Darkness On The Edge Of Town - Studio Sessions


disco_darknessontheedgeoftown.jpg
Commercial Release: June 2, 1978
Label: Columbia 
Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and Steven Van Zandt (assistant)
Recorded by Jimmy Iovine, Thom Panunzio, assisted by Gray Russell and Jim Ball, at Atlantic Studios
 (June - Aug 1977) and Record Plant studios, New York City (Aug 1977 - April 1978)
Mixed by Jimmy Iovine and Chuck Plotkin
Mastered by Mike Reese at The Mastering Lab, Los Angeles, CA
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 liveable 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.

With up to sixty songs floating around in his head and on tape, Springsteen had difficulty deciding which would end up on the album. The party songs, the pop songs and love songs were all rejected: "It was my way", he wrote in Born To Run, "I wasn't sure what I wanted but I smelled something in the air and knew when I didn't have it … I edited out anything that broke the album's mood or tension". The songs selected fit the theme, "all filled with will, resilience and resistance".

The actual recording sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town were completed by early January 1978. The mixing sessions began almost immediately and dragged on until late March – there were a tremendous amount of different mixes considered, with Springsteen changing his mind on the mix of "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 On The Edge Of Town 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 January 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

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

Note: Only one outtake of "Adam Raised A Cain" circulates, and the 'Lost Masters III' liner notes say tracks 1–5 are all from August 1977, but this information is likely incorrect since 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 according to studios logs and a "Ruffs" tape label reproduced in The Promise facsimile book, "Adam Raised A Cain" was not recorded until November at the earliest.

The aforementioned tape label shows a single take dated November 11, 1977, with the engineer perhaps mishearing the lyrics and writing "Daddy Raised A Cane". Meanwhile, studios logs indicate that takes were recorded on November 9 and December 15, 1977 - V1 could date from either. The lyrics are very similar to the final version, with only the lines "She knows you didn't come back to join their little games" and "Now he haunts these empty rooms rattling these chains" altered. The final album take, V2, resulted from three consecutive days dubbing, mixing and editing on February 15, 16 and 17, 1978.

AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - V1a 3:49 DROC2 / RRR
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - V1b 4:06 DDITV / MT1 / AM / DROC2
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - V2a 4:01 uncirculating
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - V2b 4:01 PROMISE
AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - V2c 1:49 PROMISE: DELUXE

Note: V1a is a recording on 'The Definitive River Outtakes Collection Volume 2' under the title "What's The Matter Little Darling", which is how this song was known until 2010. It is not in fact a River outtake, but was most likely recorded July–August 1977. V1b first appeared in the 1990s on 'Deep Down In the Vaults', which was released by the same bootleg label as V1a, and may be the same recording, with the speed corrected. It was officially released on the second disc of "The Promise" as "Ain't Good Enough For You" (V2b). This completed version was recorded on September 14, 1977 (V2a), and unknown overdubs were added in 2010. It is not currently known if this was also the date of the film clip on the accompanying Thrill Hill Vault DVD (V2c), where Bruce is shown trying to add a vocal overdub to the same backing track.

AFTER DINNER uncirculating

Note: Uncirculated outtake from the Darkness sessions. According to studio logs, takes were recorded at either Atlantic Studios or Record Plant on August 5, 10 and 11, 1977.

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 take 23 3:59 DARKNESS / ESSENTIAL / GREATEST

Note: Unfortunately, very few outtakes circulate of "Badlands", although given Springsteen's recording methods at the time far more likely exists in the vault. The title came from Terrence Malick's 1973 movie Badlands (though Bruce 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; 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 on June 27, 30, 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 lyric "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" borrowed from "Iceman", about which Bruce later 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: "Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king, and a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything." 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 "Breakout".

V3 was recorded, perhaps 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 has less double-tracked vocals than V4c, a last moment dubbing of Clarence Clemons's sax solo on April 11, which was pressed to acetate on April 12, 1978. 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 "that would have been a major error."

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-Darkness 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. The instrumental backing tracks were used on V4. 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. This is confirmed by Assistant Engineer Thom Panunzio, who sincerely claims that he was an assistant only on rare occasions, which is well known by Bruce, Jon and the band. According to Iovine, "Bruce was understanding and flexible, because he realized 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 Patti added her own lyrics, recording it at the Record Plant for her album Easter, and scoring her first and biggest hit single. On December 30, 1977 at CBGB Second Avenue Theatre, New York City, NY, Patti Smith premiered her new song, with Bruce Springsteen on guitar and background vocals. With his own lyrics, Bruce played the song almost every night of the 1978 Darkness Tour. The officially released V4 uses Smith's lyrics, the June 1977 backing tracks, and a new vocal take, recorded June 25, 2010 in the Record Plant Studio truck parked on his Colts Neck, NJ property.

BLUE MOON uncirculating

Note: Uncirculated outtake from the Darkness sessions, first recorded at the Record Plant on September 9, and then in three additional takes on October 14, 1977. Such activity greatly reduces the possibility of this being a cover of the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart classic from 1934, because it is extremely doubtful so much time would be used unless this was an original song being worked on.

