Early Bands - Studio Sessions


The information below details the songs that Springsteen recorded with his first bands - The Castiles, Steel Mill and The Bruce Springsteen Band (incorporating Dr. Zoom & The Sonic Boom and The Sundance Blues Band).

The Castiles

Bruce Springsteen (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
George Theiss (guitar, vocals)
Curt Fluhr (bass)
Vinnie Maniello (drums)
Paul Popkin (tambourine, vocals)

Overview

The Castiles recorded two songs at a studio session in Bricktown, New Jersey in May 1966. As it turned out, Springsteen would not enter another recording studio until February 1970. The following is a listing of all known Springsteen compositions written during The Castiles - Earth era (1965-1968). There are compositions from this era that are still undocumented. In order for a title to make this list it must be a completed song (i.e. words and music).

Released

Details

BABY I 2:05 DDITV / BSS2 / SFEM
BABY I 1:56 CHAPTER

Note: Written (Springsteen/Theiss) in May 1966 and recorded at Mr. Music in Bricktown, NJ. Performed in concert regularly during 1966 and early 1967. Officially released in September 2016 on Chapter And Verse, the companion album to Springsteen's autobiography Born To Run.

LOOK INTO MY WINDOW uncirculating

Note: Written (Springsteen/Theiss) in 1967. The only circulating audio is from a gig by The Castiles at The Left Foot in late 1967.

MR. JONES uncirculating

Note: Written by Bob Alfano.

SIDEWALK uncirculating

Note: A soul-style number written by Springsteen and George Theiss in mid-1966 and performed frequently in concert in 1966–67, although there's no audio in circulation. According to Tex Vinyard, the song's melody was supplied by a fan, with Bruce then adding the lyrics.

THAT'S WHAT YOU GET 3:10 DDITV / BSS2 / SFEM

Note: Written (Springsteen/George Theiss) in May 1966 and recorded on May 18, 1966 at Mr Music in Bricktown, NJ. Performed in concert regularly during 1966 and early 1967. A slightly modified version of the line "I fall down on my knees and I cry" can be found in 1982's "Downbound Train": "I dropped to my knees, hung my head and cried."

Steel Mill

Bruce Springsteen (guitar, vocals)
Danny Federici (organ, piano, backing vocals)
Vini Lopez (drums)
Vinnie Roslin (bass, backing vocals)

Overview

Steel Mill recorded three songs at a studio session in San Francisco in late February 1970. The only other "studio" sessions during the period were those conducted at Challenger Eastern Surfboards. Besides being a manufacturing facility (and Bruce's home from late 1969 thru late 1970) Challenger East was also a makeshift studio environment of sufficient standard to produce reasonable quality recordings. Although it's a sure bet that most of these songs were recorded as part of ongoing rehearsals, none of the Challenger East audio recorded during 1969 and 1970 is currently in circulation. Due to financial restrictions, the Reel-to-Reel tapes were often reused. Consequently, there is a distinct possibility that much of what was recorded at Challenger no longer survives, even in Bruce’s personal archive.

Released

Details

AIN'T GONNA LOSE IT THIS TIME uncirculating

Note: Steel Mill-era composition, confirmed from a finished lyric sheet. No known live performance.

ALL I WANNA KNOW uncirculating

Note: Steel Mill-era composition, confirmed from a finished lyric sheet. No known live performance.

AMERICA UNDER FIRE uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969 and performed in concert regularly during the second half of 1969 and up through mid-1970. Bruce's nickname for this one was "American Song". It is also known as "American Tune". A couple of live performances are in circulation.

AMPLIFIER BLUES uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969 and performed in concert during 1969 and early 1970. Also known as "Fucked Up Amplifier Blues".

BLACK SUN RISING uncirculating

Note: Written in early 1970 and performed in concert during 1970. One of the better Springsteen compositions of the Steel Mill era.

CALIFORNIA BLUES uncirculating

Note: Written in early 1970, either during or immediately following Steel Mill's trip to San Francisco. Performed in concert during the first half of 1970.

