The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle - Studio Sessions


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Commercially Released: November 5, 1973
Label: Columbia
Produced by Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos
Recorded by Louis Lahav at 914 Sound Recording Studios (May - September 1973)
Design by Teresa Alfieri and John Berg
Photography by David Gahr

Overview

Following the completion of the debut LP sessions on October 26, 1972, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. was commercially released on January 5, 1973. Despite positive critical response, it sold 22,000 copies. Springsteen continued composing new material after the sessions ended, and was allegedly supplied with a reel-to-reel recorder by Mike Appel and/or Jim Cretecos to make home demos on his own. No audio from September-December 1972 has ever emerged, but publishing demo recording sessions were held at 914 Sound Studio, Blauvelt, NY on January 29-30, 1973 (where takes of "Saga Of the Architect Angel", "Ballad Of A Self-Loading Pistol", "Janey Needs A Shooter", "Winter Song", and "I Met Her At A Tourist Trap In Tijuana" were made) and February 19-20, 1973, where "Song For Orphans" was recorded, and probably "Tokyo" and "Vibes Man". This is unconfirmed, but stylistically and chronologically speaking the recordings of "Tokyo" and "Vibes Man" are the only ones that fit the timeline. Previously thought to date from mid-1972, both seem to fit the E Street Band rather better than the solo songs Springsteen was composing in 1972. "Tokyo" was played live with the band in April 1973, while "Vibes Man" would later become the coda to "New York City Serenade", after Bruce combined it with another song from early 1973, "New York [City] Song". It should be noted that these two sessions were not part of sessions for Springsteen's second album.

Recording sessions for The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle (WIESS) are thought to have begun in mid-May 1973, but so far, records for only two songs have been found from that time, "Circus Song" and "The Fever". However, there are indications of a lot of missing recording information from 914 Sound Studios between June 1972 and March 1975. Studio time at 914 Sound was slotted in during breaks in touring, and often took place after midnight, when the owners were not around. Marathon sessions were held around the clock, Springsteen said in Born To Run that he and Clarence pitched a tent outside the studio and slept there for days while working on overdubs. Though only two sessions are on record, Bruce did not perform between May 13 and 23. According to Craig Statham in Springsteen - Saint in the City, "The recording went on for four months, with a total of 50 days and nights of studio work".

According to known studio logs, sessions began in earnest at 914 Sound Studios on Friday, June 22, 1973 to record the base tracks, but the final live performance before this was on June 15, so sessions may have begun the following week, or much earlier in May. On June 28, David Sancious re-joined the not-yet-known-as-the-E-Street-Band, and contributed overdubs and mixing help to tracks already recorded. In a late 1970s interview in Thunder Road magazine, Sancious verified that most of the session songs had already been recorded by the time he joined. Four is the actual number, there are no June log entries for "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)", "Incident on 57th Street" and "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)". Contributions were made by non-band members Suki Lahav (background choir vocals), Richard Blackwell (congas, percussion) and Albee Tellone (baritone sax). Sancious overdubbed instrumental tracks and background vocals onto recordings, and experimented with different mixes. No alternate takes of the album tracks have ever been released or bootlegged, but we know there were many, especially "Circus Song", which was re-named "Wild Billy's Circus Story" for the album. Alternate mixes of "Kitty's Back" and "4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" do circulate, along with a recording of "New York City Song" from June 22, before it ceased to exist. According to studio logs, two songs were recorded that have not circulated in any fashion, "Fire On The Wing" and "Never On A Sunday". There may be more, but we only have information on a fraction of the recording sessions.

Some critics looking back have commented that songs such as "Santa Ana", "Thundercrack", "Zero and Blind Terry", "The Fever" and "Seaside Bar Song" might have formed the core of a strong record. "Fever" became an underground hit after Appel leaked it to radio stations, but Springsteen did not include it, and the others, on the final track sequence, because there was no room. The seven songs that made the cut were all that could fit on a 12" vinyl pressing, and Columbia had no interest in a double album. It is reported Columbia Records executives did not overrule proposed track selections for the album, but their influence was felt, and there were threats that there would be no album at all. Springsteen remembers, "I wrote several wild, long pieces…arranged to leave the band and the audience exhausted and gasping for breath", but "Incident" and "Rosalita" were chosen over "Zero" and "Thundercrack" in the end.

One night in August, Columbia A&R Chief Charlie Koppelman and Kip Cohen drove up to 914 Sound Studios, and made Appel and Bob Spitz play an early version of the album. Koppelman's reaction was, "Fellas, we may have come to the end of our days with Bruce Springsteen. This is not an album we are going to put out." When Appel reported back to Springsteen, Bruce "restructured, remixed and got rid of the filler", and added "Incident On 57th Street" and "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" in September. When Koppelman played the finished album, he acquiesced, and it was released on November 5. However, the album received very little press - there were no advertisements in the trades, no release party. The band weren't even sure when the album was going to hit the stores.

