Talk To Me notes

TALK TO ME - V1a 3:59 LM-2 / DO-1 / ATEOD / AM
TALK TO ME - V1b 4:05 DDO / DDOC / UP
TALK TO ME - V2 4:17 PROMISE

Note: V1a and V1b are takes recorded on July 8 or 13, 1977, at Atlantic Studios, both basic backing tracks without vocals or horns, which were not added, along with the lyrics, until August. Final demo takes were recorded on October 14 of both "Talk to Me" V2 and "Hearts Of Stone", and the tapes were given to Steve Van Zandt for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes' 3rd album, which Steve was producing. 5 takes were recorded at either Atlantic Studios or The Record Plant on August 5, 9, 24, 26 and 30, before it was realized that Talk To Me would never fit the Darkness theme, and they all currently remain in the vault. The October 14 track was used for The Promise in 2010, with modern horns added featuring original Jukes/Miami Horns members Rick Gazda on trumpet, Stan Harrison on tenor sax, Ed Manion on baritone sax, Bob Muckin on trumpet, and Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg on trombone. There is a vocalist who joins in at the final refrain that sounds like modern Southside Johnny, but this is not confirmed. Both songs handed to Steve that day went on the album 'Hearts Of Stone', released on October 13, 1978 by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (Epic JE 35488), which is overwhelmingly considered their best record, and ranks on several polls of best albums of the 1970s. According to Max Weinberg, who played on both "Darkness" and "Hearts of Stone", the E Street Band backing tracks included on Steve's tape were utilized for Southside Johnny's album. Bruce has performed it with the Jukes and the E Street Band over the years to great response, and it possibly would have been a big hit if Bruce Springsteen was going for the top of the charts in 1978, but that would have to wait another 7 years.

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TALK TO ME - V1a 3:59 AM / LM-2 / DO-1 / ATEOD
TALK TO ME - V1b 4:05 DDO / DDOC / UP
TALK TO ME - V2 4:17 PROMISE

Note: V1 and V2 are takes recorded on July 8 or 13, 1977, at Atlantic Studios, both basic backing tracks without vocals or horns, which were not added, along with the lyrics, until August. Final demo takes were recorded on October 14 of both Talk to Me and Hearts Of Stone, and the tapes were given to Steve Van Zandt for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes' 3rd album, which Steve was producing. 5 takes were recorded at either Atlantic Studios or The Record Plant on August 5, 9, 24, 26 and 30, before it was realized that Talk To Me would never fit the Darkness theme, and they all currently remain in the vault. The October 14 track was used for The Promise in 2010, with modern horns added featuring original Jukes/Miami Horns members Rick Gazda on trumpet, Stan Harrison on tenor sax, Ed Manion on baritone sax, Bob Muckin on trumpet, and Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg on trombone. Both songs handed to Steve that day went on the album 'Hearts Of Stone', released on October 13, 1978 by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (Epic JE 35488), which is overwhelmingly considered their best record, and ranks on several polls of best albums of the 1970s. According to Max Weinberg, who played on both Darkness and Hearts of Stone, the E Street Band backing tracks included on the Steve's tape were utilized for Southside Johnny's album. Bruce has performed it with the Jukes and the E Street Band over the years to great response, and it possibly would have been a big hit if Bruce Springsteen was going for the top of the charts in 1978, but that would have to wait another 7 years.

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TALK TO ME - V1 3:59 LM-2 / DDO / DO-1
TALK TO ME - V2 4:17 PROMISE

Note: Takes recorded at Atlantic Studios on July 8 and 13, either Atlantic or Record Plant on August 5, 9, 24, 26 and 30, and at the Record Plant on October 14, 1977. V1 (missing Bruce’s vocal) is from Atlantic Studios in August 1977. V2 is the officially released take from The Promise, and features some original Jukes/Miami Horns members: Rick Gazda on trumpet, Stan Harrison on tenor sax, Ed Manion on baritone sax, Bob Muckin on trumpet, and Richie "La Bamba" Rosenberg on trombone. It is uncertain whether the horns are contemporary to the original recording, or a modern addition. The latter seems more likely. Bruce donated this composition (and "Hearts Of Stone") to Southside Johnny in spring 1978 for use on his upcoming third album. According to Max Weinberg, as with "Hearts Of Stone", the Darkness session E Street Band backing track was utilized for Southside Johnny's album.

