The Promise


disco_thepromise.jpg
Commercially Released: November 16, 2010
Label: Columbia
Produced by Bruce Springsteen and Jon Landau
Recorded by Jimmy Iovine and Toby Scott, assited by Rob Lebret, Thom Panunzio
Studios Atlantic Studios, The Record Plant, New York, NY and July 12-26, 2010 Stone Hill Studio, Rumson, New Jersey
Mixed by Chuck Plotkin, Bob Clearmountain, assisted by Brandon Duncan at Mix This!
Mastered by Mike Reese, Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME
Archive Research, Retrieval & Restoration by Donna Kloepfer, Matt Kelly, Sean Brennan, Tim Sturgis, Toby Scott

Overview

The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story is the long-anticipated boxset finally released by Columbia Records. It was expected for the June 2, 2008 30th anniversary of the release of Darkness, but that didn't happen, possibly due to Springsteen's touring schedule, but probably because he was fussing over it's contents, just like he fussed over Darkness, thus creating the vast surplus of material we are anxious to hear. The box set was finally announced on August 26, 2010.

Disc 1 is "Darkness On The Edge Of Town", digitally remastered by Bob Ludwig on June 2, 2010, which comes in a paper sleeve housed inside a cardboard sleeve.

Disc 2 and disc 3 are "The Promise", a two-CD album, a collection of unreleased songs from the Darkness On The Edge Of Town recording sessions (described by one hypster as "unearthed material"). It features photographs taken by Eric Meola on August 17-20, 1977, on a trip to Utah & Nevada with Bruce and Steve Van Zandt. It was also released separately, and it came in a 4-panel cardboard sleeve.

Disc 4 is the Blu-Ray/DVD "The Promise: The Making Of Darkness On The Edge Of Town", a documentary directed by Grammy- and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Thom Zimny, which comes in a paper sleeve housed inside a cardboard sleeve. The ninety-minute film combines never-before-seen footage of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band shot between 1976 and 1978, including home rehearsals and studio sessions, with new interviews with Springsteen, E Street Band members, manager Jon Landau, former manager Mike Appel, and others closely involved in the making of the record. Stephen Whitty For Inside Jersey reported from the Toronto Film Festival on September 13, 2010, that "Darkness" is now also "The Promise: The Making of 'Darkness on the Edge of Town'", a documentary that shows the building of that album, track by track, song by song. It will be shown on HBO on Oct. 7, and released by Columbia Records as part of a mammoth 3-CD, 3-DVD boxed set on November 16. On Tuesday evening (Sept 14), the hour-and-a-half film gets its first open-to-the-public showing at the Toronto Film Festival. Hear Bruce admit, "More than rich, more than famous, more than happy – I wanted to be great." It was released separately on May 3, 2011, in both DVD and Blu-Ray formats, with some bonus features.

Disc 5 "Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Paramount Theater, Asbury Park 2009" and "Thrill Hill Vault 1976-1978", comes in a paper sleeve housed inside a cardboard sleeve.. The former is a Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's live performance of the Darkness On The Edge Of Town album in its entirety, shot in HD on 13 Dec 2009 at Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ, without an audience. Thrill Hill Vault 1976-1978 is a collection of archival footage from Springsteen's personal vault It consists of an about-an-hour's worth (it clocks at about 56 minutes) of home rehearsals footage from 1976, studio sessions footage from 1978, and live in concert footage from 1978. It was produced and edited by Emmy- and Grammy-winner Thom Zimny and the audio for the live 1978 footage and some of the 1978 studio footage was mixed by Bob Ludwig. Zimny re-edited the 1978 concert footage making use of previously unseen camera angles. The home rehearsals and studio session footage was originally produced and directed by Barry Rebo, while the live in concert footage was originally directed by Arnold Levine.

Disc 6 is "Thrill Hill Vault Houston '78 Bootleg: House Cut", comes in a paper sleeve housed inside a cardboard sleeve. a video of the complete December 8, 1978 concert at The Summit in Houston, TX. The footage was taken from the in-house video screen at The Summit, which was one of the first arenas in the United States to have this system at the time. This gave the release its title "Houston '78 Bootleg: House Cut". Considering that it was taken from the mono soundboard, the sound is only available in PCM stereo and not in 5.1 surround. The video was produced by Emmy- and Grammy-winner Thom Zimny and the audio was mastered by Bob Ludwig. It clocks at around 176 minutes.

