Tracks - Studio Sessions - Details

Details

MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS - V1 1:15 HDT
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS - V2 4:18 TRACKS / US3 / HDT
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS - V3a uncirculating
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS - V3b 5:19 GREETINGS

Note: V1 and V2 were both recorded at CBS Studios on May 3, 1972. V1 was Bruce's first attempt, followed by V2, which was a complete take and has been officially issued on Tracks. Both V3a and V3b are the same basic recording from June 26-27, 1972 at 914 Sound Studios, with a harmonica overdub added later on V3b.

IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - V1 2:48 US3 / HDT / TRACKS
IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - V2 2:38 US4
IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - V3a 3:16 DDITV
IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - V3b 3:11 GREETINGS

Note: V1 recorded at CBS Studios on May 3, 1972 and officially issued on Tracks. V2 likely recorded at Pocketful Of Tunes Studios, New York, NY in May-June, 1972. V3a and V3b are the same core recording (i.e. the same instrumental and vocal take). The only difference is that Bruce’s vocal on V1b is faded out several seconds earlier than in V1a, which reveals that there were a few “street rapping” words spoken by Bruce that were cut from the officially released version. Recorded June 26-27, 1972 with overdubs/mixing work undertaken on October 26.

GROWIN' UP - V1 2:35 TRACKS / US3 / HDT
GROWIN' UP - V2a 3:08 PS / EY
GROWIN' UP - V2b 3:05 GREETINGS
GROWIN' UP - V3 uncirculating

Note: V1 was recorded at CBS Studios on May 3, 1972 and officially issued on Tracks. V2a and V2b are the same core recording (i.e. same instrumentation and vocal), cut on June 27, 1972. V2a is allegedly a different mix but the difference, if there is one, is not perceptible. Running time variation is only at fade out. V3 was recorded at the first session on June 7, almost certainly in its solo acoustic guise. This recording does not circulate.

DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET? - V1 1:55 TRACKS / US3 / HDT
DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET? - V2a 2:05 PS / EY
DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET? - V2b 2:04 GREETINGS

Note: V1 was recorded at CBS Studios on May 3, 1972 and officially issued on Tracks. V2a and V2b are the same recording (i.e. same instrumentation and vocal). V2a is allegedly a different mix but the difference, if there is one, is not perceptible. Running time variation is only at fade out. Recorded at 914 Sound on June 26-27 and July 12, 1972.

BISHOP DANCED studio version uncirculating

Note: Only a live version is released on Tracks.

SANTA ANA - V1a 4:50 UNE / PS / EY / US5 / SA914
SANTA ANA - V1b 4:33 TRACKS

Note: Also known as "Hey Santa Ana" and "My Contessa". Written in late 1972 or early 1973, performed live by Bruce at a few shows during April-June 1973. Both V1a and V1b are the same basic recording. V1a was recorded on either June 22 or 26, 1973. However V1b is an embellished mix and was completed on June 28 or July 1. V1b includes piano (courtesy David Sancious), a layer of acoustic guitar (Bruce), calypso percussion (Richard Blackwell) and the addition of Suki Lahav’s voice in the group vocal mix. However the flute playing heard in V1a (courtesy of Clarence) has been entirely removed from the V1b mix. V1b had never circulated prior to its emergence on Tracks and it’s stunning.

SEASIDE BAR SONG - V1a 3:37 UNE / PS / EY / US5
SEASIDE BAR SONG - V1b 3:29 TRACKS

Note: Written in late 1972 or early 1973. Performed live by Bruce during the April-June, 1973 period. V1a and V1b are the same recording but a slightly different mix. Recorded at 914 Sound on June 22, 26 and 28, as well as July 1 and 24, 1973. Frequently logged as "Johnny & The Hurricanes Song".

PHANTOMS - V1 5:35 DDITV / MT1 / ROOI / SA914
ZERO AND BLIND TERRY - V2a 5:55 US5 / ROOI / SA914
WILD ZERO AND BLIND TERRY - V2b 6:04 BIS / ROOI / ATMF
ZERO AND BLIND TERRY - V3 5:51 BTF / PS / EY / SA914 / FS
ZERO AND BLIND TERRY - V4 5:52 TRACKS

Note: Phantoms, also known by the title "Over The Hills Of St George", was written during early 1973, and apparently performed live several times during May-June (most famously on June 13 in Binghampton, NY). Sony logs during the Wild, Innocent sessions show Phantoms worked on June 22 and 26, then both Phantoms and Zero were recorded and completed on June 28, 1973, without David Sancious. The Melody of "Zero & Blind Terry" is the exact same as the earlier recorded and completed "Phantoms", but Bruce wrote fresh lyrics about "the kid they just call Zero", and a wild love story ("Pack your bags baby and together they ran like reindeers through the streets") that is what makes the Boss magic. Zero and Blind Terry was first played live July 18, 1973, at Max's Kansas City, New York, NY. V2b is a stand-alone instrumental arrangement called "Wild Zero" that absolutely rocks; V2a is another instrumental take that serves as the backing track for V3, which adds vocals and a sax solo. It was pressed on acetate, used as the publishing demo, but not included on album #2. It has circulated on various boots for many years, much loved by close fans. V4 was completed on August 7, 1973 and includes additional piano courtesy David Sancious, a layer of acoustic guitar (Bruce) and a haunting vocal overdub by Suki Lahav. V4 had never circulated prior to its emergence on Tracks and it’s stunning. Suki is not credited in the Tracks booklet, but we know who she is.

LINDA LET ME BE THE ONE - V1 4:32 BIS / WAR / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS
LINDA LET ME BE THE ONE - V2 4:27 TRACKS / BTRCS

Note: Two different recordings, although similar. V1 (recorded either May 8 or 19) has a more tentative vocal and is shorter (or the tape speed is running too fast). V2 was recorded at The Record Plant on June 29, 1975 (not June 28, as found in the Tracks liner notes) and features a much stronger vocal, a different intro and a different sax part. Further work undertaken (either mixing or overdubs) on July 8. Springsteen recorded two different versions on June 29, a 'hard slow version' and a 'ballad version'. Considered for the original album but bumped in favor of “Meeting Across The River”.