BODO ROCKER 5:35 DDO / SYMKB / UP

Note: Recorded in one take at Record Plant on October 14, 1977, under the title "Bodo Rocker". This is a fully finished take, but the circulating audio is slightly marred by the vocal being buried in the mix. Another working title was "Bo Diddley Rocker", but bootleggers decided to call it "I'm Goin' Back". However, the latter name appears nowhere in the studio records. Not be be confused with "I'm Going Back" from 1995.

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

Note: "Break Away" (how it was spelled) was recorded the first night of the Darkness sessions, June 1, 1977, but not worked on again. That is, until June 21, 2010, when a new vocal track was recorded over the vintage backing. A modern horn section and modern backing vocals were added for release on The Promise.

BREAK OUT - V1 2:15 LM-3 / UP
BREAK OUT - V2 2:22 DDO / DO-1 / AM / UP / DDOC / SYMKB

Note: Also known as "All Night Long". V1 is an early take from 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, and V1 may be from one of those days. V2, with nearly finished lyrics, may emanate from November 4 or 7, 1977, though it was dubbed to a Ruffs tape with the date "11-4-77." 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". 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.

CANDY'S BOY - V1 5:03 PROMISE: DELUXE
CANDY'S BOY - V2 5:22 LM-2 / DO-2 / LMEC2 / DDOC / LES
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 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 and V4 are also thought to be from June. The officially released V5 was recorded on September 2, 1977, and released in 2010 on the The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story, adding "my sweet love" to his vows. In October 1977, an album #4 sequence entitled 'Badlands' was delivered to Columbia Records, 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 the "New Fast Song", which later became "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 / 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 - V3 uncirculating
CANDY'S ROOM DEMO - V4 1:37 PROMISE: DELUXE
CANDY'S ROOM - V5a take 13 2:41 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
CANDY'S ROOM - V5b take 42 2:43 DARKNESS
recording_197706-ruffs-demo-tape.jpg

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. It was included on a "Ruffs" cassette tape (prepared by engineer Thom Panunzio for Bruce to take with him after sessions), dubbed the 'Star Wars' tape, with tracks from the first days at Atlantic. Backing track V1 was recorded 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" stayed with the song, perhaps until the final takes and mixing of "Candy's Room" in March 1978, when it was removed. V1 and 2a–2d were worked on June 6, 9, 10, 13, 14, 20 and 24, and again on August 24 and September 1–2, 1977, with lyrics slightly changing throughout.

After September 2, 1977, the last time "The Fast Song" and "Candy's Boy" would appear on session logs, Bruce decided to re-organize them into the "New Fast Song", worked on September 27–28. A handwritten lyric sheet titled "New Fast Song (Candy)" illustrates this. He took the first verse of "Candy's Boy", the second verse from "The Fast Song", lines from "Frankie", and added new 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".

A film clip shot by Barry Rebo on September 30, 1977 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 from Record Plant Studios, of Bruce playing "Candy's Room Demo" V4 on the piano for Jon Landau. The lyrics are entirely different, and describe a magical house at the edge of town, with Candy waiting for him in the window. The next dates are October 27 and December 12, 1977, and then a marathon overdub/mixing session, from March 3 to March 5, 1978, which finally concluded with take 42 (V5b) selected for Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

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. This seems unlikely, since Bruce wrote "Darlington County" on the worksheet, and didn't use the title "Cheap Thrills".

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

Note: On October 14, 1977 at the Record Plant, six takes of "Taxi Cab" were recorded, and transferred to reel 3. Then two additional takes of "Taxi Cab Driver" were completed and transferred to reel 4. A mixed version of one or more of these takes was released by bootleggers on 'Son You May Kiss The Bride'. V2, officially released on The Promise in 2010 and titled "City At Night", changes the intro to two repetitions instead of the original four, adds organ in the third verse, and turns up the sax at the fade-out (still vintage). Both of these versions were sourced from one or more of the 1977 takes.

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.

DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - V1a 4:26 DO-3 / DDO / UP / DDOC
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - V1b 4:43 RTT / DDITV
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - V2a 4:23 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN - V2b 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. Indeed, the title can be found in two lists of songs that were penned some time in 1976, supporting his recollection. It is rumored that band rehearsals during 1976 at Bruce's home at Holmdel, NJ included versions of "Darkness On The Edge Of Town". With music and some lyrics written by February 1976, the song was subtitled "The Racer" for a time.

Though it is listed on the 'Star Wars' demo tape of June 1, 1977, pictured below, V1a was not cut until June 6. V1b 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. Bruce then put "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" aside for the rest of the year. It was not included on the 'Badlands' album sequence from October, nor the January 16, 1978 sequence. On March 8, he suddenly called his forces together, and over three days, they re-recorded 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. V2a and V2b are the album track recording, with a slight difference. V2a can be identified by the addition of the word "ready" to the line "I'll be there on time ready to pay the cost." V2b 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 regularly during the Lawsuit Tour. Once Bruce's legal case was settled, the E Street Band entered Atlantic Studios, New York, on June 1, 1977. That night they recorded at least ten songs, including "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 that 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 included on the April 18 sequence.