HEARTS OF STONE - V1a 5:22 DDO / DO-2
HEARTS OF STONE - V1b 4:29 TRACKS

Note: Two different mixes of the same core recording. V1a seems to be running at too slow a speed. Recorded at The Record Plant on October 14, 1977. V1b includes a horn section (Cruz-Manion-Pender-Rosenberg-Spengler) that was recorded in 1998 (not 1977) and then added to create the end product on Tracks. However this E Street Band base recording (i.e., without the 1998 horns) was used as the base recording for Southside’s original 1978 album track, with Southside merely replacing Bruce’s vocal with his own and adding in his own horn players at the time.

Note: V1a was recorded at The Record Plant on October 14, 1977, along with Talk to Me, and the tapes were handed as-is to Steve Van Zandt for Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes' 3rd album, which Steve was producing. The only horn section was Clarence Clemmons' saxophone, and the lyrics and vocals were live in the studio by Bruce Springsteen. Southside and Steve used the E Street Band base recording, minus the sax and vocal, for Southside’s original 1978 album track, with Southside merely replacing Bruce’s vocal with his own and adding in his own horn players at the time. V1b takes the same base recording, with Bruce and Clarence, but adds a 1998 horn section (Cruz-Manion-Pender-Rosenberg-Spengler) to create the end product on Tracks.

94. HEARTS OF STONE
Known studio/demo recordings: Record Plant, New York 14/10/77. [TR]
One of just four tracks on Tracks from the Darkness sessions, ‘Hearts of Stone’had initially been donated to the needy (Southside Johnny) back in 1977, appearing as the title track on the third of his r&b volumes. Rather than waste a perfectly decent E Street Band performance, Southside just dubbed a new vocal and some requisite horns onto the Record Plant backing track. A straightforward ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’rewrite (with one self-conscious nod, ‘I’m not alone’), the song gave Clarence a rare chance to let rip at these sessions. But it was never gonna be a contender for such a heavyweight opus.

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136. TRAPPED AGAIN
#134 & 135 are both ‘lost’songs recorded in the final days of Darkness …, in the latter ’s case the very last sessions. The former stands as another cryptic song-title, the latter sounds like a cover. Neither would be heard of again, though ‘Triangle Song’ would feature on a 1993 ‘comp.’that would form the starting point for Tracks. Meanwhile, ‘Trapped Again’was another song donated to Southside Johnny to bulk up the third album he’d completed in the interregnum separating Born to Run from Darkness, though this time the main songsmith was Southside himself, with ‘Bruce & Steve merely adding bits and pieces’. I’m prepared to wager one ‘bit’Springsteen contributed was that opening couplet: ‘Here I am, baby, right where you found me/ Trying to break these chains that surround me’.

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84. LOVE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF TOWN

85. LITTLE GIRL SO FINE
During the long break from the studio, sidekick Miami Steve threw some of his energies into making a second album with Southside Johnny, This Time It’s For Real. Eschewing a plentiful supply of early lost Springsteen songs – with the exception of ‘When You Dance’– Van Zandt wanted to stick to freshly minted originals, including two which bestow co-composition credits on Springsteen, presumably for lending a lyrical hand. Both titles have the ring of Springsteen, so maybe he came up with the basic ideas. As it is, the ‘Spanish Harlem’-feel of ‘Little Girl So Fine’skirts the borders of parody. ‘Love On The Wrong Side of Town’suits the Southside shtick a whole lot better. With a stronger vocal, it might even have been a hit. The absence of either song from any 1976 show or 1977 session rather suggests this was a case of Brill Building Bruce punching in for a day of writing-to-order for a friend.

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