Tunnel Of Love - Studio Sessions


flickr:38517873010
Commercially Released: October 6, 1987
Label: Columbia
Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and Chuck Plotkin
Recorded by Toby Scott, assisted by Roger Talkov, Tim Leitner, Rob Jacobs and Squeek Stone
 at Thrill Hill Recording, The Hit Factory, A&M Studios and Kren Studio (January 20 - July 1987)
Mixed by Bob Clearmountain, assisted by Jay Healy and Mark McKenna
Mastered by Bob Ludwig, assisted by Heidi Cron
Design by Sandra Choron
Photography by Annie Leibovitz

Overview

Springsteen completed the Born In The USA tour in October 1985. He kept a very low public profile for the next twelve months, residing almost exclusively on the west coast with then-wife Julianne. During the spring, possibly early summer, of 1986 Springsteen undertook a series of low-key sessions at his home studio, Thrill Hill West, in Beverly Hills. These appear to have been solo sessions, perhaps mirroring Springsteen’s early 1983 Born In The USA solo sessions at the same location (although by this point Bruce's west coast home studio had been substantially enhanced compared to 1983). However these sessions were abandoned by the early summer of 1986 when a decision was made to proceed with the Live 1975-85 box set project. Springsteen devoted his energies during the remainder of 1986 preparing the large box set for its late 1986 release. The box set was a massive commercial success.

Following the release of the live box, and the completion of another home studio at his home in Rumson, New Jersey, Springsteen began a new series of solo-based home studio sessions. On January 20, 1987, the recordings that would form the foundation of the Tunnel Of Love album (and the 1998 Tracks outtakes box set) went forward. Bruce was inspired, cutting three songs on the very first day of recording; "Walk Like A Man", "Spare Parts" and "When You Need Me". The second day of sessions four days later was even more successful with five songs recorded, including two unused outtakes "Pretty Baby, Will You Be Mine" and "Things Ain't That Way". Unlike during 1986 this time Springsteen recorded at his New Jersey home studio, with specific E Street Band members later brought into the Hit Factory in New York City to embellish or add parts. It appears the "New Jersey home studio phase" took place between January 20 and the end of May 1987, with the bulk of the album recorded across eighteen sessions.

At the end of April 1987, Springsteen and wife Julianne Phillips separated. A month later, Bruce hopped a 747 and headed to Los Angeles. For reasons unclear, he soon found himself at Kren Studio on Sunset Boulevard, playing with several Nashville session players that were hanging out. Kren, which had opened only a few months earlier, was owned by Ken Suesov, who worked with Merle Haggard, so Springsteen knew what he would find there. His partners were Jay Dee Maness on pedal steel guitar, Richard Greene on fiddle, and James “Jimmie” Wood, who was playing harmonica. Wood, who had a band called the Immortals, had been known as "The Boss Of Kings Himself… The Immortal Jimmie Wood", and played punk and other styles before his latest phase. The content of these sessions is shrouded in mystery, but upon finding out somebody had leaked his activities to the press, Springsteen got upset and terminated the sessions. The only music that made the album was a harmonica piece that Wood did, which was overdubbed on the already recorded "Spare Parts". Springsteen took the tapes back to his Hollywood Hills home, and they were never heard of again. The remainder of the album was recorded and mixed at A&M Studios, owned of Jerry Moss and Herb Alpert, and located down the street. His friend Patti Scialfa joined him, singing backup on "One Step Up", the last track to be recorded for "Tunnel of Love", in mid-July. After E Street Band members finished stopping by the Hit Factory for final dubs, all tapes went to Bob Clearmountain for the final mix. The album was delivered to CBS in August, "Brilliant Disguise" was released on September 17, and TOL on October 6, 1987.

In 1995 Springsteen confirmed in an Australian television interview with Molly Meldrum that nearly an entire album's worth of songs, material that effectively constituted another work-in-progress album separate from the Tunnel Of Love album, had been recorded during 1986-87. It is unclear from Bruce’s comments if he was talking about the material he is alleged to have recorded by himself during May-June 1986, or the material with the three (above-noted) session musicians that he recorded in Los Angeles in May-June 1987, or both. Tunnel Of Love can be seen as a virtual Springsteen solo album. Not a single circulating track that has surfaced from the sessions features the ensemble-type E Street Band playing that had characterized his previous studio albums (except Nebraska).

