objections, Bruce invited Jon Landau to join the production team. Landau convinced Springsteen to move from Blauvelt to the more expensive Record Plant in Times Square, where at least the pedal on the piano would not be audible in the sound mix. Landau also hired engineer Jimmy Iovine. In their new studio on April 18, with Landau as a producer, Springsteen and the E Street Band would record much of what became the final record. Working extensively with Roy Bittan on piano for "Thunder Road" and Clarence Clemons on saxophone for "Jungleland", Springsteen annotated exactly what he envisioned, note-for-note, to his fellow musicians. The sax solo on "Jungleland" alone took 16 hours of work, with Clemons recording eight or nine tracks before cutting and re-cutting the sound.

Three days each were spent on "Thunder Road" and "Jungleland" during April, recording base tracks, vocals, instruments, leaving mixing, dubbing of vocals for July, near the end of the sessions. After "Jungleland" was done on April 25, takes were cut for "Backstreets". Sessions resumed on May 4 with "She's The One" and "Lonely Night In the Park". The rest of May was spent working on finishing those songs, along with "Night", "Linda Let Me Be the One", and "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out". Two days were spent on "Backstreets", which was now finished except for a missing bridge. On the final day, May 28, the only song worked on was a new composition, "The Heist", later re-titled "Meeting Across the River".

Read more about the history of the Born To Run record.

Released

# Song Title Running Time Release
1. THUNDER ROAD 4:44 BORN TO RUN
2. TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT 3:08 BORN TO RUN / 1975 single
3. NIGHT 2:57 BORN TO RUN
4. BACKSTREETS 6:27 BORN TO RUN
5. BORN TO RUN 4:28 BORN TO RUN / 1975 single
6. SHE'S THE ONE 3:36 BORN TO RUN / 1975 b-side
7. MEETING ACROSS THE RIVER 3:11 BORN TO RUN / 1975 b-side
8. JUNGLELAND 9:32 BORN TO RUN

Total Running Time: 39:28

Visit our release-pages for additional information.

Additional Recordings

Details

BORN TO RUN - V1 uncirculating
BORN TO RUN - V2a 4:24 ESR / 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 / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS / BIS / 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 / ESSENTIAL / GREATEST / CHAPTER
BORN TO RUN - V5b 4:28 ETRJ / ETRV / BTRS
BORN TO RUN - V5c 5:27 RTT
BORN TO RUN - V6 uncirculating

Note: In his 2012 biography, Bruce, Peter Ames Carlin wrote that "While on the road in the Mid-South late in 1973, Springsteen 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"." According to Springsteen, the entire writing and recording process for the song took six months, while he was living at a rented cottage at 7½ West End Court in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Though recordings from early 1974 have never surfaced, early lyric sheets of "Glory Road" contain many lines that would be used in "Born To Run", including the title.

V2a is the original backing track recorded on May 21, 1974, after rehearsal in prior sessions. V2b is from June 26, 1974, dubbing Bruce's vocal to the V2a track. Work continued, adding lyrics and overdubs, at 914 Sound Studios, both in June and then after starting a week's residency at the studio on August 1, 1974. Finally, on August 6, 1974, seventy-two tracks were mixed down to the sixteen available by engineer Louis Lahav. The core backing track is V3. The variants of V4 are numerous test mixes and arrangements, with backing vocals, double-tracked vocals and strings: V4a has a double tracked vocal, strings and hard organ stop; V4b has double tracked vocals. swirling strings, female chorus, and hard organ stop; V4c has a female chorus and delayed organ end. V4d has a female chorus that does not start until third verse, with funky dead stop. 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 and was released by Ktel-CBS in Australia-only in early 1976 on a multi-artist LP called Supersounds.