Released

# Song Title Running Time Release
1. THE E STREET SHUFFLE 4:24 WIESS / 1975 b-side
2. 4TH OF JULY, ASBURY PARK (SANDY) 5:53 WIESS / 1975 single
3. KITTY'S BACK 7:04 WIESS
4. WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY 4:38 WIESS
5. INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET 7:46 WIESS
6. ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT) 7:00 WIESS
7. NEW YORK CITY SERENADE 9:53 WIESS

Total Running Time: 46:50

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Additional Recordings

Details

4TH OF JULY, ASBURY PARK (SANDY) - V1 5:47 US5 / BIS / ROOI / SA914 / ET / ETRJ
4TH OF JULY, ASBURY PARK (SANDY) - V2 5:35 PS / EY / ROOI / SA914
4TH OF JULY, ASBURY PARK (SANDY) - V3 5:31 WIESS / ESSENTIAL / CHAPTER / 1975 single

Note: First known studio take was on August 9, 1973, which turned out to be the second to last session for The Wild, The Innocent. Recorded were V1, the instrumental backing track, and V2, the original take, with "Now, Sandy, them northern angels lost their desire for us…". V3 is the album version, mostly from August 9, but with overdubs and mixing on September 23, 1973, including Bruce adding a new final verse. Written in early 1973 at Diane Lozito's Bradley Beach house, it was, according to Bruce, "a good-bye to my adopted hometown and the life I'd lived there before I recorded. Sandy was a composite of some of the girls I'd known along the Shore. I used the boardwalk and the closing down of the town as a metaphor for the end of a summer romance and the changes I was experiencing in my own life." Diane says she was Sandy, along with the "Thundercrack" girl and Rosalita, too.

BALLAD OF A SELF-LOADING PISTOL 5:08 US6 / EY / MT1 / EDR

Note: Takes were recorded at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY on January 29 and 30, 1973. Also known as "The Ballad Of The Self-Loading Pistol" and "The Story Of The Self-Loading Pistol". According to Charles Cross in Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man and His Music, a song titled "Shootout In Chinatown" appears on a song list; Cross believes the two songs are related, but there is no concrete evidence.

BISHOP DANCED (live) 4:21 TRACKS

Note: "Bishop Danced" had a short life span, from December 5, 1972 to March 2, 1973. When it was chosen for Tracks, a live recording from January 31, 1973 was used. No studio take is known to exist, but we have included the song here. Bruce explained before the song, "Uh, this next song is a kind of nonsense song. I'll give you a quick rundown … It's about a bishop and his wife and this violin player in West Virginia. It's about how their daughter lost her mother to mathematics out on a business trip in Detroit." Which explains why some forgotten vinyl bootlegger titled it, "Mama Knows Arythmatic Knows How To Take A Fall".

EVACUATION OF THE WEST 4:31 BTF / UNE / PS / EY / ROOI / ATMF

Note: Written around late 1972–early 1973, this song was originally titled "There Are No Kings In Texas" but is copyright under the title "Evacuation Of the West". A Laurel Canyon document of compositions lists the title as "No More Kings Of Texas". No verified live performances are known, but according to studio documentation it was worked on at three separate sessions on June 22 and 28 and July 11, 1973 at 914 Sound Studios. It is not known if the circulating take is from one of these dates or is a combination of instrument and vocal tracks. In November 1997, the song was considered for Tracks, but did not make the cut.

FIRE ON THE WING uncirculating

Note: A completely uncirculated track from the Wild & Innocent sessions. Recorded at 914 Sound Studios on August 7 and September 13, 1973 and apparently considered for Tracks - the song was transferred from the 16-track master in early November 1997.

I MET HER AT A TOURIST TRAP IN TIJUANA 2:28 uncirculating

Note: Recorded at the same January 29–30, 1973 session as "Ballad Of A Self-Loading Pistol", "Saga Of The Architect Angel", "Janey Needs A Shooter", and "Winter Song", but it's the only one of the five that remains uncirculated. Tijuana is a border city in Mexico, south of California, and the song was perhaps inspired by his 1972 trip to the country.

INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET 7:46 WIESS

Note: Side two of The Wild, The Innocent opens with "Incident on 57th Street", then a piano segue into "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)". "Incident On 57th Street" was composed in 1973, with an early title, "Incident On the W. Side". Strangely, for such a complex song there are no bootleg recordings in circulation. It was the last song on the album to be recorded, on September 22 and 23, 1973, the latter Springsteen's 24th birthday, the final days of sessions.

JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V1 6:02 US6 / EY / ATMF
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V2 4:30 uncirculating
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V3 1:34 LM-8
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V4 2:34 LM-8 / PYP
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V5 6:50 DDO / DO-1 / EC / ATMF
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V6 6:43 LETTER

Note: "Janey Needs A Shooter" has a long, complicated history. V1 was recorded in a solo piano arrangement at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY, on January 29, 1973, with additional takes on January 30. The lyrics were written during 1972, although the melody was culled from the mid-1971 Springsteen composition "Talking About My Baby", a recording of which exists, from a show in Richmond, VA in October 1971. "Janey Needs A Shooter" appeared on provisional lists for The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle, but did not make the final cut. Also listed on the earliest known album #3 sequence, from spring 1974. Session log documents indicate that a full-band arrangement was recorded at 914 Sound Studios at some point during the Born To Run sessions, but it was bypassed for the album.

V3 and V4 are acoustic demos Bruce recorded around March–April 1979, at Telegraph Hill. V5 is a magnificent full band recording originally attributed to the Darkness On The Edge Of Town sessions, and later to the October 1978 rehearsal session at Telegraph Hill, Holmdel, NJ. Given the evidence (including audio not circulating), we can confirm it is a Telegraph Hill rehearsal from May 1979. The quality of the private audio is far superior to that found on the 'Definitive Darkness Outtakes' or 'Iceman' CDs, and includes the count-in and runs at the correct speed. "Janey Needs A Shooter" was also included on a very early tracklist for what became The River, but in all likelihood never seriously considered.

Warren Zevon has said that he became obsessed with the title line after Jon Landau mentioned it along with other songs that Springsteen was intending to record. Zevon pestered Bruce, pleading to hear the song. Bruce agreed, and he ended up working on his own version of the song, his interpretation of "Jeannie Needs A Shooter" (he had misheard the name), and played an incomplete version to Bruce sometime in the spring of 1979. Springsteen loved the arrangement, and they wrote the remainder of "Jeannie Needs A Shooter" together. The Zevon/Springsteen version is "a romantic saga of an outlaw pursuing a maiden while her father tries to gun him down," the opposite of Springsteen's original. Zevon's studio take of "Jeannie Needs A Shooter" from the Bad Luck Streak In Dancing School album was recorded during the summer of 1979 and released in February 1980.

V6 was the earliest track recorded for Letter To You, and was initially intended for release on Record Store Day, as Bruce confirmed during a phone call to E Street Radio on October 23, 2020.

KITTY'S BACK - V1 7:10 PS / EY / SA914 / ET
KITTY'S BACK - V2 7:16 uncirculating
KITTY'S BACK - V3 7:25 ROOI
KITTY'S BACK - V4 7:25 US5 / BIS / ETRJ
KITTY'S BACK - V5 7:04 WIESS

Note: Written during mid-1973. In 1974, Bruce mentioned he got the idea for the title from a neon sign promoting the return of popular stripper's show to a local Shore-area club. Base track was recorded June 28, 1973 with overdubs on July 11, 24 and September 23. David Sancious has mentioned in interviews that the organ solo on this track is his, and we can presume it was added at one of the three later sessions. The final product reflects the song writing and arranging skills of Bruce, with help from Sancious. One of the final songs completed for the album. All versions are slightly different mixes or recordings, V1–V4 could be from any or all of the recording dates confirmed.

NEVER ON A SUNDAY uncirculating

Note: Recorded at 914 Sound Studios on September 22, 1973. Was this a cover, like Bruce played with the Castiles back in 1965, or a new composition? The title is not an error.

NEW YORK CITY SONG - V1 uncirculating
NEW YORK CITY SERENADE - V2 9:58 PS / EY / SA914 / GT / ROOI
NEW YORK CITY SERENADE - V3 9:53 WIESS

Note: "New York Song" aka "New York City Song", was composed 1972–1973, and played live from January 3 through June 2, 1973. On June 22, V1 was recorded for Album #2 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, New York. In the following week, an idea to combine it with elements of "Vibes Man", another 1972 composition, was hatched, and "New York City Serenade" V2 was recorded on June 28, 1973. Credit has been assigned to David Sancious, who made the arrangement suggestions, though he tried to side-step by saying "I don’t think they constituted the arrangement." V4 is presumably the result of overdubs on August 7 and September 13, 1973, including addition of strings, group vocals and congas to the final mix. Thanks to Richard Blackwell for information on the history of this song.

ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT) - V1 7:17 US5 / ET / ETRJ / ROOI / SA914
ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT) - V2 7:00 WIESS / ESSENTIAL / GH09

Note According to Diane Lozito, his girlfriend from 1971 to 1975, Bruce "wrote "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" in bits and pieces and didn't have a title for it. My mom is Rita Lozito. Then he met my grandma. So I assume that's where he put it together." Diane's grandmother's full name was "Rose Lozito"; In that part of Jersey, it's pronounced Lazita, so "Rose Lazita". Also according to Diane, and confirmed independently by her sister, Carol Lisa Lozito, though the song name came from her grandmother, the song was about Diane. Carol also said her sister was Crazy Janey in "Spirit In The Night", Sandy in "4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)", Terry in "Backstreets", and the girl in "Thundercrack". This has never been refuted by Springsteen. In an interview for Mojo published in January, 1999, Springsteen told Mark Hagen that he wrote "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" as a live showstopper, just as he had written "Thundercrack" before it. The song was performed for the first time on February 14, 1973 at Richmond, Virginia, fully-formed musically, with plenty of lyrics too, though some were unfamiliar, e.g. "with her chiffon reigns" and "soft sweet samurai tongue." According to roadie and baritone sax player "Albany" Al Tellone, the song's layered sound was recorded over numerous sessions at 914 Sound Studios, culminating on Bruce's birthday, September 23, 1973, also the last known date of the Wild & Innocent sessions. The final album mix and an instrumental backing track (V1) are all that is in general circulation.

SAGA OF THE ARCHITECT ANGEL 4:18 US6 / EY / MT1 / GT / EDR

Note: Written in 1972, using the melody from a 1971 Bruce Springsteen Band song, "Talkin' About My Baby". According to logs, recorded January 29 and 30, 1973 at a publishing demo session at 914 Sound Studios, then introduced live the following evening at Max's Kansas City in New York, where Bruce announced he "wrote it for John Wayne." The title appears on provisional lists for all three of The Wild & The Innocent, Born To Run, and Darkness On The Edge Of Town, but there is no evidence it was recorded for any of these.

HEY SANTA ANNA - V1 uncirculating
HEY SANTA ANNA - V2 uncirculating
HEY SANTA ANNA - V3 4:50 UNE / PS / EY / US5 / SA914 / FOTF
SANTA ANA - V4 4:33 TRACKS

Note: "Santa Ana", referenced in 1973 Sony logs as "Hey Santa Anna", possibly received the former name for its inclusion on Tracks in 1998. Also known as "My Contessa" and "The Guns Of Kid Cole", thanks to bootleggers with unknown motives. Written in late 1972 or early 1973, and performed live regularly during 1973. Both V1 and V2 are early recordings from June 22 and 26, 1973, and remain uncirculated. V3 was recorded on June 28, 1973, and for many years was considered a complete, though unofficial, version. However, V4 released on Tracks, is an embellished mix, with overdubs added on July 1, 1973, including piano (David Sancious), a layer of acoustic guitar (Bruce), calypso percussion (Richard Blackwell), and Suki Lahav (vocals). The flute heard in V3 (courtesy of Clarence Clemons), has been entirely removed from V4. Mixing was done by Louis Lahav (1973) and Thom Panunzio (1998). Look for the lines "French cream won't soften those boots, baby, French kisses will not break your heart"; since this track was never released, Bruce later put them to good use in "She's The One".

JOHNNY & THE HURRICANES SONG - V1 uncirculating
JOHNNY & THE HURRICANES SONG - V2 uncirculating
SEASIDE BAR SONG - V3a 3:37 UNE / PS / EY / US5 / FOTF
SEASIDE BAR SONG - V3b 3:29 TRACKS

Note: Written in late 1972 or early 1973. V1 and V2 are early takes, logged as "Johnny & The Hurricanes Song", on June 22 and 26. V3a was a completed take on June 28, 1973, under the title "Seaside Bar Song". Two more sessions, most likely involving overdubs and mixing, took place on July 1 and July 24, 1973. The version released on Tracks in 1998 is certainly a different mix to V3a, with 8 seconds trimmed, despite adding a count-in. However, a count-in by Bruce at 0:35 of V3a is gone from V3b, and Vini's drumming is a different track.

SONG TO THE ORPHANS - V1 uncirculating
SONG TO THE ORPHANS - V2 uncirculating
SONG FOR ORPHANS - V3 6:34 BTF / UNE / PS / EY / US4 / DT / ATMF
SONG FOR ORPHANS - V4 uncirculating
SONG FOR ORPHANS - V5 6:08 LETTER

Note: According to several authors, including Peter Ames Carlin (Bruce!) and Ryan White (Springsteen Album by Album), "Song To the Orphans" V1 was one of the songs Bruce Springsteen played for Mike Appel, following "Baby Doll", at their first meeting on November 4, 1971, at Pocketful of Tunes, 39 West 55th Street, New York, NY. It should also be noted neither Springsteen or Appel have confirmed or denied this in their writings to date. V2 recorded at Mediasound Studios, 311 West 57th Street, New York, NY, June–July 1972. V3 recorded at 914 Sound Studios on February 19, 1973, V4 recorded next day. Found on a proposed track-listing document for the Greetings album. First known live performance of "Song For Orphans" was on August 10, 1972 at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY, and it was an occasional inclusion in Bruce’s opening solo segment during the first three months of the Greetings Tour. A couple of live audio performances from that period are circulating. Occasionally written as "Song To Orphans", "Song To The Orphans" and variations thereof. Although not considered for album #2, Springsteen composed several lists of songs in 1974, that were candidates for inclusion on his third album, and "Song For Orphans" made several. More information.... V5 was recorded over a five-day period in November 2019 at Stone Hill Studio, Colts Neck, New Jersey, with the E Street Band.

