The Rising - Studio Sessions


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Commercially Released: July 29, 2002
Produced and mixed by Brendan O’Brien*
Recording Engineer: Nick DiDia*
Recorded January - March 2002 at Southern Tracks Studio (Atlanta, GA)*

* Springsteen’s numerous studio sessions from 1996 - 2001 did not involve Brendan O’Brien or Nick DiDia. These sessions (at Thrill Hill East, Thrill Hill West 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 issued the Ghost Of Tom Joad album in November 1995. Little did anyone suspect at the time that it would be six years and seven months (July 2002) before the next Springsteen studio album of recently written and recorded compositions would be released. Because of the tremendous amount of time that elapsed, the studio session period for what became The Rising is an enigma. Nearly all the recordings on the album emanate from one brief session period in early 2002, yet there are over five years' worth of earlier studio sessions of which only a few recordings have yet emerged – even though much was recorded.

Immediately following the release of the Ghost Of Tom Joad album Springsteen undertook an extensive solo tour that lasted for 17 months - until late May 1997. Bruce has mentioned that he wrote numerous songs while on this tour, some of which he actually premiered live during the tour. During breaks in this tour, Bruce recorded new material - from June to August 1996 and then from March to April 1997. Both sessions were held at Thrill Hill East (Bruce’s New Jersey home studio). Both were solo sessions.

In November 1997, several months following the completion of the Ghost Of Tom Joad tour, Springsteen undertook studio further sessions at his NJ home studio. About seven non-original compositions were recorded with a group of musicians Bruce had not previously recorded with. These have now become known as "The Seeger Sessions - Phase 1". Since the above-mentioned session produced recordings that Bruce subsequently decided to release on a stand-alone album, then please refer to [[The Seeger Sessions - Studio Sessions|The Seeger Sessions]] section for details on these recordings. Soon after (in December 1997 – January 1998) Springsteen undertook a song-writing collaboration session with Joe Grushecky at Bruce’s home studio. Song titles are known from this period but recording session details, if any, are unknown. According to comments made by engineer Toby Scott, it was in the early spring of 1998 (shortly before Bruce’s father passed away) that Springsteen told Scott the time was right to proceed with the long-anticipated box set of archived, unreleased studio takes. Although the Tracks project dominated activities during the remainder of 1998 Springsteen also recorded numerous new songs at his home studio during the February 1998 – February 1999 period, although little has been released.

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.

1. LONESOME DAY 4:08 RISING
2. INTO THE FIRE 5:04 RISING
3. WAITIN' ON A SUNNY DAY 4:18 RISING
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
14. PARADISE 5:39 RISING
15. MY CITY OF RUINS 5:00 RISING

Additional Recordings

GAVE IT A NAME 2:47 TRACKS
THE PROMISE 4:38 18TRACKS
LIFT ME UP 5:16 1999 comp / ESSENTIAL
HARRY'S PLACE 4:04 HOPES
DOWN IN THE HOLE 4:59 HOPES
THE WALL 4:20 HOPES
AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) 5:14 2001 promo cd
GIVE MY LOVE TO ROSE 2:55 2002 comp

Details

LET'S BE FRIENDS (SKIN TO SKIN) 4:21 RISING

Note: Written and originally recorded at Thrill Hill East (Bruce's NJ 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: Written by Bruce, and recorded sometime during 1994. Song was re-recorded at Southern Tracks Studio in early 2002 with the E Street Band and that version was issued on The Rising album.

WAITIN' ON A SUNNY DAY - V1a 4:18 RISING
WAITIN' ON A SUNNY DAY - V1b 4:13 promo CD

Note: Written and recorded 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. V1b is a 4:13 version that runs 6 seconds shorter than the regular "Rising" album 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) 3:52 RISING

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

MY CITY OF RUINS 5:00 RISING

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

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

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.

[[iclude ott:lonesome-day]]

MARY'S PLACE 6:03 RISING

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, Jane Scarpantoni plays the cello. The choir vocals are provided by the Alliance Singers. The horn section is Mark Pender (trumpet), Mike Spengler (trumpet), Richie Rosenberg (trombone), Jerry Vivino (tenor sax) and Ed Manion (baritone sax).

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

Note: Song composed post 9/11. 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.

