The Rising - Studio Sessions


flickr:40327109661
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 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

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: 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. 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 / ESSENTIAL / GH09 / CHAPTER

Note: Song composed post 9/11, November 2001 - 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. First identified in a July 31, 2002 TV interview with journalist Ted Koppel, when Springsteen read out the lyrics to the first verse from his lyric book. Bruce has since commented 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). Springsteen 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 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. Bruce has said that it almost made Magic, but was left off because he wanted twelve songs on the album rather than thirteen. 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 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. Produced by Brendan O'Brien. Identified in a December 2013 Rolling Stone article as recorded during sessions for The Rising. Features Clarence Clemons on tenor saxophone, Danny Federici on organ, Patti Scialfa (backing vocals), Garry Tallent (bass), Max Weinberg (drums) and Soozie Tyrell (violin). Springsteen's children Evan, Jess, and Sam provide backing vocals.

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 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 V1 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. 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's Andy Greene 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."
AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) 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 AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) 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."
1. March 2, 2001.
2. Wrecking Ball recording session
3. 2013 and featured Tom Morello on guitar.
4. Prior to the March 2013 Australian leg of the Wrecking Ball Tour,
Tom Morello was sent the song AMERICAN SKIN (41 SHOTS) to play guitar on.

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 BY THE LIGHT soundtrack

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.

V1 early 2001 at the Hit Factory in New York City, NY. A rough demo version was likely recorded during the above-mentioned early 2001 studio sessions, but prior to the original studio version. This version leaked in February 2017 shortly after the original studio version.

SONG FOR HARRY POTTER - V2a The Promo CD-R The original studio version I'LL STAND BY YOU 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 Oct 31, 2001, right around the time when the track was being offered up to the Harry Potter producers, and 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 early 2001 at the Hit Factory in New York City, NY.
The original studio version is the finished recording that was copyrighted on June 13, 2001 and was apparently donated for the Harry Potter movie. It was likely recorded during the above-mentioned early 2001 studio sessions. This version uses the same core recording as the demo version but a completely different vocal take. It leaked on February 10, 2017.

V2c finished in 2019 specifically for the Blinded by The Light soundtrack album, released August 9, 2019.
The official studio version, from which the above lyrics were transcribed, is actually the same as the original studio version, but fades out 50 seconds earlier, features more backing vocals, and the mix is a bit 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, and Rob Lebret is credited as engineer and mixing engineer.


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