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 an entry titled, "I Want To Be Wild", on Record Plant logs, dated November 11, 1977, and there is also a Ruffs mix tape originally date June 17, 1977, with "11-11-77 I Want to Be Wild" added. There is no trace of "Don't Say No", but "New Fast Rocker" (a working title for an unidentified track) was also recorded on that date. Author Clinton Heylin has theorized this was "Don't Say No", but this is not confirmed. The official name became "Don't Say No" when it was registered with the US Copyright Office on January 10, 2011, and it appears in the 2010 documentary The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

DRIVE ALL NIGHT - V1a 8:22 LM-2 / DDO / DO-1 / AM / UP / LMEC2
DRIVE ALL NIGHT - V1b 8:23 UP
DRIVE ALL NIGHT - V2 4:42 LM-2 / AM / UP
DRIVE ALL NIGHT - V3 0:30 LM-7
DRIVE ALL NIGHT - V4 8:22 RIVER
recording_19770617-ruffs-demo-tape.jpg

Note: Studio logs indicate that Springsteen worked on this song at two sessions in 1977; June 16 at Atlantic Studios and August 24 at Record Plant. V1 is definitely from that June session, V2 is probably also from June (see image), but could be from the August session. If V2 is from June, then the August 24 take 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, using the 1977 Darkness backing track for V4, officially released on The River. V3 was worked on at Power Station (possibly on February 24, 1980, a date found in the studio logs), again with Springsteen singing over the backing track. V4 was completed on March 8 or 16. Preliminary mixing took place on April 10 by Neil Dorfsman; the song was later remixed by Toby Scott at Clover Recorders, Los Angeles. Springsteen is credited with the piano on this track. The only song from The River to be recorded by Jimmy Iovine, a final confirmation that the backing track was recorded during the Darkness sessions.

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. V2 is the earliest take in circulation, a rough workout, probably 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, let's go tonight." Two out of three verses had "death in their eyes." V3 represented a sudden shift as the song began its metamorphosis into "Factory"; though it retained its original 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." 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. Further work was undertaken on November 2, 7, and 8, and December 9, 27, 1977 - a violin overdub by David Lindley was added, possibly on December 9. 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)". The vocal is vintage, but the recording date has not been determined. 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 V6b. Bruce recorded new vocals over the "Come On (Let's Go Tonight) backing track 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. By the time the album was released however, the title was simply "Factory".

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".

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.

FRANKIE - V1 4:46 LM-3 / DDO / DO-2 / AM / UP / DDOC
FRANKIE - V2 5:46 DOT TAPE
FRANKIE - V3a take 10 7:23 private cdr
FRANKIE - V3b 7:41 THLRR / MI / THLBP / UH
FRANKIE - V3c 7:39 LM-19
FRANKIE - V3d 7:22 TRACKS

Note: "Frankie" was composed by Springsteen in early 1976, just after the 1975 Born To Run Tour. According to Christopher Sandford's Point Blank, 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 recordings of the latter song from June 1977 indicate most of the words were still unwritten. However, "Frankie" was near completion when it was debuted live on the Chicken Scratch Tour in late March 1976.

When Springsteen returned to the studio after the litigation with Mike Appel was resolved, "Frankie" was recorded on June 3, 1977, and again on July 12, both at Atlantic Studios. V2 and V3 may be from those sessions. 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, "In the darkness, there'll be hidden worlds that shine." 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., V3d was considered for Greatest Hits, again missing the cut, before being selected for the Tracks compilation in 1998. One other mix, V3a, has the same saxophone overdub during the instrumental outro as V3d. V3b and V3c were alternative mixes without sax. It is not known if the takes from 1977 were ever considered for Tracks.

GIVE THE GIRL A KISS - V1a uncirculating
GIVE THE GIRL A KISS - V1b 3:47 TRACKS

Note: V1a 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 V1b on Tracks.

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

Note: Studio documentation indicate takes were recorded at Atlantic Studios or Record Plant studios on August 9, 11, and 12, 1977. A recording from August 9 was transferred to a cassette, and a reproduction of the tape inlay can be found in the facsimile book included with The Promise box set. In V1 Bruce is teaching the song to the band, probably on the first day, and V2 was recorded on August 12. Logs show another date, August 30, 1977, which was either a final session, or transfer of the master to comp. reel. V1 has a "baby just come dry your eyes" theme, which is gone by V2. The officially released V3 contains a modern vocal take and horns, recorded on July 12, 2010, along with elements of the V2 recording. First two versions were bootlegged for years under the title "Get That Feeling".

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.

I CAN ONLY GIVE YOU EVERYTHING uncirculating

Note: Recorded at the Record Plant on March 9, 1978. One take from very late in the sessions. "I Can Only Give You Everything" was recorded by Them in 1966, so this take could be a warm-up cover, although tape was not usually running during such exercises. Composed by Phil Coulter and Tommy Scott in 1965. It remains a possibility (albeit slim) that this is an original with the same title.

I GOT MY EYES ON YOU take 14 3:45 uncirculating
recording_19770809-19770815-theboss-demo-tape.jpg

Note: At least 14 takes were recorded on August 15, 1977, after which it was included on side two of a Ruffs tape prepared for Bruce called "THE BOSS". The first side had takes of songs worked on August 9–10, 1977, and the cuts on Side 2 were all from August 15. "I Got My Eyes On You" take 14 was written on the jacket (reproduced in The Promise book). Another date was logged on September 14, 1977, which may be another session, or to note the master being transferred to the comp reel. It was mixed for Tracks in 1998, but did not make the final cut. In 2010, it was also not included in the The Promise anniversary box.

