Collaborations - Studio Sessions


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Table of Contents

Overview

Through Bruce's entire career he collaborated on many other artists albums.

Here we try to present a full historical overview of other artists songs on which Bruce can be heard by voice or instrument.

Please be aware that this page is a work-in-progress and is not yet close to complete.

Released

These are the songs that Bruce collaborated on, sorted by the year the studio session for it took place, which does not have to be the same as the year of release. Next order is simply alphabetically on the song-title.

# Song Title Running Time Release
1978 FIRE 2:39 GUEST: FRESHFISH
1978 FASTER AND LOUDER 2:48 GUEST: BLOODBROTHERS
1978 HEARTS OF STONE 4:27 GUEST: HEARTSOFSTONE
1978 STREET HASSLE 11:00 GUEST: HASSLE
1980 ENDLESS NIGHT 3:29 GUEST: UPESCALATOR
1981 JOLÉ BLON 3:25 GUEST: DEDICATION
1981 THIS LITTLE GIRL 3:42 GUEST: DEDICATION
1981 YOUR LOVE 3:28 GUEST: DEDICATION
1981 DEDICATION 3:11 GUEST: DEDICATION
1982 OUT OF WORK 2:53 GUEST: LINE
1982 LOVE'S ON THE LINE 3:38 GUEST: LINE
1982 ANGELYNE 4:03 GUEST: LINE
1983 PROTECTION 3:35 GUEST: DONNA / 1983 single
1983 SAVIN' UP 4:20 GUEST: RESCUE
1985 WE ARE THE WORLD 7:02 GUEST: WORLD
1985 SUN CITY 5:45 GUEST: SUNCITY / 1985 single
1985 WE'VE GOT THE LOVE 4:20 GUEST: JAM / 1986 single
1991 ALL THE WAY HOME 3:54 GUEST: BETTERDAYS
1995 DARK AND BLOODY GROUND 5:39 GUEST: BABYLON
1995 HOMESTEAD 4:14 GUEST: BABYLON
2004 CAN'T TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS 4:24 GUEST: BACKIN20
2006 PINK CADILLAC 3:55 GUEST: LASTMANSTANDING
2006 CODE OF SILENCE 4:08 GUEST: GOODLIFE
2009 ANOTHER THIN LINE 4:14 GUEST: CARSON
2009 SAVIN' UP 5:09 GUEST: ENDOFTHEROAD
2017 THAT'S WHAT MAKES US GREAT 3:26 GUEST: YESTERDAYS / 2017 single
2020 HYMN TO HIM 4:30 GUEST: BLUES / 2020 single
2021 CHINATOWN 4:04 GUEST: SADNESS / 2020 single
2021 DUSTLAND 4:24 GUEST: DUSTLAND (2021 Single)

Details

ALL THE WAY HOME - V1 3:54 GUEST: BETTERDAYS
ALL THE WAY HOME - V2 3:38 DEVILS

Note: Written sometime in 1990 or early 1991. Springsteen donated the song to Southside Johnny and Bruce took part in the July 1991 recording session in New York that produced Southside's cover version. Bruce re-recorded the song in 2004 and released it on the Devils & Dust album.

ANGELYNE V1 uncirculating
ANGELYNE V2 4:03 GUEST: LINE

Note: Recorded at Power Station on February 1, 1980. Donated to Gary U.S. Bonds for his album On The Line, released in 1982 with Bruce on guitar and backing vocals. Bonds likely overdubbed his vocal onto an E Street backing track. A version with Springsteen's lead vocals was included on a 1993 in-house Tracks concept album. This is not the same song as "Oh Angelyne", a totally different track that eventually became "The River".

ANOTHER THIN LINE 5:01 GUEST: CARSON

Note: Written sometime between late 1997 and early 2000. There remains some confusion whether "Another Thin Line" is a writing collaboration with Joe Grushecky, or if it was composed entirely by Springsteen. Springsteen premiered the song live on June 22, 2000. He then prefaced another performance of the song on June 29 by commenting, "here's something I wrote with Joe Grushecky." However, a publishing registration, as well as the official US Copyright filing (July 21, 2000) lists the song as a Springsteen-only composition. Still, descriptions of the song, including the one on grushecky.com, say it is a Grushecky-Springsteen songwriting collaboration. A studio duet between Springsteen and Grushecky was released on Grushecky's East Carson Street in 2009.

