The Ties That Bind - Studio Sessions


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Commercially Released: December 4, 2015
Label: Columbia
Produced by Jon Landau, Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt
Recorded by Neil Dorfsman, assisted by Dana Bisbee at The Power Station (1979 - 1980)
Mixed by Toby Scott, Bob Clearmountain and Chuck Plotkin
Mastered by Bob Ludwig

Overview

Springsteen celebrated the 35th anniversary of The River by releasing a boxed set titled The Ties That Bind: The River Collection on December 4, 2015. The set contains 52 tracks on four CDs along with four hours of video on three DVDs or two Blu-ray discs. On December 24, 2015, Springsteen released Arizona State University, Tempe 1980, a free download through the Bruce Springsteen Archives. The release contained audio of the ten missing songs from the concert video featured in the boxed set, bringing the total number discs released to seven. The tracks were mixed from the multi-track tapes by Bob Clearmountain in December 2015.

The first two CDs feature the 2014 remastered version of The River (for track details, please refer back to The River studio sessions page), and CD 3 contains the previously unreleased The River: Single Album, designated in 1979 as "The Ties That Bind", before the album release was cancelled in October. Please refer again to "The River studio sessions" page, Phase One Sessions, which describes the April thru October 1979 time period concerned. Though the contents of Disc 3 circulated for 35 years on bootlegs, this is the real thing, mixed by Bob Clearmountain in September 1979, unlike all River tracks except "Hungry Heart", which were mixed in 1980 by Toby Scott and Chuck Plotkin.

The fourth CD, The River: Outtakes, spans the entire River sessions in 1979 and 1980 and contains eleven previously-unreleased outtakes. The fifth disc (DVD or Blu-ray) contains a 60-minute documentary, The Ties That Bind, which was produced and directed by filmmaker Thom Zimny and features an interview with Springsteen as he reflects on writing and recording The River. The film transitions between Springsteen telling the stories behind the music—and illustrating them with solo acoustic guitar performances—interspersed with period concert footage and photos. The remaining disc(s) feature Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: The River Tour, Tempe 1980, a new film produced from footage professionally filmed in 1980 using four cameras and recorded in multi-track audio. The film features 23 of 33 songs performed, clocking in at 2 hours, 40 minutes on two DVDs (or one Blu-ray), from Springsteen and the E Street Band's concert on November 5, 1980 at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Also included is 20 minutes of footage from the late September 1980 River Tour rehearsals held in Lititz, Pennsylvania. The boxed set also includes a 148-page coffee table book featuring 200 rare or previously unseen photos and memorabilia, including a new essay by Mikal Gilmore. As mentioned above, the seventh disc, the missing audio tracks from the concert, was released on December 24, 2015.

On October 16, 2015, along with the announcement of the boxed set, "Meet Me in the City", one of the eleven unreleased outtakes, was released through Springsteen's website and on iTunes to promote the release of the boxed set. On November 23, 2015, "Party Lights" was released and also made available through iTunes. Much like with The Promise, Springsteen recorded new vocals for some of the outtakes in the set.

Springsteen announced details for The River Tour 2016 on December 4, 2015. The tour began in January 2016 and features a full-album performance of The River at every show, as well as other songs from Springsteen's career. As of the end of the U.S. leg on April 25, 2016, "Meet Me in the City" opened all but one show; the song previously made its live debut when Springsteen and the E Street Band performed on the December 19, 2015, episode of Saturday Night Live.