THUNDERCRACK - V1a uncirculating
THUNDERCRACK - V1b 8:23 TRACKS

Note: Written in mid-1972. This was performed live regularly, usually as the big show closer, from October 1972 right up until Vini Lopez’ departure from the band in February 1974. The basic recording of V1a emanates from the phase one sessions on June 22, with further work undertaken on August 7 and 9 – but it was never completed at that time. Springsteen completed the overdubbing and mixing in 1998 for Tracks, going as far as enlisting the help of Vini Lopez to keep the vocals true to its original intention – the results are magnificent.

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

Note: V1 emanates from June 1-3, 8 and 17, 1977 at Atlantic. This is good take but the circulating audio is marred by vocal drop-out during the first verse. In a 1978 interview Springsteen said the song was kept off the album because it didn’t fit thematically. Bruce personally demonstrated the song to artist Greg Kihn in October 1978, who soon after recorded a cover (released in April 1979). A live version was used for Tracks, which may indicate Bruce wasn't satisfied with the available studio versions. The officially released V2 appears to have a modern vocal take which supports that position.

GIVE THE GIRL A KISS 3:47 TRACKS

Note: Recorded at The Record Plant on October 11, 1977. The November 10 recording date in the Tracks liner notes appears to be an error - there was no session on that day. Premiered live on March 19, 1999 in Asbury Park at a public rehearsal show before the start of the Reunion Tour.

ICEMAN - V1a 3:20 DDO / DO-1 / LES / AM
ICEMAN - V1b 3:15 TRACKS

Note: also known as "the New Ballad", recorded at The Record Plant on October 27, 1977, and soon forgotten in the mass of songs created during the Darkness sessions. In a 1998 interview, Bruce recalled, "it was just something that I didn’t get at the time that I did it.” The second line of Iceman "I wanna go out tonight, I wanna find out what I got" was transplanted to verse 2 of "Badlands". V1b is almost identical to V1a, with the exception of a famous drop-out at 0:56, studio noises and the count-in, which are cleaned up for the official 1998 release on Tracks.

BRING ON THE NIGHT - V1 2:29 ATEOD / UP / MT1 / LM-12
BRING ON THE NIGHT - V2 3:15 LM-9 / MT2
BRING ON THE NIGHT - V3 4:10 LM-9
BRING ON THE NIGHT - V4 0:31 LM-9
BRING ON THE NIGHT - V5 1:20 LM-9
BRING ON THE NIGHT - V6 1:54 LM-11
BRING ON THE NIGHT - V7 2:35 TRACKS

Note: V1 recorded at Atlantic Studios June 1977 in the Darkness sessions, obviously just composed, with title and music sounding good. Bruce put it aside, then resumed work on lyrics after the tour concluded in early 1979. V2-V5 were all band rehearsals at "Telegraph Hill Studios", the barn on his property in Holmdel, NJ, that had been equipped for basic audio recording, though "studio" in this case was only a figurative term. V6 was recorded on May 14, 1979 at Telegraph Hill Studios with the E Street Band. V7 was recorded with a full set of lyrics at The Power Station on June 13, 1979, and though it was included on a very early track listing for The River 1979 album, when it failed to make the cut, it was eventually included in the 1998 Tracks compilation.

SO YOUNG AND IN LOVE 3:47 TRACKS / BTRCS
A LOVE SO FINE 3:47 BIS / WAR / ET / BWNH / BTRS / BTRCS / ETRJ

Note: Much confusion surrounds the exact recording date of this song. The Tracks notes claim that it was recorded 1/6/74 (January 6, 1974) - this is clearly incorrect, since Bruce was on the road, embarking on a three-night stand at Joe's Place that day. The Record Plant is listed as the recording venue, but this is also impossible, because Engineer Louis Lahav left the country at the end of February 1975, before Record Plant sessions began. Much more likely is Louis wrote the date in his native European format, therefore the recording date was June 1, 1974. That week, Springsteen was at 914 Sound Studios, working on "Born To Run". Other reports say "So Young And In Love" was recorded in late May 1974, which does not conflict with early June. By September 1974, Bruce had tinkered with the lyrics, reinventing the song as "A Love So Fine". A version was recorded at 914 Sound Studios on October 16, 1974. It is unclear if the long-circulating backing track found on War And Roses and Born In The Studio emanates from this October 16 session or whether it's from the 1975 sessions at The Record Plant, but 1974 seems most likely. Although it may have been played live sooner, the earliest circulating confirmed and recorded performance of "A Love So Fine" is from September 22, 1974. This particular version is especially interesting since the chorus is sung "A Night Like This", however by the time the next gig came around at Avery Fisher Hall on October 4 the chorus had changed to the familiar "A Love So Fine". Going by a newspaper review, it's likely that the "A Love So Fine / A Night Like This" hybrid was also performed at The Main Point on September 19. Bruce then performed the song live (as "A Love So Fine") on a semi-regular basis through August 1975, after which it was dropped from the set. It was reborn on the Lawsuit Tour as "Action In the Streets"; in interviews Springsteen has related this song to the Darkness sessions, which may be true, because he started playing it again in February 1977, under it's new name and arrangement. When the Darkness tour began, the second set was opened every night by "Paradise By The C", it's next incarnation. This song bears no relationship to The Chiffons early '60s hit except the use of a common title.

HEARTS OF STONE - V1 5:22 DDO / DO-2 / LES / AM
HEARTS OF STONE - V2 4:29 TRACKS

Note: The Sony logs don't show the Hearts Of Stone story, which began before the Darkness sessions, as evidenced by a May 1977 list of "New Songs" that included "15. For Hearts Of Stone", in-between "I Wanna Be With You" and "Franky". Unlike most of the songs in the list, no evidence exists of a recording session until October 14, when a demo was cut for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, and along with another of "Talk To Me", handed to Steve Van Zandt on a cassette tape tape. Steve was producing the Jukes' third album, and the two songs were Bruce's contributions to the effort.

The demo is the only surviving recording of Hearts of Stone from 1977, despite at least six months since conception, and evidence in the words and music of October 14 that "Hearts of Stone" was quite a ways along in development. Everybody knew what notes to play, and Bruce didn't have to "muff" any lyrics, because they were mostly completed. The band recorded this take live in the studio, with the sax of Clarence Clemmons the only horn present. In 1998, Bruce had the Tracks Horns (Cruz-Manion-Pender-Rosenberg-Spengler) record the sections he overdubbed to the 1977 track in V2. V1 is the Oct 1977 outtake. Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes used the E Street Band base recording for the title track of their 1978 album, adding Southside's vocal and the Miami Horns to create one of their best known tracks.