GAVE IT A NAME 2:47 TRACKS

Note: Recorded between December 1990 and late January 1991 at either the Record Plant, Soundworks West or A&M Studios in Los Angeles. Planned for inclusion on the Tracks boxset, but Bruce was unable to locate the master tape, so he re-recorded the song on August 24, 1998 at his home studio in Colts Neck, NJ, and it's that recording which can be found on Tracks.
Springsteen told Melinda Newman in an interview with Billboard published in November 1998, "What happened is I cut the original at the time I cut these other songs [Bruce is referring to songs like "Over The Rise", "When The Lights Go Out", "Loose Change" etc, which were all recorded around the December 1990-January 1991 period], but we couldn't find the master tape of it, and I really liked the song. So Roy Bittan came out, and we re-cut it in August".

LIFT ME UP 5:16 1999 comp / ESSENTIAL

Note: Recorded at Thrill Hill East (Bruce's NJ home studio) sometime October 1998-January 1999. Produced by Springsteen (alone). Bruce handles vocals and all instruments. Written by Bruce specifically for the John Sayles movie "Limbo" and first released on the movie soundtrack album in June 1999.

THE PROMISE - V1 5:35 DO-2 / UP / DDOC
THE PROMISE - V2 5:25 LM-2 / DDO / DO-3 / AM / UP / ATEOD
THE PROMISE - V3 7:11 DDITV / AM / UP / MT1
THE PROMISE - V4 7:25 PROMISE: VAULT
THE PROMISE - V5 uncirculating
THE PROMISE - V6 4:48 18TRACKS
THE PROMISE - V7 5:47 PROMISE

Note: Introduced August 3, 1976 at Monmouth Arts Center, Red Bank, New Jersey, with Bruce singing and playing piano without the E Street Band, with deeply personal lyrics. Played live 22 times until the first studio demo was recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 1, 1977. V1 was one of the takes recorded 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 with slightly revised lyrics, and recorded V2 on August 24 or 30 at Atlantic Studios. V3, considered the definitive version by collectors, was recorded on September 28, 1977, and first released unofficially on Deep Down In the Vaults. However, Bruce found it lacking for some reason, did not include it in the 'Badlands' album 4 sequence from October 1977, and rejected it again for Tracks in 1998. However, he liked it enough to use it as the base track for V7, officially released on The Promise in 2010, with overdubbed guitars, glock, double tracked vocals, and backing vocals by himself. The final verse, with 'backseat of a borrowed car', edited out, along with much of the ending, and a modern string arrangement is added, reducing the 7:06 running time to 5:45. Thanks to Eddy Wehbe for spotting version 3 underneath the thick layer of overdubs.

V4 on the Thrill-Hill Blu-Ray/DVD is said to be a rehearsal of the January 12 take, with the new verse, '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'. After being rejected again for Darkness, V5 was recorded on January 24, 1978, possibly without the E Street Band (who are on all the previous studio takes), which is totally unverified because the master went straight to the vault, and The Promise was deleted from the final March sequence for Darkness On the Edge of Town. When the Darkness Tour began on May 23, 1978, The Promise, with the "my daddy taught me how to walk quiet" version featured with Bruce on piano, was played 22 times. but then. for unknown reasons, after singing it on July 15, 1978 in Houston, Texas, he never played it again.

That is, until he re-recorded it on February 9-12, 1999 at Boxwood Studios at his home in Rumson, New Jersey V6, instead of using V3 on Tracks. He said to Charlie Rose, "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..a lot of people mention it. 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."

Springsteen said later it was ultimately rejected for Darkness due to the personal lyrics. "It was a song about defeat, and it was self-referential, which made me uncomfortable", said Springsteen in 2010. "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 really helps it now”. It may be true, but some critics and hard-core collectors who will never buy that.

HARRY'S PLACE 4:04 HOPES

Note: Written by Springsteen in 2001. The song is not related, either musically or lyrically, to "Mary's Place" – they merely happen to share the same word in the title. Springsteen confirmed in a July 31, 2002 TV interview with journalist Ted Koppel 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 album – Bruce felt this rocker about a fictitious local kingpin didn't blend in well with the rest of the album's material. During that TV interview Springsteen, upon request of Koppel, actually recited the entire first verse of this song's lyrics. Comments made by Springsteen since 2002 suggest that only the lyrics were written in 2002 and the music was added some years later, perhaps during 2007's Magic sessions. Therefore it seems unlikely that any 2002 takes of "Harry's Place" exist. 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 4:59 HOPES

Note: Springsteen confirmed in a December 2013 in a Rolling Stone interview that "Down In The Hole" was recorded during sessions for The Rising. Possibly re-recorded in 2013 and issued on 2014's High Hopes album, although it's likely that the 2002 basic track was re-used, with the addition of some overdubs.