(I LOVE) EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU uncirculating

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

I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V1 3:04 DDO / DO-1 / AM / UP / LES / GT
I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V2 3:12 LM-6 / ATMF
I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V3 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. Logs show that more takes were recorded on July 1, 1977 (also at Atlantic), and there was a complete take on September 12, at Record Plant. Held over for The River sessions, and both V2 and V3 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.

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

Note: "Iceman", also known as "New Ballad", was recorded at 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.

INDEPENDENCE DAY - V1 - take 3 uncirculating
INDEPENDENCE DAY - V2 6:17 LM-3 / AM / UP / LMEC2 / GT
INDEPENDENCE DAY - V3a - mix take #10 5:18 uncirculating
INDEPENDENCE DAY - V3b 5:27 DROC1 / RRR / ATMF
INDEPENDENCE DAY - V3c 4:39 RIVER

Note: In a phone interview with a CHOM-FM DJ after a show on November 8, 1978 at the Montreal Forum, Bruce said "Independence Day" was written "before a lot of the stuff recorded on Darkness." It also appears on a "New Songs" list generally attributed to the pre-Darkness era. It was first recorded on August 15, 1977, and take 3 was dubbed to a ruffs mix tape, the inlay of which was reproduced in The Promise facsimile book. V2 was a bootlegged take likely recorded on September 26–27 at Record Plant Studios. Springsteen must have completed the song to some extent, because it was slated to be track 4 on the October 'Badlands' album, until Bruce canceled the project. He went back to work on it on November 4, 7, and December 9, 1977. When a proposed track sequence was assembled on January 16, 1978, "Independence Day" was an alternate track, but it was soon dropped from consideration. Bruce played it live on July 7, 1978 at the Roxy, and over thirty times to the end of the Darkness Tour. Sessions resumed at Power Station studios on May 29 and October 11, 1979, with mixing and dubbing sessions on April 24 and 25, 1980. V3a is mix take #10, with slight alterations to the snare drums and vocals. V3b is the complete, uncut recording with the instrumental coda that was removed from the album version, V3c.

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

Note: An unknown composition until 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.

KING'S ROCK (KING'S BIG CHANCE) uncirculating

Note: Uncirculated outtake recorded at The Record Plant on September 1, 8, and 9, 1977. It was logged under three different names: "King's Rock (King's Big Chance)", "King's Ransom" and "The King's Revenge".

NEW OLD SONG uncirculating

Note: According to studio documentation, a song titled "New Old Song" was recorded at the Record Plant on September 27, 1977. It's likely this is a working title for another song, either known or unknown. It is possible "New Old Song" is related to "Old Song", another title found in studio logs. During studio sessions, engineers would often write song titles on tape inlays, perhaps for Bruce to take home and listen to later. Unaware of Springsteen's actual title, it appears that they would guess a title instead, usually based on the arrangement rather than lyrics - reproductions of these labels can be found in the facsimile book included with The Promise boxset. Examples of these titles include "The Fast Song", "English Song", "Sax Song", "The Ballad", "New Rocker", "Crazy Rocker" and many others.

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

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

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.

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

Note: V1 was 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.

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

Note: Recorded at 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.

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 / 1978 SINGLE

Note: Springsteen has said that "Prove It All Night" was adapted from "It's A Shame", a.k.a. "Jon's Jam", which was written, recorded, and set aside in June, 1977. He later said (live as an introduction to the song) that he got the idea from a cabbie in New York City while he was making the album. The cabbie was "raving about how all day long you gotta prove it to your boss driving around in a cab and all night you gotta go home and prove it to your wife, on the weekends you gotta prove it to your kids." The earliest circulating take from 'Lost Masters III' has an overdubbed sax solo and double tracked vocals, but the lyrics are a fusion of both "Prove It All Night" and "Something In The Night". Studio logs show takes were recorded on September 12, and over three straight days from September 14–16. It's likely that V1 is from one of those dates, but could potentially be earlier.

"Prove It All Night" never failed to be included on tentative album sequences, from October 1977 through May 1978. The song was completed with V2 (take 49), mixed in spring 1978 by Toby Scott, Chuck Plotkin's chief engineer. V2a is an alternate mix that runs to a hard stop ending, with Max's energetic performance and Danny's organ dominating. V2b features the vocal track above the organ and drums and runs shorter. while the final mix, V2c, was also released as the first single ahead of the album, on May 23, 1978 in the United States.

