Darkness On The Edge Of Town - Studio Sessions


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Commercial Release: June 2, 1978
Label: Columbia 
Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and Steven Van Zandt (assistant)
Recorded by Jimmy Iovine, Thom Panunzio (assistant) 
 at Atlantic Studios (June - August 1977) and The Record Plant (August 1977 - April 1978)
Mixed by Jimmy Iovine and Chuck Plotkin
Mastered by Mike Reese
Photography by Frank Stefanko

Overview

Springsteen reached a final settlement in his year-long litigation with Mike Appel on May 28, 1977. Effectively this meant that for the first time in a year Springsteen was able to go into a studio and record. He wasted no time. Recording sessions for the fourth album began just four days later, on June 1, 1977 at Atlantic Studios in New York City. That first night Springsteen laid down at least eight songs, including a take of "Something In The Night" that actually made the final album. Springsteen had a considerable amount of new material – but the songs were in various stages of writing completion. Consequently, many of the songs were shaped over the course of numerous sessions spanning several months.

The sessions at Atlantic Studios were only two or three weeks old when problems surfaced. Bruce didn't like the sound he was getting from the studio (particularly the drums). On top of that, Atlantic did not offer a particularly comfortable or livable environment for the musicians. So there was a decision taken to shift operations to the nearby Record Plant (where most of the Born To Run album had been recorded). However, they’d already made financial commitments to Atlantic Studios, plus on such short notice they were unable to find much un-booked studio time at the popular Record Plant. Consequently, the period through August into September 1977 saw Springsteen and the band recording at both studios – but mostly Atlantic. However, from mid-September thru late December all recording seems to have taken place at The Record Plant – where all but one the recordings issued on the original album emanate from.

The actual recording sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town were completed by early January 1978. The mixing sessions began in early January 1978 and dragged on until late March – there were a tremendous amount of different mixes considered, with Springsteen changing his mind on the mix of one song ("The Promised Land") as late as early April. "Candy's Room" was mixed from March 3-5, 1978, with take 42 selected for the album on March 5, 1978. "Factory" mix take 28 from April 3, 1978, was pressed to a metal acetate with the title "Factory Song" on April 12, 1978. "Badlands", recorded February 22, 1978, was pressed to metal acetate the day after final mix 23 on April 11, 1978, though another recording from February 24 or 25 was eventually issued on the Darkness album. More information can be found in the detail records of the tracks that made the album.

The final recording for Darkness was the title track, which Bruce worked on in June 1977, then set aside for the duration of the sessions. On March 8, 1978, he suddenly called his forces together, and over three days, they re-recorded "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" from scratch and completed the album take on March 10. The Record Plant was undergoing some construction, so work was done in a studio with bare concrete walls, after the room was gutted prior to renovation. This suited Bruce fine. Final work on "Factory" also took place on March 10, and it is possible the band recorded additional parts that day. Bruce completed it on March 14. From March 1978 to the start of the Darkness Tour in late May Steve Van Zandt and Max Weinberg were very busy at nearby Secret Sound Studios with Southside Johnny’s Hearts Of Stone album (released early October 1978). Springsteen donated two non short-listed songs from the Darkness sessions to the Southside LP project.

According to comments by Darkness sessions recording engineer Jimmy Iovine, about thirty songs were recorded to a completed state and available for inclusion on the Darkness album. There were an unknown number of additional songs not fully completed. What "not fully completed" means is uncertain. At this stage, 32 songs have been officially released (the ten on the original album, four on Tracks and eighteen on The Promise), but several of these have modern vocal takes, and their 1978 state remains unknown. There is also an unknown amount of not fully finished recordings. The list below contains approximately 60 songs (several have multiple titles) from the period that likely encompass all of the thirty songs Jimmy Iovine was alluding to, as well as most of the ones never completed. 28 remain unreleased.

The audio from the Darkness sessions that has surfaced unofficially over the years has been of rather disappointing quality. During the late 1970s and 1980s most of it was of very weak quality. However, over the past twenty years lower generation audio specimens have emerged and the CD-era boots of this audio have been a noticeable improvement over their vinyl era counterparts. Yet in many cases it has become apparent that there were flaws in the way the original source individuals taped these studio sessions. There certainly appears to have been some hidden “fly-on-the-wall” type tapings. The other problem is that much of the leaked audio is of early studio workouts of these songs, rather than later, fully realized renditions. Most of the leaked studio material emanates from the June-October 1977 period, so the later November 77-January 78 sessions may include several other songs that remain undocumented, even after the release of The Promise.

The 2010 release of The Promise gives us a slightly better understanding of the Darkness sessions, as well as access to several tracks that were previously unknown to us such as "Save My Love". However, the wonderful notebook facsimile included in the box lists titles of many songs (see Part Four below) that are totally new to us. It is unknown how many of these songs actually exist; many may not be songs at all - just titles. Jimmy Iovine mentions in the making-of documentary that Springsteen wrote seventy songs for potential use on "Album IV". For more information, see the sections below, including Potential Album Sequences, and the "Darkness Sessions timeline", which can be accessed by clicking "Details" under Table of Contents; to the right you will see a second tab for "Timeline". Unlike our formal listings, this section includes unconfirmed rehearsal sessions and songs Jan 1976 to May 1977.

Released

# Song Title Running Time Release
1. BADLANDS 4:01 DARKNESS
2. ADAM RAISED A CAIN 4:31 DARKNESS
3. SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT 5:08 DARKNESS
4. CANDY'S ROOM 2:43 DARKNESS
5. RACING IN THE STREET 6:51 DARKNESS
6. THE PROMISED LAND 4:25 DARKNESS
7. FACTORY 2:15 DARKNESS
8. STREETS OF FIRE 4:02 DARKNESS
9. PROVE IT ALL NIGHT 3:54 DARKNESS
10. DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN 4:23 DARKNESS

Total Running Time: 43:00

Visit our release-pages for additional information.

Additional Recordings

Details

BADLANDS - V1 4:07 LM-2 / DDO / DDOC / DO-3 / AM / UP
BADLANDS - V2 3:47 LM-3 / DDO / DDOC / DO-2 / UP
BADLANDS - V3 3:40 LM-3 / UP / AM / LMEC1
BADLANDS - V4a 3:57 ODM / HOD / AM
BADLANDS - V4b 3:59 uncirculating
BADLANDS - V4c 3:59 uncirculating
BADLANDS - V5 take 23 3:59 DARKNESS / ESSENTIAL / GREATEST / CHAPTER / 1978 SINGLE

Note: Unfortunately, very few outtakes circulate of "Badlands", the anthem he opened concerts with for years, although there must be some good stuff waiting in the vaults. Remember, title, music, lyrics, the Springsteen method of songwriting. The title came from Terrence Malick's 1973 movie, Badlands (he had not seen the movie). In late June, the music had been composed, and was first played by the E Street Band on June 27, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. The song's opening riff, Springsteen revealed years later, is a major-key twist on the minor-key intro to the Animals' 1965 hit 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood'. V1 is an instrumental backing track, recorded on June 27 and 30. Max Weinberg said his opening drum part was suggested by Steve Van Zandt, and inspired by Motown. Bruce had a routine with his engineers to create 'Ruffs' tapes for him, so he could take instrumental or early recordings home and write lyrics. V2 had to be recorded in late June, or on July 11 or 13 at Atlantic Studios. Springsteen was working at Atlantic Studios on July 13, 1977, when the twenty-five-hour-long New York City blackout began; soon after, the opening line "Lights Out Tonight", came into being. New takes, with developing lyrics, were recorded on August 24 and 30, 1977, but contrary to Lost Masters liner notes and many other sources, no outtakes circulate from these sessions.

It wasn't until November 1977, that Badlands was re-written with new lines, including, "I wanna go out tonight, I wanna find out what I got" from 'Iceman', about which he later honestly recalled, "That whole record was a record where I felt like I was going to have to test myself, and that was what I wanted to know, so that line ended up in a few different songs"—Los Angeles Times interview, 1998. Next, from a song by Elvis Presley from the 1962 movie, Kid Galahad, King Of The Whole Wide World: "A poor man wants to be a rich man, A rich man wants to be a king, But the man who can sing when he hasn't got a thing, He's the king of the whole wide world". Bruce translated this to these Verse 2 lines: "You better get it straight, darling, Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king, And a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything, I wanna go out tonight, I wanna find out what I got". Verse 3 was strengthened by, "For the ones who once had a notion, it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive" from Break Out.

V3 was recorded on December 12, 1977 at the Record Plant, with many new pieces in place. Bruce is still yelling at 'the man on the TV', but "Badlands" has started to take shape. The vocals for V4, the album version, were dubbed in during a three-day mixing marathon on February 22, 24 and 25, 1978. V4b is an alternate, with less double-tracked vocals than the Darkness version, and V4c was the final mix from April 11, which was pressed to acetate on April 12, 1978. V5 take 23 was a last moment dubbing, on May 5, 1978, of Clarence Clemons' sax solo. Springsteen's initial excuse for almost leaving it off was that he believed the instrument evoked the city, leaving it out of place on an album set in something more like "the heartland"; he later admitted, "that would have been a major error".

