The Rising - Studio Sessions


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Commercially Released: July 29, 2002
Label: Columbia
Produced by Brendan O'Brien, Bruce Springsteen and Chuck Plotkin*
Recorded by Nick DiDia assisted by Billy Bowers and Karl Egsieker
 at Southern Tracks Studio (January - March 2002)*
Mixed by Brendan O'Brien at Southern Tracks Studio and Silent Sound Studios
Mastered by Bob Ludwig
Design by Dave Bett and Michelle Holme
Photography by Danny Clinch

* Springsteen's numerous studio sessions from 1996 - 2001 did not involve Brendan O'Brien or Nick DiDia. These sessions (at Thrill Hill Recording and The Hit Factory) were produced either by Springsteen (alone) or co-produced by Springsteen and Chuck Plotkin. Recording Engineer was Toby Scott. Please refer to session details for specific credits, where known.

Overview

Springsteen re-assembled the E Street Band for the Reunion (Tracks) tour. This tour lasted for 16 months, from March 1999 thru June 2000. Although no studio sessions took place during this touring period, there was an expectation that studio work with the E Street Band would follow this tour and a resulting new E Street Band album would emerge in late 1999 or early 2000 – however we now know that no such E Street Band sessions ever took place. In spite of the lack of E Street Band involvement in the studio Springsteen did, in fact, conduct scattered solo sessions at his Thrill Hill East home studio during the September 2000 - January 2001 period. Numerous songs were recorded – but details remain very sketchy. It is suspected that the base recording of only one of the fifteen songs issued on The Rising album emanates from these sessions.

Springsteen finally entered the studio with The E Street Band in March 2001 – their first sessions together since January 1995. The spring 2001 sessions were produced by Springsteen and Chuck Plotkin and recorded by Toby Scott. Several songs (titles unconfirmed) were recorded during this session – but only one “American Skin (41 Shots)” has been released.

Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Springsteen wrote a number of new songs that were influenced by the disaster. A new series of studio sessions with the E Street Band took place in Atlanta from late January to mid-March 2002. Comments made by Garry Tallent and Danny Federici would indicate that the amount of time the E Street Band were together in Atlanta was actually very brief – a far cry from the E Street Band studio session formula of the 1973-84 era. All Southern Tracks Studios sessions were produced by Brendan O’Brien and recorded by Nick DiDia, neither of whom had worked with Springsteen previously. O’Brien also handled the mixing. It would appear that 14 of the 15 recordings issued on The Rising album were recorded at these sessions, although only about half of the songs that appear on the album were actually composed after 9/11. It is known that a total of seventeen songs were recorded during the sessions; fifteen on the album plus "Harry's Place" and "Down In The Hole", both of which would eventually be issued on 2014's High Hopes.

Released

# Song Title Running Time Release
1. LONESOME DAY 4:08 RISING / 2002 single
2. INTO THE FIRE 5:04 RISING
3. WAITIN' ON A SUNNY DAY 4:18 RISING / 2003 single
4. NOTHING MAN 4:23 RISING
5. COUNTIN' ON A MIRACLE 4:44 RISING
6. EMPTY SKY 3:34 RISING
7. WORLDS APART 6:07 RISING
8. LET'S BE FRIENDS (SKIN TO SKIN) 4:21 RISING
9. FURTHER ON (UP THE ROAD) 3:52 RISING
10. THE FUSE 5:37 RISING
11. MARY'S PLACE 6:03 RISING
12. YOU'RE MISSING 5:10 RISING
13. THE RISING 4:50 RISING / 2002 single
14. PARADISE 5:39 RISING
15. MY CITY OF RUINS 5:00 RISING

Visit our the-rising-pages for additional information.

Additional Recordings

AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) 5:14 circulating
I'LL STAND BY YOU 5:32 circulating
HARRY'S PLACE uncirculating
DOWN IN THE HOLE uncirculating

Details

LET'S BE FRIENDS (SKIN TO SKIN) - V1 uncirculating
LET'S BE FRIENDS (SKIN TO SKIN) - V2 4:21 RISING

Note: V1 was written and recorded at Thrill Hill East (Bruce's New Jersey home studio) sometime during the 1999–2001 period. The base recording from one of these home sessions was utilized and then embellished with additional instruments and production at Southern Tracks Studio in early 2002 and released on The Rising album. This is the only recording issued on the album that was not recorded from scratch at the Atlanta sessions. Soozie Tyrell contributes violin and background vocals. The choir vocals are provided by the Alliance Singers.