DON'T LOOK BACK - V1 3:18 LM-2 / UP
DON'T LOOK BACK - V2 2:26 DO-3 / DDO / UP / DDOC / AM
DON'T LOOK BACK - V3 3:02 DO-3 / UP / AM
DON'T LOOK BACK - V4A 3:00 ODM / HOD / DDO / DDOC
DON'T LOOK BACK - V4B 3:02 PROMISE: VAULT / AM / DLB
DON'T LOOK BACK - V4C 2:56 TRACKS

Note: "Don't Look Back" was composed early in 1977, during the time Bruce was barred from the recording studio, so he practiced it live 12 times, from March 10, 1977 at Toldeo, Ohio, to the end of the Lawsuit Tour on March 25. The lyrics varied widely, and an excellent analysis can be found at springsteenlyrics.com. The case was settled, and the E Street Band entered Atlantic Studios, New York, on June 1, 1977. That night they recorded at least ten songs; “Rendezvous,” “Because the Night,” “I Wanna Be With You” and according to critic and author Dave Marsh, "the screaming rocker, Don't Look Back". Thom Panunzio, assistant engineer, said the session was recorded and transferred to a cassette they called “the Star Wars demo tape”. “That was an album, in my opinion, that was great from beginning to end,” Panunzio said. In a 2002 interview with Mark Binelli of Rolling Stone, Springsteen said, "We had great arrangements…the band sounded really good. We recorded about ten or twelve songs in one night, and I realized they weren’t any good. It was terribly disappointing…they were centerless, they were coreless, so I went back to the drawing board…"
Sony logs show takes were recorded on June 1, 6-8, 17 and 24, 1977. It is thought V1 and V2, which are instrumental backing tracks, were recorded on June 6-8, while V3 may be the "screaming rocker" from June 1; all were definitely recorded during June 1977. V4 was recorded at Atlantic Studios on July 2, 1977, and mixed (with possible overdubs) on February 28 and March 2, 1978 at the Record Plant. V4a is a widely bootlegged version with a prominent defect in the second verse, v4b sounds like the same take, complete with Springsteen's count-in, and v4c is the officially released version with the count-in removed. Don't Look Back was on the June 1977 "Ruffs", the October 1977 "Badlands", and the January 16 album sequences, and pressed onto an eleven-track acetate on April 12, 1978, but removed at the last-minute to ensure the album was not too long; another story says it was replaced by "Darkness on the Edge of Town".

RESTLESS NIGHTS - V1 2:37 LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V2 3:41 LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V3 1:36 LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V4 4:07 LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V5 3:37 LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V6 4:32 LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V7 4:29 LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V8 5:41 LM-13
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V9 2:13 LM-13
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V10 3:30 LM-13
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V11 3:45 LM-13
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V12 4:17 LM-13
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V13 3:47 LM-13
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V14a 3:52 DROC1 / RN / ATMF
RESTLESS NIGHTS - V14b 3:41 TRACKS / RIVER:OUTTAKES

Note: V1 thru V7 are rehearsal workouts at Telegraph Hill on January 10, 1980, and V8 thru V13 are from the following evening, January 11. V14 was recorded at The Power Station on January 14, 1980, and mixed down on April 12 and May 2, mainly to reduce the track length. Included on an April 1980 shortlist for the double-album, but was beaten out by "Ramrod" and "I'm A Rocker."

A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND (PITTSBURGH) - V1 3:40 private
A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND (PITTSBURGH) - V2 3:12 TRACKS

Note: V1 is a Colts Neck band rehearsal from April 1982. Very similar to the final take, slightly slower with some lyrical variation. V2 recorded at The Power Station on May 5-6, 1982.

ROULETTE - V1 1:30 LM-4 / ATMF / PYP / MT2
ROULETTE - V2 2:26 DROC1 / RRR / RO
ROULETTE - V3 3:39 LM-4 / LMEC1 / PYP
ROULETTE - V4a 3:34 ATMF / DROC2 / SMM / BTR
ROULETTE - V4b 3:29 DBTR
ROULETTE - V4c 3:46 DROC1 / RO / ATMF
ROULETTE - V4d 3:44 RO
ROULETTE - V4e 3:44 RO
ROULETTE - V4f 3:45 RN
ROULETTE - V4g 3:47 TRACKS / RIVER: OUTTAKES / 1988 b-side / BACK

Note: V1 Fascinating work-in-progress acoustic take probably recorded just a day or so after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident of March 28, 1979. By April 3 the song would be completed and recorded at The Power Station, showing just how fast Springsteen could transition a song from demo to finished article. The final vocal believed to be completed and dubbed at The Power Station on April 11-12, 1980. V2 is an incomplete take with double-tracked lead vocals and a slower tempo. The lyrics show some variations to later versions. The take was probably aborted since the recording fades out during the guitar solo. V3 and V4 are two different recordings, both recorded on April 3. This was the first song completed at the River sessions and one of Bruce and the band's greatest studio achievements, conceived, written and completed in only a matter of days. V3 vocal is not finished. V4 contains some interesting alternate words and many consider it to be even more powerful than the stunning officially available version; circulating in 8 different mix variations, and several other mixes with imperceptible differences also exist in private collections. The Tracks mix features more snare drum but less guitar than the mix found on the 1988 b-side to "One Step Up". Bruce states in his autobiography that "Roulette" was recorded shortly after the MUSE benefits of September 21 and 23, 1979, but all evidence, including previous statements, indicate he is mistaken, and the April 3 date is correct.

DOLLHOUSE - V1 2:20 LMEC1
DOLLHOUSE - V2 0:55 LMEC1
DOLLHOUSE - V3 3:29 TRACKS / RIVER:OUTTAKES

Note: aka "Living In A Dollhouse", recorded at The Power Station on August 20 and 21, 1979.

WHERE THE BANDS ARE - V1a 3:37 DROC1 / DBTR / SYMKB / SYMKW
WHERE THE BANDS ARE - V1b 3:42 TRACKS / RIVER:OUTTAKES

Note: Two slightly different mixes. Recorded at The Power Station Studios on October 9, 1979.