RACING IN THE STREET - V1 5:48 DO-3 / LM-3 / UP / AM
RACING IN THE STREET - V2a 6:42 LM-3 / UP
RACING IN THE STREET - V2b 6:44 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
RACING IN THE STREET - V2c 6:51 DARKNESS
RACING IN THE STREET - V3a 6:22 LM-2 / DDO / DO-2 / DDOC / O711S
RACING IN THE STREET ('78) - V3b 6:47 PROMISE

Note: Springsteen started writing "Racing In The Street" in 1976, and working titles included "'32 Ford" (found in a document titled "New Songs", reproduced in The Promise facsimile book) and "Dying In The Street", according to author Clinton Heylin. The latter phrase appears twice in the earliest known circulating recording (V1), a slow solo piano arrangement from July 2, 1977 at Atlantic Studios, verified in Sony's studio logs. This take uses an incomplete version of the alternate "Got a '32 Ford, she's a 318…" lyrics, and is also missing verse three, perhaps not yet written, alongside the Darkness On The Edge Of Town album melody. Efforts resumed on August 1, with four consecutive days working on the song. Which arrangements were worked in this period is unclear. V2a was likely from one of these sessions, as indicated in the 'Lost Masters III' liner notes, and this take would eventually be utilized for Darkness On The Edge Of Town (V2c), with a vocal overdub in the second verse. Heylin recounts its "transfer to a 'comp.' reel at August's end," which, according to studio logs, was August 30, 1977.

V3, sometimes known as the 'alternative' "Racing In The Street", with wailing harmonica and tremendous vocal, was recorded on August 10, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. Bruce has also referred to this as "the rock version." This arrangement still features the '32 Ford, and perhaps comes from before Springsteen refined the lyrics and settled on the Darkness album arrangement by month's end. There was more work undertaken on August 12. The officially released V3b, titled "Racing In The Street ('78)" on The Promise, uses the same 1977 vocal take from V3a, apart from a small overdub, replacing a slurred line in the third verse (that ends "…just to make it alright") with a modern vocal. David Lindley plays violin; there is a reference in Sony's documentation to January 2, 1978 for "Racing In The Street" and "The Factory Song" and is possibly the day Lindley recorded his violin tracks for both songs, but that is not yet confirmed.

There is little doubt that more work was done on this song than any other during the sessions, except perhaps "The Promise". Assistant engineer Thom Panunzio kept a detailed record of the tape reels, the various mixes and takes, with alternate lyrics, with or without the band, or certain instruments. Eight days were spent during August, until completed masters were transferred to a reel on August 30. But Springsteen returned to "Racing In The Street" on November 28, 29, 30 and December 6 and 9, 1977. As of December 9, two more completed masters were transferred to a stereo rough mix reel; one is a mix of take 16 of reel 5 recorded November 29, 1977, the other is a mix of take 12 of reel 5 recorded November 30. It is unknown which arrangement is on this reel. Mixing and overdub sessions were held, with Chuck Plotkin, on March 21–23, 1978, and mix take 46 went on Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

Bruce adapted the lines "summer's here and the time is right / for goin' racing in the street" from Martha and the Vandellas' 1964 hit "Dancing In The Street", as well as The Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man". He has also acknowledged the Beach Boys' 1964 "Don't Worry Baby", and it has been said the instrumental break is a tribute to that song.

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 through 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 several of the tracks describing the setup. The next two sessions were with Bruce, Dorfsman, and Bob Clearmountain on August 27, 1979 and September 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 through 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 mixing for The River, two more sessions were held with Dorfsman on April 4 and 19, 1980. V2f through V2i are likely from these dates. The increased length of some 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 in 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.

RENDEZVOUS - V1 2:47 DDO / DO-3 / LES / MT1 / AM / SYMKB
RENDEZVOUS - V2 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. The song remained a regular in the setlist throughout the remainder of the 1976–77 tour. 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. V2 was recorded on September 29, 1977 at Record Plant Studios, and officially released on The Promise in 2010. In a 1978 interview, Springsteen said the song was kept off Darkness On The Edge Of Town because it didn't fit thematically. Bruce personally taught the song to The Knack's drummer Bruce Gary in October, 1978, but it would be Greg Kihn who first 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 at the time (1998).

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

Note: 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. V2 is a completely modern take of the song, recorded July 22, 2010 at Colts Neck, and included on The Promise. It appears it was never previously recorded in the studio.

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

Note: Nine takes of this song were recorded on October 14, 1977 at Record Plant, all logged under the title "Sax Song". Bootlegged as "Down By The River" and "Say Sons" for many years - the former due to the frequent use of that phrase in the lyrics, and the latter due to a bootlegger misreading the engineer's handwriting on the tape inlay, mistaking a 'g' for an 's' and an 'x' for a 'y'. There are several examples of reproduced tape inlays in The Promise facsimile book, and one engineer in particular whose 'g' can easily be interpreted as an 's', and it's not hard to imagine how an 'x' could look like a 'y'.

In his book E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days Of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Clinton Heylin dates the song to September 27, based on the apparent connection of "Say Sons" to another track in the logs, "Old Sons". Given the evidence (i.e. "Old Sons" should be "Old Song"), it's likely Heylin was mistaken. Not related to Neil Young's song "Down By The River", which Bruce has performed live a couple of times.

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 4:03 DROC2 / ATMF / RRR
SHERRY DARLING - V4 4:00 RIVER

Note: "Sherry Darling" was recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 24 and 27 and July 1, 1977 during the Darkness sessions, but was held over for the next album for thematic reasons. V1 and V2 are from one of these three dates. 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 would indicate it was first recorded in 1976. However, Bruce's dates are notoriously unreliable so it is more likely he is referring to June 1977. Springsteen returned to "Sherry Darling" in the spring of 1979, with takes at Power Station on May 25, 1979. The logs show more work on February 23, 1980 and V4 was completed on March 8 with final overdubs before a mixing session on April 12, 1980 and inclusion on The River.