CHANGING CHILDREN uncirculating

Note: Written mid-1970 and a regular concert inclusion during the Robbin Thompson era of Steel Mill (September 1970–January 1971). Sometimes listed under the title "Change It (Revolution)" or "Change It".

COME ON uncirculating

Note: Written in late 1969 and performed in concert up through mid 1970. A couple of live performances are in circulation. Sometimes listed under the title "Come On (The World Is Crying For Freedom)".

FIRE ENGINES ARE RETURNING HOME uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969 during the Child period and probably performed live in 1969. There is no audio performance in circulation. A finished lyric sheet, complete with Bruce's chord notations, exists.

FREAK II uncirculating

Note: An instrumental written in 1969 or 1970 of which little is known. Bruce's handwritten title/chord progression sheet has recently surfaced. It is not known if another instrumental called "Freak I" was also composed.

GARDEN STATE PARKWAY BLUES uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969 or early 1970 and performed in concert up through mid-1970. The title is deceptive as this is not blues but, rather, a suite of mini-songs linked together to convey an entire working day in the life of the character. Bruce sometimes referred to this by the title "The Alarm Clock Song". A couple of live performances are in circulation, with one nearly 30 minutes in duration.

GOIN' BACK TO GEORGIA 5:16 BSS3 / US1 / VAFH

Note: Written in 1969 and performed in concert regularly during 1969, 1970 and even occasionally during the 1971 Bruce Springsteen Band era. This unabashed Allman Brothers-influenced tune was the third most requested song of the Steel Mill era, behind "Resurrection" and "Guilty". Several live performances are in circulating. One of three songs recorded at Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo, CA on February 22, 1970.

GOOD LOVIN' WOMAN uncirculating

Note: Written in 1970. The only known live performance is from the Marshall Parking Deck show in August 1970.

HE'S GUILTY (THE JUDGE SONG) 5:57 BSS3 / US1 / VAFH
HE'S GUILTY (THE JUDGE SONG) 4:39 CHAPTER

Note: Written in the summer of 1969 and performed in concert regularly during the second half of 1969 and throughout 1970. After Robbin Thompson joined the band the song tended to be slotted into the final stages of the show. Several live performances are in circulation. One of three songs recorded at Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo, CA on February 22, 1970, the song was officially released in September 2016 on Chapter And Verse, the companion album to Springsteen's autobiography Born To Run. The released version has been edited, reducing the length by cutting some of the instrumental segments short. Former Steel Mill vocalist Robbin Thompson released a cover version in 1986. Sometimes listed as "Guilty" or "Send That Boy To Jail".

I AM THE DOCTOR uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969 and performed in concert often throughout 1970. A couple of live performances are circulating. No relation to Springsteen’s 1972 composition "Lady And The Doctor".

I CAN'T TAKE IT uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-1970 and a frequent concert inclusion during the September 70-January 71 Robbin Thompson era of Steel Mill. Several live performances are circulating. Sometimes listed under the title "I Can’t Take It No More".

I JUST CAN'T THINK uncirculating

Note: Written in early 1970. One verified live performance, on April 18, 1970, although there are likely to have been others.

JEANNIE I WANT TO THANK YOU uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969 and performed in concert regularly during the second half of 1969 and into the early months of 1970. A couple of live performances are in circulation.

JENNIFER uncirculating

Note: Written in 1968 or 1969 and performed in concert regularly throughout 1969. According to Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross, possibly recorded for Greetings, but no further evidence has yet emerged. Apparently this is a soft ballad and may well be related to the "Jennifer" known via Laurel Canyon copyright documentation.

KT-88 uncirculating

Note: An instrumental written in late 1969 or early 1970 and played in concert up until mid-1970. A couple of live performances are in circulation. Allegedly a variation of this song was performed by Bruce and the E Street Band during a few shows early in the 1972–73 Greetings Tour, although there's no audio or setlist verification.

LADY WALKING DOWN BY THE RIVER uncirculating

Note: Written in the summer or fall of 1969 and performed in concert regularly during the second half of 1969 and into the early months of 1970. A couple of live performances are in circulation.