Released

# Song Title Running Time Release
1.1. THE TIES THAT BIND 3:29 RIVER
1.2. SHERRY DARLING 4:00 RIVER / 1981 single
1.3. JACKSON CAGE 3:02 RIVER
1.4. TWO HEARTS 2:39 RIVER
1.5. INDEPENDENCE DAY 4:39 RIVER / 1981 b-side
1.6. HUNGRY HEART 3:19 RIVER / 1980 Single
1.7. OUT IN THE STREET 4:15 RIVER
1.8. CRUSH ON YOU 3:08 RIVER
1.9. YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) 2:34 RIVER
1.10. I WANNA MARRY YOU 3:57 RIVER
1.11. THE RIVER 4:56 RIVER / 1981 single
# Song Title Running Time Release
2.1. POINT BLANK 5:59 RIVER / 1980 single
2.2. CADILLAC RANCH 3:01 RIVER / 1981 single
2.3. I'M A ROCKER 3:32 RIVER
2.4. FADE AWAY 4:36 RIVER / 1981 single
2.5. STOLEN CAR 3:50 RIVER
2.6. RAMROD 3:57 RIVER / 1980 b-side
2.7. THE PRICE YOU PAY 5:24 RIVER
2.8. DRIVE ALL NIGHT 8:22 RIVER
2.9. WRECK ON THE HIGHWAY 3:44 RIVER / 1981 b-side
# Song Title Running Time Release
3.1. THE TIES THAT BIND 3:29 RIVER: SINGLE
3.2. CINDY 2:25 RIVER: SINGLE
3.3. HUNGRY HEART 3:15 RIVER: SINGLE
3.4. STOLEN CAR 4:30 RIVER: SINGLE
3.5. BE TRUE 3:37 RIVER: SINGLE
3.6. THE RIVER 4:56 RIVER: SINGLE
3.7. YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) (Vs.1) 2:09 RIVER: SINGLE
3.8. THE PRICE YOU PAY 5:24 RIVER: SINGLE
3.9. I WANNA MARRY YOU 3:57 RIVER: SINGLE
3.10. LOOSE ENDS 4:00 RIVER: SINGLE
# Song Title Running Time Release
4.1. MEET ME IN THE CITY 3:35 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.2. THE MAN WHO GOT AWAY 3:31 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.3. LITTLE WHITE LIES 2:39 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.4. THE TIME THAT NEVER WAS 3:39 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.5. NIGHT FIRE 4:44 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.6. WHITETOWN 3:23 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.7. CHAIN LIGHTNING 2:49 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.8. PARTY LIGHTS 3:09 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.9. PARADISE BY THE "C" 3:10 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.10. STRAY BULLET 6:09 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.11. MR. OUTSIDE 4:14 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.12. ROULETTE 3:49 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.13. RESTLESS NIGHTS 3:41 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.14. WHERE THE BANDS ARE 3:42 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.15. DOLLHOUSE 3:29 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.16. LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD 4:14 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.17. TAKE 'EM AS THEY COME 4:25 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.18. RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWN 2:43 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.19. I WANNA BE WITH YOU 3:15 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.20. MARY LOU 3:18 RIVER: OUTTAKES
4.21. HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN 1:13 RIVER: OUTTAKES / 1980 b-side
4.22. FROM SMALL THINGS (BIG THINGS ONE DAY COME) 2:42 RIVER: OUTTAKES

Total Running Time: 3:18:48

Visit our release-pages for additional information.

Details

Visit The River Studio Sessions page for recording details of the tracks.

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. MEET ME IN THE CITY 5 modern lead vocal 2015 + June 14, 1979 Power Station
2. THE MAN WHO GOT AWAY 1 vintage vocal June 13 and July 5, 1979 Power Station
3. LITTLE WHITE LIES 1 vintage vocal June 13, 1979 Power Station
4. THE TIME THAT NEVER WAS 4 background vocals and instruments, doubtful 2015 + June 27, 1979 and March 16, 1980 Power Station
5. NIGHT FIRE 5 modern lead vocals June 13, 1979 Power Station + 2015
6. WHITETOWN 5 modern lead vocals March 16, 1980 Power Station
7. CHAIN LIGHTNING 1 vintage February 17, 1980 Power Station
8. PARTY LIGHTS 1 vintage vocal October 8, 1979 Power Station
9. PARADISE BY THE "C" 4 edited 2015 live or rehearsal 1978
10. STRAY BULLET 4 vintage vocals, modern elements 2014 - 2015 (2 takes exist 1980)
11. MR. OUTSIDE 1 vintage Fall 1979, Telegraph Hill Studios, Holmdel, NJ
12. ROULETTE 1 vintage April 3-4, 1979 Power Station
13. RESTLESS NIGHTS 1 vintage January 14, 1980 Power Station
14. WHERE THE BANDS ARE 1 vintage October 9, 1979 Power Station
15. DOLLHOUSE 1 vintage August 20-21, 1979 Power Station
16. LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD 1 vintage December 7, 1979 Power Station
17. TAKE 'EM AS THEY COME 1 vintage Dec 5, 1979 + April 10, 1980 (vocal) Power Station
18. RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWN 1 vintage July 16, 1979 Power Station
19. I WANNA BE WITH YOU 1 vintage May 31, 1979 Power Station
20. MARY LOU 1 vintage July 13, 1979 Power Station
21. HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN 1 vintage February 23, 1980 Power Station
22. FROM SMALL THINGS (BIG THINGS ONE DAY COME) 1 vintage September 2, 1979 Power Station

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.


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