A NIGHT LIKE THIS - V1 uncirculating
A LOVE SO FINE - V2 3:47 BIS / WAR / ET / BWNH / BTRS / ETRJ
SO YOUNG AND IN LOVE - V3 3:47 TRACKS / BTRCS

Note: Springsteen introduced a new song at a rehearsal show at the Main Point on September 19, 1974. By October, it would come to be known as "A Love So Fine", but in early performances the chorus was "A Night Like This" and the title was written as such on at least one contemporary setlist. On October 4, 1974, Springsteen changed the chorus, replacing the "A Night Like This" with "A Love So Fine". His musicians carried handwritten setlists that night, that still used the title, "A Night Like This".

Studio logs show that a track titled "A Night Like This" was recorded at 914 Sound Studios on October 16, 1974. While there is little doubt this was "A Love So Fine", it is not known how many takes and configurations were taped. Only an instrumental backing track of "A Love So Fine" remains from this era. It has been in heavy bootleg circulation since the late seventies, first issued on vinyl 'E Ticket', and then on many CDs from 1989 onwards, including 'Born In The Studio' and 'War And Roses'. There is evidence it was the October 16 recording. According to studio documentation, a session on that day produced a two-inch master reel that has "A Love So Fine" and "Born To Run" paired, supporting this viewpoint, and that an engineer used the old title of "A Night Like This".

It appears that Springsteen took the "A Love So Fine" backing track and the verses he had fine-tuned on stage for a year, changed the chorus for a third time, and created "So Young And In Love", which was issued on Tracks in 1998. The contradictory liner notes date the recording to 1/6/74 (January 6). Bruce was on tour in Cambridge, MA that day, and musicians Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg, also credited, did not join the band until August 1974. However, the rest of notes indicate the venue was Record Plant Studios in New York City, and Jimmy Iovine was the engineer. It is possible the correct date was January 6, 1978, during sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town, and that the liner notes date is simply a misprint. However, close listening reveals the backing track is the exact same track he laid down in October 1974, but now with overdubbed vocals. It is possible the vocal track was recorded in January 1978, with Bruce singing over the 1974 backing track. Springsteen has also stated in an interview with Mojo in 1998 that the cut on Tracks is from the Darkness sessions. "So Young And In Love" was mixed in 1998 by Ed Thacker and sequenced amongst Darkness-era songs.

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

Note: V1 is an instrumental backing track that was bootlegged under the title "Someday, Tonight". Since there are no vocals, it has been assumed that the creators of the 'Lost Masters' CDs took the title from a cassette tape label, and maybe they did, but it appears on the studio logs as "Someday (Tonight)". According to the logs, Springsteen worked on the song over three days at the Record Plant on September 26 and 29–30, 1977. This backing track circulated for fifteen years until V2 was released on The Promise box set in 2010 as "Someday (We'll Be Together)". The backing tracks from September 29 were used, with a modern vocal take alongside backing vocals by the Alliance Singers (Tiffeny Andrews, Corinda Carford, Michelle Moore, and Antoinette Savage), who contributed choir vocals on The Rising, in addition to Patti Scialfa and Soozie Tyrell.

SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT - V1a 5:06 DDOC / UP / DDO / LUTHER
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT - V1b 5:05 DO-3 / UP / AM
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT - V1c 5:05 ODM / HOD / UP / AM
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT - V1d 5:11 DARKNESS
SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT - V2 4:38 DO-2 / GT / LUTHER / LM-2 / SOTE

Note: "Something In The Night" was written in 1976, rehearsed in the barn at Bruce's new rental in Holmdel, New Jersey, and premiered live on August 1, 1976. It was played extensively during 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. 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 of which which are based on the June 1 take, and one, that could have been 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 its extensive liner notes that "Something In The Night" appears in three versions, with one version recorded in June–July 1977 at Atlantic Studios and two 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 three on Darkness On The Edge of Town.

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 was 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".

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. Springsteen says it was recorded "mostly live." The logs show that the song was also worked on at either Atlantic or 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) and "Prove It All Night" (September 16) were completed before "Streets Of Fire". "The Promised Land" gave up its 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 seven second double count-in deducted, while 'Luther' only had one second of it included.

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 4:17 PROMISE
TALK TO ME - V4 uncirculating

Note: V1a and V1b of "Talk To Me" were recorded on July 8 or 13, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. Both are basic backing tracks without vocals or horns, which were not added, along with the lyrics, until August. On August 5, one take (V2) was labeled as "Bruce's original master." This version was officially released on The Promise in 2010, 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 (V3).