In a 2006 interview, Louis Lahav described the mixing process: "Springsteen kept changing the lyrics and the song got finished only when he was pleased with the text. But we weren't working only on the vocals that entire time. We were tweaking, over-dubbing and pre-mixing until the last moment. In addition to the rhythm section there were strings, glockenspiel, piano, electric guitars, brasses, about four or five acoustic guitars, there are probably thousands of parts and instruments in it. For example, the sax solo was edited from about seven different solo tracks … it took me hours punching in and out what you can do these days in seconds". The final mix chosen for release is V5a. In late October 1974, an advanced tape release of the official version (V5b) was sent to selected radio stations by Mike Appel and Springsteen. V5c is a live recording from WMMR Studios in Philadelphia on November 3, 1974, with Ed Sciaky and Bruce playing v5b on the air. The tape was broadcast by several USA radio stations from November 1974 to July 1975. There is little difference between V5a and V5b, except v5b is pre-brickwalled for radio broadcast. V6 is a studio log entry for March 17, 1975, an attempted mix session at Columbia Studios, 49 East 52nd Street, New York. Jon Landau is quoted in Down Thunder Road: "Sometime later Bruce … decided to go in and attempt to remix [the single] "Born To Run". Bruce called me and told me. He asked if I would be able to drop by. They were doing this work at CBS Studios in Manhattan". Bruce similarly wrote in his autobiography, "We took it to a New York studio one evening and in a half hour realized the impossibility of our task. We would never corral that sound again".

JUNGLELAND - V1 uncirculating
JUNGLELAND - V2 uncirculating
JUNGLELAND - V3 1:33 BIS / WAR / ET / BTRS
JUNGLELAND - V4 uncirculating
JUNGLELAND - V5 9:43 BTRS
JUNGLELAND - V6 9:44 ESR / BTRO
JUNGLELAND - V7 9:37 DDITV / BTRS / BTRCS / UBTROC / WAR / URT1 / ROOI
JUNGLELAND - V8 9:14 ROOI / UBTROC
JUNGLELAND - V9 9:32 BORN TO RUN / ESSENTIAL: 2003
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Note: V1 is from January 8, 1974, a rehearsal session at 914 Sound Studios, Blauevelt, New York. No audio or lyric sheets exist for this session. V2 is a complete take, cut August 1, 1974. The first circulating live performance of "Jungleland" is from the July 12, 1974 show, a test recording stopped by Mike Appel after "Kitty's Back" and "Jungleland" were complete, and V2, cut before David Sancious and Ernest Cartner left the band, may have sounded like this. Through 1974, Bruce continued to play "Jungleland" live, and worked on it the studio; V3 is a segment of Bruce and Suki Lahav recording vocals for dubbing, and the recording captures her talking to Bruce and signing the song coda with heavy echo. V4 was attempted October 17, 1974. During the second half of 1974 and the first half of 1975, lyrics included "there’s a crazy kind of light tonight, brighter than the one that sparkles for prophets" which were changed in July 1975 to "the midnight gang's assembled and picked a rendezvous for the night". Similarly, the 1974-early 1975 lyrics "the street's alive with tough-kid Jets in Nova-light machines, boys flash guitars like bayonets and rip holes in their jeans", later became "the street's alive as secret debts are paid, contacts made, they vanished unseen, kids flash guitars just like switch-blades hustling for the record machine".
Jon Landau relocated the Born To Run sessions to the Record Plant on April 18, 1975, the sessions from which all other circulating versions emanate. These sessions did not include Suki Lahav, who returned to Israel after her last show with the band in March 1975, along with her husband, engineer Louis Lahav, who was replaced by Jimmy Iovine. Much of the first day was devoted to "Jungleland", heard in V5, and with the band recording base tracks. V6 has the same opening as V5, but after that uses a guide vocal by Bruce, strings and no sax, which are also present in V7. Studio logs show V5-7 were all recorded between April 18 and April 25, 1975. V8 is the final version being overdubbed on July 14, lacking a lead guitar track, with different vocals, but with the lyrics now complete. Final takes for V9, the album track, came down to the last minute on July 20, according to Bruce: "Clarence and I finishing the "Jungleland" sax solo, 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".

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 ESR / 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.