DADDY RAISED A CAIN - V1 uncirculating
ADAM RAISED A CAIN - V2 4:12 LM-3 / UP / AM / LMEC1
ADAM RAISED A CAIN - V3 4:34 DARKNESS

Note: 'Lost Masters III' liner notes say tracks 1-5 are all from August 1977, but Sony logs say track 5, "Prove It All Night" was first cut September 12, 1977, track 3, "Factory", was not even called "Factory" until 1978, and the first take of "Daddy Raised A Cain", was on November 9, 1977, with "Adam Raised A Cain" V2 on December 15, 1977. The Darkness album take, V3, resulted from three consecutive days dubbing, mixing and editing, on February 15, 16 and 17, 1978. Before his death in 1998, Doug Springsteen was asked which of his son's songs he liked best. "The ones about me", he answered.

SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT - V1 uncirculating
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT - V2a 5:06 DDOC / UP / DDO / LUTHER
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT - V2b 5:05 DO-3 / UP / AM
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT - V2c 5:05 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT - V2d 5:11 DARKNESS
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT - V3 4:38 DO-2 / GT / LUTHER / LM-2 / SOTE

Note: "Something In the Night" was written in 1976, rehearsed at Thrill Hill Studio, the barn at his new rental in Holmdel, New Jersey, and premiered live on August 1, 1976. It was played 31 of 54 shows on the Lawsuit Tour 1976-1977, which gave Springsteen opportunities to revise lyrics and modify arrangements. The tour featured a full-time horn section, the Miami Horns, and they were also used in several arrangements. V1 represents all the unidentified takes from Thrill Hill Studio. When the Darkness sessions began on June 1, 1977, several cuts of "Something In the Night" were recorded that evening, and the album take was chosen from these. According to Sony logs, there were two subsequent recording sessions on June 14 and 16, and that was it, until mixing sessions began in 1978. There are five circulating versions, four (V2) which are based on the June 1 take, and one V3 (formerly V1), that was recorded on any of the June dates. Godfatherecords release G.R. BOX 01, 'The Unbroken Promise: Lighting Up The Darkness Sessions', a 6 CD compilation of outtakes from the Darkness sessions, describes in it's extensive liner notes that "Something In The Night" appears in three versions, Version 2a being recorded in June-July 1977 at Atlantic Studios and versions 2b and 2c during September-October 1977. Unfortunately, the Sony logs specify only three days in 1977 when sessions were held. The final notation is Mix take #42 (V2d), from February 27, 1978, was pressed to metal acetate on April 12, 1978, and became track 3 on Darkness On the Edge of Town.

CANDY'S BOY - V1 5:03 PROMISE: DELUXE
CANDY'S BOY - V2 5:22 LM-2 / DO-2 / LMEC2 / DDOC / LES / MT1 / DDO
CANDY'S BOY - V3 4:48 LM-3 / DO-3 / AM / ATEOD
CANDY'S BOY - V4 5:12 ESR
CANDY'S BOY - V5 4:31 PROMISE

Note: "(I Will Forever Be) Candy's Boy", or simply "Candy's Boy", was composed shortly after the Born to Run tour concluded in 1976, though lyrics were not completed until 1977. V1 is a summer 1976 band rehearsal at Bruce's house in Holmdel, NJ (referred to as Telegraph Hill), and is included on the Thrill Hill Vault DVD/Blu-ray in The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set. V2 was recorded in June 1977 at Atlantic Studios, New York, and sounds complete in all respects; several alternate takes or mixes exist, with different vocal tracks and lyrics. V3, V4 and V5 are also thought to be from later in June; the last two dates in the studio logs, August 24 and September 2, are designated as mixing and overdub sessions. The officially released V5, released in 2010 on the The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story, adds "My Sweet Love" to his vows, but is another completed version ready to go on the next album. In October 1977, an album 4 sequence entitled 'Badlands' was delivered to the record company, and artwork was drawn up. The project, which had included "Candy's Boy", was withdrawn by Springsteen, but it would not be unreasonable to think complete versions of "Candy's Boy", "Independence Day", "The Promised Land" and "Badlands" were ready at the time. In mid-September, a decision was made to re-organize "The Fast Song" into "Candy's Room", with the first verse of "Candy's Boy" incorporated, along with lines from "Frankie". Other elements were exported to "Prove It All Night" (the dynamo) and "Drive All Night" (Well there’s machines and there's fire Waiting for us on the edge of town).

THE FAST SONG - V1 2:54 LM-2 / DO-3 / UP / ATEOD / AM / DDO / DDOC
THE FAST SONG - V2a 2:32 DO-3
THE FAST SONG - V2b 2:58 UP / GT / DO-2 / AM / SOTE
THE FAST SONG - V2c 3:01 UP / ODM / HOD / DO-2 / SOTE
THE FAST SONG - V2d 3:04 LM-3 / UP / AM / DDO / MT1 / LUTHER
NEW FAST SONG (CANDY) - V3 uncirculating
CANDY'S ROOM DEMO - V4 1:37 PROMISE: DELUXE
CANDY'S ROOM - V5a - mix take #13 2:41 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
CANDY'S ROOM - V5b - mix take #42 2:43 DARKNESS
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Note: "God's Angels", alternately named "The Fast Song", was a fast-paced melody written over several months, starting in Spring 1977. For many nights on the last legs of the Lawsuit Tour, Bruce interpolated the lyrics of "God's Angels" into "Backstreets". When he got to Atlantic Studios, New York on June 1, he had music and additional lyrics written. Though studio logs show the first take was on June 6, evidence exists that it was recorded on June 1, the first day of sessions (see 'Star Wars' tape below). Instrumental track V1 was worked on in early June. The lyrics heard in V2a can only be found in very poor quality on 'Darkness Outtakes Volume 3 (The Promise)', but features an incredible searing guitar solo, strangely never to be heard again. "I wish God's Angels would tear this town down, blow it into the sea, and that's okay with me because I don't care" stayed with the song, perhaps until the final takes and mixing of "Candy's Room" in March 1978, but it was deleted, and now only heard in bootlegs. V1, 2a-2d were worked on June 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, 20 and 24, and again on August 24, September 1 and 2, 1977, and lyrics slightly change, such as God's Angels alternate "man that's alright with me I don't care anymore". The only song he worked on harder was "Racing In the Street". All of the lines were blown into the sea, starting with changes at the end of September 1977.

The evidence is a bit confusing, but it is not hard to conclude that "Candy's Room" was around since at least May 1977, and was connected to "The Fast Song", as evidenced by the Ampex cassette jacket ('The Star Wars' tape), dated June 1, 1977. Springsteen's mind at this point was turning faster than ever with song ideas; an early concept album, Badlands was set to be released in October 1977, but he postponed it until June 1978. Nothing illustrates his process as well as "Candy's Room". After September 2, 1977, the last time "The Fast Song" and "Candy's Boy" would appear on the logs, Bruce decided to re-organize them into a new 'Fast Song', giving his obsession (Candy) the home she deserves. On September 27, "The New Fast Song" V3 appeared for the first time on studio logs; we don't have an outtake, but we do have the words, on a handwritten lyric sheet titled "The New Fast Song (Candy)". He took the first verse of "Candy's Boy", the second verse from the "Fast Song", lines from "Frankie", and fresh lyrics (i.e. "we kiss", instead of "I got caught" at the start of Max's drum roll). The third verse was mainly adapted from "The Fast Song". The lyrics contain several lines that did not survive to the album track V5. "I get visions of avenging angels of eden with their white horses and flaming swords can blow this whole town into the sea" is from "God's Angels-Fast Song", and "they cant touch Candy and me, our love they cannot destroy, I will forever be Candy's boy" is mostly from "Candy's Boy". According to author Clinton Heylin, the band worked on this extensively over the next two days. Of great interest is the film clip shot by Barry Rebo from September 30, 1977, which appeared on the Thrill Hill Vault DVD/Blu-ray of The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set. It is a short segment, with Bruce and Jon Landau at the Record Plant, as Bruce plays for Jon new lyrics he has written for "Candy's Room Demo" V4; these are entirely different, and describe a magical house at the edge of town, with Candy waiting for him in the window. The date here is also from Sony Archives, which shows another take on December 12, 1977, and then a marathon overdub-mixing session, from March 3 to March 5, 1978, which finally concluded when take 42 (v5b) was selected for Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

DYING IN THE STREET - V1 5:48 DO-3 / LM-3 / UP / AM
RACING IN THE STREET - V2 6:42 LM-3 / UP
RACING IN THE STREET - V3a 6:44 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
RACING IN THE STREET - V3b 6:51 DARKNESS
RACING IN THE STREET - V4a 6:16 LM-2 / DDO / DO-2 / UP / LMEC2 / DDOC / O711S
RACING IN THE STREET ('78) - V4b 6:47 PROMISE

Note: Springsteen started writing "Racing In The Street" shortly after New Years Eve at the Tower Theatre, back in 1975, along with "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" and "The Promise", and court proceedings prevented him from working on it in a recording studio until July 1977. But after he moved into Telegraph Hill in the Summer of 1976, Bruce and the band practiced daily. Unfortunately, it seems that almost none of this was documented, except for Barry Rebo's films (100% owned by Bruce), and what can be inferred by studying the live shows. V1 was recorded July 2, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. According to the Lost Masters III liner notes, V2 was recorded in August 1977, and studio logs show takes on 8 different days at either Atlantic Studios or The Record Plant during the month. The comp. reel for the official album release V3b came on August 30, 1977. However, Bruce returned to his composition in V4a ,with an alternate band arrangement with wailing harmonica and tremendous vocal, recorded between November28 and 30, 1977 at The Record Plant. The officially released V4b, titled "Racing In The Street ('78)" on The Promise, utilizes a different 1977 vocal take and runs longer, but uses the V4 base tracks recorded at the end of November 1977, which have little in common with Racing Part I from August. David Lindley plays modern violin, as he did on "Come On", back in 1977. Work continued on December 6 and 9; studio logs also show mixing sessions at The Record Plant from March 21 thru 23, 1978. Mix take 46 went on Darkness. Bruce adapted the lines "summer's here and the time is right / for goin' racing in the street" from Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing In The Street".