Released

# Song Title Running Time Release
1. AIN'T GOT YOU 2:07 TUNNEL
2. TOUGHER THAN THE REST 4:32 TUNNEL / 1988 single
3. ALL THAT HEAVEN WILL ALLOW 2:37 TUNNEL
4. SPARE PARTS 3:36 TUNNEL / 1988 single
5. CAUTIOUS MAN 3:54 TUNNEL
6. WALK LIKE A MAN 3:33 TUNNEL
7. TUNNEL OF LOVE 5:06 TUNNEL / 1987 single
8. TWO FACES 2:59 TUNNEL
9. BRILLIANT DISGUISE 4:12 TUNNEL / 1987 single
10. ONE STEP UP 4:16 TUNNEL / 1988 single
11. WHEN YOU'RE ALONE 3:18 TUNNEL
12. VALENTINE'S DAY 5:08 TUNNEL

Total Running Time: 46:26

Visit our release-pages for additional information.

Additional Recordings

Details

AIN'T GOT YOU 2:07 TUNNEL

Note: Recorded sometime between January and April 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Bruce solo.

CAUTIOUS MAN 3:54 TUNNEL

Note: Recorded sometime between January and May 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Bruce solo.

VALENTINE'S DAY 5:08 TUNNEL

Note: Recorded sometime between January and May 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Bruce solo.

ONE STEP UP - V1 uncirculating
ONE STEP UP - V2 4:16 TUNNEL / ESSENTIAL: 2015 / 1988 single

Note: Recorded in June-July 1987 at A&M Studios, Los Angeles, with Bruce on most of the instruments, and Patti Scialfa adding backup vocals. The last track to be recorded for "Tunnel of Love", finished in mid-July, after which Bruce headed back east for multiple club appearances.

ALL THAT HEAVEN WILL ALLOW 2:37 TUNNEL

Note: Recorded sometime between January and May 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Bruce handles multiple instruments and his one-man backing band on this recording is Max Weinberg (drums).

TWO FACES 2:59 TUNNEL

Note: Recorded sometime between January and May 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Springsteen handles multiple instruments and his two-man backing band on this recording is Danny Federici (organ) and Max Weinberg (drums).

WALK LIKE A MAN 3:33 TUNNEL

Note: Recorded January 20, 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio) on the very first day of the sessions. The first take. Springsteen handles multiple instruments and his one-man backing band on this recording is Max Weinberg (drums). Bruce has grown in the 10 years since he wrote "Adam Raised A Cain". He really let his anger towards his father go, but now he looks back with more clarity. His father Doug worked in a factory with such high noise levels, that he was legally deaf when he was done. "Well now the years have gone and I've grown from that seed you've sown, but I didn't think there'd been so many steps I'd have to learn on my own, Well I was young and I didn't know what to do when I saw your best steps stolen away from you, Now I'll do what I can, I'll walk like a man, And I'll keep on walking……."

WHEN YOU'RE ALONE 3:18 TUNNEL

Note: Recorded sometime between January and May 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Springsteen handles multiple instruments and his one-man backing band on this recording is Max Weinberg (drums). Nils Lofgren, Clarence Clemons, and Patti Scialfa provide backing vocals.

TOUGHER THAN THE REST 4:32 TUNNEL / ESSENTIAL: 2015 / 1988 Single

Note: Recorded sometime between January and May 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Springsteen handles multiple instruments and his two-man backing band on this recording is Danny Federici (organ) and Max Weinberg (percussion). Originally written as a rockabilly song.

BRILLIANT DISGUISE 4:12 TUNNEL / ESSENTIAL / GREATEST / CHAPTER / 1987 Single

Note: Released as a single ahead of the album on September 17, 1987. Began life as "Is That You?", which was recorded February 5, 1987. Became "Brilliant Disguise" by the end of that month. Recorded at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Springsteen handles multiple instruments and his three-man backing band on this recording is Roy Bittan (keyboards), Danny Federici (organ) and Max Weinberg (percussion).