The five cardboard sleeves are placed in the pockets of an 80-page spiral-bound reproduction of Springsteen's original notebooks called the "Promise notebook" (of greatest interest to hardcore fans), with facsimiles of Bruce's original handwritten lyrics, production notes, song ideas, recording details, and many album sequencing lists, in addition to a new essay by Springsteen on the album and never-before-seen photographs. The set is housed inside a hard cardboard outer slipcase. The box set won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package.

The album features one of the last appearances of Clarence Clemons before his death in June 2011. Clemons is featured on the song "Save My Love", which was the only song on the album completely re-recorded by Springsteen and the E Street Band for the project.

This boxset was under development for years, which was why so few Darkness outtakes were included in Tracks. Difficult choices were made, and finally the master tapes from 1977-78 were assembled. Unfortunately, Bruce still felt that many of the tracks were incomplete, and required re-recording or overdubbing. Recording sessions were held in the Summer of 2010 at Stone Hill Studio, at Springsteen's home in Colts Neck, NJ. For reference, we have produced a table below that lists known modern elements in the songs. However, it is extremely likely that other modern elements exist that have not yet been identified. Tracks that appear untouched from 1977 include "Candy's Boy", "City of Night" and "The Way". Please contact Brucebase if your perception differs, we want to hear your thoughts, and we have changed this table on occasion, based on good arguments or convincing information. Let's get to the truth.

Released

# Song Title Running Time Release
1.1. RACING IN THE STREET ('78) 6:50 PROMISE
1.2. GOTTA GET THAT FEELING 3:20 PROMISE
1.3. OUTSIDE LOOKING IN 2:19 PROMISE
1.4. SOMEDAY (WE'LL BE TOGETHER) 5:39 PROMISE
1.5. ONE WAY STREET 4:21 PROMISE
1.6. BECAUSE THE NIGHT 3:25 PROMISE
1.7. WRONG SIDE OF THE STREET 3:37 PROMISE
1.8. THE BROKENHEARTED 5:20 PROMISE
1.9. RENDEZVOUS 2:40 PROMISE
1.10. CANDY'S BOY 4:39 PROMISE
# Song Title Running Time Release
2.1. SAVE MY LOVE 2:39 PROMISE
2.2. AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU 4:03 PROMISE
2.3. FIRE 4:10 PROMISE
2.4. SPANISH EYES 3:51 PROMISE
2.5. IT'S A SHAME 3:16 PROMISE
2.6. COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) 2:20 PROMISE
2.7. TALK TO ME 4:22 PROMISE
2.8. THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES) 3:19 PROMISE
2.9. BREAKAWAY 5:33 PROMISE
2.10. THE PROMISE 5:54 PROMISE
2.11. CITY OF NIGHT 2:58 PROMISE
2.12. THE WAY 1 3:47 PROMISE

Total Running Time: 1:28:44

1: Hidden in the previous track.

Visit our release-pages for additional information.