Additional sessions at either Atlantic Studios or The Record Plant (details unknown) occurred on August 9, 24, 26, and 30. After a final session on October 14, 1977, engineer Thom Panunzio dubbed "Hearts Of Stone" and "Talk To Me" to cassette for Steve Van Zandt, producer of Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes' third album. A note written by Panunzio is reproduced in 2010's The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story. During 1978 sessions at Secret Sound Studios, Van Zandt combined the base rhythm track from the tape with Southside's vocals, brass by the Miami Horns, and his own lead guitar.

note_song_heartsofstone-talktome.jpg

Hearts Of Stone by Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes (Epic JE 35488), released October 13, 1978, ranks on several polls, including Rolling Stone's, as one of the best albums of the 1970s. According to Max Weinberg, who played on both Darkness On The Edge Of Town and Hearts Of Stone, the E Street Band backing tracks included on Steve's tape were utilized for Southside Johnny's album.

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

Note: The only circulating audio of "The Ballad" was recorded in one take on October 14, 1977, at the Record Plant, New York. New song, band and Springsteen learning as they go, unfinished lyrics, a church-organ intro and a lovely melody. No other studio takes exist, and this working title is the only name it was ever given. Bootleggers renamed it "Castaway".

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.

THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES) - V1 uncirculating
THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES) - V2 uncirculating
THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES) - V3 3:15 PROMISE

Note: V1 of "The Little Things (My Baby Does)" was recorded at Atlantic Studios or the Record Plant, in six takes, on August 15, 1977. It was dubbed to a Ruffs compilation tape by engineer Thom Panunzio, joining other tracks successfully recorded that month, for Bruce to listen to on his trip to Utah and Nevada (where Eric Meola shot what would become the cover of The Promise). The V2 master was completed and transferred to comp. reel on September 15, 1977. Thematically incompatible with the Darkness concept, it remained in the vaults until 2010, when it was selected for inclusion on The Promise. Modern band elements and vocals were recorded in July 2010 at Stone Hill Studio, Colts Neck, New Jersey, and overdubbed to the V2 master, then mixed by Bob Clearmountain in August.

THE PROMISE - V1 5:32 DO-2 / UP / SOTE / LUTHER
THE PROMISE - V2 5:27 LM-2 / DDO / DO-3 / AM / SC / O711S
THE PROMISE - V3 7:11 DDITV / AM / UP / MT1
THE PROMISE - V4 7:24 PROMISE: DELUXE
THE PROMISE (strings-full harmony) - V5 uncirculating
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: 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 regularly during the 1976–1977 Lawsuit Tour, but according to studio documentation it was not recorded in the studio until late June 1977. V1 was most likely recorded during sessions on June 30, 1977, though further work was done on July 1, 7, 8 and 13. The June take master was transfered to comp. reel and ruffs tape, and was used in V10, mixed in 2010. Unlike his live versions, all of the Darkness studio recordings in circulation include the E Street Band, though solo takes were also attempted. 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 or 30, 1977, which was on the tracklist for the aborted 'Badlands' release (see artwork). However, Bruce was back on September 28 and 30, 1977, recording V3 at the Record Plant, which some collectors and hardcore fans consider the definitive version. Over 7 minutes long, and sporting an arrangement for the full E Street Band, it was first released unofficially on 'Deep Down In the Vaults' in the mid-1990s. This version was barely in the can when a Rolling Stone reporter suggested that the song was about his now-settled lawsuit with Mike Appel, which Bruce sternly denied, and has denied ever since (he wrote the music and the first set of lyrics before the lawsuit was filed in 1976). Nevertheless, Springsteen soon 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 with solidifying the narrative, and when recording concluded in January, and a ten-song track sequence for Album #4 was prepared, "The Promise" was the last song on side two.

On January 12, 1978, V4, with revised lyrics, was recorded with the band, and also filmed live in-the-studio by Barry Rebo, later released with the The Promise:The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story. It is confirmed that strings were recorded and dubbed to the January 12 master (Landau confirmed this, and a mix tape exists with three versions; V3 "old verse", V4 "new verse", and V5 "strings and full harmony" (see illustration). But on January 24, 1978, without the E Street Band, Springsteen sat down at the piano and recorded V6 by himself, just as he did for 22 shows while locked out of the recording studio. A total of ten sessions were held from January 17 to March 7 (a seven-week period). Meanwhile, he finished "Candy's Room", "The Factory Song" and "Darkness On the Edge of Town" in early March, and decided to not include "The Promise". He has said he could not get a recording he was happy with, and that he "felt too close to it." 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 regularly during the early part of the tour. 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, Colts Neck, 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."

V1 and V3 were used as the base tracks for V10, the version on The Promise outtake album, with overdubbed strings, guitars, glockenspiel, and double tracked vocals. Two lines of verse three were removed ("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") and a modern string arrangement by Ken Ascher was recorded in July 2010.

THE PROMISED LAND - V1 uncirculating
THE PROMISED LAND - V2 uncirculating
THE PROMISED LAND - V3a 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, "The Promised Land" had its genesis in 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 three takes attempted (including V1). Recording resumed on October 27 at the Record Plant with twenty takes (including V2, take 19, marked "long ending"). V3 (take 5) was completed on December 1 or 27, 1977, and pressed to metal acetate on April 12, 1978. V3a was the final version without the guitar solo. On or about May 10, Bruce decided a guitar intro was needed before Clarence Clemons's powerful sax solo. After Steve Van Zandt recorded it in New York, Side 2 was mastered for a second time, at The Mastering Lab, Los Angeles, which briefly delayed the album release to June 2.