LOOSE ENDS - V1 take 1 4:21 DROC1 / DBTR / RRR
LOOSE ENDS - V2a take 2 4:11 DROC1 / ATMF / PYP / TTTBJ / RIVER: SINGLE / LEK
LOOSE ENDS - V2b 4:00 TRACKS
LOOSE ENDS - V2c 3:45 SMM

Note: Recorded at The Power Station on July 18, 1979. V1 is the first take, described as "mix #1, original vocal and original sax" by the engineer, with full count in. This is a rougher vocal with some slight differences in the phrasing and very minor changes to the lyrics. This take has no overdubs, such as the double-track vocals found in V2, and 6 "Looooose Ends" refrains, double the amount on V2. There are three different mixes of V2, all are the same basic recording. V2a is take 2, found the on The Ties That Bind bootlegs and The River: Single Album, the latter which omits the countin, and typos "Loose End". There are only 3 "Loooose Ends", but the guitars do the fourth, and there is an instrumental fade. The guitars are higher in Bob Clearmountain's 1979 (V2a) mix in comparison to the 1980 mix found on Tracks v2b,which is more keyboard focused. It also has 5 "Loooose Ends", and drum rolls after 3,4 and 5. v2c is only 3:45, starts out just like v2a, but features an awesome tape dropout right after Clarence's solo, after which a tambourine comes in just after the recovery. Lyrics from "Loose Ends" can also be found in "Little White Lies", and "Baby I'm So Cold", an outtake from Born In The USA.

LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD - V1 3:52 LM-12
LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD - V2 4:26 LM-12
LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD - V3 4:16 LM-12
LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD - V4 4:14 TRACKS / RIVER:OUTTAKES

Note: V1 thru V3 are rehearsal workouts at Telegraph Hill on November 15, 1979. V4 recorded at The Power Station on December 7, 1979. Aspects of this song would later appear in Nebraska's "Open All Night" and "State Trooper".

WAGES OF SIN - V1 2:00 LM-10
WAGES OF SIN - V2 0:20 LM-10
WAGES OF SIN - V3 3:05 LM-10
WAGES OF SIN - V4 2:20 LM-10
WAGES OF SIN - V5 5:10 LM-10
WAGES OF SIN - V6 4:49 TRACKS

Note: V1-V5 an interesting group of takes recorded January-April 1982. V5 is most like the final version on Tracks. Recorded at Springsteen's home in Colts Neck, NJ from mid-September 1981 thru May 1982. V6 recorded at The Power Station on May 10, 1982. Premiered live May 8, 2013 in Turku, Finland.

TAKE 'EM AS THEY COME - V1 5:32 LM-9
TAKE 'EM AS THEY COME - V2 1:50 LM-9
TAKE 'EM AS THEY COME - V3 0:54 LM-9
TAKE 'EM AS THEY COME - V4a 4:25 DROC2 / ATMF
TAKE 'EM AS THEY COME - V4b 4:24 DDITV
TAKE 'EM AS THEY COME - V5 4:25 TRACKS / RIVER:OUTTAKES

Note: V1 appears to be primarily harmonies with bluffed lyrics. V2 includes some clearer lyrics, although it's obvious the song is in the very early stages of development. Two different recordings, although they're similarly arranged. V2 has some alternate lyrics in the last two verses. Backing track appears to have been recorded December 5, 1979 and Springsteen's vocal recorded at The Power Station on April 10, 1980.

TO BE TRUE - V1a 3:29 DBTR
TO BE TRUE - V1b 3:43 LM-6 / PYP
BE TRUE - V1c 3:56 DROC1
BE TRUE - V1d - take 28 4:06 DROC1 / RRR
BE TRUE - V1e 4:01 DROC1
BE TRUE - V1f - take 2 3:55 TTTBJ / RIVER: SINGLE / ATMF / LES / LEK
BE TRUE - V1g 3:46 1981 b-side / TRP / BACK
BE TRUE - V1h 3:37 TRACKS

Note: Evolved from "Mary Lou" and "Little White Lies". The only takes for this track all occurred on July 18, 1979 at The Power Station, and a mixing or overdub session took place on April 22, 1980. V1a runs fast and minimal vocal effects. V1b double tracked vocal second verse, bridge, break, no sax except tail, V1c same as 1b, piano mixed up, longer V1d longest take, single track vocal bridge break, V1e Double tracked vocals, background Vocals And Different Sax Solo), V1f take Ties That Bind and River Single Album versioin, included on an April 1980 shortlist for the double-album. V1g 1981 b-side/ A-side was FADE AWAY. V1h is Tracks version.

RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWN - V1a 2:47 DROC1 / RRR / RN / ATMF
RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWN - V1b 2:48 private cdr
RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWN - V2 2:54 LM-5
RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWN - V3 2:43 TRACKS / RIVER:OUTTAKES

Note: V3 recorded July 16, 1979. V1 and V2 also recorded around this time. Similarly arranged versions, with some slight lyric differences between each. Another session at The Power Station on April 10, 1980. Likely a mixing or overdub session. Selected for (and later removed from) August 1979 and April 1980 album sequences. Differences between V1a and V1b are imperceptible, aside from a slight change to the count-in.

I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V1 3:04 DDO / DO-1 / AM / UP / LES / GT
I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V2 3:12 uncirculated
I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V3 3:12 uncirculated
I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V4 3:12 LM-6 / ATMF
I WANNA BE WITH YOU - V5 3:15 TRACKS / RIVER:OUTTAKES

Note: Recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 1, 1977. Both V2 on July 1 (also at Atlantic), and V3 on September 12 are recorded at The Record Plant. This is complete but clearly not a final take. V4 and V5 are from the Power Station, recorded May 31, June 21 and September 24, 1979. The May 31 take was used for Tracks.