Details

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

Note: Springsteen started writing "Racing In The Street" shortly after New Years Eve at the Tower Theatre, back in 1975, along with "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" and "The Promise", and court proceedings prevented him from working on it in a recording studio until July 1977. But after he moved into Telegraph Hill in the Summer of 1976, Bruce and the band practiced daily. Unfortunately, it seems that almost none of this was documented, except for Barry Rebo's films (100% owned by Bruce), and what can be inferred by studying the live shows. V1 was recorded July 2, 1977 at Atlantic Studios. According to the Lost Masters III liner notes, V2 was recorded in August 1977, and studio logs show takes on 8 different days at either Atlantic Studios or The Record Plant during the month. The comp. reel for the official album release V3b came on August 30, 1977. However, Bruce returned to his composition in V4a, with an alternate band arrangement with wailing harmonica and tremendous vocal, recorded between November 28 and 30, December 6 and 9, 1977, at Record Plant studios. The officially released V4b, titled "Racing In The Street ('78)" on The Promise, utilizes a different 1977 vocal take and runs longer, but uses the V4 base tracks recorded at the end of November 1977, which have little in common with Racing Part I from August. David Lindley plays violin, perhaps on December 9, 1977, same day as a take for "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)", which he also played on. Studio logs also show mixing sessions at The Record Plant from March 21 thru 23, 1978. Mix take 46 went on Darkness. Bruce adapted the lines "summer's here and the time is right / for goin' racing in the street" from Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing In The Street".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Note: "Come On (Let’s Go Tonight)" was written in the Spring of 1977, and V1 was cut on June 1, 1977, complete with Vox [organ], at Atlantic Studios, on the first night of the Darkness sessions. The band picked up the rhythm quickly, but Bruce had much work to do on the lyrics. V2 is the earliest take we have in circulation, a rough workout, from either July 2 or 13 at Atlantic Studios, but further progress was needed on the lyrics. At this point, Bruce had written, "Everybody wants heaven, but nobody wants to die, Come on, come on, lets go tonight". Two out of three verses had "death in their eyes". "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)" V3 represented a sudden shift; though it retained it's name (Sony logs show all sessions to the end of 1977 under this name), the lyrics were radically rewritten to the story of Douglas Springsteen, Bruce's father, who worked at a machine factory under harsh conditions. An interview quoted Bruce, "I remember my old man was working in this plastics factory… and all I remember, when we used to go in that place, was him standing near 'em loud fucking machines". Now he sang "Factory takes his hearing, but he understands", but the third verse was the outcome of working under these conditions, "somebody's gonna get hurt tonight". It is possible that Bruce worked with both ideas for a while, but after September, all energies went toward "The Factory Song", though it was not named this until January 2, 1978. Sessions took place on August 23, 24 and 30, and September 8, 1977 at the Record Plant. Roy Bittan played his piano Floyd Cramer style to give it a Chet Atkins produced-country feel, and an organ was not in the mix at this point. V4-V5 from November 2, 7, and 8, and December 9, 27, 1977 features violin overdubs by David Lindley, a well-known musician who played with Jackson Browne (December 9 most-likely date for Lindley). V7, released on the The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story box set in 2010, is the finished take of "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)", with a fresh 2010 violin added, again by Lindley. The vocal is vintage, but the recording date has not been determined, and it is unknown if there is a finished 1977 version of "Come On" with Lindley. V6 was the result of overdub/mixing sessions on March 10 and 14, 1978, all at the Record Plant. The 1978 sessions were under the name "The Factory Song". Danny recorded new organ tracks, which featured prominently in the final album version 6b. Bruce recorded new vocals, and changed, "Factory takes his hearing, but he understands" to "Factory takes his hearing, factory gives him life". V6c is mix take 28 from April 3, 1978, and it was pressed to metal acetate with the title "Factory Song" on April 12, 1978.
What ever happened to "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)"? In March 1981, Bruce wrote new music and recorded a demo at his home in Colts Neck, NJ with the original name. However, he decided to rearrange it once more, combining several lines with new verses, and the first two lines from Chuck Berry's 'Bye Bye Johnny', to create "Johnny Bye-Bye".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Modern Elements

Brucebase Modern Elements Identification System

Even though we attempt to inject some humor into the situation, for some, modern overdubs are no laughing matter.

For now, this is our system, and remember, all evaluations are subject to change. Though we reserve the last word on all matters on our website, this is no easy task, and this is an issue that concerns many of us. Whether you send an email or go ranting on one of the message boards, we are listening carefully. If you find an obscure interview by Garry W. Tallent with some details about i.e. modern glockenspiels, please send us a copy or a link, or the best description you can. If you send us information that we can't verify, it will be discarded. Also, if you disagree with any detail expressed here, please try to describe it as best you can, write until there is nothing left in your head (on the subject).

This phenomenon only concerns archived material released years later, usually on compilations like The Promise, The Ties That Bind (The River Collection), Tracks, The Essential, Greatest Hits, etc. The most overt example is a previously released track (official or unofficial) that has plainly been altered, sometimes without any details or liner notes. Sometimes there are valid reasons, but it is still good to discuss it, and have a place for anybody with a question to go for information. Then there is previously unreleased material with obvious modern elements or embellishments, that may also lack documentation. Remember, overdubbing is a normal part of creating music, and sometimes it is just of interest. When an artist releases archived material, advertising "unreleased tracks" from "so-and-so", and we find that any portion of the material is not from "so-and-so", and there are no liner notes or media discussions, then some people get upset and disappointed.