MARY LOUISE WATSON uncirculating

Note: Written in late 1970. The earliest circulating audio performance is from a January 1971 Steel Mill show at D'Scene. This is one of the few Steel Mill-era songs that Bruce continued performing during the Bruce Springsteen Band period, as renditions from that period are also circulating. Sometimes referred to by the title "Mary Lou Watson" or "Black Widow Spider".

OH MAMA uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-to-late 1970 and a played often during the September, 1970–January, 1971 Robbin Thompson era of Steel Mill. Sometimes listed under the title "Oh Mama Why".

RESURRECTION uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969 and performed in concert regularly during 1969 and 1970. This was always a heavily requested crowd favorite and was sometimes utilized in the encore slot. Bruce appears to have "retired" the song when Steel Mill disbanded in early 1971, as there are no confirmed later performances.

SHERLOCK GOES HOLME uncirculating

Note: An instrumental composed in 1969 or early 1970. A couple of performances circulate from the early and middle months of 1970. Also known by the titles "Sherlock Goes Holmes" and "On The Tips". Neither title may be the true title.

SISTER THERESA uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969 and performed regularly during the Vinnie Roslin era of Steel Mill, but then only once in a while during 1970. Only one live audio performance is in circulation, from a gig in Richmond in late 1969 (possibly early 1970). The alternate title spelling is "Sister Teresa".

SOMETHING'S GOTTA BREAK uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969 or early 1970 and performed until mid-1970. A live version recorded at the Ocean Ice Palace in June 1970 is in circulation.

SWEET MELINDA uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969, with documented performances taking place through early 1971. There are a couple of live renditions in circulation.

TEMPORARILY OUT OF ORDER uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969 or early 1970 and performed until mid-1970. A couple of live versions are in circulation.

THE TRAIN SONG 6:31 BSS3 / US1 / VAFH

Note: Written in 1969. This is about as close to mainstream country as Springsteen has ever gotten – and out of character with Bruce's other known compositions of the era. One of three songs recorded at Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo, CA on February 22, 1970. Perhaps it was selected for that session in order to demonstrate the band's versatility. The studio outtake is marred by a repetitious ending. Former Steel Mill vocalist Robbin Thompson has recorded and released a nice cover version. "The Train Song" should not be confused with "Train Ride", a Robbin Thompson composition that was also performed by Steel Mill.

THE WAR IS OVER uncirculating

Note: Written in the summer or fall of 1969 and performed in concert regularly during the second half of 1969 and into the early months of 1970. A couple of early 1970 live performances are in circulation.

THE WIND AND THE RAIN uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969 or early 1970 and performed in concert frequently during 1970. If this is not Bruce's finest Steel Mill-era composition, it's certainly in the top two or three. A couple of live performances are in circulation from the middle months of 1970.

WE'LL ALL MAN THE GUNS uncirculating

Notes: Written in mid-1970 and among Bruce's better Steel Mill compositions, with more expansive lyrics than any other documented Springsteen composition of the period. Bruce's complete handwritten lyric sheet has surfaced. The only circulating audio performance is from Richmond's Marshall Parking Deck gig in August 1970. Sometimes listed under the title "We'll Man The Guns".

WHERE WAS JESUS IN OHIO uncirculating

Note: Written in May or June 1970. Bruce's emotionally charged response to the Kent State University shootings on May 4. Only one known live performance - in Richmond, dated to June 19, 1970. An audience recording exists (as well as the audio of the entire show from which it emanates - unfortunately this audio is not currently in mainstream circulation).

WHY'D YOU DO THAT uncirculating

Note: Written in early 1970. A couple of live performances from 1970 are circulating.

WE'VE GOT TO DO IT NOW uncirculating

Note: Written in mid or late 1970. Only one live performance is known, from recently circulating audio from The Sunshine In on November 27, 1970. Also known as "Do It Now".

YOU SAY YOU LOVE ME uncirculating

Note: Written in 1969 or early 1970. The only documented performance is from a show in Richmond in February 1970. An audience recording exists of this show but it's not currently in mainstream circulation.

