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


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Commercially Released: November 5, 1973
Produced by Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos
Recorded May-September 1973 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY
Recording Engineer: Louis Lahav

Overview

Following the completion of the debut LP sessions in September 1972, "Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ" was commercially released January 5, 1973. 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 a recording session was held at 914 Sound Studio, Blauvelt, NY on January 29-30, 1973, where takes for "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 Tiguara" were made. On February 19-20, 1973, "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 be found as the coda to another song from April, "New York Song".

Recording sessions for the The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle (WIESS) album began in mid-May 1973, and ran thru mid-September. All sessions took place at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, NY. Studio time at 914 Sound was slotted in during various itinerary breaks in the Greetings tour. However sessions dragged on much longer than originally anticipated, and this eventually caused some gig rescheduling and cancellations during the July – September period. Contrary to myth, Columbia Records executives did not overrule any proposed track selections for the album.

Sessions took place at 914 Sound the week of May 15-22 and June 17-26, with the base tracks for WIESS recorded. On June 28, 1973, David Sancious joined the not-yet-known-as-the-E-Street-Band, and only contributed overdubs, mixes and additions. 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.

Sessions continued on June 28-July 2, July 11-16, August 4-12 and September 10-25, and included contributions by Suki Lahav (vocals), Richard Blackwell (congas, percussion) and Albee Tellone (baritone sax).

Sancious overdubbed his parts onto recordings, embellished additional “frills” instrumentation, vocals and experimented with different mixes. No audio evidence has yet emerged that any of the basic recordings of were re-recorded from scratch with Sancious. Indeed, one of the most noteworthy aspects to the audio evidence that has emerged from the WIESS Sessions is that there is not one genuine alternate take to be found – all song recording variations are merely alternate mixes of the same basic recording. According to studio logs, just one song was recorded but has not yet circulated in any fashion, the intriguing "Fire On The Wing".

Additional Recordings

ZERO AND BLIND TERRY 5:52 TRACKS
THUNDERCRACK 8:23 TRACKS
SEASIDE BAR SONG 3:29 TRACKS
SANTA ANA 4:33 TRACKS
THE FEVER 7:41 18 TRACKS

Details

CIRCUS TOWN - V1 uncirculated
CIRCUS SONG - V2 uncirculated
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY - V3 uncirculating
WILD BILLY'S CIRCUS STORY - V4 4:38 WIESS

Note: Written in mid-1972 as "Circus Town", and performed live as an acoustic show opener, from late 1972 (by which time it was being called "Circus Song"), up until mid-1974. First studio recordings V2 were made May 14, 1973 at 914 Sound Studios, with 8 takes under the name, "Circus Sohg"; it is not known if any pf these survived. Bruce had previously written an altered ending, with enhanced negative emotional imagery, and no matter how many takes, it kept coming out bad (perhaps because it was). By the time additional takes were undertaken V3 on June 25, 26 and 28, those lines were gone, as Bruce played the Circus Boss now, leaning over and whispering in some little boy's ear, "Hey son, you wanna join the bigtop? All aboard, Nebraska's our next stop!". V4, the album take, of "Wild Billy's Circus Story", went in the can June 26 or 28.

THE E STREET SHUFFLE 4:24 WIESS

Note: Written around early/mid-1973. Known to have been played live as early as June 6, 1973, before Sancious joined the band. Recorded at 914 Sound on June 28, 1973. Albee Tellone (the sound manager on Bruce’s road crew from November 72-December 73) believes it was Sancious' 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". Albee Tellone guests on baritone sax, and would be a special guest on this song during the first three months of the WIESS tour (October-December 1973).
Thanks to Albee for the information.

INCIDENT ON 57TH STREET 7:46 WIESS

Note: Written during mid-1973 and recorded on Springsteen's birthday - September 23, 1973. It was apparently the final song completed for the album.

KITTY'S BACK - V1a 7:10 PS / EY / SA914 / ET
KITTY'S BACK - V1b 7:16 ROOI
KITTY'S BACK - V1c 7:25 US5 / BIS / ETRJ
KITTY'S BACK - V1d 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 24 and September 23. David Sancious has mentioned in interview that the organ solo on this track is his - presumably added at one of the overdub/mixing sessions. One of the final songs completed for the album. All are slightly different mixes of the same recording.

NEW YORK SONG - V1 uncirculating
NEW YORK CITY SERENADE - V2a 9:58 PS / EY / SA914 / GT / ROOI
NEW YORK CITY SERENADE - V2b 9:53 WIESS

Note: New York Song aka New York City Song, was composed in 1972, and played live from January 3 - June 2, 1973. On June 20-22, V1 was recorded for Album #2 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt NY. Then sometime in the next week, the 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. Blame or 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.’ On July 18, 1973, it was performed live at Max's Kansas City, New York, where Sancious added the West Side Story piano introduction. V2b (presumably overdubbed on August 7) includes the addition of strings, group vocals and congas.
Courtesy Richard Blackwell.

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

Note According to Diane Lozito, Bruce's girlfriend 1971-1975, "he wrote 'Rosalita' in bits and pieces and didn't have a title for it," she says. "My mom is Rita Lozito. Then he met my grandma. So I assume that's where he put it together." Her grandmother's full name was "Rose Lozito"; In that part of Jersey, it's pronounced Lazita, so "Rose Lazita". Apparently, the derivation of the sub-title "(Come Out Tonight)" is by an unrelated and unknown process. 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 'Crazey Janey" in "Spirit In the Night", "Sandy" in "4th of July, Asbury Park", "Terry" in "Backstreets", and the girl in "Thundercrack". This has never been refuted by Springsteen. In an interview for Mojo magazine 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.