HIDIN' ON THE RIVER - V1 uncirculating
BACKSTREETS - V2a 6:44 WAR / BTRS / BTRCS / UBTROC / ROOI
BACKSTREETS - V2b 3:12 private cdr
BACKSTREETS - V2c 6:26 ESR / 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: The story that the song 'Born to Run' took six months to complete is well known, but "Jungleland", "Thunder Road", and "Backstreets" all took longer. Early drafts of "Backstreets" from 1974 were called 'Hidin’ On The River'. After Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg joined the E Street Band in August 1974, the new version of the band attempted to record the song at 914 Sound Studios. Clinton Heylin reports that they "made stabs at" the "late-night betrayal song" on October 17, 1974. These sessions did not go well, and after several months of slow progress, Bruce asked Jon Landau to come aboard in March 1975. One of Landau's first moves was to relocate the sessions to the Record Plant.

On April 25, their second week there, V2 was recorded. The second verse starts with the line "Running in the dark" and includes mostly-unwritten lyrics to the bridge, although it included the line "save yourself a new guitar string to get you around by", however, the third verse and the ending are present. V2b is a short take, and circulates in some private CDR sources; this is the same take and mix as V2a. Version 2c, released on E Street Radio, has guitar overdubs. V3, the "strings version", was cut May 19 or 23. Lyric changes now include "St. Johns" in the second verse and a still-incomplete bridge, with the placeholder lyric "the heroes in the funhouse ripping off the fags". V3a and 3b are vastly different mixes, but share the same lyrics, and were probably cut on the same day. V4 was recorded May 23 or July 6; the source quality is poor (V4b is pitch correction remastered by Fanatic Records, V4c is 30 seconds short), but what stands out is the second verse lyrics are now complete. However, the bridge remained incomplete. It appears Bruce envisioned the bridge containing a confrontation of great emotional power, but the words are still not there. The strings are dropped from all future versions. The final album sequence of July 2, 1975, had "Backstreets" as the album closer, but this was revised to the current configuration (ending Side 1) on July 7. V5, which is the album take and final mix, was completed on July 18, 1975, with a vocal overdub of the bridge.

NIGHT - V1 2:55 ESR / BTRS
NIGHT - V2 2:51 WAR / VAFH / BWNH / BTRS
NIGHT - V3 uncirculating
NIGHT - V4 - take 8 2:57 BORN TO RUN

Note: V1 of "Night" was recorded at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY in early August 1974, with a core rhythm track, guide vocal and guitar, and was included in a possible album sequence in late-autumn 1974. V2 includes double-tracked vocals, and was recorded at 914 Studios during October 1974. Ten further takes were recorded at the Record Plant on May 10, 1975. Take 8 was marked 'Great - Hold', which suggests that one was the recording used for Born To Run, as no further recordings of the song are known. The first line of the song was re-used from Springsteen's Steel Mill composition 'Oh Mama', from 1970.

VIRGIN SUMMER NIGHTS - V1 uncirculating
SHE'S THE ONE - V2 6:17 BIS / WAR / ET / BTRS / BTRCS
SHE'S THE ONE - V3a 4:22 ESR / BTRS
SHE'S THE ONE - V3b 4:15 ESR
SHE'S THE ONE - V4 uncirculating
SHE'S THE ONE - V5 3:36 BORN TO RUN

Note: Springsteen's earliest compositions of this Bo Diddley-styled rocker was called 'Virgin Summer Nights', V1 rehearsed and recorded (unverified) in early August 1974. The song was called, 'She's the One' when it debuted at Avery Fisher Hall in New York on October 4, 1974. V2 was recorded on October 16, 1974 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, New York. According to studio logs, the next session (V3) 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". Conversely, Springsteen imported Contessa's beauty secrets from "Santa Ana"; "French cream won’t soften those boots, baby French kisses will not break your heart". After all the tracks for Born to Run had been completed, and the tour had begun, Springsteen drove back to the studio two nights in a row (July 24-25), to finish dubbing vocals of a new second verse and bridge for V4, "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". The new lyrics changed the song from a fight with his girlfriend to a magical love song. The track V5 was completed on July 25 for the album.