SPARE PARTS - v1a 3:36 uncirculating
SPARE PARTS - v1b 3:36 TUNNEL / 1988 Single

Note: Recorded January 20, 1987 at Thrill Hill Recording, Rumson, New Jersey, the first day of sessions at Springsteen's recently built home studio. The second take was chosen for the album, after members of Springsteen’s backing band recorded their parts, and Toby Scott dubbed them to his base track. Garry Tallent (bass), Danny Federici (organ), and Max Weinberg (percussion) were already on the tape he took to California in May. A month later, he found himself at Kren Studio in Hollywood, jamming with three Country sidemen. One of them was James “Jimmie” Wood, who must have played a mean harmonica, because Bruce liked it so much, he taught Jimmie "Spare Parts", and had Rob Jacobs at A&M Studios dub him onto the tape, with the help of Chuck Plotkin. Released as a single in Europe on October 18, 1988.

TUNNEL OF LOVE 5:06 TUNNEL / ESSENTIAL: 2003 / 1987 Single

Note: Recorded sometime between January and May 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen’s NJ home studio). Springsteen’s four-man backing band on this recording is Nils Lofgren (lead guitar), Roy Bittan (synthesizers), Max Weinberg (percussion) and Patti Scialfa (vocals). The Schiffer family of Point Pleasant, NJ provided the roller coaster vocals. Despite its use as the album title, "Tunnel Of Love" nearly wasn't included on the album, with "Lucky Man" occupying its slot on an early track listing.

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".

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

PRETTY BABY, WILL YOU BE MINE uncirculating

Note: Recorded January 24, 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen's NJ home studio). An unused track from the second recording session.

THINGS AIN'T THAT WAY uncirculating

Note: Recorded January 24, 1987 at Thrill Hill East (Springsteen's NJ home studio). An unused track from the second recording session.

WALKING THROUGH MIDNIGHT uncirculating

Note: Haunting ballad co-written by Springsteen (music) and Southside Johnny (lyrics) sometime in latter half of 1987. No Springsteen studio recording is known and he's never performed the song live. Recorded by Southside in early 1988 and released later in the year on his Slow Dance album.

WE ARE THE WORLD 7:02 GUEST: WORLD
WE ARE THE WORLD 6:22 1985 Single

After "Do They Know It’s Christmas" was released in late 1984, it was veteran singer Harry Belafonte who spoke up and asked why American performers weren’t doing something similar. Just before Christmas, Belafonte called his manager Ken Kragen, who handled such stars as Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers. They contacted several musicians before it was agreed that Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie would write the song. Bruce Springsteen also agreed to participate, and according to Kragen, "The turning point was Bruce Springsteen’s commitment, that legitimized the project in the eyes of the rock community." Once Kragen could tell other artists that Bruce was in, there were so many offers to sing that some were turned down. According to Quincy Jones, Springsteen’s first reaction to the project was, "You sure you really want me to do this?" Richie and Jackson started writing "We Are the World" January 12, 1985, completing it on January 21, the night before sessions began. Michael provided the initial draft, then Lionel polished the structure and lyrics. The following evening, Richie, Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and producer Jones started work at Kenny Rogers' Lion Share Recording Studio in Los Angeles. Session musicians, engineers, video crews and other support staff were already on hand. Richie and Jackson recorded a guide vocal, and along with Stevie, created the basic instrumental track. On January 24, Jones shipped the demo tape to all artists who would be involved in the recording.