GIVE MY LOVE TO ROSE 2:55 2002 compilation

Note: Written by Johnny Cash. Recorded at Thrill Hill East (Bruce's NJ home studio) in February 1999 and produced by Springsteen (alone). Bruce solo, on vocals and guitar. The performance was also video recorded and first broadcast commercially on April 18, 1999 as part of the Johnny Cash Tribute special on the USA's TNT network. The recording was not officially released until September 2002 on the Cash Kindred Spirits tribute album. The video of the performance has yet to be officially issued, although it circulates among collectors via copies of the original TV broadcast.

AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) - V1 5:14 2001 promo cd
AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) - V2 7:24 HOPES

Note: Written by Springsteen during the spring of 2000 and premiered live on June 4, 2000 at a show with the E Street Band in Atlanta. It appears that this recording utilises 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. Springsteen recorded a new vocal at The Hit Factory, New York City on March 2, 2001. Produced by Springsteen and Chuck Plotkin. Released on a promotion-only single in June 2001.

SELL IT AND THEY WILL COME uncirculating

Note: Written by Bruce during December 1995 and early January 1996 while on the Ghost Of Tom Joad tour and premiered live on January 10, 1996.

PILGRIM IN THE TEMPLE OF LOVE uncirculating

Note: Written by Bruce in March - April 1996 while on the Ghost Of Tom Joad tour and premiered live on April 16, 1996. Also known as "Santa Gets A Blowjob".

THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY OTHER FOR ME BUT YOU uncirculating

Note: Also known as "Never Any Other For Me But You". Written by Bruce in mid-1996 while on the Ghost Of Tom Joad tour and premiered live on September 19, 1996.

IN FREEHOLD uncirculating

Note: Bruce wrote "In Michigan" backstage in Kalamazoo, MI while on the Ghost Of Tom Joad tour and premiered it live the same day, September 24, 1996. The concept was to write a song which included the name of the state of the location he was playing. He then expanded on the premise of the song and premiered the almost completely rewritten "In Freehold" on November 8, 1996 in Freehold, naturally. Also known as "Freehold". It is unclear whether this song was recorded during studio sessions.

LONG TIME COMIN' uncirculating

Note: Written by Bruce in the summer or early autumn of 1996 while on the Ghost Of Tom Joad tour and premiered live on October 16, 1996. Recorded during studio sessions in 1998 (this version does not circulate). Re-recorded in 2004 and released on the Devils & Dust album.

THE HITTER uncirculating

Note: Written by Bruce in the autumn of 1996 while on the Ghost Of Tom Joad tour and premiered live on November 13, 1996. Recorded during studio sessions in 1998 (this version does not circulate). Re-recorded in 2004 and released on the Devils & Dust album.

CODE OF SILENCE uncirculating

Note: Co-written by Bruce and Joe Grushecky during December 1997-January 1998. Springsteen premiered the song live on June 12, 2000 and released a live version (recorded June 29, 2000) on The Essential Bruce Springsteen in 2003. A Grushecky studio version (with Bruce on support vocals) was released on his album A Good Life in July 2006.

ANOTHER THIN LINE uncirculating

Note: Written sometime between late 1997 and early 2000. There remains some confusion if "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. Bruce has never officially released a recorded version, but Joe Grushecky released it on his East Carson Street album in 2009.

THE WALL 4:20 HOPES

Note: Written December 1997-January 1998. The title and idea came from Joe Grushecky and written by Springsteen after he and Patti Scialfa visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Bruce premiered the song live on February 19, 2003 and prefaced the performance by mentioning that he'd visited the Vietnam Memorial in Washington in December 1997 and that several days later Grushecky (in advance of their songwriting sessions) sent Bruce a newspaper clipping about the Vietnam Memorial. Grushecky subsequently wrote a different, but similarly themed, song called "On The Wall" that appeared on his 2002 Fingertips album. Recorded in the late 90s (perhaps during sessions for Tracks) and issued on 2014's High Hopes.

LAND OF HOPE AND DREAMS - V1 uncirculating
LAND OF HOPE AND DREAMS - V2 6:56 WRECKING

Note: Written by Bruce sometime in 1998 or early 1999. The song was premiered live with the E Street Band on March 18, 1999. A later live version with the E Street Band was officially released on the Live In New York City package. Cut in 2011 and issued on the Wrecking Ball album.

I'LL STAND BY YOU ALWAYS 5:32 O&S

Note: A mysterious history. A ballad written by Springsteen sometime between 1998 and 2000 and 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. A Springsteen recording of the song was filed with the US Copyright Office on June 13, 2001. 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 Bros Music President Gary Lemel, who was involved in the Potter music, was asked by USA Today about this Springsteen song 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. The song finally entered into circulation in February 2017 on the 'Odds & Sods' bootleg-compilation.


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