MARY LOU - V1 0:42 LM-8
MARY LOU - V2 1:18 LM-8
MARY LOU - V3 2:13 LM-8
MARY LOU - V4 2:45 LM-8
MARY LOU - V5 2:00 LM-11
MARY LOU - V6 0:34 LM-11
MARY LOU - V7 2:13 LM-11
MARY LOU - V8 3:14 LM-11 / DBTR
MARY LOU - V9 3:13 LM-11
MARY LOU - V10 3:10 LM-11
MARY LOU - V11 3:04 LM-4
MARY LOU - V12a 4:15 DROC2
MARY LOU - V12b 3:13 DBTR
MARY LOU - V12c 3:18 DROC1 / ATMF
MARY LOU - V12d 3:21 TRACKS / RIVER:OUTTAKES

Note: Didn't make the cut for the double River album, but played important role in development, and eventually made two official compilation collections. V1-V4 are rehearsal takes, recorded in early 1979 at Telegraph Hill, working on music and lyrics. V5 thru V10 are full band rehearsal takes recorded at "Telegraph Hill Studios" on May 14, 1979. V11 is another Telegraph Hill rehearsal, probably from May 16, 1979. Heads up, the September 16, 1979 date in the Lost Masters IV liner notes is incorrect. Work resumed at The Power Station for three days starting with May 30, 1979, resulting in the final take, V12, which circulates in four slight mix variations. Studio logs show additional takes or mixing on July 13, 1979. On the last day logged for Mary Lou, June 1, 1979, "Little White Lies" was cut using the lyrics of "Mary Lou", which was only a temporary "loan", released on June 13 when a new take was recorded with mostly it's own lyrics. However, on July 18, Springsteen cut "Be True", again using Mary Lou's lyrics, this time permanently.
"Mary Lou" lyrics provided by springsteenlyrics.com.

STOLEN CAR - V1 4:32 LM-6 / ATMF
STOLEN CAR - V2 4:10 LM-6
STOLEN CAR - V3a 4:18 DBTR / SYMKB / SYMKW
STOLEN CAR - V3b 4:13 DBTR
STOLEN CAR (Vs.1) - V4a take 3 4:28 TTTBR / TTTBJ / DROC2 / RIVER: SINGLE
STOLEN CAR - V4b 4:24 TRACKS
STOLEN CAR - V5 1:00 LM-7
STOLEN CAR - V6 3:21 LMEC2
STOLEN CAR - V7 2:10 LM-13
STOLEN CAR - V8 3:39 LM-13
STOLEN CAR - V9 2:40 LM-13
STOLEN CAR - V10 2:55 LM-13
STOLEN CAR - V11 7:42 LM-15
STOLEN CAR - V12 6:14 LM-15
STOLEN CAR - V13 7:31 LM-15
STOLEN CAR - V14 7:58 LM-15
STOLEN CAR - V15 3:50 RIVER

Note: V1 recorded on June 21, 1979 is longer, containing three additional verses and is the most interesting of all these. All recorded during June 1979. V2 is the Stanton Lake version; V4 recorded on June 20 and 21, 1979 according to the studio logs, in contrast with July 26 quoted in the Tracks liner notes. Despite the song being completed at this point Bruce, seemingly unsatisfied, decided months later to radically alter the musical arrangement. The release of The River: Single Album was the first time the two arrangements were differentiated, with the original arrangement given the title "Stolen Car (Vs.1)". V4a and V4b have slightly different mixes. V5 Springsteen sings over a tape of a band rehearsal recorded in January 1980, and V6 recorded around same time. V7 thru V14 were recorded on January 16, 1980 at Telegraph Hill, and feature revised arrangements from that of the version recorded and completed six months earlier. V6 is an oddity - it features Bruce experimenting and singing the song over a pre-recorded tape of the band's January 10 Telegraph Hill rehearsal of "Restless Nights". The end result of all this was V15, which was recorded at The Power Station on January 21 and February 20, with further mixing or overdubs undertaken on April 1 and 9, plus May 9, 1980.

BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V1 2:22 FFOD / HNWB / MT2
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V2 0:30 FFOD / HNWB
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V3 4:45 FFOD / HNWB
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V4 3:10 FFOD / HNWB
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V5 2:55 FFOD / HNWB
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V6 4:00 FFOD / HNWB
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V7a 3:06 LM-1 / HNWB
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V7b 3:06 TRACKS
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V8a 8:09 THLBB / UH / GS / BUERM / MI
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V8b 5:00 LM-19 / THLBP
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V8c - take 9 4:36 BITUSA
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V8d - freedom mix 7:20 1984 EP
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V8e - radio mix 6:10 1984 EP
BORN IN THE U.S.A. - V8f - dub mix 7:36 1984 EP

flickr:48561776307
Track-sheet from a recording of 'Born In The U.S.A.', dated May 3, 1982.

Note: V1 is wildly different from subsequent takes. V2 is when things start to get familiar, featuring the lyrics "Born baby in the USA, I believe in the American way". A fascinating glimpse at the development of a classic. Recorded at Springsteen’s home in Colts Neck, NJ from mid-September to December 1981. V3 Only one recording was made - the two variants above are merely alternate mixes. Written after Jon Landau sent Springsteen a Paul Schrader script with the same title in 1981, evolving from an earlier song called "Vietnam". In his notes to Landau, Bruce describes the song as "[a] little ditty.[that] should be done very hard rockin'." V8 recorded in just four takes (two complete) at The Power Station on April 27-28 and May 3, 1982, with the E Street Band during the "Electric Nebraska Session". V8a contains a different Springsteen vocal overdub and a very long, extended jam ending, and V8b leaked out of the sessions, and was released unofficially on one of the permutations of the bootleg, "This Hard Land". V8c (take 9) was completed on May 3, and became the first song on side one of the album, "Born In the USA". V8d thru V8f were dance remixes of V8c, undertaken by Producer/Mixer Arthur Baker, and recorded at Shakedown Studio in New York City around September 1984. The recording engineer for the remixes was Toby Scott; the remixes (which include additional vocals by The Latin Rascals) were first released in December 1984.

COME ON (LET'S GO TONIGHT) - V1 2:32 FFOD / HNWB
BYE BYE JOHNNY - V2 uncirculating
BYE BYE JOHNNY - V3a 1:42 LM-16 trk 10 / UH / GS
BYE BYE JOHNNY - V3b 1:48 LM-18 trk 13
BYE BYE JOHNNY - V3c 1:44 LM-18 trk 10
JOHNNY BYE-BYE - V3d 1:54 1985 b-side / BACK
JOHNNY BYE-BYE - V3e 1:53 TRACKS
BYE BYE JOHNNY - V4 - with the Crickets 2:49 LM-16 trk 11 / MT2 / ESRR
BYE BYE JOHNNY - V5 2:47 LM-17 trk 12 / GS
BYE BYE JOHNNY - V6 3:31 LM-17 trk 13 / GS

Note: While he was resting between legs of the River Tour in March 1981, Bruce glanced at his to-do list, which said "recycle orphaned lyrics from "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)" (lost it's backing track to "Factory" in 1977). So he whipped together a demo V1, with new music that he recorded at home in April 1981, recycling the title, too. The new "Come On" was on the dark and dismal side, but Elvis still died, and he wants his girl to dress up and go to a party to dance away their sadness.