CAN'T TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS - V1 uncirculating
CAN'T TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS - V2 4:19 BACKIN20

Note: Gary U.S. Bonds and Laurie Anderson sent a tape of their composition "Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks" to Springsteen, requesting he contribute to Gary's album Back In 20. In response, Springsteen recorded guitar and vocal tracks in a Protools session on November 19, 2003, at his home studio in Colts Neck, NJ. The completed track, released June 1, 2004 on Back In 20, also featured harmonica by Southside Johnny Lyon.

CODE OF SILENCE - V1 uncirculating
CODE OF SILENCE - V2 4:08 GUEST: GOODLIFE

Note: Co-written by Bruce Springsteen and [Grushecky] during December 1997 and January 1998. Springsteen premiered the song live on June 12, 2000 with the E Street Band, and another version recorded on June 29 was released on The Essential Bruce Springsteen in 2003. Bruce and Joe recorded a studio version together at Thrill Hill Recording, New Jersey, released on the Joe Grushecky album A Good Life in July 2006.

DARK AND BLOODY GROUND V1 uncirculating
DARK AND BLOODY GROUND V2 5:39 GUEST: BABYLON

Note: Co-written by Springsteen and Joe Grushecky in 1994–95. Recorded by Bruce Springsteen, Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers at Thrill Hill Recording, Beverly Hills, March 1995 and released on Grushecky's album American Babylon in October 1995. A Springsteen vocal version exists, but does not circulate.

DEDICATION V1 uncirculating
DEDICATION V2 3:11 GUEST: DEDICATION

Note: "Dedication" was recorded at Power Station studios on December 4 and 6, 1979 during the River sessions and later donated to Gary U.S. Bonds as the title track for his 1981 album (featuring Bruce on guitar and backing vocals). According to comments by Bonds, Bruce brought him this song as something from the River sessions arsenal that Bruce felt suited Bonds's style. It seems likely that Bonds overdubbed his vocal onto the E Street Band backing.

ENDLESS NIGHT 3:29 GUEST:ESCALATOR

Springsteen dropped into another studio at the Power Station during the River sessions to jam with Graham Parker & The Rumour, including recording support vocals on "Endless Night". Danny Federici also played organ. According to Christopher Sandford in his book Point Blank, Parker and his band were recording The Up Escalator (in late 1979), when he happened to meet Springsteen at the Navarro hotel, New York. As a third party adds, Jon Landau said "Bruce was wiped out, kaput, doing twelve-hour days at the studio." We talked, then Springsteen came up and asked how Graham was doing. "Knackered," he replied. "Just barely making an album." Bruce immediately laughed and said. "Can I help?" The result, brokered by producer Jimmy Iovine, was this collaboration.

FASTER AND LOUDER 2:48 GUEST: BLOODBROTHERS

On the heels of completing "Don't Look Back", "Candy's Room", "Darkness On the Edge of Town", and "The Factory Song" in the first half of March 1978, Springsteen could finally take a breather. In adjoining studio A at the Record Plant, New York proto-punk band The Dictators were working on their third album, Bloodbrothers. So when Bruce stopped by for a visit, one thing led to another, and he made another undocumented recording appearance, on the opening track, "Faster And Louder". Listen at the 2:10 mark, when Bruce counts the band back in preceding the final verse, "One! Two! One, two, three, four!" Dictators: "I can scream, faster and louder, I can jive faster and louder…Hot Pants! faster and louder." The "reigning king of street rock" and the "Bronx Bombers" (monickers assigned by rock critics of the day) seemed to feed off each other; for more details on Bruce and the Dictators, see the recording session listing.

FIRE - V1 5:14 LM-2 / DDO / DO-2 / MT1 / AM
FIRE - V2 4:05 PROMISE
FIRE - V3 2:39 GUEST: FISH

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 (V3, with Bruce on piano) in early December 1977 (released June 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.

HEARTS OF STONE - V1 5:32 SYMKB / DDO / DO-2 / LES / AM
HEARTS OF STONE - V2 4:27 GUEST: HEARTSOFSTONE
HEARTS OF STONE - V3 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, including Bruce on guitar, for the title track of the Jukes' 1978 album (V2), 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 released on Tracks (V3).

HOMESTEAD - V1 4:14 SA
HOMESTEAD - V2 4:11 GUEST: BABYLON

Note: Co-written by Springsteen and Joe Grushecky and released on Grushecky's American Babylon album in October 1995. Grushecky wrote the lyrics, which he showed to Springsteen in Los Angeles around October 25, 1993; Springsteen composed the music and the two recorded the song together at the Hit Factory, New York during November 1993. Springsteen's own version surfaced in November 2013, broadcast on E Street Radio.