THE WAY - V1a 3:47 URT-1 / AM / RN / ROU
THE WAY - V1b take 49 3:53 URT-1 / DO-2 / DDO / AM / UP / GT
THE WAY - V1c 3:41 PROMISE

Note: According to studio documentation, "The Way" was first recorded on August 5, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. On August 15, six takes were recorded. Additional takes were recorded at Record Plant Studios on September 12 and 14, 1977, the latter marked "complete." As of January 16, 1978, "The Way" was sequenced on album #4 as track three on side two, between "Adam Raised A Cain" and "Prove It All Night". Vocal overdubs and mixing took place over three days, February 10–12, 1978, culminating in some 66 mix takes. 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.

TRIANGLE SONG uncirculating

Note: Uncirculated outtake from the sessions. Recorded at 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.

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

Note: V1 was recorded at the Record Plant on October 14, 1977 under the working title "English Song" (the tape label was misread by bootleggers as "English Sons"). According to studio documentation, another working title was "First New Song". Of the three takes tried, at least one fully finished performance survived, but the circulating audio, first released on 'Son You May Kiss The Bride', where it was named "Endless Night", has the vocal buried in the mix. The officially released V2 was titled "Wrong Side Of The Street", and features a July 2010 vocal track dubbed over the backing tracks from 1977.

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 three lists are songs that Springsteen was working on at the time. Lists four to seven are real album sequences proposed by Springsteen, all changed not long after they were made.

note_album_darkness_1976.jpg
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

Additional Songs

These are songs possibly recorded for album #4. All were composed or co-written by Bruce Springsteen. Some are recorded and released on an album of another artist, with Bruce contributing, if so, it is listed on the studio sessions page for collaborations.

ACTION IN THE STREETS studio take unknown

Note: After dropping "A Love So Fine" for the Chicken Scratch Tour, Bruce Springsteen began performing a new song in February 1977 called "Action In the Streets", taking advantage of the full-time presence of the Miami Horns. It is absent from the Darkness studio logs, but could possibly have been recorded under alternate title.

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: According to documentation, there was a song called "Bring On The Night" in 1977, but no audio currently circulates from that period. The title can be found on a May 1977 list of 'New Songs', as well as one other handwritten document. Some sources claim that V1 is a take from a Darkness-era practice or rehearsal session, but 'Lost Masters 12' dates it to a 1979 rehearsal at Telegraph Hill which seems more likely, although the sound quality is noticeably better than the vast majority of audio from these rehearsals. There is no reference to "Bring On The Night" in the Darkness session logs, although they are incomplete. It appears that if "Bring On The Night" was worked on during the Darkness sessions, it was put aside before Springsteen returned to it after the tour concluded in early 1979.

V2–V5 are all acoustic demos from around January–May, 1979 at Springsteen's home in Holmdel, NJ. V6 is a band rehearsal recorded on May 14, 1979, according to the liner notes of 'Lost Masters IX'. V7 was recorded at Power Station studios 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 issued on the 1998 Tracks compilation.

DAWN PATROL 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." Included here for reference, but this information may not be accurate.

DRIFTER'S BARRIO 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." Included here for reference, but this information may not be accurate.

LITTLE GIRL OF MINE - V1 uncirculating
LITTLE GIRL OF MINE GUEST: EARLY
LITTLE GIRL SO FINE - V2 uncirculating
LITTLE GIRL SO FINE GUEST: REAL

Note: V1 by Bruce Springsteen 1976. V2 co-written by Springsteen and Jukes producer "Sugar" Miami Steve Van Zandt in December 1976 during sessions for Southside Johnny's second album (released April 2, 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" V1 on an early 1976 list for Album IV; it could be this song, or another composition with the same title. Copyright filed February 25, 1977 by Blue Midnight Music (Van Zandt) and Bruce Springsteen Music d.b.a. Nightshift Music, filing no. ED759979.

LOVE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF TOWN uncirculating

Note: Co-written by Springsteen (responsible for the main riff) and Van Zandt (the rest of the song) in December 1976 during sessions for Southside Johnny's second album, This Time It's For Real, released April 2, 1977. Rumored to be among the tracks recorded by Ronnie Spector and the E Street Band in January 1977, during sessions produced by "Sugar Miami" Steve Van Zandt. A rehearsal take by Van Zandt, recorded at the Stone Pony in January 1977, was released on his 2019 album, The Early Work. Copyright filed February 25, 1977 by Blue Midnight Music (Van Zandt) and Bruce Springsteen Music, under the name Nightshift Music, filing no. EU759975. No evidence of Bruce Springsteen recording it during sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town.

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.

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." Included here for reference, but this information may not be accurate.

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)
  • 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)
  • (JERSEY / JOEY) BIKERS
  • 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'
  • SPECTOR SONG (Likely to be early title for another song)
  • SPEEDWAY
  • STREET & STRIP
  • THERE'S NO LIVIN' WITHOUT YOUR LOVIN'
  • TONIGHT WILL LAST FOREVER
  • THE WILD ONES (Also considered for album #3, i.e. Born To Run)

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