Springsteen landed at Los Angeles International Airport, rented a Corvette, and drove to A&M Studios in Hollywood. "I swear I walked out to the gate just as he was coming in", said an amazed Ken Kragen. "I was looking to see if there were any hangups out there, and in walked Bruce… by himself. He said, "What do you want me to do?" He spent the next few hours getting cozy in the control room with the Pointer Sisters, whom he used to be angry at for taking "Fire" to no. 2 in 1979, when he was still stuck at no. 23 (Born To Run). Now that Dancing In the Dark had evened the score, and they were looking sexy and cute in person, that hatchet was buried without a doubt. He barely had time to nod to Bob Dylan and Billy Joel. By ten thirty everyone was there, the cameras were rolling, and Jones was ready to begin. Bruce never sang more than two nights running, because his concerts simply took too much out of him to do more. The two shows in Syracuse were more strenuous than average, and on this, the third night in a row, his voice was raw. Springsteen was a soloist, a had a duet with Wonder. By the time they got to his spot it was 5:30 in the morning. "You sounded fantastic, Dylan," he called to the man who’d just finished, then stepped to the mike. Dylan, Bette Midler, and a few others remained to watch him work. Sticking his sheet music in his back pocket, he wailed, "We are the world, we are the children", and according to Dave Marsh, "blew everyone away". Later, with his voice dubbed into a duet with Wonder's, the same line provided the single’s climax. Finishing that first take, Springsteen looked up shyly. “Something like that?” he asked. Quincy Jones had to laugh. “Exactly like that,” he said.

The song was released on March 7, 1985, as the first single from the album. The estimated global sales of "We Are the World" are said to be 20 million units, the biggest selling single in both US and pop music history.

TRAPPED uncirculating

Note: While on the European leg of The River Tour in Spring 1981, Springsteen purchased a cassette tape of Jimmy Cliff music in the Amsterdam Airport, heard his 1972 recording of "Trapped", produced by Cat Stevens, and decided to incorporate it into his act. The band arrangement was rock, not reggae. Springsteen's take on the song was first performed on May 29, 1981 at Wembley Arena, London, UK; he played it the next two nights too. Perhaps the best early version was recorded on August 20, 1981 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, Los Angeles, CA. "Trapped" remained in Springsteen's setlist for years, including at the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey on August 6, 1984, when it was recorded, and later released on April 23, 1985 on the album, "We Are the World". The album sold four million copies, and "Trapped" 1984 gained considerable airplay, the most of any of the tracks on the album other than the title song. Though it wasn't released as a single, it peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart. In 2003 the same version was added to the Bonus disc of The Essential Bruce Springsteen.

Regarding Springsteen's version of the song, Cliff commented in 1988, "I look at it as a compliment. He's an artist in his own right and he's written a lot of good songs, too". This was during the time that Springsteen released seven top 10 singles from Born In the USA, and under different circumstances, "Trapped" could have easily been number eight. No studio version has surfaced.

WE'VE GOT THE LOVE 4:20 GUEST: JAM / 1986 single

Note: Late in 1985, after the conclusion of The Born In the U.S.A. Tour, Garry Tallent and Tim Ryan organized a large group of New Jersey musicians to raise money for charity to fight hunger, inspired by projects like, "USA For Africa". They created a non-profit organization called Jersey Artists For Mankind (a.k.a. J.A.M. '86), then invited representatives from bands based in New Jersey to sing two songs that had been prepared. "We've Got the Love", composed by Joel Krauss and Bob Bandiera, and "Save Love, Save Life", by Ryan and Ed Testa, had been previously chosen, and a core group of musicians had recorded the base tracks. After a brief rehearsal, more than 450 artists recorded their parts at The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, New Jersey, on January 13, 1986, the largest gathering of New Jersey rock artists ever. Vocal solos were contributed by Krauss, Bandiera, Southside Johnny Lyon, former "Castille" George Theiss, and many others. The "J.A.M. Band" assembled included Bandiera on guitar, drummers Max Weinberg and Ernest "Boom" Carter, and a horn section dominated by…Richie "LaBamba" Rosenberg, along with the rest of the Jukes' horns. Instrumental solos were performed by an all-star cast, lead by Clarence Clemons and the guitarist Bruce Springsteen, who tried his best to concentrate on his craft, despite what sounded like booing from those present, until everybody realized it was his first name being shouted by enthusiasic well-wishers. 'We've Got the Love' was mixed by Bob Clearmountain, and 'Save Love, Save Life' by Bob Cohen. Engineer was Jan Topoleski.


Disclaimer | © 1996 - 2019 | Brucebase

icon_facebook.png icon_twitter.png icon_flickr.png icon_youtube.png icon_google_plus.png
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License