THE E STREET SHUFFLE - V1 uncirculating
THE E STREET SHUFFLE - V2 4:24 WIESS / 1975 b-side

Note: Written around early/mid-1973, and first played live June 6, 1973, before David Sancious joined the band. V1 was recorded at 914 Sound Studios on June 28, 1973, and another recording session was logged on September 22, but it is certain there were more in between. Albee Tellone, sound manager and roadie for Bruce from November 1972 through December 1973, believes it was Sancious's presence that inspired the tune. Albee says: "I went to David's house with Bruce to learn it while David played his piano. I thought that they had written it together." He goes on to say: "We all went to the studio and played 'live' together in the large room just like we had rehearsed it in the garage in Deal, NJ. Bruce sang it 'live' then too. I was told that they were going to keep only the drums and bass parts and build overdubs from there. Bruce played rhythm on his Telecaster but replaced it later as the tracks were added. I came back on another day to overdub my sax part. We also recorded the 'tune-up' intro with tuba and cornet separately when I came back to play the baritone sax part." The song features Tellone guesting on baritone saxophone. The song's main riff is lifted from the Major Lance hit "The Monkey Time", while the outro borrows musically from Curtis Mayfield's "Move On Up".

THE FEVER 7:41 18TRACKS / FEVER / FS / RES / GT

Note: Written in late 1971, as evidenced by a dated lyric sheet titled "(I Got The) Fever For The Girl", on display at the Hard Rock Cafe, Sydney, Australia. It is believed the earliest known live performance was during a March 1973 residency at Oliver's in Boston, though rumors of 1972 performances exist. It was played live several more times into May. The studio version was recorded (in one take) on May 16, 1973 at 914 Sound Studios, though rumors have persisted for years that it dates from WGOE Studios, Richmond, VA on May 31. 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, and Laurel Canyon Publishing company registered it as "Fever For The Girl". "The Fever" was all but forgotten after it was recorded, dropped from the live set in mid-1973, and not included in any track sequences for album #2.

In late 1973, Appel and partner Jim Cretecos included it on an acetate of unreleased masters sent to UK Publisher Intersong Music. At the same time, cassettes of 7:41 track of "The Fever" were prepared, and sent to radio stations known to be supportive of young Springsteen's music, a rather short list. However, the song became an underground hit in places like Houston, Phoenix, and Boston. In Philadelphia, according to a listener, "the song exploded!" With vigorous backing by influential Philly DJ and Bruce fan Ed Sciaky, the song was played on WMMR as part of their regular rotation. Meanwhile, the publishing acetate fell into the hands of bootleggers, and soon "Fever" and "Resurrected" were being sold under the counter at record stores.

"The Fever" became a legendary '70s progressive FM-radio hit, but nowhere as big as in Houston, Texas, thanks to the March 1974 Liberty Hall shows, and several radio broadcasts. After an interview by KLOL-FM's Ed Beauchamp on March 8, Springsteen was invited back the next day with the E Street Band, for a lengthy afternoon radio performance that included highlights from both his albums, plus a rendition of "The Fever". That night at Liberty Hall, a fan yelled for "The Fever" and Bruce responded with "it's a weird thing, "The Fever"… that song "Fever" we did as a demo tape about a year ago… and Mike here… sent it down to just this radio station, you know…and it's a song we never even did but, uh, like, we did it on the radio today, but I promise if we'll come back, we'll work it up for you." At the late show the next day, Springsteen introduced the song by saying: "We're gonna try something now, this is a song we haven't done in about a year but we found out that they sent a demo down here…we're gonna give it a try for you, hope we'll remember…it's a song we did about a year ago, no, we did it when we were recording the second album…they sent the tape down here and I guess KLOF has been playing it you know…who?…is that wrong? Sorry, folks but whoever, the radio station." David Sancious later said he had been under the impression it was an old Sam Cooke classic.