THE HEIST - V1 2:54 ESR / 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 until late April or May 1975; the working title was "The Heist", and that 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 work-in-progress versions with alternate horn arrangements. All were recorded on May 28, 1975 as "The Heist" with top session musician Randy Brecker on trumpet. Included on July 2 final and July 7 revised-final album sequences, thanks to Mike Appel, who fought tooth and nail to keep it on the album; Bruce wanted "Linda Let Me Be the One". The final album mixing sessions were 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 - V3a 3:08 BORN TO RUN / ESSENTIAL: 2015
TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT - V3b 3:18 private

Note: Work on this song began May 5, 1975. V1 is a brief snippet of the tail section of what appears to be a unique 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. V3a was recorded on July 13, 1975 at the Record Plant, featuring Randy and Michael Brecker on horns, in a last-minute arrangement by Steven Van Zandt. V3b has a cold ending (no fadeout) and includes only bass, drums, horns and vocal. A stereo fold down mono version is also available as the b-side of the white label promo 45.

LINDA LET ME BE THE ONE - V1 4:32 BIS / WAR / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS / VAFH
LINDA LET ME BE THE ONE - V2 uncirculating
LINDA LET ME BE THE ONE - V3 4:27 TRACKS / BTRCS
LINDA LET ME BE THE ONE - V4 uncirculating

Note: 'Linda Let Me Be the One' V1 was recorded either May 8 or 19, 1975, has a more tentative vocal and is shorter than the later takes. V2 and V3 were recorded at The Record Plant on June 29, 1975 (not June 28, as found in the Tracks liner notes) and feature a much stronger vocal, a different intro and a different sax part. Springsteen recorded two different versions, a "hard slow version" and a "ballad version." Further work was undertaken (either mixing or overdubs) on July 8. As of July 2, 1975, it was sequenced for Side 2, track 1 of Born To Run, but bumped from that slot in favor of "Born To Run" (song), and bumped from the album entirely by "Meeting Across the River"

LONELY NIGHT AT THE BEACH - V1 uncirculating
LONELY NIGHT IN THE PARK - V2 4:48 ESR / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS / UBTROC
LONELY NIGHT IN THE PARK - V3 4:20 uncirculating

Note: "Lonely Night In the Park" V2 was recorded at The Record Plant on May 4, 1975. This long-documented song finally surfaced in late 2005 during broadcasts by Sirius radio. The circulating version is clearly only an unfinished, early workout. This recording and additional takes on May 5 (V3) are the only mention of the song in studio logs. V1, titled "Lonely Night At the Beach", is from 1974, when many records from 914 Sound Studios are missing, including any early takes of this song. However, it was included in album sequences from 1974 up to July 2, 1975, after which it was removed to make room for the title track. The song was included under both titles in track sequences for the album, showing that its inclusion was seriously considered.

SO YOUNG AND IN LOVE - V1 uncirculating
JR. WALKER GROOVE - A LOVE SO FINE - V2 uncirculating
A LOVE SO FINE - V3 3:47 BIS / WAR / ET / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS / ETRJ
SO YOUNG AND IN LOVE - V4 3:47 TRACKS / BTRCS
A LOVE SO FINE - V5 3:47 uncirculating
ACTION IN THE STREETS 3:47 uncirculating
PARADISE BY THE "C" 3:10 RIVER: OUTTAKES

Note: "Jr. Walker Groove" V1 was the working 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). V4 (in surprisingly good quality) was released on Tracks as "So Young and In Love", with confusing and likely inaccurate notes dating it to 1/6/74. The Record Plant is listed as the recording venue, which is also unlikely; it was more probably 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY. Other reports say "So Young And In Love" was recorded in late May 1974. The biggest indicator is the drummer and keyboard player; if they are Weinberg and Bittan, the date must be after they joined the band in August 1974. The cut on Tracks might be recorded on October 16, 1974, though neither "So Young and In Love" nor "A Love So Fine" is listed on the unreliable logs of that era. There was, however, a session on that day, which produced a two-inch master reel that has "A Love So Fine" (perhaps mis-titled) and "Born To Run" paired, suggesting this might be the master for an aborted single. An instrumental backing track of "A Love So Fine" has been in circulation since the late seventies, apparently the same backing track as used for "So Young And In Love" on Tracks. No studio vocal of ‘A Love So Fine’ version circulates. A version of the song was reborn during the 1977 Lawsuit Tour as "Action In the Streets", with entirely new lyrics; no studio recording is known. Yet another rewrite appeared in May 1978, the saxophone-led "Paradise By The C". A recording of this instrumental version was officially released on The Ties That Bind, The River: Outtakes in 2015, but according to Clinton Heylin, "Paradise By The C" was never recorded in the studio. Instead, a 24-track live tape (perhaps from the soundcheck) from July 8, 1978 at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum, Phoenix, Arizona was apparently used.