THE PROMISED LAND - V1 uncirculating
THE PROMISED LAND - V2 uncirculating
THE PROMISED LAND - V3a take 5 4:14 ODM / HOD / UP
THE PROMISED LAND - V3b 4:25 DARKNESS / ESSENTIAL

Note: One of the last songs written and recorded for the album, it's genesis was from a short trip taken by Bruce, Steve Van Zandt and photographer Eric Meola on August 17, 1977, two days after breaking from recording for a week. Their plan was to fly into Salt Lake City, Utah, rent a vintage American car, and drive to Reno, Nevada, by way of the Utah and Nevada wilderness. The fruits of their journey were "Rattlesnake speedway in the Utah desert", "the dogs on Main Street howl because they understand" (based on real dogs howling on a Main Street), and Eric's photographs, which appeared throughout The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set. Upon returning, Bruce composed "The Promised Land", and introduced it to the band on September 30, 1977, with 3 takes V1 attempted. Recording resumed on October 27 at the Record Plant, with 20 takes, including V2 take 19, marked "long ending". V3 take 5 on December 1, 1977, which was later pressed to metal acetate on April 12, 1978, is V3a, the final version without the guitar solo. On or about May 12, 1978, Bruce decided a guitar solo by Steve Van Zandt was needed before Clarence Clemons's powerful sax solo. After recording the guitar track, Chuck Plotkin had "The Promised Land" remixed, Side 2 was re-mastered, which briefly delayed album release to June 2.

COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V1 uncirculating
COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V2 2:07 DO-3 / UP / SC / LUTHER
COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V3 2:12 LM-3 / LMEC2 / AM / UP
COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V4 2:09 DDO / DO-1 / UP / DDOC / LES
COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V5 uncirculating
THE FACTORY SONG - V6a 2:15 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
FACTORY - V6b 2:15 DARKNESS
COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V7 2:16 PROMISE

Note: "Come On (Let’s Go Tonight)" was written in the Spring of 1977, and V1 was cut on June 1, 1977, complete with Vox [organ], at Atlantic Studios, on the first night of the Darkness sessions. The band picked up the rhythm quickly, but Bruce had much work to do on the lyrics. V2 is the earliest take we have in circulation, a rough workout, from either July 2 or 13 at Atlantic Studios, but further progress was needed on the lyrics. At this point, Bruce had written, "Everybody wants heaven, but nobody wants to die, Come on, come on, lets go tonight". Two out of three verses had "death in their eyes". "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)" V3 represented a sudden shift; though it retained it's name (Sony logs show all sessions to the end of 1977 under this name), the lyrics were radically rewritten to the story of Douglas Springsteen, Bruce's father, who worked at a machine factory under harsh conditions. An interview quoted Bruce, "I remember my old man was working in this plastics factory… and all I remember, when we used to go in that place, was him standing near 'em loud fucking machines". Now he sang "Factory takes his hearing, but he understands", but the third verse was the outcome of working under these conditions, "somebody's gonna get hurt tonight". It is possible that Bruce worked with both ideas for a while, but after September, all energies went toward "The Factory Song", though it was not named this until January 2, 1978. Sessions took place on August 23, 24 and 30, and September 8, 1977 at the Record Plant. Roy Bittan played his piano Floyd Cramer style to give it a Chet Atkins produced-country feel, and an organ was not in the mix at this point. V4 from November 2, 7, and 8, 1977 features violin overdubs by David Lindley, a well-known musician who played with Jackson Browne. V7, released on the The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set in 2010, is the finished take of "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)", with 2010 overdubs of David Lindley's violin. The vocal is vintage, but the recording date has not been determined, and it is unknown if there is a 1977 version of "Come On" with Lindley. V5 came from December 9 and 29, 1977, and January 2, 1978. V6 was the result of overdub/mixing sessions on March 10 and 14, 1978, all at the Record Plant. The 1978 sessions were under the name "The Factory Song". Danny recorded new organ tracks, which featured prominently in the final album version 6b. Bruce recorded new vocals, and changed, "Factory takes his hearing, but he understands" to "Factory takes his hearing, factory gives him life". V6c is mix take 28 from April 3, 1978, and it was pressed to metal acetate with the title "Factory Song" on April 12, 1978.
What ever happened to "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)"? In March 1981, Bruce wrote new music and recorded a demo at his home in Colts Neck, NJ with the original name. However, he decided to rearrange it once more, combining several lines with new verses, and the first two lines from Chuck Berry's 'Bye Bye Johnny', to create "Johnny Bye-Bye".

STREETS OF FIRE - V1a 3:44 LM-2 / UP / DO-3 / AM / SOTE / ATEOD
STREETS OF FIRE - V1b 3:50 LM-3 / DDO / DO-1 / UP / DDOC / AM
STREETS OF FIRE - V1c 3:51 ODM / HOD / LUTHER / ATEOD
STREETS OF FIRE - V2 4:02 DARKNESS

Note: According to Jimmy Iovine and Jon Landau, "Streets of Fire" was nailed early in the sessions in a live performance on June 24, 1977, with only minor overdubs added later. Minor parts were recorded at either Atlantic or The Record Plant on August 24 and 30. It was sequenced as track two on side one for the aborted "Badlands" release in October. There are no alternate versions, but the guitar solo and the vocals for the final verse and outro were overdubbed on December 6, 12 and 29, 1977 at The Record Plant, with work completed in 28 takes. Mixing was completed on April 5, 1978 by Chuck Plotkin. Of the ten final tracks, only "Something In the Night" (June 1), Racing In the Street" (August 30) and "Prove It All Night" (September 16) were completed before "Streets of Fire". "The Promised Land" gave up it's spot, when Bruce had Steve Van Zandt add his guitar solo in May 1978. Mixes without the December overdubs make up version 1. Note that v1b from 'Lost Masters Vol. III' and 'The Unbroken Promise' were both clocked at 3:36, because both faded in 14 seconds into the track, while v1c, 'Original Darkness Mixes' and it's clone, 'Heart of Darkness' both had a 7 second double count-in deducted, while 'Luther' only had 1 second of it included.

PROVE IT ALL NIGHT - V1 3:28 LM-3 / UP / AM / LMEC2
PROVE IT ALL NIGHT - V2a 4:00 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
PROVE IT ALL NIGHT - V2b 3:54 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
PROVE IT ALL NIGHT - V2c 3:54 DARKNESS / ESSENTIAL: 2015 / 1978 SINGLE

Note: Bruce came up with the title, "Prove It All Night", and says he adapted "It's A Shame" aka "Jon's Jam", (which was written, recorded and set aside in June), but the lyrics were a work in progress when he arrived at the Record Plant on September 12, 1977. He later said (live as an intro to the song) "that he got the idea from a cabbie, who was moanin' about having to prove it to your boss and your wife everyday". The E Street Band learned the chords quickly, and to go ahead and record a take, Bruce had worked up a lyric sheet using the first verse from "Something In The Night", V1 released on the 'Lost Masters Volume III'. Work continued on September 14, 15 and 16, completed with V2c (take 49), with the final mix in Spring 1978 by Toby Scott, Chuck Plotkin's Chief Engineer, the start of a long association with Springsteen. "Prove It All Night" never failed to be included on tentative album sequences, from October thru May 1978. Version 2a is an alternate mix that runs to a hard stop ending, with Max's energetic performance and danny's organ dominating. Version 2b features the vocal track above the organ and drums , and runs shorter. v2c was released as the first single, ahead of the album, on May 23, 1978 in the United States.

DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - V1 uncirculating
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - V2a 4:26 DO-3 / DDO / UP / DDOC
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - V2b 4:43 RTT / DDITV
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - V3a 4:23 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - V3b 4:23 DARKNESS / ESSENTIAL: 2003 / GH09

Note: Bruce began writing "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" right after "Born To Run", according to a 1978 interview. Down in the Alternative Album Sequence-section, you can see "Darkness" listed on the first two 1976 'album' sequences Springsteen prepared, supporting his recollection. V1 represents multiple takes reported at Bruce's home, Telegraph Hill, Holmdel, New Jersey, during 1976, even though the odds of recovering any material seem low at this time. Then again, few were aware that Barry Rebo had the film footage released from the Thrill Hill Vault on Blu-Ray/DVD No. 2 from The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set. No doubt Bruce and the E Street Band worked extensively on "Rendezvous", "Something In the Night", "The Promise", "Frankie", "Candy's Boy", and "Darkness". Music and some lyrics written by February 1976, was sub-titled "The Racer" for a time. Though it is listed on the 'Star Wars' demo tape of June 1, 1977, pictured below, V2a was not cut until June 6. V2b is the full length, speed corrected version. Sony logs show takes recorded on June 8, 9, 20 and 23, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. Work on the lyrics was needed. Then, after putting forth such a good effort (5 days), Bruce put "Darkness" aside for the rest of the year. It was not included on the 'Badlands' album sequence from October, or the January 16, 1978 seq. On March 8, he suddenly called his forces together, and over three days, they re-recorded "Darkness" from scratch and completed what would become the title track of the album. The March takes were cut in a studio with bare concrete walls, after the room was gutted prior to renovation. V3a and V3b are the album track recording, with a slight difference. V3a can be identified by the addition of the word "ready" to the line "I'll be there on time ready to pay the cost". V3b is mix take #28 from March 30, 1978, and was pressed to metal acetate on April 12.