After the band left Texas, "The Fever" was not played again live until they returned on July 14, 1978 in San Antonio. Springsteen had "gifted" the song to his friend Southside Johnny in December 1975 for his debut album, so he no longer considered it for his setlists. But his hardcore fans had other ideas, persuading him to play it on the Darkness Tour in many cities because, according to Bruce, "people would jump onstage and grab me by the head and scream, 'Bruce! Fever!'" It was played at Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston the next evening, and twenty-two more times to the end of the Darkness Tour. Though he joined Southside Johnny for duets many times, it was not released or played by Springsteen for the next 20 years. In 1998, a huge uproar ensued when it was omitted from //Tracks, leading to its official release on 18 Tracks the following year. The fans have made "The Fever" one of Springsteen's greatest lost classics. It has also become Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes' greatest hit, performed over 1,000 times since 1976.

In early 1977, a bootleg 7" demo (the studio take from 1973) of "The Fever" was released on "Bruce Records", coupled with "Rendezvous", recorded live on November 4, 1976, at the Palladium, New York, which opens with Bruce calling out "New York! Go ahead, Max!" In 1979, The Pointer Sisters recorded the song under the title "(She Got) The Fever", for their album Priority. The song was part of the soundtrack to the 2007 film Lucky You.

THUNDERCRACK - V1 uncirculating
THUNDERCRACK - V2 uncirculating
THUNDERCRACK - V3 uncirculating
THUNDERCRACK - V4 uncirculating
THUNDERCRACK - V5 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's departure from the band in February 1974. "It ended three or four different times - you didn't know where it was going to go. It was just a big, epic show-ender that was meant to leave the audience gasping a little bit for their breath - "Hey, who was that guy? That was pretty good…," Bruce said at a 1999 interview for Mojo. On the first known day of Wild & Innocent sessions, May 14, 1973, at 914 Sound Studios, the band recorded V1 of "Thundercrack" before moving on to 8 takes of "Circus Song". Work was resumed with V2, on June 22, 1973, then additional takes, overdubs or mixing took place on August 7 V3, and August 9, V4, but later comments by Springsteen indicate the song was not completed to his satisfaction, or perhaps a completed version could not be found for 1998's Tracks. V5 added background vocals by Vini Lopez, cut in 1997, to approximate the sound of live performances. "I found a version which was actually pretty good, called up Vini Lopez and I said, "Vini, I have some singing for you to do" and Vini - he's a caddy master at a golf course - he just comes by and I said, "Remember this song?" He came in and sang all his parts completely unprompted, like he remembered it exactly from 25 years ago," Bruce added at the Mojo interview. Regarding its omission from his second album, Springsteen said there just wasn't room enough for "Thundercrack" and "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)." Whether he meant his two biggest show-closers ever on the same record, or lack of disc space, is unknown.

TOKYO 3:50 BTF / US4 / MT1 / VAFH / URT2 / EDR

Note: "Tokyo" was probably written in 1972. One solo piano take of "Tokyo" is in circulation that was either recorded at Pocketful of Tunes in New York around April/May 1972 or during publishing demo sessions on either February 19 or 20, 1973 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, New York. We do not have documentation to confirm that the circulating demo was recorded at the February session (while we have documentation to prove that the session took place, we do not know the songs recorded, aside from "Song For Orphans"), so it could actually emanate from 1972. Stylistically however, the song best fits amongst the other material he was recording in the early 1973 period.

The song continued to develop after the solo demo with the addition of new lyrics and a refrain sometimes used by fans as an alternate title: "And The Band Played". "Tokyo" was performed live occasionally by Bruce and the band during 1973 and early 1974. However, there is no evidence to assume that it was ever recorded in the studio after February 1973. At some point in 1974, Springsteen composed a list of ten songs that were candidates for inclusion on his third album. A song with the title "Shanghai" is the ninth song on that list, and based on the lyrics we assume that it is actually "Tokyo". Springsteen copyrighted it as "Tokyo" in 1999, after winning his lawsuit against bootleggers.

VIBES MAN 3:07 US4 / DT / MT1

Note: Historically considered to have been recorded at Mediasound Studio, New York in May/June, 1972, but February 19–20, 1973 at 914 Sound seems more likely. Bruce on piano. All known bootlegs feature the same recording, except that on 'Unsurpassed Springsteen Vol. 4' audience clapping has been spliced onto the end of the song (by a bootlegger many years ago) in order to fake a live performance. Bruce would later merge "Vibes Man" with his early 1973 composition "New York Song" to create the mid-1973 mini-epic "New York City Serenade".