NOTHING MAN - V1 uncirculating
NOTHING MAN - V2 4:23 RISING

Note: Initially recorded in the spring of 1994 at a house in Los Angeles rented by Toby Scott, who assisted, programming drum and loops. The finished recording was mixed by Bob Clearmountain and selected for an album that was never released, alongside other songs such as "Missing", "Blind Spot", and "Between Heaven And Earth". "Nothing Man" was re-recorded at Southern Tracks Studio in early 2002 (V2) with the E Street Band and issued on The Rising.

WAITIN' ON A SUNNY DAY - V1 uncirculating
WAITIN' ON A SUNNY DAY - V2a 4:18 RISING
WAITIN' ON A SUNNY DAY - V2b 4:13 promo CD

Note: Written and recorded (V1) at Thrill Hill East by Bruce sometime during 1998. That recording has not surfaced. The song was practiced at rehearsals for the E Street Reunion Tour in early 1999 and a complete band version was performed during the soundcheck for the June 17, 1999 show in Germany - but it was not played during the show or at any later show on the 1999–2000 tour. Re-recorded in Atlanta in early 2002 with the E Street Band and issued on the album. Soozie Tyrell contributes violin and background vocals, while Brendan O'Brien plays glockenspiel and orchestra bells. V2b is a 4:13 version that runs 6 seconds shorter than the regular The Rising track and also features a notably different mix; with both the lead and backing vocals as well as the bass lines and sax solo being much clearer, louder, and generally more upfront. In addition, the drum sound also was altered considerably, and there are about 5 extra seconds of Bruce doing his high-pitched "oh-oh-oooh" vocals not included on the album version. Issued as a US-only 1-track promotional single in 2003.

FURTHER ON (UP THE ROAD) - V1 uncirculating
FURTHER ON (UP THE ROAD) - V2 3:52 RISING

Note: Written by Springsteen in 1999 or early 2000 and premiered live on June 4, 2000. V2, found on The Rising, was recorded at Southern Tracks in Atlanta in early 2002, although an earlier studio version with the E Street Band from March 2001 V1 may exist in the vaults.

MY CITY OF RUINS 5:00 RISING

Note: Written in November 2000 and premiered live on December 17, 2000 at a Holiday show in Asbury Park. Soozie Tyrell contributes violin and background vocals and Jane Scarpantoni plays the cello.

COUNTIN' ON A MIRACLE - V1 4:44 RISING
COUNTIN' ON A MIRACLE - V2 5:01 ESSENTIAL: BONUS

Note: Written in 2000. These are two different recordings, both emanating from Southern Tracks Studios in Atlanta in February–March, 2002. V1 is with E Street Band and the Nashville String Machine backing. V2 (which was also videoed on Super8 film) is a country-blues arrangement performed solo by Springsteen on acoustic guitar.

LONESOME DAY - V1a 4:08 RISING / GH09
LONESOME DAY - V1b 3:34 promo CD

Note: It remains unclear if this composition was written before or after 9/11. Recorded at Southern Tracks, Atlanta, during February–March, 2002. Soozie Tyrell contributes violin and background vocals, Larry Lemaster and Jere Flint play the cello. V1b is a shorter radio edit issued on a US-only 1-track promotional single in 2002.

MARY'S PLACE 6:03 RISING / ESSENTIAL: 2003

Note: It remains unclear if this composition was written before or after 9/11. Recorded at Southern Tracks, Atlanta, during February–March, 2002. The lyrics of the chorus allude directly to Sam Cooke's 1964 song "Meet Me At Mary's Place".

YOU'RE MISSING 5:10 RISING

Note: Song composed post-9/11. Recorded at Southern Tracks, Atlanta, during February–March, 2002. Soozie Tyrell contributes violin and background vocals; Larry Lemaster and Jere Flint play the cello. The song also features the Nashville String Machine.

THE RISING 4:50 RISING / ESSENTIAL / GH09 / CHAPTER

Note: Song composed post-9/11, November 2001–February 2002. Recorded at Southern Tracks, Atlanta, during February–March, 2002. Soozie Tyrell contributes violin and background vocals, Jane Scarpantoni plays the cello.