HYMN TO HIM 4:30 GUEST: BLUES / 2020 single

Note: The original version of "Hymn To Him" was recorded for Dion's 1987 gospel album Velvet & Steel. As songs are never finished, Dion kept hearing it with Patti's voice, and he asked her to help remake the song. Bruce joined in the studio with his guitar and played a solo.

JOLÉ BLON - V1 4:44 LM-13
JOLÉ BLON - V2 1:29 LM-13
JOLÉ BLON - V3 3:44 LM-13
JOLÉ BLON - V4 uncirculating
JOLÉ BLON - V5 3:25 GUEST: DEDICATION

Note: Based on a traditional Cajun waltz and adapted by Springsteen from Roy Acuff and his Smoky Mountain Boys' 1947 recording. The song was a big hit for the first time in 1947 for Harry Choates (recorded in 1946), and also for Red Foley & the Cumberland Valley Boys, who had a no. 1 Folk hit (formerly referred to as Hillbilly and by 1958 Country & Western charts) in January 1947 with "New Jolé Blon", and again a year later for Moon Mullican. "Jolé Blon" ("Pretty Blonde") was considered for the album once it became a two-LP set. V1–V3 are from Telegraph Hill rehearsals on January 11, 1980. V4 was recorded at Power Station studios on January 14, 1980, and the backing track may have been used by Gary U.S. Bonds on his 1981 album Dedication. V5 is the duet recorded with Bonds for Dedication.

LOVE'S ON THE LINE V1 uncirculating
LOVE'S ON THE LINE V2 3:38 GUEST: LINE

Note: Recorded at The Hit Factory in January or February 1982 (V1). Probably the same core recording as V2 found on the U.S. Bonds album (i.e. the E Street Band, including Bruce's backing vocals) – but with the Springsteen lead vocal.

OUT OF WORK V1 uncirculating
OUT OF WORK V2 2:53 GUEST: LINE

Note: Recorded at The Hit Factory in January or February 1982 (V1). Probably the same core recording as V2 found on the U.S. Bonds album (i.e. the E Street Band, including Bruce's guitar) – but with the Springsteen lead vocal. Springsteen filed a copyright on April 27, 1982.

PINK CADILLAC - V1 uncirculating
PINK CADILLAC - V2 take 2 5:21 LM-1 / HNWB / MT2
PINK CADILLAC - V3a 3:45 BUERM / 1984AC
PINK CADILLAC - V3b 4:21 private cdr
PINK CADILLAC - V3c 3:33 1984 Japan b-side
PINK CADILLAC - V3d 3:33 1984 b-side / TRACKS / CAST
PINK CADILLAC - V4 3:55 GUEST: LASTMANSTANDING

Note: Two acoustic takes were recorded around January 3, 1982 at Springsteen's home in Colts Neck, NJ. "Pink Cadillac" was one of the few songs from the acoustic Nebraska not to be recorded with the band in the May 1982 sessions at the Power Station, but V3 was recorded on May 31, 1983 at The Hit Factory in New York. Officially released in May 1984 as the b-side to "Dancing In The Dark". V3b has the complete ending, V3c is a mono mix that for some reason was only issued on the Japanese single. Included on a 1984 album artwork prototype, in place of both "No Surrender" and "I'm Goin' Down". Interestingly, the song was copyrighted on April 7, 1983, almost two months before the Hit Factory session. V4 is the duet version recorded for Jerry Lee Lewis's 2006 album Last Man Standing. For a bizarre footnote, see the 1983 Bette Midler incident.

PROTECTION - V1 3:30 LM-4 / MI / GS / MILM / UH / BUERM
PROTECTION - V2 3:35 GUEST: DONNA / 1983 single
PROTECTION - V3 uncirculated

Note: "Protection" V1 was recorded by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at The Hit Factory on February 23, 1982. Earlier in the year, David Geffen had contacted Jon Landau to ask if Springsteen would write a song for Donna Summer. In response, Bruce wrote "Cover Me", but after hearing it, Landau said, "You aren't giving this one away." Even though he disagreed, Springsteen wrote another song, "Protection", in early February. A song of the same name was recorded during The River sessions in 1979, and six short acoustic demos were included on 'Lost Masters Volume VIII', released in 1996. It is not clear if it was titled by Springsteen or the bootleggers, and this song was not published or copyrighted at that time. It bears little in common musically or lyrically with this song, composed three years later, and copyrighted on March 8, 1982. The demo of "Protection" was sent to Summer and her producer, Quincy Jones, and it was arranged for Roy Bittan and Bruce to fly out to Los Angeles to cut the track. On March 8, they arrived at Westlake Audio Studios, on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, where Summer's tenth album, Donna Summer, was in production. Bruce struck up a friendly relationship with Jones, with whom he would work again in 1985, recording "We Are The World". He also apparently got along with Donna, sleeping on her couch that evening as they worked on the song. He played guitar and provided backing vocals for the recording V2, which consisted of multiple takes. Quincy was thoroughly impressed, later saying Bruce "was one of the nicest people I have ever worked with…The man has more musical knowledge than a lot of people think and has a deep sense of commitment to music. You could feel his spirit in the sessions." It is not clear whether one of the takes was a vocal duet with Donna (V3). The album was released later in the year, without the success of her disco records of the 1970s, but she was nominated for the 'Best Female Rock Vocal Performance' Grammy for "Protection" 1983.