CIRCUS SONG - V1 uncirculating
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY - V2 4:38 WIESS

Note: Written in 1972 as "Circus Town" and performed live as an acoustic show opener from December 1972 (by which time it was being called "Circus Song") up until mid-1974. Inspired by memories of the circus that came to Freehold every summer when Bruce was young: "I’ve stood around carnivals at midnight when they're clearing up and I was scared, I met some dangerous people." On April 24, 1973 at the Main Point, Little Tiny Tim says, "Sampson, where's the liars? / Oh, they're outside cryin' / Oh, hear the liars / Oh, feel their fire / Hear the liars / They're so scared of dyin'," after which he sings "Well, anybody wanna try the big top? / All aboard, Nebraska's our next stop." Though he had performed "Circus Song" with these lyrics since January, he made a change just before appearing May 1, 1973 at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, where it was to be filmed for showing at the CBS Sales Convention in July. The final verse was changed to, "And the strong man, Sampson, lifts the midget, little Tiny Tim, way up on his shoulders, way up and carries him on down the midway, past the kids, past the sailors, to his dimly lit trailer, and the Ferris go 'round and 'round like it ain't ever gonna stop / And the circus boss is whispering into some little boy's ear, "Hey son, you wanna try the big top?" All aboard, Nebraska's our next stop!" In the blink of an eye, "Circus Song" went from the killer of every boy's dream to run away and join the circus, to something less nefarious, and that's the way it stayed. Click this link for further details.

The first studio recordings were made on May 14, 1973 at 914 Sound Studios, with eight takes; it is not known if any of these recordings survived, but are listed above as V1. Work on "Circus Song" was resumed with two days on June 25 and 26 and final dubs on the 28th, the complete album take renamed "Wild Billy's Circus Story". When or why the title of the song was changed is not currently known, but it was June or later, at least as far as documentation goes. This song might not exist without bass player Garry Tallent on tuba and organist Danny Federici on accordion.

WINTER SONG 5:57 US6 / MT1 / EY / ATMF / EDR

Note: Recorded at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt on January 29–30, 1973. Bruce on piano. Haunting.

YOU MEAN SO MUCH TO ME DDITV / ESRR / MT1 / UBER22

Note: Written in early 1971 as "When She Sings To Me"; title was changed to "You Mean So Much To Me" later in the year. Bruce introduced the song as "When She Sings To Me" in July 1971. Rehearsed at Challenger East Surfboard Factory, though apparently not on the evening of March 14, 1972, because it was absent from the tapes recorded by Tinker West. It was performed throughout 1971, although the circulating live versions mostly stem from the middle months. First caught on tape July 10, 1971 by The Bruce Springsteen Band. Another song that would be ranked in the top tier of Springsteen's pre-CBS portfolio. Bruce obviously felt this was one of his best early creations, as he continued to perform it live (in an acoustical arrangement) regularly throughout 1973 and 1974. There are no records of it being recorded at 914 Sound Studios for Greetings or The Wild, The Innocent, but many undocumented sessions are known to exist during mid-1973, held between 12 midnight and dawn, to avoid having to pay the studio. It is likely most of the base tracks for The Wild were recorded in mid-June 1973 in this fashion, and would explain why most of that information is also missing. However, perhaps the biggest mystery is how the money-conscious Mike Appel and his partner Jimmy Cretecos could fail to record a demo for publishing purposes, unless they used the May 31, 1973 WGOE broadcast tape. Never officially released by Springsteen, it was first bootlegged on 'Deep Down In The Vaults' in the 1990s. In late 1975, Steve Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen decided to get their friend John Lyon and his band Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes a contract and record an album. Bruce helped out by donating two of his compositions to the effort, "You Mean So Much To Me" and "The Fever". At the Record Plant one day, he ran into Ronnie Spector, who had been invited by Van Zandt. Inspired, he quickly wrote an arrangement for "You Mean So Much To Me" as a duet for Ronnie and Southside Johnny (borrowing from his BSB days), which became the closing song on side 2 of the Jukes' debut album, I Don't Want To Go Home. Ronnie agreed to tour with the Jukes throughout 1976–1977, and their duet was a regular encore and show closer.

PHANTOMS aka WILD ZERO AND BLIND TERRY - V1 backing track 6:04 BIS / ROOI / ATMF
PHANTOMS - V2 backing track#2 5:44 US5 / ROOI / SA914
PHANTOMS - V3 5:37 uncirculating
ZERO AND BLIND TERRY - V4 5:53 SA914 / EY / BTF / PS / FOTF
PHANTOMS - V5 5:37 DDITV / MT1 / ROOI / SA914
ZERO AND BLIND TERRY - V6 5:54 TRACKS