Just before he was sentenced to three years for being the real-life inspiration for "Child Bride" in 1962, Chuck Berry wrote "Bye Bye Johnny", a sequel to "Johnny B. Goode", where a mother sent her musician son off to Hollywood to be a star. "She drew out all her money from the Southern Trust, and put her little boy aboard the Greyhound Bus" wasn't a big hit for Chuck, but Bruce decided to use those lines in 1981, for a new song that used most of the lyrics from Come On Let's Go Tonight, calling it "Johnny Bye-Bye". He kept the lines about Elvis dying in 1977, added stuff about Memphis, and had a bouncy hillbilly blues thing going. On May 13, 1981, at Manchester, UK’s Apollo Theatre, Johnny Bye-Bye became the first song since 'The Ties That Bind' in 1978 to be played live before being recorded. Springsteen sang it thirty-two times on the River tour. He did not recorded it as part of the January 1982 Nebraska demos at Colt’s Neck; the legendary Nebraska version of 'Johnny Bye Bye' does not exist. The version on the tape he sent Landau was almost certainly a live July 1981 recording. When the Nebraska tape was backed up in June 1982 in its entirety, alternate takes and all, there was still no 'Johnny Bye Bye'. According to Sony logs, there was a take recorded on April 27, 1982, at the Power Station, New York, which would be during the Electric Nebraska Sessions. This audio does not circulate, but we'll call it V2. Official versions recorded January 4, 1983 at Thrill Hill West, Los Angeles, CA, and five different mixes circulate. V3d, released February 6, 1985, as the B-side to "I'm On Fire", features a different drum overdub to that found on Tracks V3e. V3b and V3c have slight but noticeable variations in their mixes. V4 and V5 were recorded on March 9, 1983 at Thrill Hill West, Los Angeles, CA, and are different takes of a slower acoustic arrangement with a gentle synthesizer backing, slight lyrical differences and overdubbed with chirping crickets at the start and end. By far the definitive performance is V6, from March 24, 1983 at Thrill Hill West, which includes a poignant extra verse at the end, that is not found on the other versions. Johnny Bye Bye was included on the July 1983 sequence for Born In The USA, but was later deleted. After the lawyers met, Bruce and Chuck became composing partners; registered as Springsteen-Berry. When Come On (Let's Go Tonight) V1 appeared on Nebraska bootlegs, it caused confusion, and was erroneously titled "Bye Bye Johnny", just like "Johnny Bye-Bye" was, more often than not.

SHUT OUT THE LIGHT - V1a 4:33 LM-16 / UH
SHUT OUT THE LIGHT - V1b 3:25 LM-18
SHUT OUT THE LIGHT - V1c 3:56 1984 b-side / BACK
SHUT OUT THE LIGHT - V1d 3:51 TRACKS
SHUT OUT THE LIGHT - V2 uncirculating

Note: Same core recording V1 from January 19, 1983 but four different mixes. V1a is considered by many to be the definitive version of the song – it contains two additional lyric verses that were cut from the three other mixes. V1c contains a violin part courtesy of Soozie Tyrell that she overdubbed, probably in May 1983 (her first session work for Bruce). V1d brings the violin more to the fore in the mix. Considered for the album before it was released in 1984 as the b-side to "Born In The USA". V2 Recorded May 23 and 25, 1983. Likely sessions to add Soozie Tyrell's violin to January's Thrill Hill West recording.

CYNTHIA - V1 3:24 LM-18 / GS
CYNTHIA - V2a 4:01 SO / MAT / UH
CYNTHIA - V2b 4:10 TRACKS

Note: V1 recorded April 20-21, 1983. Bruce re-recorded this with The E Street Band in June 1983 in a much more rocking arrangement. V2 Three takes (two complete) recorded on June 15, 1983, not April 20 as the Tracks notes claim. Bruce was recording at Thrill Hill West on that day. Two different mixes circulate.

CYNTHIA uncirculating

Note: Recorded May 23, 1995. Studio logs show a song of this title recorded the same day as "The Ghost Of Tom Joad". It's entirely possible this is the Born In The USA outtake, reborn acoustically.

MY LOVE WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN - V1a 3:12 private cdr
MY LOVE WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN - V1b 4:25 LM-19 / THLRR / UH / GS / THLBP
MY LOVE WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN - V1c 4:30 MI / UH / GS
MY LOVE WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN - V1d 4:22 TRACKS

Note: Same core recording but different mixes. Recorded at The Power Station on May 5-7, 1982. Studio venue listed in Tracks is incorrect. All the mixes are very similar but V1d has Springsteen adding a count-in, vocalisations over the first thirty seconds of the song and a double-tracked vocal to the choruses. V1a cuts early. V1d has slightly different vocals at the end of the song compared to V1a-c. Springsteen said in 2001 that "My Love Will Not Let You Down" should have been on Born In The USA.

THIS HARD LAND - V1 4.46 THLRR / TRACKS / UH / SQBI / MI / GS
THIS HARD LAND - V2 4.50 THLBP / THLBB / MAT / CAST
THIS HARD LAND - V3 4:43 VA
THIS HARD LAND - V4 uncirculating
THIS HARD LAND - V5 4:33 YBNT2 / BB
THIS HARD LAND - V6 4:40 DDITV
THIS HARD LAND - V7 4:48 GREATEST
THIS HARD LAND - V8 5:40 private

Note: V1-V3 recorded at The Power Station (not The Hit Factory, as the Tracks liner notes suggest) on May 11 and 13-14, 1982. Springsteen returned to it V4 with two demos recorded on January 3 and 15, 1983. Re-recorded in January 1995 at The Hit Factory, New York City, for the Greatest Hits sessions. Frank Pagano guests on percussion instruments. V5 is a brief snippet shown in the video. V6 and V7 are two different recordings, though very similar. Neither is as good as the original 1982 Born In The USA studio session version that is available on Tracks. V7 is take #3 with mandolin and accordion and an extended coda.