Note: These are all "known" Springsteen compositions written during the Child – Steel Mill era (1969 and 1970). There are compositions that are still undocumented. In order for a title to make this list, it must be a completed song (i.e. words and music).

The Bruce Springsteen Band

DR ZOOM & THE SONIC BOOM / SUNDANCE BLUES BAND / BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN BAND CORE MUSICIANS:
Bruce Springsteen (lead guitar, piano, harmonica, vocals)
Steve Van Zandt (guitar, background vocals)
Garry Tallent (bass)
David Sancious (keyboards)
Vini Lopez (drums, background vocals)

Overview

These are songs written or recorded during the February 1971-March 1972 "Dr Zoom & The Sonic Boom / Sundance Blues Band / Bruce Springsteen Band" era. Springsteen did not record any material in a professional recording studio during this period, however "studio" (rehearsal) sessions were frequently conducted at Challenger Eastern Surfboards Factory. The primary purpose of the sessions was to prepare for live shows, not to make audio recordings, so only a fraction of the rehearsals were ever recorded, and the reel-to-reel tapes made at Challenger East were often erased and reused as part of the recording of live shows. Only one rehearsal session survived on tape, but live concert recordings of many of the below-mentioned songs are in circulation (refer to Brucebase timeline details).

The audio of the one Challenger East session known to exist was a continuous eight-song, 83-minute segment that took place at Highlands, NJ on March 14, 1972, engineered and produced by Carl "Tinker" West. The session lineup was Springsteen, Van Zandt, Sancious, Tallent and Lopez. For more information, see the March 14, 1972 entry on Brucebase.

Released

Details

ALL I WANT TO DO IS DANCE uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-late 1971. A performance from early 1972 at The Backdoor Club is circulating. One of several songs Bruce wrote during the period that incorporated the word "Dance" in the title.

BLESS MY SOUL uncirculating

Note: Written in mid to late 1971 and played live during late 1971 and early 1972. A couple of live performances are circulating. Sometimes listed under the title "You Sure Can Dance".

CHEROKEE QUEEN uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-1971, sometimes titled "Daddy, Sing Me A Cradle Song". This is unquestionably one of Bruce's most commercial-sounding pre-CBS creations. There's only one documented live performance known, from a show in Richmond in March 1972 – fortunately audio from that gig is circulating. Appel/Cretecos pressed this live performance of "Cherokee Queen" on acetate in 1972. Mike Appel clearly liked this tune because when he settled his litigation in 1977, "Cherokee Queen" was one of a dozen then-unreleased Springsteen songs that Appel retained part ownership of, although he sold it back to Bruce in 1983.

COME ON BILLY (BREAK OUT THE WINE) uncirculating

Note: Written in early 1971. A couple of live performances are in circulation from the mid-1971 Bruce Springsteen Band era. Also known by the titles "Nothing Can Stop Me" or "Nothing Can Stop Me Now".

COMING HOME 8:36 O&S

Note: Probably written in mid-1971. "Coming Home" is one of two "lost" songs recorded at Challenger Eastern Surfboards, Highlands, NJ on March 14, 1972 (six other songs from this Bruce Springsteen Band recording session had previously circulated as part of the 'Uber series'). It was performed at least three times live by the Bruce Springsteen band in late 1971-early 1972.

DANCE DANCE DANCE uncirculating

Note: Written early or mid-1971. There are multiple live performances in circulation from Bruce's mid-1971 "big band" era.

DO IT WITH A FEELING - V1 1:30 uncirculating
DO IT WITH A FEELING - V2 uncirculating

Note: Written in 1970 or 1971. Only one live recording is in circulation, from October 23, 1971 at the University of Richmond. Both rehearsal recordings listed were recorded at Challenger Eastern Surfboards, Highlands, NJ on March 14, 1972. These two cuts are from a third reel which contains two further titles" "Coming Home", and two takes of "Do It With A Feeling". The first take of the latter is aborted after the opening ninety seconds or so, while the second is cut short at the end of the reel.