SAVIN' UP V1 uncirculating
SAVIN' UP V2 4:20 GUEST: RESCUE
SAVIN' UP V3 5:09 GUEST: ENDOFTHEROAD

Note: Recorded at The Hit Factory on January 25 and/or February 23, 1982. Song considered for Gary U.S. Bonds but not used – donated in 1983 to Clarence Clemons & The Red Bank Rockers for their debut album Rescue (V2, with Springsteen on guitar). V3 is a duet recorded with John Luraschi for his farewell album in 2009.

SAY GOODBYE TO HOLLYWOOD 3:11 GUEST: SAYGOODBYE (1977 Single)

In January 1977, with "Sugar" Miami Steve producing, Bruce joins (on acoustic guitar) for the recording of "Say Goodbye To Hollywood", a Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band single. According to Spector, "it was written specially for me by Billy Joel." It was released in April 1977. Bruce's involvement on the recording was uncredited due to litigation taking place at the time with Mike Appel. However both Van Zandt and Spector have subsequently verified his performance on the recording.

STREET HASSLE 11:00 GUEST: HASSLE

Around September or October 1977, Lou Reed found himself working at Record Plant studios, trying to complete "Street Hassle". At the same time, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were hard at work in a studio downstairs, recording album #4. There are multiple narratives on what happened next, but Rod O'Brien, Reed's engineer, recalls working on the "Slipaway" section of the song. After Reed recorded "this thing, I hit the talkback, and I said, 'Uh. You realize what you just stole?' And Lou, deadpan, said, 'Whaddaya mean?' And then he started to crack up laughing. Then Lou says, 'But I gotta use it.' I said, 'Okay, but let’s go downstairs.' I said to Bruce, 'Lou wants to play you something, he just wants to make sure that you're not going to be upset.' So Bruce says, 'Okay,' and he comes up, and we play him the piece, and he says 'Oh, that's fine that's no problem…' And then Lou looks at him, and I didn't know Lou was going to do this, but he says: 'Would you do it?' And Bruce is like, '…what, me?' Lou says, 'Yeah.' And Bruce says, 'Okay, but you can't put my name on it, because I don't want to go through all the hassles that would mean…' And Lou's like, 'No problem.' So, Lou wrote the little part out, and as far as I remember, Bruce went out and did it one take." For more information on Springsteen and Reed, see the recording session listing.

SUN CITY GUEST: SUNCITY

Note: Under Construction

THAT'S WHAT MAKES US GREAT 3:26 GUEST: YESTERDAYS / 2017 single

Note: "That's What Makes Us Great" was composed by Joe Grushecky, and features a guest appearance by Bruce Springsteen on duet vocals. Bruce recorded his parts at his home studio in Colts Neck, New Jersey in February 2017. The song debuted on Sirius XM's E Street Radio channel on April 19, 2017.

THIS LITTLE GIRL V1 uncirculating
THIS LITTLE GIRL V2 3:42 GUEST: DEDICATION

Note: Recorded at Power Station studios, possibly in late January 1980, and in June to August 1980 during sessions for Gary U.S. Bonds. A Springsteen vocal rendition from these sessions is likely to exist. Springsteen filed a copyright on October 14, 1980, and published the song on April 15, 1981. "This Little Girl" became Bonds's biggest hit after release in 1981 (with Springsteen on guitar and backing vocals).

YOUR LOVE V1 uncirculating
YOUR LOVE V2 3:28 GUEST: DEDICATION

Note: Recorded at Power Station Studios in late 1980 before or during sessions for Gary U.S. Bonds. A Springsteen vocal rendition from these sessions is likely to exist. Springsteen filed a copyright on March 12, 1981, and published the song on April 15. The Bonds version, released on Dedication, includes Springsteen on guitar and backing vocals.