FRANKIE - V1 4:46 LM-3 / DDO / DO-2 / AM / UP / LES / GT / DDOC
FRANKIE - V2 5:46 DOT TAPE
FRANKIE - V3a - take 10 7:23 private cdr
FRANKIE - V3b 7:41 THLRR / MI / THLBP / UH
FRANKIE - V3c 7:39 LM-19
FRANKIE - V3d 7:22 TRACKS

Note: Frankie was composed by Bruce Springsteen in early 1976 just after the Born To Run tour. It was introduced live on April 4, 1976 st Michigan State University to overwhelming crowd response. Because of the Mike Appel lawsuit, Bruce was locked out of the recording studio for almost a year, but finally on June 3, 1977, V1 was recorded. V2 from just over a month later, July 12, 1977. Both recorded at Atlantic Studios. V3 was recorded at The Power Station on May 14, 1982. Four different mixes. V3a is take #10, and includes the saxophone overdub during the instrumental outro also found on the officially released V3d. This is absent on V3b and V3c.

TV MOVIE - V1 2:40 private
TV MOVIE - V2a 2:34 LM-19 / UH
TV MOVIE - V2b 2:39 TRACKS

Note: V1 is a band rehearsal from Colts Neck in April 1982. Very similar to the Tracks V2 from June 13, 1983. Same recording, different mixes. V2a has sax. V2b has the sax deleted.

STAND ON IT - V1a 3:03 TRACKS
STAND ON IT - V1b 2:30 1985 b-side / BACK

Note: Recorded on June 16, 1983. V1a is the superior version and contains an additional verse edited from the original b-side, which was released in May 1985 with "Glory Days".

LION'S DEN - V1 0:55 FFOD / HNWB
LION'S DEN - V2 2:18 TRACKS

Note: aka "Daniel In The Lion's Den". Just the chorus, repeated. Recorded at Springsteen's home in Colts Neck, NJ from late March to early April, 1981.
Recorded at The Hit Factory on January 25, 1982. Unused recording from the Gary U.S. Bonds sessions. This recording utilizes a horn section (Cruz-Manion-Pender-Rosenberg-Spengler) that was recorded in 1998 (not 1982) and added to the core recording for Tracks. The original 1982 element was not recorded by Toby Scott but rather by Neil Dorfsman, the engineer for the Bonds LP.

CAR WASH - V1 2:04 TRACKS
CAR WASH - V2 uncirculating

Note: V1 recorded on May 31, 1983 under the title "Small Town Girl". Six months after it was in the can, Springsteen returns for another go, V2 on November 30, 1983.

ROCKAWAY THE DAYS 4:40 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on January 12, 1984. Recording date (February 3) on Tracks could be a mixing date.

BROTHERS UNDER THE BRIDGES 5:02 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on September 14-16 and October 10, 1983. Date in Tracks (September 4) appears to be a mistake.

MAN AT THE TOP 3:19 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on January 12, 1984. Springsteen premiered the song live on July 12, 1984 on the Born In The U.S.A. Tour.

PINK CADILLAC - V1 uncirculating
PINK CADILLAC - V2 5:21 LM-1 / HNWB / MT2
PINK CADILLAC - V3a 3:45 BUERM / 1984AC
PINK CADILLAC - V3b 4:21 private cdr
PINK CADILLAC - V3c 3:33 1984 Japan b-side
PINK CADILLAC - V3d 3:33 1984 b-side / TRACKS / CAST

Note: V1-V2 Two takes were recorded. V3 recorded on May 31, 1983. Officially released in May 1984 as the b-side to "Dancing In The Dark". V1a has the complete ending, V1b is a mono mix that for some reason was only issued on the Japanese single. Included on a 1984 Born In The USA artwork prototype, in place of both "No Surrender" and "I'm Goin' Down".

TWO FOR THE ROAD 1:57 TRACKS / 1987 b-side / BACK

Note: Recorded during February 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Bruce alone, on all instruments.

EVERYDAY AND EVERY NIGHT - V1 4:05 LM-8
JANEY, DON'T YOU LOSE HEART - V2 4:31 UH / GS / MI / 1984AC
JANEY, DON'T YOU LOSE HEART - V3 3:24 1985 b-side / TRACKS / BACK

Note: V1 is Bruce composing new song in early 1979 at Telegraph Hill; this is the first known recording of "Janey, Don't You Lose Heart". V2 recorded on June 16, 1983 and V3 released in August 1985 on the B-side of "I'm Goin' Down". V2 has a much longer fade out and features Steve Van Zandt on background vocals and guitar. V3 is the same recording but features a summer 1985 Nils Lofgren vocal overdub replacing Van Zandt’s.

WHEN YOU NEED ME 2:53 TRACKS

Note: Originally titled "If You Need Me". Recorded on January 20, 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Bruce on all instruments. The drums (Gary Mallaber) and violin (Soozie Tyrell) were added to the core recording in 1998 for Tracks.

THE WISH 5:09 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on February 22, 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Bruce on all instruments. The drums (Gary Mallaber) were added to the core recording in 1998 for Tracks.

THE HONEYMOONERS 2:08 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on February 22, 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Bruce alone, on all instruments.

LUCKY MAN 3:24 TRACKS / 1987 b-side / BACK

Note: Recorded April 4, 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Bruce alone, on all instruments. Included on early album track listings, replacing "Tunnel Of Love".

LEAVIN' TRAIN 4:05 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on February 27, 1990 at Oceanway Studios, Los Angeles. Springsteen handles guitar and vocals and his three-man backing band on this recording is the same as on "Viva Las Vegas" - Bob Glaub (bass), Ian McLagan (keyboards) and Jeff Porcaro (drums).

SEVEN ANGELS 3:28 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on June 29, 1990 at Oceanway Studios, Los Angeles. Springsteen handles guitar, bass and vocals and his two-man backing band on this recording is Roy Bittan (keyboards) and Shawn Pelton (drums).

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".

SAD EYES 3:47 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on January 25, 1990 at Soundworks West, Los Angeles. Springsteen handles guitar and vocals and his four-man backing band on this recording is Randy Jackson (bass), David Sancious (keyboards), Michael Fisher (percussion) and Jeff Porcaro (drums).

