Tracks Archival Release - Details



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".


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' - V1 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. This recording is a hybrid of two sessions quite some years apart. The basic track (Bruce, Danny Federici, Marty Rifkin, Soozie Tyrell and Patti Scialfa) emanates from 1997 or 1998, Thrill Hill West, Beverly Hills. CA. Recorded by Toby Scott and produced by Springsteen and Chuck Plotkin. The drums (Steve Jordan) and bass guitar (Brendan O’Brien)were added to the mix in 2004, at Masterphonics, Nashville, Tennessee, and Southern Tracks Recording, Atlanta, Georgia, which is the likely reason why this released version is credited as a “Springsteen-Plotkin-O’Brien” production.

THE HITTER - V1 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. The core recording (which may date from 1997-98) is Springsteen solo, on all instruments (vocals, guitar, keyboards and percussion). The strings (Nashville String Machine) and horns (Brice Andrus, Donald Strand, Susan Welty and Thomas Witte) were recorded and added in 2004.


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.


Note: Performed during a soundcheck at The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA, on September 17, 1984, during the Born In The USA Tour. It was later recorded at several solo sessions, between November 1997 and January 1998, before the E Street Band were reconstructed, and it was quietly sidelined, along with the album he was then working on. Possibly composed after the Born In The USA studio sessions ended, it is also missing from Tunnel Of Love sessions, according to a search of Sony logs.

UNDER A BIG SKY uncirculating

Note: "Under A Big Sky" was recorded in April 1998.

GAVE IT A NAME - V1 uncirculating

Note: V1 was 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 V2 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".

THE PROMISE - V2 5:27 LM-2 / DDO / DO-3 / AM / UP / SC / O711S
THE PROMISE (strings-full harmony) - V5 private
THE PROMISE (solo) - V6 uncirculating
THE PROMISE - V7 uncirculating
THE PROMISE - V8 uncirculating

Note: First debuted live on August 3, 1976 at the Monmouth Performing Arts Center in Red Bank, New Jersey, featuring Bruce solo on the piano, and deeply personal lyrics. Later live versions would continue to feature Bruce on piano, with Roy or Danny accompanying him on glockenspiel. The song was played live during the 1976-1977 Lawsuit Tour, and the first studio demo was recorded at Atlantic Studios on June 1, 1977. V1 was one of the takes recorded during the sessions 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 to the studio with slightly revised lyrics, and recorded V2 on August 24, and then added dubs and mixing on August 30, 1977, which was the last day of operations at Atlantic Studios. V3 was recorded on September 28, 1977 at the Record Plant, and is considered the definitive version by collectors and long-time fans. It's done with the full E Street Band, and was first released unofficially on 'Deep Down In the Vaults'. However, Bruce found it lacking, and in late September-early October, after a Rolling Stone reporter suggested the song was actually about the lawsuit with Mike Appel, Springsteen re-wrote the first two lines of verse 3, with "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" replacing "I won big once and I hit the coast, oh but somehow I paid the big cost". Landau agreed solidifying the narrative, and that "The Promise" deserved to be on the January 16 sequence for the then-untitled Album #4 ("Badlands" or "American Madness" were the two front-runners). The new sequence had "Badlands" as the opener, and "The Promise" as the album closer. According to Clinton Heylin, at no point did it seem that Springsteen ever considered calling the album The Promise.

On January 12, 1978, V4 was shot live in-the-studio by Barry Rebo, and one of the takes was released on the Thrill-Hill Blu-Ray/DVD2 in the 2010 box set, The Promise:The Darkness On the Edge Of Town Story. Springsteen worked on mixing and dubbing after this, and added strings (according to Landau, a 'string' version was cut as V5). Finally, on January 24, 1978, without the E Street Band, Springsteen sat down at the piano and recorded V6 by himself, just as he did when locked out of the recording studio when the song was first played live. A Ruffs tape (see image above) provided to Springsteen by his engineer, Jimmy Iovine and mixed on February 17, included the September 28, 1977 recording featuring the "old verse" (V3), followed by the January 12 session with the "new verse" (V4) and the strings and "full harmony" version (V5) which was cut in mid-January. There is no doubt that Springsteen cared deeply about "The Promise", as a total of ten sessions were held from January 17 to March 7 (a seven week period). Saying he still "felt too close to it", at a certain point in March 1978, it was decided that a different song would be considered for its slot on Album #4 and "The Promise" was removed from the April track sequence for the album. In 2010, Springsteen noted that "It was a song about defeat, and it was self-referential, which made me uncomfortable. 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 helps it now."