WALKING IN THE STREET - V1 uncirculating
WALKING IN THE STREET - V2 3:56 BIS / WAR / ET / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS / ETRJ
WALKING IN THE STREET - V3 uncirculating
recording_btrrecordplant-walkin.jpg

Note: "Lovers In The Cold", interchangeable with it's other title, "Walking In the Street" was first worked on August 10, 1974, V1, and then a rough, clearly unfinished V2 was recorded on October 16-17, 1974 at 914 Sound Studios. In January 1975, Bruce decided to move the following lyrics to another composition called "Wings For Wheels"; the line, "they case the promised land" and the 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 In the Street" refused to die. It first appeared on one of the earliest Springsteen studio bootlegs, '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 with either "Walking In the Street(s)" or "Lovers In the Cold", such as 'Born In the Studio', 'War And Roses - The Definitive Born To Run Outtakes Collection', and 'Running Out Of Innocence' by Godfatherecords.

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, designated V3 (see illustration). This could well be the reel holding the takes from that session, but Sony and Springsteen are unable to locate it. Springsteen later taped a rehearsal at Monmouth Post Theater in January 1999, perhaps with a view to issuing a fresh recording of "Walking In the Street" on 18 Tracks alongside "The Promise". Springsteen commented to Mark Hagen of Mojo magazine in 1999, "There was another [track] called 'Walking In The Street' which I would have liked to have put on [Tracks], but I couldn't find the master. We searched and searched. It might have been simply recorded over, because in those days, if something wasn't going to make it, you're going to need that tape so you recorded something else over the top." On May 28, he spent the day recording at least twenty takes of 'The Heist', while there is no record of "Walking In the Street" in the studio logs.

A NIGHT LIKE THIS uncirculating

Note: Recorded at 914 Sound Studios on October 16, 1974. Also 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".

ANGEL'S BLUES uncirculating

Note: Written mid- to late 1973. Also known by the titles "She's So Fine" and "Ride On Sweet William".

SONG TO THE ORPHANS - V1 uncirculating
SONG TO THE ORPHANS - V2 uncirculating
SONG FOR ORPHANS - V3 6:34 BTF / UNE / PS / EY / US4 / DT / ATMF
SONG FOR ORPHANS - V4 uncirculating

Note: Written in the fall of 1971, "Song To the Orphans" V1 was played for Mike Appel, following Baby Doll, on November 4, 1971, at their first meeting at Pocketful of Tunes, 39 West 55th Street, New York, NY. Appel described it as the most boring song he ever heard. V2 recorded at Mediasound Studios, 311 West 57th Street, New York, NY, June-July 1972. V3 recorded at 914 Sound Studios on February 19, 1973, V4 recorded next day. Found on a proposed track-listing document for the Greetings album. "Song For Orphans" first played live on August 10, 1972 at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY, and was an occasional inclusion in Bruce’s opening solo segment during the first three months of the Greetings album tour. A couple of live audio performances from that period are circulating. Occasionally written as "Song To Orphans", "Song To The Orphans" and variations thereof. Although not considered for album #2, Springsteen composed several lists of songs in 1974, that were candidates for inclusion on his third album (see BTR seq 2-5), and "Song For Orphans" made several. More information.