PARADISE 5:39 RISING

Note: Song composed post-9/11. Recorded at Southern Tracks, Atlanta, during February–March, 2002.

EMPTY SKY 3:34 RISING

Note: Song composed post 9/11. Recorded at Southern Tracks, Atlanta, during February–March, 2002. Brendan O'Brien contributes hurdy-gurdy.

INTO THE FIRE 5:04 RISING

Note: Song composed post-9/11. Recorded at Southern Tracks, Atlanta, during February–March, 2002. Soozie Tyrell contributes violin and background vocals, Brendan O'Brien plays hurdy-gurdy and glockenspiel, and Jane Scarpantoni plays cello.

THE FUSE - V1a 5:37 RISING
THE FUSE - V1b 5:37 private cdr

Note: Song composed post-9/11. Recorded in Atlanta at Southern Tracks during February–March, 2002. V1a is the official album track. V1b, usually referred to as "The 25th Hour Remix", includes slightly different editing and features an added string/orchestra arrangement/overlay written during the fall of 2002 by conductor Terence Blanchard for the Spike Lee-directed movie 25th Hour (released in December 2002). The V1b remix of the song is heard during the film's closing credits, although neither V1a nor V1b were issued on the film soundtrack album (released January 2003) – V1b remains officially unreleased except as heard in the movie itself. Soozie Tyrell contributes violin and background vocals.

WORLDS APART 6:07 RISING

Note: Song composed post-9/11. Recorded at Southern Tracks, Atlanta, during February–March, 2002. The background parts contributed by Asif Ali Khan and group were recorded by Chuck Plotkin at Henson Studios in Hollywood, CA. Soozie Tyrell contributes violin.

HARRY'S PLACE - V1 uncirculating
HARRY'S PLACE - V2 uncirculating
HARRY'S PLACE - V3 uncirculating
HARRY'S PLACE - V4 4:04 HOPES

Note: The background of this song is somewhat confusing. Springsteen has confirmed that seventeen songs were recorded in Atlanta and that "Harry's Place" was one of the two songs that didn't make the final 15-song line-up for The Rising – Bruce felt this rocker about a fictitious local kingpin didn't blend in well with the rest of the album's material. During a July 31, 2002 TV interview Springsteen, upon request of Ted Koppel, actually recited the entire first verse of this song's lyrics. Comments made by Springsteen since suggest that only the lyrics were written in 2001 (V2) during sessions for The Rising (although he has also stated that the band attempted to record the song at sessions prior to The Rising, perhaps in the late '90s - V1), and the music dates from the mid-2000s, probably from the Magic sessions in 2007 (V3). V3 was recorded at Southern Tracks studio during the Spring of 2007 for Magic. Bruce has said that it almost made the album, but was left off because he wanted twelve songs rather than thirteen, indicating the late addition of "Terry's Song" bumped it from the final sequence. Screen captures of the lyric book show that only the first verse dates from 2002, the rest appears to have been re-written in the intervening years. The song is not related, either musically or lyrically, to "Mary's Place" – they merely happen to share the same word in the title. Subsequently issued on 2014's High Hopes. It should be noted that "Hard Drive" (often mentioned in the same breath as "Harry's Place") was not a Rising-era recording or song – rather it was a never developed (i.e., no lyrics/music) title found in Springsteen's Rising sessions songwriting notebook that had first been seen and noted by journalist Jon Pareles in a July 2002 interview with Springsteen at Bruce's home.

DOWN IN THE HOLE - V1 uncirculating
DOWN IN THE HOLE - V2 4:59 HOPES

Note: Springsteen confirmed in a December 2013 Rolling Stone interview that "Down In The Hole" V1 was recorded during sessions for The Rising. V2 is from 2013 and was issued on 2014's High Hopes; the 2002 base track was used, with the later addition of overdubs. Produced by Brendan O'Brien and featuring Clarence Clemons on tenor saxophone and Danny Federici on organ.

AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) - V1 5:13 SA / 2001 promo
AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) - V2 uncirculating
AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) - V3 uncirculating
AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) - V4 7:24 HOPES

Note: Written by Springsteen during the spring of 2000 and premiered live on June 4, 2000. Springsteen recorded V1, or at least a new vocal, at The Hit Factory, New York City on March 2, 2001. It appears that this recording utilizes the backing music (with a slightly altered mix) from the live version recorded on July 1, 2000 at Madison Square Garden and officially released on Live In New York City. Produced by Springsteen and Chuck Plotkin, it was released on a promotion-only single in June 2001. Studio vocals were laid over a different mix of the released live version's instrumental tracks. Producer Ron Aniello revealed in a December 2013 interview with Rolling Stone that "American Skin (41 Shots)" V2 was cut during the Wrecking Ball/ recording sessions, but ultimately was not used. "We did try a track of that," he said, "but it wasn't really an outtake." V3 was recorded in studio again in 2013 and featured Tom Morello on guitar. "His presence made a big, big difference," Springsteen said. "He obviously brings those things to great life and deepens them and deepens the characters." Prior to the March 2013 Australian leg of the Wrecking Ball Tour, Tom Morello was sent the song to play guitar on V4. "I did that in my home studio and Bruce seemed to like that very much," he told Andy Greene in a January 2014 interview for Rolling Stone//. "That song to me was the most challenging one. It was also the first one I did. Normally I'll go in there and tinker with a song a bit and try to capture inspiration and see if the world likes it or not. But that song just didn't come together for me. I went back to it a couple of times, and I'm glad that I did because at the end of the day I was really pleased with how the guitar solo and the rhythm stuff came out. But that one felt like it was work. I had to really work on that one."

I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS - V1 5:32 SA
SONG FOR HARRY POTTER - V2a 5:32 cdr ep
I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS - V2b 5:29 O&S
I'LL STAND BY YOU - V2c 4:35 BLINDED: OST

Note: A ballad written by Springsteen sometime between 1998 and 2000, inspired by reading the Harry Potter books to his youngest son Sam. This is not a children's song, however. Sometime in early 2001, Bruce made the song available to director Chris Columbus, who at the time was shooting the first of the Potter movies. However, the Springsteen song was ultimately rejected due to Harry Potter novelist/creator JK Rowling's contractual stipulation that no commercial songs of any type be used in the Potter film series. Warner Brothers Music President Gary Lemel, who was involved in the Potter music, was asked for comment by USA Today, but said he preferred not to comment publicly – but in doing so seemingly verified the basic truth in the story. In September or October 2001, Springsteen donated the song to fellow Sony artist (and Latin/salsa star) Marc Anthony, who recorded a cover version. In late 2001 both Sony and Anthony issued press releases specifically promoting the Springsteen composition and mentioning it would be one of the tracks on Anthony's forthcoming album Mended (and likely the lead single off the album). Strangely, when the Mended album was finally released in April 2002, the song was not on the album, nor was it issued as a single. A later special edition of Mended with bonus tracks also didn't include the song. There has been no explanation as to why the Springsteen composition was not issued.

V1 is from early 2001, a rough demo version with very few lyrics written. However, Bruce finished them quickly, and recorded the completed studio version V2a on January 28, 2001 in the studio next to his Rumson home. The studio version was exclusively given out on an in-house promo CD-R to some very few top executives at Columbia Records. The CD-R was burned on October 31, 2001, right around the time when the track was being offered up to the Harry Potter producers, about a week before the Live In New York City DVD was released. The CD-R contains three tracks: "Song For Harry Potter", "My Hometown (Live)", and "This Hard Land (Live)". V2b is the probably the same studio recording, copyrighted on June 13, 2001 and apparently donated to the Harry Potter movie. This version uses a similar base track, but the lyrics are completed. It leaked on February 10, 2017.

In late 2018, Ron Aniello added overdubs and effects to the base recording. It was mixed by Bob Clearmountain on February 19, 2019 at Stone Hill Studio, Colts Neck, NJ, specifically for the Blinded by The Light soundtrack album, and released August 9, 2019. V2c is actually the same as V2b, but fades out 50 seconds earlier, features more backing vocals, and the mix is slightly different. It was produced by Ron Aniello and mastered by Bob Ludwig. Aniello is also credited as engineer and mixing engineer, Toby Scott is credited as engineer (2001), and Rob Lebret is credited as engineer and mixing engineer.


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