DON'T LOOK BACK - V1 3:22 LM-2 / UP / AM
DON'T LOOK BACK - V2 3:26 DO-3 / DDO / UP / DDOC
DON'T LOOK BACK - V3 3:04 ODM / HOD / DO-3 / UP / AM
DON'T LOOK BACK - V4a 2:58 AM / DDO / DDOC
DON'T LOOK BACK - V4b 3:00 PROMISE: DELUXE / DLB
DON'T LOOK BACK - V4c 3:00 TRACKS

Note: "Don't Look Back" was composed early in 1977, during the time Bruce was barred from the recording studio, and was played live twelve times from March 10, 1977 at Toledo, Ohio, to the end of the Lawsuit Tour on March 25. The case was settled, and the E Street Band entered Atlantic Studios, New York, on June 1, 1977. That night they recorded at least ten songs; 'Rendezvous', 'Because the Night', 'I Wanna Be With You' and according to biographer Dave Marsh, "the screaming rocker, Don't Look Back". Thom Panunzio, assistant engineer, said the session was recorded and transferred to a cassette they called "the Star Wars demo tape". "That was an album, in my opinion, that was great from beginning to end", Panunzio later said. In a 2002 interview with Mark Binelli of Rolling Stone, Springsteen said, "We had great arrangements…the band sounded really good. We recorded about ten or twelve songs in one night, and I realized they weren’t any good. It was terribly disappointing…they were centerless, they were coreless, so I went back to the drawing board…"

Sony logs show takes were recorded on June 1, 6-8, 17 and 24, 1977. It is thought V1 and V2, which are instrumental backing tracks, were recorded on June 6-8, while V3 may be the "screaming rocker" from June 1; all were definitely recorded during June 1977. V4 was recorded at Atlantic Studios on July 2, 1977, and mixed (with possible overdubs) on February 28 and March 2, 1978 at the Record Plant. V4a is a widely bootlegged version with a prominent defect in the second verse, V4b sounds like the same take, complete with Springsteen's count-in, and V4c is the officially released version with the count-in removed. "Don't Look Back" was included on album sequences June 1977 to April 1978, but removed on May 5, 1978 to ensure the album was not too long. The claim that it was replaced by "Darkness on the Edge of Town" is doubtful, since both were on the April 18 sequence.

THE PROMISE - V1 5:32 DO-2 / UP / SOTE / LUTHER
THE PROMISE - V2 5:27 LM-2 / DDO / DO-3 / AM / UP / SC / O711S
THE PROMISE - V3 7:11 DDITV / AM / UP / MT1
THE PROMISE - V4 7:24 PROMISE: DELUXE
THE PROMISE (strings-full harmony) - V5 private
THE PROMISE (solo) - V6 uncirculating
THE PROMISE - V7 uncirculating
THE PROMISE - V8 uncirculating
THE PROMISE - V9 4:41 18TRACKS
THE PROMISE - V10 5:49 PROMISE
recording_19780217-ruffs-mixs-tape.jpg

Note: First debuted live on August 3, 1976 at the Monmouth Performing Arts Center in Red Bank, New Jersey, featuring Bruce solo on the piano, and deeply personal lyrics. Later live versions would continue to feature Bruce on piano, with Roy or Danny accompanying him on glockenspiel. The song was played live during the 1976-1977 Lawsuit Tour, and the first studio demo was recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 1, 1977. V1 was one of the takes recorded during the sessions on June 30, July 1, 7, 8 and 13, 1977. After a break that included a trip with Steve to Utah and Nevada, Bruce came back to the studio with slightly revised lyrics, and recorded V2 on August 24, and then added dubs and mixing on August 30, 1977, which was the last day of operations at Atlantic Studios. V3 was recorded on September 28, 1977 at the Record Plant, and is considered the definitive version by collectors and long-time fans. It's done with the full E Street Band, and was first released unofficially on 'Deep Down In the Vaults'. However, Bruce found it lacking, and in late September-early October, after a Rolling Stone reporter suggested the song was actually about the lawsuit with Mike Appel, Springsteen re-wrote the first two lines of verse 3, with "Well, my daddy taught me how to walk quiet and how to make my peace with the past, I learned real good to tighten up inside and I don’t say nothing unless I’m asked" replacing "I won big once and I hit the coast, oh but somehow I paid the big cost". Landau agreed solidifying the narrative, and that "The Promise" deserved to be on the January 16 sequence for the then-untitled Album #4 ("Badlands" or "American Madness" were the two front-runners). The new sequence had "Badlands" as the opener, and "The Promise" as the album closer. According to Clinton Heylin, at no point did it seem that Springsteen ever considered calling the album The Promise.

On January 12, 1978, V4 was shot live in-the-studio by Barry Rebo, and one of the takes was released on the Thrill-Hill Blu-Ray/DVD2 in the 2010 box set, The Promise:The Darkness On the Edge Of Town Story. Springsteen worked on mixing and dubbing after this, and added strings (according to Landau, a 'string' version was cut as V5). Finally, on January 24, 1978, without the E Street Band, Springsteen sat down at the piano and recorded V6 by himself, just as he did when locked out of the recording studio when the song was first played live. A Ruffs tape (see image above) provided to Springsteen by his engineer, Jimmy Iovine and mixed on February 17, included the September 28, 1977 recording featuring the "old verse" (V3), followed by the January 12 session with the "new verse" (V4) and the strings and "full harmony" version (V5) which was cut in mid-January. There is no doubt that Springsteen cared deeply about "The Promise", as a total of ten sessions were held from January 17 to March 7 (a seven week period). Saying he still "felt too close to it", at a certain point in March 1978, it was decided that a different song would be considered for its slot on Album #4 and "The Promise" was removed from the April track sequence for the album. In 2010, Springsteen noted that "It was a song about defeat, and it was self-referential, which made me uncomfortable. I didn't want it to overtake the album, which in the end, was not my personal story. I wanted 'Darkness' to be completely independent of that. So I left it off. But I remember saying to myself, 'This is something I can sing later'. The distance helps it now."

During a Darkness Tour rehearsal in Asbury Park on May 19, 1978, a full band version (including the "Daddy taught me how to walk quiet" lyric) was rehearsed, and full band version was performed on the tour's opening night in Buffalo. The next night, Bruce reverted to the solo piano version, which was played at 22 of the first 33 shows on the tour, and dropped after the July 15, 1978 show in Houston, Texas. When Tracks was released in 1998, both "The Fever" and "The Promise" were absent from the 66-song tracklist. Both were later included on 18 Tracks, in part due to fan demand. Instead of releasing the existing V3 or V5 versions, Springsteen re-recorded "The Promise" from scratch (V9) on February 9 and 12, 1999 at Boxwood Studios, Rumson, New Jersey, in a solo piano version that many felt paled in comparison to the 1976-78 versions. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Springsteen stated, "Basically, I went back and I listened to it and we never really got a good recording of it in my opinion. It’s been a favorite song of a lot of people … It sort of was the sequel to "Thunder Road" in some fashion, it referred back to those characters. But I went back and we sort of had a very plodding, heavy-handed version of it. I couldn't quite live with it, so maybe another time."

V3 was used as the base track for V10, on The Promise outtake album in 2010, with overdubbed strings, guitars, glockenspiel, and double tracked vocals. Two lines of verse three were deleted ("I followed that dream through the southwestern tracks, the dead ends and the two-bit bars / When the promise was broken I was far away from home, sleeping in the backseat of a borrowed car"), reducing the total running time. A modern string arrangement by Ken Ascher was also added. The full-band version was performed by the E Street Band at a promotional video shoot in 2010, and again on April 1, 2012 in Washington, DC. In a curious parallel to 1978, after performing the full-band version exactly once on the 2012 tour, Springsteen has reverted to solo-piano versions for all performances since.

SAVE MY LOVE V1 3:19 PROMISE: DELUXE
SAVE MY LOVE V2 2:39 PROMISE / 2010 SINGLE

Note: V2 is a completely modern take of this song, recorded July 22, 2010 at Colts Neck, and included on The Promise. It appears it was never recorded in the studio. V1 is a summer 1976 band rehearsal filmed by Barry Rebo in Holmdel, NJ and is included on the Thrill Hill Vault DVD/Blu-ray on The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set.

BECAUSE THE NIGHT (Belongs To Lovers) - V1 3:17 DO-3 / UP / AM
BECAUSE THE NIGHT - V2 - fade in 2:32 LM-3 / UP / AM
BECAUSE THE NIGHT - V3 3:19 DO-2 / DDO / DDOC / ESR / O711S
BECAUSE THE NIGHT - V4 3:22 PROMISE / 2010 SINGLE

Note: First appeared on pre-sessions song list as "The Night Belongs To Lovers". V1 "Because the Night (Belongs To Lovers)", was recorded at Atlantic Studios, New York on June 1, 1977 with the lyrics not finished. V2 was recorded July 1, 1977 at Atlantic Studios, and is less embryonic but still with some unfinished lyrics. Springsteen cut his last take on September 27, 1977 V3. It is not clear if this was a demo for Patti Smith. The transfer of the song was orchestrated by Jimmy Iovine, who, in his own words, "was engineering Darkness and producing Easter at the same time. Now, Bruce was very understanding and very flexible, because he realized that this was my first real break as a producer. Anyway, one night whilst we were lounging around the Hotel Navarro in New York I told Bruce I desperately wanted a hit with Patti, that she deserved one. He agreed. As he had no immediate plans to put "Because The Night" on an album, I said why not give it to Patti. Bruce replied, If she can do it, she can have it." Iovine brought Smith the September 27 demo of the song, and Smith added her own lyrics, recording it for her album Easter, and scoring her first and biggest hit single. The officially released V4 uses Smith's lyrics and is a modern vocal take, recorded 2010 at Stone Hill Studio.