There are reasons why Bruce does not release all his outtakes the way the purists within us would like it, mostly related to the high personal standards he puts on himself. He appreciates his fans and followers very much, but he doesn't want incomplete and rehearsal materials released, because he only wants us to have his best, a professional, polished product, not him humming or la-la ing. He finds it embarrassing and upsetting that what he thought was private, is being listened to by thousands or millions. Unfortunately, his 1979 voice and his 2015 voice are different, and replacing or overdubbing one with the other can be very noticeable, and sound out-of-place. Always remember that if he didn't modify some of these tracks, he would not release them, and then we might not get to hear them at all, so count your blessings.

Lastly, though this information has been researched and reviewed for accuracy, there may remain elements of subjectivity or opinion. Please don't hesitate to inform us, so we can make this as factual as possible.

# Song Title Modern Element(s) Recording Date / Location
1.1. RACING IN THE STREET ('78) 4 violin Nov 28-Dec 9, 1977 + 2010
1.2. GOTTA GET THAT FEELING 5 lead vocal / Mexican horns/backing vocals-unidentified males August 30, 1977 the Record Plant + July 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.3. OUTSIDE LOOKING IN 2 poss guitar, organ, backing vocals-unidentified males September 27, 1977
1.4. SOMEDAY (WE'LL BE TOGETHER) 6 lead vocal / guitar / choir vocals July 18, 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.5. ONE WAY STREET 4 horns, possible vocal sections overdubbed June 17, 1977 Atlantic Studios + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.6. BECAUSE THE NIGHT 5 lead vocal September 27, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.7. WRONG SIDE OF THE STREET 5 lead vocal October 14, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.8. THE BROKENHEARTED 5 some lead vocal / horns November 29, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.9. RENDEZVOUS 4 background vocals. other instruments, poss roy piano overdub June 8 or 17, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
1.10. CANDY'S BOY 1 June 27, 1977
2.1. SAVE MY LOVE 6 new recording July 22, 2010 Stone Hill Studio, Colts Neck, New Jersey
2.2. AIN'T GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU 1 after September 26, 1977 at The Record Plant
2.3. FIRE 2 June 17, 1977 Atlantic Studios
2.4. SPANISH EYES 5 lead vocal July 13, 1977 Atlantic Studios + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.5. IT'S A SHAME 4 horns, background vocals June 14, 1977 Atlantic Studios + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.6. COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) 4 violin July 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.7. TALK TO ME 4 horns, vintage Bruce, not sure about ending October 14, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.8. THE LITTLE THINGS (MY BABY DOES) 5 sounds like doubletracked vocals-modern and vintage Bruce-prob both modern August 15, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.9. BREAKAWAY 5 horns / backing vocals / possible lead vocal June 1, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.10. THE PROMISE 6 modern string arrangement Ken Asher, overdubbed guitars, glock, double tracked vocals, and backing vocals. 2 lines of last verse edited out September 28, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.11. CITY OF NIGHT 4 Intro section is edited, two reps instead of four, organ added 3rd verse (don't know if this is modern or a different take or mix from 1977), sax turned up in this mix October 14, 1977 + 2010 Stone Hill Studio
2.12. THE WAY 1 August 15, 1977

1 Sounds untouched, we pray that we didn't miss anything.
2 Possibly clean vintage, but not sure; we have awoken in the night in a cold sweat at least once
3 Possibly clean vintage, the artist or the liner notes say it is, but not sure; we have awoken in the night in a cold sweat at least once
4 A Category 4 Overdub is severely tinkered with, but not unredeemable. Examples are Racing In the Streets '78, where David Lindley's violin was added, or Come On (Let's Go Tonight), where modern violin again was added. Modern vocals never qualify for this rating.
5 A Category 5 Overdub means the track has been modified beyond recognition or has been partly or completely recorded in the present, which is not an outtake at all, it is a new recording.
6 Not An Outtake.


Disclaimer | © 1996 - 2020 | Brucebase

icon_facebook.png icon_twitter.png icon_youtube.png
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License