Rosie 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 "with her chiffon reigns" and "soft sweet samurai tongue". It was performed live at least four more times, until it was recorded V2 on September 23, 1973 at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY. Other than an instrumental backing track V1 from the same day, no other outtakes or alternates are known to exist.

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

Note: A song destined to be special to all people of New Jersey, especially those who remember the summers of the mid-70s at the Jersey shore. Written in mid-1973, and recorded late in the WEISS sessions, August 9, 1973. V1 is the instrumental backing track. V2 is the original take, recorded later on August 9th with “bandits in the sky, and "Now, Sandy, them northern angels lost their desire for us, I spoke with them last night, they won't set themselves on fire for us anymore, still, when the weather gets hot, they ride that crazy road down from heaven on their Harleys every season they come and they go, dressed like stars in all them cheap little seaside bars, they're parked with their babies out on the Kokomo, love me tonight and I promise I'll love you forever….”. V3 is the album version, when vocal overdubs on September 23, 1973 replaced the magical lyrics with other "nice" lyrics. Thanks to Danny for playing accordian, recorder, glock and whatever else he does.

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.

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".

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.

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.

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”.

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

Note: This is another reason why Bruce Springsteen will continue to amaze long after he is gone. Many current fans are unfamiliar with this forgotten performance that failed to make it on two albums, and was never played live, yet in November 1997, it was considered for Tracks, probably because it is a remarkable song. Written late 1972-early 1973, it was originally titled "There Are No Kings In Texas", and that would have been it's title here, had Bruce not applied for copyright under the title "Evacuation Of the West". Springsteen has never released a sample from his personal collection, but fortunately, we have this excellent take, recorded on either June 22 or 28, 1973 at 914 Sound Studios. The band was without David Sancious, and there are no instrumental or vocal overdubs, neither which seem to harm the outcome. Step right up folks and hear the mighty Bruce Springsteen turn the American cowboy into the Knights Templar!

SONG FOR ORPHANS 6:34 BTF / UNE / PS / EY / US4 / DT / ATMF

Note: Recorded at 914 Sound Studios on February 29-30, 1973. Written soon after the May 2 audition for John Hammond and found on a proposed track-listing document for the Greetings album. "Song For Orphans" was an occasional inclusion in Bruce’s opening solo segment during the first three months of the Greetings album tour. A couple 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 that were candidates for inclusion on his third album, and "Song For Orphans" made several.

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

Note: written 1972, using melody from 1971 Bruce Springsteen Band song, "Talkin’About My Baby". Recorded January 29-30, 1973, 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 song ended with a snip of "How the West Was Won", but left no doubt this was the Springsteen version of how it was won. Did not lead to a meeting with the Duke, and did not make it on the Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle.

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

Note: Recorded at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY on January 29-30, 1973. Tremendous. Also known as "The Story Of The Self-Loading Pistol" and "Shootout In Chinatown", and variations thereof.

TOKYO 3:50 BTF / US4 / MT1 / VAFH / URT2 / GT / MPD

Note: Historically considered to have been recorded at Mediasound Studios, New York in May-June, 1972, but February 19-20, 1973 at 914 Sound seems more likely. Bruce on piano. Performed live occasionally by Bruce during 1973 and early 1974. 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". Also known as "And The Band Played".

JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V1 6:02 US6 / EY / ATMF
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V2 uncirculating
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V3 uncirculating
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER - V4 6:50 DDO / DO-1 / EC / ATMF
JEANNIE NEEDS A SHOOTER - V5 1:34 LM-8
JEANNIE NEEDS A SHOOTER - V6 2:08 LM-8

Note: V1 recorded in a solo piano arrangement at 914 Sound Studios, Blauvelt, NY, on January 29-30, 1973. The lyrics were written during 1972, although the melody was culled from a 1971 Springsteen composition, performed by the Bruce Springsteen Band called “Talking About My Baby”. After 1973 studio take, it appeared on provisional lists for The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle album, but did not make the final cut. Listed on the earliest known album #3 sequence, from spring 1974. Session log documents indicate that a Spanish-flavored, full-band arrangement was recorded at 914 Sound Studios in October 1974 (V2), and again in February 1975 (V3), but again was bypassed for Born To Run. V4 is a 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. Included on a very early tracklist for the upcoming album, 'The River'. 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. 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 album was recorded during the summer of '79. V5 and V6 are acoustic demos Bruce recorded during March - April 1979, at Telegraph Hill.

VIBES MAN 3:07 US4 / DT / US2

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 mentioned bootlegs feature the same recording, except that on the US2 version 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”.

I MET HER AT A TOURIST TRAP IN TIGUARA 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.

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

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

FIRE ON THE WING uncirculating

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

SECRET TO THE BLUES uncirculating

Note: Lyrics written by Bruce in late 1972-early 1973. The melody and some of the lyrics are lifted from a 1971 Bruce Springsteen Band-era song called “The Band’s Just Boppin’ The Blues”. There are two verified live performances of “Secret To The Blues” in May-June 1973, and a third unconfirmed performance from January 1973.

ANGEL'S BLUES uncirculating

Note: Written mid to late 1973. There is only one known live performance, during the Wild & Innocent tour, at Houston’s Liberty Hall on March 10, 1974. More commonly known by fans under that live
performance’s bootlegged titles of either “She's So Fine” or “Ride On Sweet William”.

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). All this session’s material can be found in the live concert Brucebase section under the date May 31, 1973.

Possible WIESS-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 WIESS 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 WIESS era.

  1. SHOOTOUT IN CHINATOWN
  2. SMALL TOWN
  3. THE LATE SHOW
  4. HELEN BLUE
  5. DAYTONA MISSION
  6. INCIDENT ON THE W. SIDE
  7. PARADISE 1953
  8. VALENTINE'S DAY

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