DON'T LOOK BACK uncirculating

Note: Probably written mid-to-late 1971. A long, predominantly solo piano song about a struggling, once-successful singer. Known from the audio of a single live performance at the University of Richmond on October 23, 1971.

DOWN TO MEXICO uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-to-late 1971 and performed into the early months of 1972. A couple of live performances are in circulation.

DOWN TO THE RIVERSIDE uncirculating

Note: Writing on this song was probably started in early 1971, with developments over the next year not known. Also known by the title "Grandpa's Gone Down", it is about the death of Springsteen's grandfather. Documentation exists, as well as audio from a gig at Richmond's Back Door club on February 25, 1972. Song listed as "Down To The Riverside" on a handwritten setlist that dates from the period around October 1971–February 1972. Not played again after April 1972.

FULL OF LOVE uncirculating

Note: Probably written around mid-1971 with the Bruce Springsteen Band in mind. The only known live recording is from July 29, 1971 at D'Scene in South Amboy, NJ.

FUNK SONG 6:25 UBER26

Note: Written around mid-1971. It is also known by the title "Funk Says Right On". This is a tune mentioned on promotional material from The Student Prince emanating from the fall of 1971. An excellent sound quality, complete Challenger East rehearsal take from March 14, 1972 exists. The song is essentially an instrumental but features the words "Right On" spoken several times – courtesy of the rarely utilized voice of Garry Tallent (who was nicknamed "Funky").

I JUST CAN'T CHANGE uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-to-late 1971 and performed into early 1972. One of Springsteen's strongest pre-1972 creations. A couple of live performances are in circulation.

I REMEMBER uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-to-late 1971 and performed into the early months of 1972. A couple of live performances are circulating.

I'M IN LOVE AGAIN uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-1971. Two known live versions, from July 23, 1971 at Damrosch Park and July 29, 1971 at D'Scene, both with Delores Holmes providing the vocal. A wonderfully catchy, Phil Spector-style tune that Bruce may have penned with a female performer in mind. There is no known performance with Bruce singing lead.

I'VE GOT TO HAVE YOU BABY 5:29 UBER26

Note: "I've Got To Have You Baby" was originally recorded by The Pretenders featuring Jimmy Jones in May 1956. The circulating audio by the Bruce Springsteen Band is from the second reel of the rehearsal sessions recorded on March 14, 1972 at Challenger Eastern Surfboards, Highlands, NJ.

IT'S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE 11:30 UBER26

Note: Written by Bob Dylan in 1965. Recorded at Challenger Eastern Surfboards, Highlands, NJ on March 14, 1972.

IT'S TIME TO GO HOME uncirculating

Note: Probably written in mid-1971 and also known by the title "Festival". There is only one known live performance, at an outdoor show in Long Branch, NJ on September 1, 1971.

JAMBALAYA (ROLL OVER) uncirculating

Note: Written in early 1971. The correct spelling for this song title may be "Jumbeliah", as this is how Springsteen notes it on handwritten documents. Performed regularly at shows throughout the year. Several live versions are circulating. "Jambalaya (Roll Over)" and "When You Dance" were Bruce's two most often utilized show closers in 1971, much in the same way that "Thundercrack" and "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" were during later tours.

LADY OF BOSTON uncirculating

Note: Written in early 1971. There is only one known performance, from a Dr. Zoom gig on May 15, 1971. Fortunately the audio is in circulation.

LAST NIGHT IN TEXAS uncirculating

Note: Probably created (Williamson / Springsteen) in early 1971. Bruce has borrowed the melody to Sonny Boy Williamson's blues standard "One Way Out" and added his own lyrics. There are a couple of live recordings from mid-to-late 1971 in circulation. Not to be confused with another Springsteen composition from the period with a similar title – "Last Night In Tulsa".

LAST NIGHT IN TULSA uncirculating

Note: Probably created in mid-1971. There are two circulating audio performances, from an outdoor Bruce Springsteen Band gig at the 2nd Annual Nothings Festival and at D'Scene, both in July 1971. This Van Morrison-styled pop piece should not be confused with a blues song called "Last Night In Texas" that Bruce was also performing during the same period.