RENDEZVOUS - V1 2:47 DDO / DO-3 / LES / MT1 / AM / SYMKB
RENDEZVOUS - V2 uncirculating
RENDEZVOUS - V3 2:36 PROMISE

Note: The same night Springsteen introduced "Something In the Night" at the Monmouth County Arts Center, Red Bank, NJ, he also played "Rendezvous" for the first time. A live recording from November 4, 1976, at the Palladium, New York, which opens with Bruce calling out "New York! Go ahead, Max!", was unofficially released by the artist "The Jersey Devil" on Bruce Records, as the b-side of "The Fever". When the Darkness sessions began on June 1, it was one of the ten songs recorded that evening, and additional takes were logged on June 2, 3, 8 and 17, 1977, all at Atlantic Studios. One of these was V1, an otherwise good take, but the audio is marred by a vocal drop-out during the first verse. "Rendezvous" was not played again during the sessions, and not included on the album. In a 1978 interview, Springsteen said the song was kept off because it didn’t fit thematically. Bruce personally demonstrated it to Greg Kihn in October 1978, who soon after recorded a cover (released in April 1979). A live-version recorded December 31, 1980, at Nassau Coliseum, was used for Tracks, which may indicate Bruce wasn't satisfied with the available studio versions. V3, officially released on The Promise, has lead vocals recorded July 18, 2010 at Stone Hill Studio, Colts Neck, New Jersey.

BREAK AWAY - V1 uncirculating
BREAKAWAY - V2 5:26 PROMISE

Note: "Break Away" (how it was spelled) was another song recorded the first night of the Darkness sessions, June 1, 1977, but it was never worked on again. V2 features a modern horn section of Barry Danielian (trumpet), Stan Harrison (tenor sax), Dan Levine (trombone), Ed Manion (baritone sax) and Curt Ramm (trumpet) and backing vocals by the Alliance Singers (Tiffeny Andrews, Corinda Crawford, Michelle Moore, and Antoinette Savage), who contributed choir vocals on The Rising album, in addition to Patti Scialfa and Soozie Tyrell.

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN - V1 2:25 DDO / DO-1 / LES / MT1 / AM / EC
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN - V2 2:16 PROMISE

Note: V1 recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 1, 1977, a year before the Buddy Holly Story came out. This is a very rough early take with an uneven mix, but the scheme of Springsteen singing a line, then muttering under his breath, is unique. V2 was recorded on September 27, 1977 at The Record Plant, with revised lyrics. It did not circulate until it was released (said to be untouched) on "The Promise" in 2010. Springsteen is angry, "You've got all the answers, you and your friends, I'm on the outside looking in". Performed live once, in December 2010, in a small gig to promote The Promise.

I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V1 3:04 DDO / DO-1 / AM / UP / LES / GT
I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V2 3:12 uncirculated
I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V3 3:12 uncirculated
I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V4 3:12 LM-6 / ATMF
I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V5 3:15 TRACKS / RIVER: OUTTAKES

Note: First cut during the Darkness sessions, with V1 recorded at Atlantic Studios on the evening of June 1, 1977. V2 was recorded on July 1, 1977 (also at Atlantic), and V3 was a complete take on September 12, at Record Plant. Held over for The River sessions, and both V4 and V5 were recorded on May 31, 1979 at Power Station, New York. There was another session on June 21, and mixing/dubbing on September 24, 1979, but the final May 31 take was the one used for Tracks.

OUR LOVE WILL LAST FOREVER uncirculating

Note: Possibly an early version of the Record Plant Darkness outtake, "Someday (We'll Be Together)", because of a single line, "This love will last forever". The only recording was logged on June 1, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. Also known from a tape inlay image in the The Promise - The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set book. Perhaps more likely another uncirculated song.

SOMEDAY TONIGHT - V1 4:43 LM-3 / AM / UP
SOMEDAY (WE'LL BE TOGETHER) - V2 5:32 PROMISE

Note: V1, bootlegged with the title "Someday Tonight", and recorded on September 26 or 29-30, 1977 at The Record Plant. This backing track circulated for fifteen years, until V2 was released on The Promise box set in 2010. Modern vocal take, backing vocals by the Alliance Singers (Tiffeny Andrews, Corinda Crawford, Michelle Moore, and Antoinette Savage), who contributed choir vocals on The Rising album, in addition to Patti Scialfa and Soozie Tyrell.

FRANKIE - V1 uncirculating
FRANKIE - V2 4:46 LM-3 / DDO / DO-2 / AM / UP / LES / GT / DDOC
FRANKIE - V3 5:46 DOT TAPE
FRANKIE - V4a take 10 7:23 private cdr
FRANKIE - V4b 7:41 THLRR / MI / THLBP / UH
FRANKIE - V4c 7:39 LM-19
FRANKIE - V4d 7:22 TRACKS

Note: "Frankie" was composed by Bruce Springsteen in early 1976, just after the Born To Run Tour. Demos were also recorded at this time of Drifter's Barrio, Dawn Patrol, and several other titles. One report (Christopher Sandford in his book, Point Blank) indicates a demo of "Frankie" was recorded in January 1976, along with a completed recording of Darkness On The Edge Of Town. However the accuracy of this information is unclear, as early Darkness recordings from June 1977 indicate most of the words to that song were still unwritten. "Frankie" was near completion when it was debuted live on the Chicken Scratch Tour. The performance on April 4, 1976 in East Lansing, MI notably included the lines "In the darkness there'll be hidden worlds that shine." When Springsteen returned to the studio after the litigation with Mike Appel was resolved, V2 was recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 3, 1977. V3 is a take from the next session on July 12, 1977, also at Atlantic Studios. Apparently, "Frankie" did not fit Bruce's concept for the album, and it was set aside, not to be recorded again during the Darkness sessions. When writing "Candy's Room" a few months later, Bruce lifted some lyrics from "Frankie", specifically, the "In the darkness, there'll be hidden words that shine" line. Five years later, 'Frankie' was recorded on May 14, 1982, at The Power Station, New York, on the last day of three weeks of sessions. Take 10 was chosen, and completed with several overdubs. Though it was not included on Born In The U.S.A., V4d was considered for Greatest Hits (again missing the cut) before being selected for the Tracks-compilation in 1998. One other mix, V4a, has the same saxophone overdub during the instrumental outro as V4d. V4b and V4c were alternative mixes without sax. It is not known if the Darkness-versions were considered for Tracks.

CHEAP THRILLS uncirculating

Note: A lone take of "Cheap Thrills" was recorded June 14, 1977, and would not make another appearance at the sessions. Based on the theme suggested by the title, Clinton Heylin surmises it may be what would become "Darlington County", which does appear on a worksheet from the first Atlantic sessions, as reproduced in The Promise book. Also found in the book is the familiar couplet "My eyes have seen the glory of the comin' of the Lord / He was peelin' down the alley in a black and yellow Ford", not too different than what could be found in "Darlington County", which was recorded some five years later during the Born In The USA sessions.

JON'S JAM - V1 uncirculating
IT'S A SHAME - V2 3:12 PROMISE

Note: An unknown composition before it was officially released as "It's A Shame" on The Promise in 2010. V1, titled "Jon's Jam", was recorded June 14, 1977 at Atlantic Studios, featuring Jon Landau on drums, and Bob Chirmside (Bruce's road manager between '75 and '81) on bass. V2 overdubs a modern horn section of Barry Danielian (trumpet), Stan Harrison (tenor sax), Dan Levine (trombone), Ed Manion (baritone sax) and Curt Ramm (trumpet). Music later adapted for "Prove It All Night", according to Bruce.

DRIVE ALL NIGHT - V1a 8:22 LM-2 / DDO / DO-1 / AM / UP / LMEC2 / GT
DRIVE ALL NIGHT - V1b 8:23 UP
DRIVE ALL NIGHT - V2 4:42 LM-2 / AM / UP
DRIVE ALL NIGHT - V3 uncirculated
DRIVE ALL NIGHT - V4 0:30 LM-7
DRIVE ALL NIGHT - V5 8:22 RIVER

Note: Studio logs indicate that Springsteen worked on this song at two sessions in 1977; June 16 at Atlantic Studios and August 24 at The Record Plant. V1 is definitely from that June session, V2 is probably also from June (an image of a tape inlay dated June 17 found in the Darkness box set book lists two takes), but could be from the August session. If V2 is from June, then the August 24 take (V3) does not currently circulate among collectors. V2 has a different opening and is shorter, lacking Clarence's saxophone solo. Note that some bootleg CDs (such as Godfather's 'The Unbroken Promise') include two versions of the eight minute 'Drive All Night'; they may be the same recording, but since two bootleg collections carry them, we list them as alternate mixes. Listed on some early vinyl boots by the title "Sad Eyes".