TALKING ABOUT MY BABY - V1 uncirculating
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V2 6:02 US6 / EY / ATMF
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V3 uncirculating
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V4 uncirculating
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V5 uncirculating
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V6 4:30 uncirculating
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V7 1:34 LM-8
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V8 2:34 LM-8 / PYP
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V9 6:50 DDO / DO-1 / EC / ATMF

Note: "Janey Needs A Shooter" has a long complicated history. V2 was recorded in a solo piano arrangement at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY, on January 29, 1973, with additional takes on January 30. The lyrics were written during 1972, although the melody was culled from a mid-1971 Springsteen composition, performed by the Bruce Springsteen Band only once live, from a Richmond show in October 1971, called "Talking About My Baby" V1. It appeared on provisional lists for The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle album, but did not make the final cut. Also 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 May 1974 (V4), October 1974 (V5), and again in February 1975 (V6), but it was bypassed for Born To Run.

V7 and V8 are acoustic demos Bruce recorded around March-April 1979, at Telegraph Hill. V9 is a magnificent 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. "Janey Needs A Shooter" was also included on a very early tracklist for what became The River, but in all likelihood never seriously considered. 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. Bruce agreed, and 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.

Potential Album Sequences

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. Some of these lists are known, all apparently composed at some point in 1974, some have additions written later in the sessions in 1975.

Dates from very early in the sessions, perhaps as early as the spring of 1974, maybe even earlier.

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.

ANGELS SONG uncirculating

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. The latter was performed live on March 10, 1974 in Houston, TX. No studio recording of this song is known. Found on listing #1 as "Angel Baby".

SHOOTOUT IN CHINATOWN - V1 uncirculating
SHOOTOUT IN CHINATOWN - V2 uncirculating

Note: V1 from 1973. V2 appears in a song/album sequence dated to August-October 1974.

GLORY ROAD uncirculating

Note: During an interview with Australian journalist Ian "Molly" Meldrum in April 1995, Springsteen was asked if this was an early title for "Thunder Road"; Springsteen replied tentatively that it was possible. Two lyric sheets that have 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". Phrases later used in "Born To Run" such as "tramps like us baby we were born to run" and "let me show you love is wild, let me show you love is real" can be found in the "Glory Road" lyric sheets. 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".

DOWN AT THE CLUB 4:00 uncirculating

Note: Written or recorded April - May 1975. Appears on listing #6.

HERE SHE COMES WALKIN' uncirculating

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". listing #1 and 4.

SOMETIMES AT NIGHT - V1 uncirculating
SOMETIMES AT NIGHT - V2 uncirculating

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.

LIVIN' IN THE GHETTO (HARLEM) uncirculating

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) uncirculating

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". Found on listing #2 and as "Baby & Me (BLondie)" on #3.

BABY AND ME (BLONDIE) uncirculating

Note: Potentially the same song. No other details known. Found on listing #2 as "Lonesome Town (Blondie)" and #3.

PRETTY THING uncirculating

Note: Found on listing #5.

LOVE AND DEFIANCE uncirculating

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.

BORN TO BE ALONE uncirculating

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 uncirculating

Note: No details known.

DUEL / DUAL uncirculating

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

ELVIS STYLE uncirculating

Note: Could be a working title for another song.

EVERY LITTLE BIT uncirculating

Note: Title known only from this early track listing.

KILLERS PARADISE (THE VIOLENT ONES) uncirculating

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" (as speculated by Molly Meldrum in the famous 1995 interview).

LATIN SONG uncirculating

Note: No details known.

MARY'S SONG uncirculating

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

NEW DELINQUENT LOVERS uncirculating

Note: No details known.

THEME FOR AN IMAGINARY WAITRESS (FONTAINBLEU WALTZ) uncirculating

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".

SAINT JIMMY'S DREAM uncirculating

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

SHA LA LA uncirculating

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

SHANGHAI uncirculating

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.

SHE COMES UNTO MY ROOM (SCENE #1) uncirculating

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

STILL THERE uncirculating

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

STREET FIGHT uncirculating

Note: No details known.

THE STREET uncirculating

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

THE STREET GOES ON FOREVER uncirculating

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 uncirculating

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 uncirculating

Note: No details known.

WAR ROSES uncirculating

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

WILD ANGELS uncirculating

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 uncirculating

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 uncirculating

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

WILD ONES uncirculating

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, where Springsteen's note reads: "Janey Need A Shooter to Wild One chords".

WILD ROSES uncirculating

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


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