WE ARE THE WORLD 7:02 GUEST: WORLD
WE ARE THE WORLD 6:22 1985 single

Note: After "Do They Know It's Christmas" was released in late 1984, veteran singer Harry Belafonte asked why American performers weren't doing something similar. Just before Christmas, Belafonte called his manager Ken Kragen, who handled such stars as Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers. They contacted several musicians before it was agreed that Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie would write the song. Bruce Springsteen also agreed to participate, and according to Kragen, "The turning point was Bruce Springsteen's commitment, that legitimized the project in the eyes of the rock community." Once Kragen could tell other artists that Bruce was in, there were so many offers to sing that some were turned down. According to Quincy Jones, Springsteen's first reaction to the project was, "You sure you really want me to do this?" Richie and Jackson started writing "We Are The World" January 12, 1985, completing it on January 21, the night before sessions began. Michael provided the initial draft, then Lionel polished the structure and lyrics. The following evening, Richie, Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and producer Jones started work at Kenny Rogers's Lion Share Recording Studio in Los Angeles. Session musicians, engineers, video crews and other support staff were already on hand. Richie and Jackson recorded a guide vocal, and along with Stevie, created the basic instrumental track. On January 24, Jones shipped the demo tape to all artists who would be involved in the recording. Springsteen landed at Los Angeles International Airport, rented a Corvette, and drove to A&M Studios in Hollywood. "I swear I walked out to the gate just as he was coming in," said an amazed Ken Kragen. "I was looking to see if there were any hangups out there, and in walked Bruce… by himself." He said, "What do you want me to do?" He spent the next few hours getting cozy in the control room with the Pointer Sisters, whom he used to be angry at for taking "Fire" to no. 2 in 1979, when he was still stuck at a peak of no. 23 ("Born To Run"). Now that "Dancing In The Dark" had evened the score, and they were looking sexy and cute in person, that hatchet was buried without a doubt. He barely had time to nod to Bob Dylan and Billy Joel. By ten thirty everyone was there, the cameras were rolling, and Jones was ready to begin. Bruce never sang more than two nights running, because his concerts simply took too much out of him to do more. The two shows in Syracuse were more strenuous than average, and on this, the third night in a row, his voice was raw. Springsteen was a soloist, a had a duet with Wonder. By the time they got to his spot it was 5:30 in the morning. "You sounded fantastic, Dylan," he called to the man who'd just finished, then stepped to the mic. Dylan, Bette Midler, and a few others remained to watch him work. Sticking his sheet music in his back pocket, he wailed, "We are the world, we are the children," and according to Dave Marsh, "blew everyone away." Later, with his voice dubbed into a duet with Wonder's, the same line provided the single's climax. Finishing that first take, Springsteen looked up shyly. "Something like that?" he asked. Quincy Jones had to laugh. "Exactly like that," he said. The song was released on March 7, 1985, as the first single from the album. The estimated global sales of "We Are The World" exceed 20 million units, the biggest selling single in both US and pop music history.
See recording page for more details.

WE'VE GOT THE LOVE 4:20 GUEST: JAM / 1986 single

Note: Late in 1985, after the conclusion of The Born In The U.S.A. Tour, Garry Tallent and Tim Ryan organized a large group of New Jersey musicians to raise money for charity to fight hunger, inspired by projects like, "USA For Africa". They created a non-profit organization called Jersey Artists For Mankind (a.k.a. J.A.M. '86), then invited representatives from bands based in New Jersey to sing two songs that had been prepared. "We've Got The Love", composed by Joel Krauss and Bob Bandiera, and "Save Love, Save Life", by Ryan and Ed Testa, had been previously chosen, and a core group of musicians had recorded the base tracks. After a brief rehearsal, more than 450 artists recorded their parts at The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, New Jersey, on January 13, 1986, the largest gathering of New Jersey rock artists ever. Vocal solos were contributed by Krauss, Bandiera, Southside Johnny Lyon, former Castile George Theiss, and many others. The "J.A.M. Band" assembled included Bandiera on guitar, drummers Max Weinberg and Ernest "Boom" Carter, and a horn section dominated by Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg, along with the rest of the Jukes horns. Instrumental solos were performed by an all-star cast, led by Clarence Clemons and guitarist Bruce Springsteen, who tried his best to concentrate on his craft, despite what sounded like booing from those present, until everybody realized it was his first name being shouted by enthusiastic well-wishers. "We've Got The Love" was mixed by Bob Clearmountain, and "Save Love, Save Life" by Bob Cohen. Engineer was Jan Topoleski.


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