Bruce re-recorded the vocal track during The River sessions, but apparently used the 1977 Darkness session backing music for V5, the officially released version found on The River. V4 was worked on at Power Station on February 24, 1980, with Springsteen singing over the pre-recorded band backing. V5 was completed on March 8 or 16. Mixing took place on April 10. Springsteen is credited with the piano on this track. The only song from The River to be recorded by Jimmy Iovine, final confirmation that the backing track was recorded during the Darkness sessions.

ONE WAY STREET - V1 5:46 LM-2 / LMEC2 / AM / UP
ONE WAY STREET - V2 4:16 PROMISE

Note: "One Way Street" V1 was recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 17, 1977. V2 officially released on The Promise in 2010, with modern vocals and horns. Original alternative title may have been "Dead End".

FIRE - V1 5:14 LM-2 / DDO / DO-2 / MT1 / AM
FIRE - V2 4:05 PROMISE

Note: Written in May 1977, a few days after Bruce and Steve attended an Elvis Presley concert in Philadelphia. V1 (which is not a final take) comes from June 17, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. Introducing the song on November 20, 1978 in Champaign, IL, Bruce said "This is a song I wrote, oh, we jammed it up in the studio one night in twenty minutes". Allegedly (and this may be myth) a finished demo take was sent to Elvis Presley in July or August 1977, shortly before his death, with the hope that Elvis might cover it. Bruce ended up donating the song to Robert Gordon, who recorded his cover (with Bruce on piano) in early December 1977 (released April 1978). The Pointer Sisters then quickly covered Gordon's released version and had a major international hit in early 1979. The officially released V2 was partly recorded in 1977, and partly recorded in 2010.

BRING ON THE NIGHT - V1 2:29 ATEOD / UP / LM-12 / MT2
BRING ON THE NIGHT - V2 3:15 LM-9
BRING ON THE NIGHT - V3 4:10 LM-9
BRING ON THE NIGHT - V4 0:31 LM-9
BRING ON THE NIGHT - V5 1:20 LM-9
BRING ON THE NIGHT - V6 1:54 LM-11
BRING ON THE NIGHT - V7 2:35 TRACKS

Note: V1 was recorded at Atlantic Studios during June 1977, recently composed, without lyrics for verses. Bruce put it aside, then resumed work after the tour concluded in early 1979. V2-V5 were all band rehearsals at Telegraph Hill, the barn on his property in Holmdel, NJ. V6 was a rehearsal recorded on May 14, 1979 at Telegraph Hill with the E Street Band. V7 was recorded at Power Station on June 13, 1979, and though it was included on a very early track sequence for the fifth album, it failed to make the cut, and was not considered for The River in 1980. It was eventually included in the 1998 Tracks compilation.

SHERRY DARLING - V1 4:00 LM-3 / DO-2 / AM / UP / LMEC2
SHERRY DARLING - V2 4:51 DDO / DO-3 / ODM / HOD / AM / UP
SHERRY DARLING - V3 uncirculating
SHERRY DARLING - V4 4:03 DROC2 / ATMF / RRR
SHERRY DARLING - V5 4:00 RIVER

Note: "Sherry Darling" V1-V2 were recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 24, 27 or July 1, 1977, but was held over for the next album for thematic reasons. Premiered live during the Darkness Tour with a spoken introduction: "This was a song that we recorded live in the studio about two years ago, the beginning of the summer and it was originally gonna be on Darkness, but it was too weird so we left it off". Bruce would often refer to "two summers ago" when introducing the song in 1978, which might mean Telegraph Hill Studio 1976. V3 re-recorded at Power Station on May 25, 1979, V4 take on February 23, and V5 completed on March 8, 1980, with final overdubs. Mixing session on April 12, 1980.

SPANISH EYES - V1 3:42 LM-3 / DO-2 / MT1 / AM
NEW SPANISH - V2 6:14 DDO /DO-3 / AM / DDOC
SPANISH EYES - V3 3:47 PROMISE

Note: "Spanish Eyes" V1 takes were recorded on June 30, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. V2, under the name, "New Spanish" was recorded on July 13, 1977. The officially released V3 has a modern vocal, and potentially some modern band elements, recorded 2010 at Stone Hill Studio, Colts Neck, New Jersey. Shares several lyrics with "I'm On Fire".

TALK TO ME - V1a 3:59 LM-2 / DO-1 / ATEOD / AM
TALK TO ME - V1b 4:05 DDO / DDOC / UP
TALK TO ME - V2 uncirculating
TALK TO ME - V3 uncirculating
TALK TO ME - V4 4:17 PROMISE

Note: V1a and V1b are takes recorded on July 8 or 13, 1977, at Atlantic Studios, both basic backing tracks without vocals or horns, which were not added, along with the lyrics, until August. Final demo takes were recorded on October 14 of both "Talk to Me" V3 and "Hearts Of Stone", and the tapes were given to Steve Van Zandt for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes' third album, which Steve was producing. V2 consists of five takes recorded at either Atlantic Studios or The Record Plant on August 5, 9, 24, 26 and 30, before it was realized that "Talk To Me" would never fit Darkness thematically, and they all remain in the vault. The October 14 track was used for The Promise in 2010 V4, with modern horns added, featuring original Jukes/Miami Horns members Rick Gazda on trumpet, Stan Harrison on tenor sax, Ed Manion on baritone sax, Bob Muckin on trumpet, and Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg on trombone. Both songs handed to Steve for the album Hearts Of Stone, released on October 13, 1978 by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (Epic JE 35488), which ranks on several polls of best albums of the 1970s. According to Max Weinberg, who played on both Darkness and Hearts of Stone, the E Street Band backing tracks included on Steve's tape were utilized for Southside Johnny's album. Bruce has performed it with the Jukes and the E Street Band over the years to great response.

THE WAY - V1 uncirculating
THE WAY - V2 uncirculating
THE WAY - V3 uncirculating
THE WAY - V4a 3:47 URT-1 / AM / RN / ROU
THE WAY - V4b mix take 49 3:53 URT-1 / DO-2 / DDO / AM / UP / MT1 / GT
THE WAY - V4c 3:41 PROMISE

Note: "The Way" V1 was recorded on August 5, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. On August 15, six takes were recorded, take 5 is v2, take 6 is V3. At the Record Plant on September 12, 1977, V4, which may be a fresh take, or one of the August recordings with overdubbing, was marked 'complete'. As of January 16, 1978, "The Way" was sequenced on album #4 as track 3 on Side 2, between "Adam Raised A Cain" and "Prove It All Night". Mixing and perhaps additional overdubs took place over three days, February 10-12, 1978, with 66 takes in all. It was not officially eliminated from Darkness until April 18, 1978. After being passed up for Tracks and The Essential, V4c was included as a hidden track on The Promise in 2010.

CRAZY ROCKER 5:02 DDITV / GT / MT1 / UP

Note: This is an early take with bluffed lyrics and called out key changes, known as "Crazy Rocker" or "It's Alright". It does not appear in the studio logs, but it may be "New Rocker" takes 1 and 2, or 'New Song Rehearsal at Begin – Last Thing of the Night’, both recorded at either Atlantic or The Record Plant on August 9, 1977.

GET THAT FEELING - V1 3:21 DDITV / AM / UP
GET THAT FEELING - V2 3:07 LM-2 / DDO / DO-2 / MT1 / AM / UP
GOTTA GET THAT FEELING - V3 3:15 PROMISE

Note: V1 recorded at Atlantic Studios or Record Plant studios on August 9, 11 and 12, 1977, released on 'Deep Down In the Vaults' after V2, but can be identified as the earlier version because Bruce is still teaching the song to the band. V1 has a "baby just come dry your eyes" theme, which is gone by V2, recorded on August 30, 1977. The officially released V3 contains a modern vocal take and horns, along with elements of the August 30, 1977 recording. First two versions bootlegged for years under the title "Get That Feeling".

AFTER DINNER - V1 uncirculating
AFTER DINNER - V2 uncirculating

Note: Uncirculated outtake from the Darkness sessions; takes were recorded at either Atlantic Studios or The Record Plant V1 on August 10, 1977, and V2 on August 11. Mixed for Tracks in 1998, but not chosen.

I GOT MY EYES ON YOU - V1 - take 14 uncirculating
I GOT MY EYES ON YOU - V2 3:45 uncirculating
recording_19770809-theboss-demo-tape.jpg

Note: V1 was recorded on August 15, 1977, and included on Side two of a cassette tape prepared for Bruce called "THE BOSS". The first side had takes of songs being worked August 9-10, 1977, and the cuts on Side 2 were from all from August 15's days work. "I Got My Eyes On You" take 14 was written on the jacket (reproduced in The Promise book). Another session on September 14, 1977, resulted in a completed version, and it was considered good enough to be placed on a compilation reel alongside finished takes of "The Way" and "Prove It All Night" (where it clocks in at 3:45).

THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES) - V1 take 6 uncirculating
THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES) - V2 3:15 PROMISE

Note: Unknown composition until officially released on The Promise. Modern band elements and vocals recorded on July 18, 2010 Stone Hill Studio, Colts Neck, New Jersey. "The Little Things (My Baby Does)" was originally recorded on August 15, 1977, a busy day before the crew broke for a short vacation. "Independence Day" take 3, "The Way" take 6, "The Little Things (My Baby Does)" take 6, "I Got My Eyes On You take 14", and "[Prove It?] All Night" take 13 were all dubbed to a "Ruffs" tape by Jimmy Iovine, prepared for Bruce to listen to on his trip (to Utah-Nevada, where Eric Meola shot the cover of The Promise).