MY LOVER MAN 3:56 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on December 4, 1990 at Soundworks West, Los Angeles. Springsteen handles guitar, bass, keyboards and vocals and his one-man backing band on this recording is Jeff Porcaro (drums).

OVER THE RISE 2:38 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on December 7, 1990 at Soundworks West, Los Angeles. Springsteen handles vocals and all instruments except for Roy Bittan (keyboards).

WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT 3:05 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on December 6, 1990 at The Record Plant, Los Angeles. Springsteen handles guitar, bass and vocals and his 2-man backing band on this recording is Roy Bittan (keyboards) and Jeff Porcaro (drums).

LOOSE CHANGE 4:19 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on January 31, 1991 at The Record Plant, Los Angeles. Springsteen handles vocals and all instruments except for Roy Bittan (keyboards).

TROUBLE IN PARADISE 5:22 TRACKS

Note: Co-written by Springsteen (lyrics) and Roy Bittan (music). Recorded December 1, 1989 at Soundworks West, Los Angeles. Springsteen handles guitar and vocals and his three-man backing band on this recording is Randy Jackson (bass), Roy Bittan (keyboards) and Jeff Porcaro (drums).

HAPPY 4:51 TRACKS

Note: The final song completed as part of the Lucky Town sessions. Recorded January 18, 1992 at A&M Studios, Los Angeles. Springsteen handles all guitars and lead vocals and his 2-man backing band is Roy Bittan (keyboards) and Shawn Pelton (drums). Bittan is credit as a co-producer of this recording. Apparently Bruce wrote this following the December 30, 1991 birth of his daughter in Los Angeles.

PART MAN, PART MONKEY – V1 uncirculating
PART MAN, PART MONKEY – V2a 4:26 HD
PART MAN, PART MONKEY – V2b 4:31 TRACKS / 18TRACKS / 1992 b-side / BACK

Note: Written in 1986 and first recorded during the 1987 Tunnel Of Love sessions and then performed live regularly during the 1988 Tunnel Of Love tour. Bruce re-recorded the song during the Human Touch sessions and that version was released as a 1992 b-side and then later on Tracks. This studio version dates from January 1990 at Soundworks West, Los Angeles. Springsteen handles guitar, bass and vocals and his two-man backing band on this recording is David Sancious (keyboards) and Omar Hakim (drums). V2a and V2b are extremely similar and may in fact be identical mixes.

GOIN' CALI 2:59 TRACKS

Note: Recorded on January 29, 1991 at A&M Studios, Los Angeles. Springsteen handles vocals and all instruments.

BACK IN YOUR ARMS - V1 0:34 YBNT2
BACK IN YOUR ARMS - V2 3:16 YBNT2
BACK IN YOUR ARMS - V3a 4:38 DDITV
BACK IN YOUR ARMS - V3b 4:33 TRACKS
BACK IN YOUR ARMS - V4 4:57 private
BACK IN YOUR ARMS - V5 4:47 private

Note: Recorded in January 1995 at The Hit Factory, New York City. V1 is a brief snippet shown in the video. V2 is an incomplete alternate take. V3b (recorded on January 12) is the officially issued recording. V3a is the same basic recording as V3b but with the keyboard deleted and a different, more passionate vocal by Springsteen. Many consider V3a to be the superior version. V4 is an early take (#1) with some bluffed lyrics and an overdubbed introduction with some nice organ work. V5 is take #6.

BROTHERS UNDER THE BRIDGE 4:51 TRACKS

Note: No direct relation to the 1983 Springsteen song also found on Tracks, except for the similar title. Recorded on May 22, 1995 at Thrill Hill West (Bruce's Los Angeles home studio). Springsteen handles guitar and vocals and his 5-man backing band on this recording is Danny Federici (keyboards), Garry Tallent (bass), Marty Rifkin (pedal steel, dobro), Gary Mallaber (drums) and Soozie Tyrell (violin).

THE FEVER 7:41 18TRACKS / SA914 / FS

Note: Allegedly written in late 1971. The earliest known live performance was during the March 1973 residency at Oliver’s in Boston. It was then played live several more times into May. The studio version was recorded (in one take) on May 16, 1973 at 914 Sound Studios during phase one of the sessions. The recording features the Springsteen-Federici-Tallent-Clemons-Lopez lineup (pre-Sancious) and doesn’t include any overdubs. Mike Appel requested the studio take for publishing purposes. It does not appear that Springsteen had the song seriously in mind for his next album. In late 1973 Mike Appel sent the demo to UK Publisher Intersong Music and in early 1974 to several USA radio stations - the song gradually became an underground hit in places like Houston, Phoenix and Boston. Springsteen’s original completed lyric sheet titles the song "(I Got The) Fever For The Girl". Originally published by Laurel Canyon under the title "Fever For The Girl" and first released under that title by singer Alan Rich in 1975. The song was recorded and released by Southside Johnny (several months after Alan Rich) under the amended title “The Fever”.

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. The Promise soon became the highlight of each show, and the major subject of discussion among Bruce's tight cult following, which would make up most of the modest crowd in those days. It would always be one of the last songs played for the night, the lights would go down, and one spotlight would be on Bruce playing piano, which he never did otherwise. Later, Roy or Danny would accompany him on glock. It was played live 22 times during the Lawsuit tour, 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 is on the Thrill-Hill Blu-Ray/DVD, and was shot live in-the-studio by Barry Rebo on January 12, 1978, 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”. Regardless of what is said, Bruce was very upset and feeling betrayed by his first manager, Mike Appel, when he wrote the Promise. He blamed the lawsuit on himself, and wrote about a lonely, loveless, loser whose spirit had finally been broken. Many of us have had moments like this in our lives, but we are incapable of expressing them with clarity and honesty in a song, and though Bruce was just having a bad day or month, his words really hit home for some. You have to at least admire his bravery, to sing his innermost feelings in front of friends and 15,000 strangers. He re-wrote the lyrics extensively after that August 3, 1976 night, and played the new version on September 29, 1976, not calling himself a loser again until 1982, when wrote about Frank Davis in the "Losin' Kind."

There are many, including that core of fans who had him to themselves back in 1976-78, that believe "The Promise" is Bruce's greatest song. Perhaps a record was never meant to hold it.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License