Note: "Phantoms", also known by the titles "Over The Hills Of St. George" and "Over The Hills Of St. Croix", was written during early 1973, and apparently performed live several times during May and June, notably including the sole recorded performance on June 13 at Binghampton, NY. Sony logs during The Wild, The Innocent sessions show "Phantoms" was worked on June 22 and 26: this produced V1, the backing track of both final studio tracks of "Phantoms" and "Zero And Blind Terry" (also dubbed "Wild Zero And Blind Terry" out in bootleg world later on). V2, an alternate and unreleased instrumental take, was also recorded on one or both of these dates. Up until June 28, these takes were referred to as "Phantoms"; at that session, vocal tracks and instrumentation were added to V1 for both "Phantoms" V3, and "Zero and Blind Terry" V4, completing each. But on July 1, 1973, Bruce added additional dubs to Phantoms V3, making V5 the final take. The date of the circulating version is either June 28 or July 1. "Zero and Blind Terry" was first played live on July 18, 1973 at Max's Kansas City, New York, NY. Sony studio logs only mention "Zero" on June 28 and August 7, 1973. V1, the unreleased backing track sometimes called "Wild Zero" by bootleggers, but never called "Phantoms", except in the Official Sony logs we rely on. Along with V2, a shorter, alternate backing track that was not used, it is reasonable to assume one or both were recorded June 22 and June 26, 1973, any number of times, under the name "Phantoms" only. The first take logged of "Zero and Blind Terry" did not occur until June 28, the rock on which these statements are made. Then the studio logs list one or more takes of both of our titles on June 28, 1973, which we designate as the never heard V3 (Phantoms), and the standard version of "Zero" V4. It was pressed to acetate, used as the publishing demo, but not included on album #2. It has circulated on various boots for many years, much loved by collectors and hardcore fans. According to the Tracks session data, V6, the version on the 1998 collection, comes from the June 28 session. The logs show the June 28 version was referenced on November 5, 1997, but we could not identify the source and dates of the overdubs applied to the version on Tracks. Sancious's piano was certainly not recorded on June 28, nor were the backing vocals by Suki Lahav. The June 28 basic track was sent out as a publishing demo, in an early mix from June 28 or earlier. An overdubbed flute that had been removed by June 28 was still there. Most, and possibly all of the overdubs described here were done by and included in the August 7 session, mixed and stored away with the invisible title of V6, never circulating until being released on Tracks. Suki Lahav is also credited in the Tracks booklet. Statements referring to "Phantoms" as an early or work-in-progress version of "Zero And Blind Terry" are incorrect. These are two different songs, with no overlapping lyrics.

Potential Album Sequences or Song Lists

The ten songs listed below can be found in Backstreets, Springsteen: The Man And His Music by Charles Cross. Dated by Cross to late in 1973, they perhaps represent the songs Springsteen was working on at the time, and possibly his picks for the upcoming album.

Album #2 Sequence
1. Thundercrack
2. Rosalita
3. Kitty’s Back
4. 4th of July, Asbury Park
5. Puerto Rican Jane
6. New York City Serenade
7. Hey Santa Ana
8. Circus Song
9. Zero and Blind Terry
10. The Architect Angel

Additional Information

There are three other known (but not WIESS LP-related) studio sessions that took place during this general time frame that need to be mentioned. The first two of these were at 914 Sound Studios on January 29-30 and February 19-20, 1973. These were both Publishing demo sessions for Laurel Canyon Music. As these more correctly belong with other 1972 publishing demo recording these sessions can be found in the On The Tracks section under Publisher Demos. The third session that needs to be mentioned was at Alpha Sound Studios in Richmond on May 31, 1973. This was undertaken specifically for a live simulcast on Richmond’s WGOE-FM (a small station that lacked the facilities to record the band inside the station’s premises). All the songs recorded during this session were recorded in front of a small live audience and, according to the studio engineer who produced this session, all the material that was recorded was broadcast that day (and is circulating on boots).

Possible Wild & Innocent-era Songs

The following titles emanate from the fall 1972 to fall 1973 period. All the titles below are based on information garnered either from completed lyric sheets, partially completed lyric sheets or documents in Springsteen's handwriting containing song titles (but no lyrics). Springsteen often creates song titles first and then attempts to write words and music around it. So the existence of a song title is no assurance that a song was ever created. There is as yet no solid evidence these were completed songs (words and music) and no evidence they were recorded during any of the Wild & Innocent sessions. If they do exist as recordings the may likely be either as work-in-progress home cassette recordings or solo publishing demos from 914 Sound Studios. It's also possible that some of these songs are merely work-in-progress or alternative titles for other tracks that we are more familiar with. Only time will tell what emerges from the vaults. Please also refer to the Rumoured Songs section of the Born To Run sessions section, as some of those titles may turn out to be from the Wild & Innocent-era.

DAYTONA MISSION uncirculating

Note: According to Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross, a title found on a list of songs from 1973.

HELEN BLUE uncirculating

Note: According to Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross, written in 1972 for Springsteen's second album and possibly recorded with the band, although there is no evidence of this.

THE LATE SHOW uncirculating

Note: According to Backstreets: Springsteen, The Man And His Music by Charles R. Cross, a lyric sheet for a song from the second album. Apparently, "The song is about a judge’s strange adventures in the jungle and a jukebox that won't stop playing".

PARADISE 1953 uncirculating

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SMALL TOWN uncirculating

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VALENTINE'S DAY uncirculating

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