LIKE A STRANGER uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-to-late 1971. One of Bruce's strongest songs of the pre-CBS era. A couple of live performances are circulating from late 1971 and early 1972.

LIVING ROCK AND ROLL uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-1971. Only one live performance is in circulation, from a Richmond show in October 1971.

LOOK TOWARDS THE LAND 9:50 UBER26 / BFG

Note: Written in early 1971 and performed from mid-1971 until early 1972. A couple of live performances are in circulation. Slow moving and tedious at times. The studio version was recorded at Challenger Eastern Surfboards, Highlands, NJ on March 14, 1972. The audio quality on the BFG boot is much reduced from the 'UBER26' source.

LOVE IS A CRAZY THING uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-to-late 1971 and performed into early 1972. A couple of live performances are in circulation.

MAGIC KIND OF LOVING uncirculating

Note: Written in mid to late 1971 and performed into early 1972. Several live performances are in circulation. Also known by the title "Magic Loving".

MAKE UP YOUR MIND uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-to-late 1971 and performed into early 1972. Also known by the title "Make Your Mind Up". This is one of Bruce's most powerful pre-CBS era creations. A live performance from Richmond's Backdoor Club circulates.

MARIA uncirculating

Note: Probably written in the summer or autumn of 1971. One of the Springsteen songs advertised on promotional material from The Student Prince and almost certainly performed at that venue during the many shows there during the second half of 1971. However no audio performance of the song has yet surfaced. This song is not related to Springsteen's 1972 composition "Marie".

MISTRESS ANNIE uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-1971. A couple of live performances are circulating from late 1971 and early 1972.

NATURAL MAGIC uncirculating

Note: Written in early 1971. Also known by the title "My Baby’s Natural Magic". Excellent song that is reminiscent of Van Morrison's early '70s "Tupelo Honey"/"Moondance" material. A couple of live versions are in circulation.

NO WAY uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-1971. One of the Springsteen songs advertised on promotional material from The Student Prince and almost certainly performed at that venue during the many shows held there in the second half of 1971.

SOUTHSIDE SHUFFLE uncirculating

Note: Written in early 1971. The only circulating live performance is from a Dr. Zoom show in May 1971, although it was definitely performed at other shows. The song has been incorrectly titled "Pretty Little Woman" on various bootlegs and is usually referred to among collectors by this incorrect title.

SHE'S A WOMAN uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-1971. A couple of live performances are circulating from late 1971 and early 1972.

SURE CAN FEEL THE PAIN uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-1971. A couple of live performances are circulating from late 1971 and early 1972.

TALKING ABOUT MY BABY uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-1971. Only one live performance is in circulation, from a Richmond show in October 1971. Bruce utilized the melody for his 1972 song "Janey Needs A Shooter".

DON'T YOU WANT TO BE AN OUTLAW uncirculating
THE BALLAD OF JESSE JAMES 6:57 UBER26 / DDITV / TFTV
THE BALLAD OF JESSE JAMES 5:31 CHAPTER

Note: Written in mid-1971. Sometimes referred to by the title "Don't You Want To Be An Outlaw" or "Billy". This ode to Jesse James and Billy The Kid was played live often and there are multiple live performances from the second half of 1971 in circulation. The studio rehearsal take from Challenger Eastern Surfboards, Highlands, NJ on March 14, 1972 is in far better quality than any of the available live versions, and was officially released in September 2016 on Chapter And Verse, the companion album to Springsteen's autobiography Born To Run in an edited version (reducing the length by removing some of the verses in the middle of the song).

THE BAND'S JUST BOPPIN' THE BLUES - V1 uncirculating
SECRET TO THE BLUES - V2 uncirculating

Note: "The Band's Just Boppin' The Blues" V1 was written in 1971 for the Bruce Springsteen Band, and was played live often during late 1971 and early 1972. New lyrics written by Bruce in late 1972–early 1973, and song reappeared live as "Secret To The Blues". Unknown if either was recorded in the studio. There are two verified live performances of "Secret To The Blues" in May–June 1973 and a third unconfirmed performance from January 1973.