KING'S ROCK (King's Big Chance) - V1 uncirculating
KING'S RANSOM - V2 uncirculating
THE KING'S REVENGE - V3 uncirculating

Note: Uncirculated outtakes recorded at The Record Plant exactly as follows: "King's Rock (King's Big Chance)" V1 September 1, 1977, "King's Ransom" V2 September 8, 1977 and "The King's Revenge" V3 September 9, 1977.

RAMROD - V1 3:58 DO-1 / AM / UP
RAMROD - V2a 3:51 DROC1 / ATMF / RRR / RO / PYP
RAMROD - V2b 3:41 DROC2
RAMROD - V2c 0:28 DROC2 / RO
RAMROD - V2d 3:46 RO
RAMROD - V2e 3:44 RO
RAMROD - V2f 4:20 LM-5
RAMROD - V2g 4:20 LM-5
RAMROD - V2h 4:23 LM-5
RAMROD - V2i 2.53 LM-5
RAMROD - V2j 3:57 RIVER / 1980 b-side
RAMROD - V2k 3:57 TTTB: RIVER

Note: Written during sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town, and at least four takes were recorded at Record Plant studios on September 12, 1977. The V1 lyrics are far from complete; after the first verse and chorus, the rest of the song is bluffed. Note that the car had a "Pontiac engine in a '32 Ford". It was played once on the Darkness Tour, on December 28, 1978 in Pittsburgh, PA. Bruce finished writing the song, before resuming work at Power Station studios on June 12, 1979. Several complete takes were again recorded, though it was decided the base track recorded in 1977 would remain. V2a thru v2j consist of these tracks, and are a collection of overdubbed guitars and vocals, trying to find the right combination. Studio talk between engineer Neil Dorfsman and Springsteen can be heard on serveral of the tracks describing the setup. The next two sessions were with Bruce, Dorfsman and Bob Clearmountain on August 27, 1979 and Sept 5, 1979, trying to get the final mix for The Ties That Bind album. Unfortunately, Ramrod was taken out of the track list at the last minute, and then Springsteen cancelled the album, going back to recording. V2a thru V2e were mixed on these two dates. All are complete takes with varying overdubs added. V2c is a thirty second guitar part for overdubbing. When it came time for "The River", two more sessions were held with Dorfsman on April 4 and 19, 1980. V2f thru V2i are from the dates, probably on a "ruff mixs" tape for Bruce to listen to. The increased length of somne of the tracks is due to reduction of the tape speed. V2j is the track chosen for the album, mixed by Toby Scott at Clover Recorders im Los Angeles.
In January 2011, a song titled "Rocker" was registered with the US Copyright Office, but information on the copyright claim suggests this is actually "Ramrod". It was registered because a short audio snippet was included in Thom Zimny's The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town, the documentary included on the box set. It can be heard at exactly 1:00:00. A remastered and remixed version of Ramrod was included in The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, released on December 4, 2015.

BLUE MOON - V1 uncirculating
BLUE MOON - V2 uncirculating

Note: Uncirculated outtake from the sessions, recorded at The Record Plant. V1 from September 9, 1977, V2 from October 14, 1977.

INDEPENDENCE DAY - V1 - take 3 uncirculated
INDEPENDENCE DAY - V2 6:17 LM-3 / AM / UP / LMEC2 / GT
INDEPENDENCE DAY - V3 uncirculated
INDEPENDENCE DAY - V4 uncirculated
INDEPENDENCE DAY - V5 uncirculated
INDEPENDENCE DAY - V6a - mix take #10 5:18 uncirculated
INDEPENDENCE DAY - V6b 5:27 DROC1 / RRR / ATMF
INDEPENDENCE DAY - V6c 4:39 RIVER

Note: Written during the Darkness sessions, "Independence Day" was first recorded on August 15, 1977, take 3 is V1. V2 was a bootlegged take from The Record Plant on September 26-27. Bruce continued to work on this at Record Plant on November 4 (V3), November 11 (V4) and December 9, 1977 (V5). Short-listed for inclusion on Darkness On The Edge Of Town, and included in a October 1977 'Badlands' proposed release. V6 recorded for The River at Power Station on May 29 and October 11, 1979 (unknown which was exact date), with mixing and dubbing sessions on April 24 and 25, 1980. V6a is mix take #10, with slight alterations to the snare drums and vocals. V6b is the complete, uncut recording with the instrumental coda that was removed from the album version V6c.

DOWN BY THE RIVER 2:15 DDO / DO-1 / AM / UP / LES

Note: The studio log for The Record Plant on September 27, 1977 lists "New Old Song" as the title of this song. Later, the working title would become "Old Sons", and also "Say Sons". Unfortunately, this is the only surviving recording of this song. Not related to Neil Young's song with the same title, which Bruce has performed live a couple of times.

WHAT'S THE MATTER LITTLE DARLIN' - V1 3:49 DROC2 / RRR
WHAT'S THE MATTER LITTLE DARLIN' - V2 4:06 DDITV / MT1 / AM / DROC2
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - V3a 4:01 PROMISE
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - V3b 1:49 PROMISE: DELUXE

Note: V2 first appeared in the 1990s on 'Deep Down In the Vaults' as "What's The Matter Little Darling", the name it was known by for years. V1, is a recording on 'The Definitive River Outtakes Collection Volume 2' with the same name, faster pitch, and inferior quality, that runs 15 seconds slower. In the studio logs of the Darkness sessions, there are no records of "Ain't Good Enough For You" or "What's The Matter Little Darling". Author Clinton Heylin believes takes were recorded on August 9 and September 26, 1977 at the Record Plant, under the names, "New Rocker" and "First New Rocker". The first official appearance of this song was on the second CD of "The Promise" as "Ain't Good Enough For You", and he makes the good point that on the accompanying Thrill Hill Vault DVD (V3b), Bruce is shown trying to add a vocal overdub to an already existing track at the Record Plant, which suggests it had been recorded earlier. V3a has more developed lyrics than V2, including "getting cool like Jimmy Iovine" and "Sherry Darling" party noises. This song bears some slight resemblance to "This Little Girl", the hit song Bruce donated to Gary U.S. Bonds in 1980.

BREAK OUT - V1 2:15 LM-3 / UP
BREAK OUT - V2 uncirculating
BREAK OUT - V3 uncirculating
BREAK OUT - V4 2:22 DDO / DO-1 / AM / UP / LES / DDOC / SYMKB
BREAK OUT - V5 uncirculating

Note: also known as "All Night Long". V1-V3 are early takes from The Record Plant, with Bruce teaching the band his new song, and few lyrics are written. Takes were logged on three consecutive days, September 26, 27 and 28, 1977, but it should be noted minimal time was spent, because this was a very busy week, with several other sessions also held on these days. V4-V5, with nearly finished lyrics, were recorded on November 4 and 7, 1977. After it was completed, the lines, "For the ones who once had a notion, a notion it was good to be alive" and "it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive" were exported to "Badlands" in December. Conversely, phrases attributed to "Frankie" and "Prove It All Night" were borrowed from those previously written songs. Later mixed in November 1997 for the Tracks project, but not used.

HEARTS OF STONE - V1 5:32 SYMKB / DDO / DO-2 / LES / AM
HEARTS OF STONE - V2 4:29 TRACKS

Note: Originally titled "For Hearts Of Stone" before Darkness sessions began. No evidence of a recording session has been found until October 14, when a demo was cut for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, along with "Talk To Me", and later handed to Steve Van Zandt on a cassette tape. There are obviously some dates to be found, judging by the performance of the band, and the complete lyrics. Steve was preparing to produce the Jukes' third album, and the two songs were Bruce's contributions to the effort. The band recorded this take live in the studio, with the sax of Clarence Clemons the only horn present. Southside Johnny used the E Street Band base recording for the title track of the Jukes' 1978 album, adding his vocal and the Miami Horns to create one of their best known songs. In 1998, Bruce had a horn section (Cruz-Manion-Pender-Rosenberg-Spengler) added to the 1977 recording, which was V2 on Tracks.

CITY OF NIGHT - V1 3:04 DDO / DO-1 / AM / UP / LES / MT1 / SYMKB
CITY OF NIGHT - V2 2:56 PROMISE

Note: V1 recorded October 14, 1977 at The Record Plant under working title "Taxi Driver"; also known as "Taxi Cab" and "City At Night". V2 officially released on The Promise; changes intro to two repetitions instead of the original four, organ is added in the third verse (it is unknown if this is modern or a different take or mix from 1977), and sax is turned up at the fade-out, still vintage.

ENGLISH SONS - V1 3:52 DDO / DO-2 / LES / MT1 / AM / SYMKB
WRONG SIDE OF THE STREET - V2 3:31 PROMISE

Note: "English Sons" V1 was recorded at The Record Plant on October 14, 1977. This is a fully finished performance but the circulating audio is marred by the vocal being buried in the mix (a flaw in the bootleg audio source). The officially released and titled V2, "Wrong Side of the Street", has a modern vocal take. Originally bootlegged with the title "Endless Night". Parts bear resemblance to "Loose Ends".

I'M GOIN' BACK 5:35 DDO / SYMKB / UP

Note: Recorded at The Record Plant on October 14, 1977. This is a fully finished take but the circulating audio is slightly marred by the vocal being buried in the mix. The working titles were "Bo Diddley Rocker" or "Bodo Rocker". It's not be be confused with "I'm Going Back".