During a Darkness Tour rehearsal in Asbury Park on May 19, 1978, a full band version (including the "Daddy taught me how to walk quiet" lyric) was rehearsed, and full band version was performed on the tour's opening night in Buffalo. The next night, Bruce reverted to the solo piano version, which was played at 22 of the first 33 shows on the tour, and dropped after the July 15, 1978 show in Houston, Texas. When Tracks was released in 1998, both "The Fever" and "The Promise" were absent from the 66-song tracklist. Both were later included on 18 Tracks, in part due to fan demand. Instead of releasing the existing V3 or V5 versions, Springsteen re-recorded "The Promise" from scratch (V9) on February 9 and 12, 1999 at Boxwood Studios, Rumson, New Jersey, in a solo piano version that many felt paled in comparison to the 1976-78 versions. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Springsteen stated, "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 people … 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."

V3 was used as the base track for V10, on The Promise outtake album in 2010, with overdubbed strings, guitars, glockenspiel, and double tracked vocals. Two lines of verse three were deleted ("I followed that dream through the southwestern tracks, the dead ends and the two-bit bars / When the promise was broken I was far away from home, sleeping in the backseat of a borrowed car"), reducing the total running time. A modern string arrangement by Ken Ascher was also added. The full-band version was performed by the E Street Band at a promotional video shoot in 2010, and again on April 1, 2012 in Washington, DC. In a curious parallel to 1978, after performing the full-band version exactly once on the 2012 tour, Springsteen has reverted to solo-piano versions for all performances since.

GIVE MY LOVE TO ROSE 4:17 2002 'Kindred Spirits' Johnny Cash tribute album

Note: Written by Johnny Cash. Recorded at Thrill Hill East (Bruce's NJ home studio) in February 12, 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.


Note: Recorded at Thrill Hill East (Bruce's NJ home studio) in March 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 WALL - V1 uncirculating

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 at Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA, 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 Fingerprints album. Recorded in the late 90s (perhaps during sessions for Tracks) with the E Street Band, including Danny Federici. Played twice during 2005's Devils & Dust Tour. Produced by Ron Aniello and Springsteen. Musician credits: Springsteen (vocals, guitar, drums), Roy Bittan (piano), Danny Federici (organ), Nils Lofgren (guitar), Patti Scialfa (backing vocals), Garry Tallent (bass), Max Weinberg (percussion), Ron Aniello (synths, accordion) and Curt Ramm (cornet). V2 issued on 2014's High Hopes.

LAND OF HOPE AND DREAMS - V1 uncirculating
LAND OF HOPE AND DREAMS - V2 uncirculating

Note: Written by Bruce sometime in 1998 or early 1999. The song was premiered live with the E Street Band on March 18, 1999 for the Reunion Tour. 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. V3 features Springsteen, Aniello (some combination of guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, percussion and/or loops), Charlie Giordano (piano, B-3 organ), Curt Ramm (trumpet, cornet), Clark Gayton (trombone), Stan Harrison (clarinet, alto sax, tenor sax), Ed Manion (tenor & baritone sax), Dan Levine (alto horn, euphonium), Art Baron (euphonium, tuba, sousaphone, penny whistle), Clarence Clemons (saxophone solo), Soozie Tyrell (violin & backing vocal), backing vocals from Patti Scialfa, Lisa Lowell and Michelle Moore, and the Victorious Gospel Choir. Steve Van Zandt is uncredited, but clearly audible at times.

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.

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