WHEN YOU DANCE 13:35 UBER26

Note: Written by Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt in 1971 and performed regularly until early 1972. Along with "Jambalaya", this was Bruce's most frequently utilized show-closer during the period. Several live performances are in circulation. However, the most outstanding version (by far) is the studio rehearsal version recorded at Challenger Eastern Surfboards, Highlands, NJ on March 14, 1972. When he was producing Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes' second album, This Time It's For Real, in early 1977, Steve wrote an arrangement for the ten-piece brass dominated group that was utilized as the closing track on side two, and played live often on their subsequent tour. A rehearsal take by Van Zandt, recorded in December 1976, was released on his 2019 album, The Early Work.

WHY'S IT SO HARD uncirculating

Note: Written in 1971. There is only one known live performance, at a Sundance Blues Band show in early 1972, with Springsteen on guitar but Southside Johnny providing the lead vocal. A Springsteen vocal performance has yet to materialize. Also known by the title "Tell Me Mama, Why’s It So Hard".

YOU DON'T LEAVE ME NO CHOICE uncirculating

Note: Written in mid-1971. Two known live performances, both from July 1971 (at Damrosch Park and D'Scene, respectively) with Delores Holmes providing the vocal. There is no known Springsteen lead vocal performance. Very commercial sounding with a catchy horn riff.

YOU'D BETTER BE NICE uncirculating

Note: Probably written in mid-1971. There is only one known live performance, at an outdoor show on September 1, 1971. An audience recording of this show exists. Also known by the title "You’d Better Be Nice To Me".

YOU MEAN SO MUCH TO ME DDITV / ESRR / MT1 / UBER22

Note: Written in early 1971 as "When She Sings To Me"; title was changed to "You Mean So Much To Me" later in the year. Bruce introduced the song as "When She Sings To Me" in July 1971. Rehearsed at Challenger East Surfboard Factory, though apparently not on the evening of March 14, 1972, because it was absent from the tapes recorded by Tinker West. It was performed throughout 1971, although the circulating live versions mostly stem from the middle months. First caught on tape July 10, 1971 by The Bruce Springsteen Band. Another song that would be ranked in the top tier of Springsteen's pre-CBS portfolio. Bruce obviously felt this was one of his best early creations, as he continued to perform it live (in an acoustical arrangement) regularly throughout 1973 and 1974. There are no records of it being recorded at 914 Sound Studios for Greetings or The Wild, The Innocent, but many undocumented sessions are known to exist during mid-1973, held between 12 midnight and dawn, to avoid having to pay the studio. It is likely most of the base tracks for The Wild were recorded in mid-June 1973 in this fashion, and would explain why most of that information is also missing. However, perhaps the biggest mystery is how the money-conscious Mike Appel and his partner Jimmy Cretecos could fail to record a demo for publishing purposes, unless they used the May 31, 1973 WGOE broadcast tape. Never officially released by Springsteen, it was first bootlegged on 'Deep Down In The Vaults' in the 1990s. In late 1975, Steve Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen decided to get their friend John Lyon and his band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes a contract and record an album. Bruce helped out by donating two of his compositions to the effort, "You Mean So Much To Me" and "The Fever". At the Record Plant one day, he ran into Ronnie Spector, who had been invited by Van Zandt. Inspired, he quickly wrote an arrangement for "You Mean So Much To Me" as a duet for Ronnie and Southside Johnny (borrowing from his BSB days), which became the closing song on side 2 of the Jukes' debut album, I Don't Want To Go Home. Ronnie agreed to tour with the Jukes throughout 1976–1977, and their duet was a regular encore and show closer.

ZOOM THEME uncirculating

Note: This is actually Irving Berlin's 1911 hit "Alexander's Ragtime Band", with alternative lyrics conjured up by Bruce for The Zoomettes to sing at the Dr. Zoom gigs. Also known as "The Zoom Song".


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