THE BALLAD 3:12 CAST / DO-1 / AM / UP / LES

Note: The only circulating audio of "The Ballad" was recorded on October 14, 1977, at The Record Plant, New York. An embryonic take with very unfinished lyrics and a lovely melody. No other studio takes exist for this track, and this is the only official name it was ever given. Bootleggers renamed it "Castaway", this has become the more popular designation.

ICEMAN - V1a 3:20 DDO / DO-1 / LES / AM / SYMKB
ICEMAN - V1b 3:15 TRACKS

Note: 'Iceman', also known as 'The New Ballad', recorded at The Record Plant on October 27, 1977. It was soon forgotten in the mass of songs created during the Darkness sessions, though it became popular bootleg cut. In a 1998 interview, Bruce recalled, "it was just something that I didn’t get at the time that I did it.” The second line of Iceman "I wanna go out tonight, I wanna find out what I got" was transplanted to verse 2 of 'Badlands' in December. V1b is almost identical to V1a, with the exception of a drop-out at 0:56, studio noises and the count-in, which are not present on the official 1998 release on 'Tracks'.

PREACHER'S DAUGHTER 5:15 DO-1 / AM / UP / LES / GT / MT1 / SYMKB

Note: Recorded at The Record Plant on October 27, 1977. This is a completed take and one of the few that has surfaced from the sessions with the vocals mixed correctly. Also known as "New BoDo Rocker" in the studio logs. Bruce incorporated elements of the song into the middle of “She's The One” during the latter stages of the Darkness tour.

GIVE THE GIRL A KISS - V1 uncirculating
GIVE THE GIRL A KISS - V2 3:47 TRACKS

Note: V1 was recorded at The Record Plant on November 10, 1977. The Horns Of Love, the horn section from the Tunnel Of Love Express Tour (Ed Manion on baritone sax, Mark "The Love Man" Pender on trumpet, Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg on trombone, and Mike Spengler on trumpet, with newcomer and Max Weinberg 7 member Jerry Vivino, stepping in for Mario Cruz on tenor sax) overdubbed the brass parts around 1998 prior to the release of V2 on Tracks.

DON'T SAY NO - V1 3:48 DDO / DO-2 / UP / LES / DDOC / EC
I WANT TO BE WILD - V2 3:32 DDITV / UP

Note: For several years, V1 circulated on bootlegs as "Don't Say No", but then a nearly identical track V2 was released in the 1990s on Deep Down In the Vaults called "I Want To Be Wild". Both share the same musical backing, and are characterized by Bruce's vocals buried deep in the mix, as if Springsteen purposely wanted the music to dominate, because the lyrics were barely developed. There is one entry, under the name, "I Want To Be Wild", on the log of the Record Plant, dated November 11, 1977. It is possible both of these versions were recorded that day, though we lack the information to be sure of this. Author Clinton Heylin was sure the latter version was also called "New Fast Rocker". The official name of this tune is "Don't Say No", and it was registered with the US Copyright Office in November 2010, but not included in The Promise.

THE BROKENHEARTED - V1 uncirculating
THE BROKENHEARTED - V2 5:16 PROMISE

Note: "The Brokenhearted" was originally recorded at the Record Plant on November 29, 1977, and officially released on The Promise 2010. Contains a vintage vocal take with some modern parts, plus a modern horn section, recorded July 16, 2010 at Stone Hill Studio, and overdubbed later that month. The horn section consists of Barry Danielian (trumpet), Stan Harrison (tenor sax), Dan Levine (trombone), Ed Manion (baritone sax) and Curt Ramm (trumpet). Originally known from circulating audio of a Darkness tour rehearsal in May 1978.

TRIANGLE SONG uncirculating

Note: Uncirculated outtake from the sessions. Recorded at The Record Plant on December 1, 1977. A song with this title was registered with the US Copyright Office in January 2011, around the same time as other songs included on The Promise. It was registered because a short audio snippet of the song was included in The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town, the documentary included on the box set. About 30 seconds can be heard in chapter 6 at 00:39.36, played by Springsteen on piano.

I CAN ONLY GIVE YOU EVERYTHING uncirculating

Note: Recorded at the Record Plant on March 9, 1978. One take, and then recording of a new version of 'Darkness On The Edge of Town' resumed, which was completed March 10. "I Can Only Give You Everything" was recorded by Them in 1966, the recording was probably a warm-up exercise, but who knows. Composed by Phil Coulter and Tommy Scott in 1965.

(I LOVE) EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU uncirculating

Note: Last song recorded from the Darkness sessions, at The Record Plant on March 14, 1978.

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, at least in part, from October 16, 1974, though neither "So Young and In Love" nor "A Love So Fine" are 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, with the same backing track used for "So Young And In Love" on Tracks. No studio vocal of ‘A Love So Fine’ version circulates. According to Bruce Springsteen, the cut on Tracks is from the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions, though the studio date is also missing. 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, which is also in some dispute.

Thanks to Clinton Heylin and his books "E Street Shuffle - The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band" and "Song By Song".

Potential Album Sequences

The first 4 are not really sequences, they are lists of songs that would make up album #4 at the time. The last 4 are real album sequences proposed by Springsteen, all changed not long after they were made. The song "Darkness On the Edge of Town" did not rejoin the album sequence until it was re-recorded on March 10, 1978.

Album #4 - 1976
1. Darkness On The Edge Of Town
2. Franky
3. Saturday Night At The Big House
4. Soldiers Of Fortune
5. Tonight Will Last Forever / Moonthing
6. It's My Life
7. Someone Waits
8. The Wild Ones
9. There's No Livin' Without Your Lovin'
10. Little Girl Of Mine
11. Architect Angel
12. Dream Goes On Forever
13. Grey Bikers
14. Linda Will You Let Me Be The One

Other Recordings

These are songs recorded for release on records of other artists. The recordings took place in the same time-period as the Darkness sessions.

LOVE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF TOWN uncirculating

Note: Co-written by Springsteen and Van Zandt in December 1976 during sessions for Southside Johnny’s second album (issued in May 1977). Not recorded during the sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

LITTLE GIRL OF MINE - V1 uncirculating
LITTLE GIRL SO FINE - V2 uncirculating

Note: Co-written by Bruce Springsteen and Jukes producer "Sugar" Miami Steve Van Zandt in December 1976 during sessions for Southside Johnny's second album (issued in May 1977). Not in the studio logs for Darkness On The Edge Of Town, which started after This Time It's For Real was released. Early title was "Little Girl Of Mine", which can be heard in a rehearsal take by Van Zandt recorded in late 1976, and released on his 2019 album, The Early Work. Though the track is now named "Little Girl So Fine", the final hook, title and lyric had yet to be composed, as evidenced by the refrain with the early title. Springsteen included "Little Girl Of Mine" on an early 1976 list for Album IV; it could be this song, or another composition with the same title.

TRAPPED AGAIN uncirculating

Note: Co-written by Southside Johnny, Springsteen and Van Zandt in early 1978 during sessions for Southside Johnny’s third album. According to Southside he predominantly wrote the song, with Bruce and Steve merely adding bits and pieces. So a Springsteen studio recording of this song is highly unlikely to exist.

DAWN PATROL uncirculating
DRIFTER'S BARRIO uncirculating
YOU'RE GONNA CRY uncirculating

Note: Chris Sandford wrote in his 1999 book Springsteen: Point Blank that "Springsteen began tinkering at his fourth album in January 1976. One track, 'Darkness On the Edge of Town', was already done; demos of 'Dawn Patrol', 'Frankie', 'Drifter's Barrio' and 'You're Gonna Cry' – some good, some not so polished – were being cut as fast as he could hum them."

Possible Darkness-era Songs

The following titles emanate from the 1976-78 era. The information is based on the book included in The Promise - The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set. It is unknown if these songs were ever recorded, or just standalone titles. 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 for the majority no evidence they were recorded during any of the Darkness sessions. If they do exist as recordings then they would most likely be either as work-in-progress home cassette recordings or from Atlantic Studios sessions. It's also possible that some of these songs are merely work-in-progress or alternative titles for other tracks that we are more familiar with.

  • AMERICAN
  • ARCHITECT ANGEL (Saga Of The Architect Angel, recorded in 1973. Springsteen may have considered resurrecting it for the new album)
  • (JERSEY / JOEY) BIKERS
  • CLINT EASTWOOD THEME
  • COBRA JET
  • DARLINGTON COUNTY (Possibly recorded during the sessions as "Cheap Thrills")
  • DREAM GOES ON FOREVER
  • GO AWAY (COME CLOSE)(probably written during Darkness tour)
  • IS IT YOU
  • IT'S MY LIFE (The Animals. Springsteen performed this live regularly in 1976 and 1977)
  • LINDA WILL YOU LET ME BE THE ONE (Considered for Born To Run)
  • NIGHT FIGHTER
  • NIGHT PATROL
  • NITE / NIGHT SHIFT
  • (THE) OUTRIDER(S)
  • POWERGLIDE
  • RAMCHARGER
  • RIDERS ON THE RAIN
  • SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE BIG HOUSE
  • SHUFFLE (Likely to be another song)
  • SO KISS ME TONIGHT
  • SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE
  • SOMEONE WAITS
  • SOUL ROCKIN' (aka ACTION IN THE STREETS)
  • SPECTOR SONG (Likely to be early title for another song)
  • SPEEDWAY
  • STREET & STRIP
  • THE WILD ONES (Also considered for album #3, i.e. Born To Run)
  • THERE'S NO LIVIN' WITHOUT YOUR LOVIN'
  • TONIGHT WILL LAST FOREVER

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