ON THE TRACKS 2.20
– CBS/JOHN HAMMOND AUDITION DEMOS 3/5/72
THE ANGEL 3.37 U3
ARABIAN NIGHT 5.05 U3
COWBOYS OF THE SEA 4.38 U3
BUS STOP 1.55 U3/TRACKS
GROWIN’ UP 2.35 U3/TRACKS
IF I WAS THE PRIEST 5.13 U3
SAINT IN THE CITY 2.48 U3/TRACKS
JAZZ MUSICIAN V1 4.55 HDT
JAZZ MUSICIAN V2 5.18 U3
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS V1 4.18 U3/TRACKS
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS V2 1.15 HDT
SOUTHERN SON 3.54 U3
STREET QUEEN 3.49 U3
TWO HEARTS 3.31 U3
On the original audition for John Hammond, Bruce played three songs, If I Were The Priest, Growing Up & Saint In The City. This took place on 2/5/72. The day after, the above tracks were recorded, and the original tape includes the original Columbia Job number (#79682) and introductions to the tracks by John Hammond.
The first track played was Mary Queen of Arkansas and the last was Cowboys of the Sea.
Jazz Musician contains some lines which would later appear in “10th Avenue Freeze Out“.
SIOUX CITY/LAUREL CANYON DEMOS – MAY 1972 TO MARCH 1973
ARABIAN NIGHT V1 5.54 PS/EY
ARABIAN NIGHT V2 lyric changes 5.25 U1
V2 may date from an earlier period than the Hammond Demos and has different lyrics in places
BABY DOLL 5.00 BTF99
A recently surfaced track – slow ballad in the style of the Hammond demo out-takes, Bruce solo on guitar. Track is fully worked out.
Written Sept – Oct, 1971. Moving story about a blind girl who “dances to a silent band“. One of two compositions Bruce performed on piano to Mike Appel during their brief, first ever meeting (no recording was made) in November 1971 at the offices of Wes Farrell in New York City. The BTF99 version is an acoustic Sioux City copyright/publishing demo recorded at the offices of Laurel Canyon Music in New York City, mid May-June 1972.
BALLAD OF THE SELF LOADING
PISTOL 5.08 U6
Pressed on acetate from Laurel Canyon, it was considered for the first two LP’s.
BORDER GUARD 6.13 UNEARTH
CALIFORNIA V1 5.43 U1
CALIFORNIA V2 minor lyric diff 5.03 PS/EY
Written in Jan 1972 during Springsteen’s month long stay in California visiting his parents. Very autobiographical. Incorrectly titled “California, You’re A Woman” or “Family Song” on bootlegs. The U1 version was recorded at the offices of Laurel Canyon Music in New York City mid May- mid June 1972 as a Sioux City Copyright/Publishing demo.
The PS/EY version was recorded July-Aug 1972 at 914 Sound Studio during sessions for the first album, not used, and so ended up in the vaults as an alternate copyright demo. The PS/EY version, while slightly shorter, is definitely the superior performance and also has the better sound quality. No known live performance
CAMILLA HORN 1.03 PS/EY
COWBOYS OF THE SEA V1 3.52 U4
COWBOYS OF THE SEA V2 4.15 DT
ELOUISE 1.05 PS/EY
HENRY BOY 3.13 U4
An early version of what would evolve into Blinded By The Light recorded on the 1st LP. Was performed live and is known from a very early recording on video made at the Gaslight Club in 1972. The studio version was almost certainly recorded later than this.
HOLLYWOOD KIDS 2.28 UNEARTH
IF I WAS THE PRIEST V1 extra chorus 5.53 U1
IF I WAS THE PRIEST V2 minor lyric diff 5.33 U4
Both these versions are different from the Hammond Demo take. V1 is probably the first and may pre-date the Hammond Demos. The arrangement is different with an extra chorus and the lyrics vary slightly also.
V2 is similar to the Hammond Demo but again there are minor lyric changes.
Written (along with nearly a dozen other songs) in January 1972 during Springsteen’s month long stay in California to visit his parents. One of six compositions Bruce performed acoustically to Mike Appel during their second meeting (no recording was made) in early February 1972. It was after this meeting that Appel decided he wanted to sign Springsteen.
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER 6.02 U6
Appears later in the “Darkness” sessions done in a full band rehearsal with a very different arrangement.
JAZZ MUSICIAN 6.03 U4
These two piano solo takes are remarkably similar in studio ambience, mix, vocal phrasing, instrumental delivery and running time – they are in fact nearly impossible to tell apart. In the U4 version (recorded at Wes Farrel’s studio in May ’72) Bruce sings one line as “and you were pretty big in the south“. In the PS/EY version (recorded at 914 Sound Studios in June or July ’72) Bruce sings this same line as “and, yeah, you were pretty big in the south“.
Both these takes ended up being utilized as publishing demos by Laurel Canyon and had circulated on boots for years, generally listed as being one in the same. They are definitely not the same recording. Either of these performances are more polished than either of the two earlier takes that were recorded at CBS Studio with John Hammond. No known live performance.
JESSE 3.05 PS/EY
LADY AND THE DOCTOR V1 3.18 U4
LADY AND THE DOCTOR V2 minor lyric diff 4.12 PS/EY
Written in 1971, prior to Springsteen introduction to Appel and Cretecos, yet unrelated to Springsteen’s Steel Mill – era composition “I Am The Doctor“. The feebly performed and weak sound quality U4 version may emanate from an April 1972 recording session at Jimmy Cretecos’s Bedford, Mass home, but more likely is a home tape recorded even earlier by Bruce and subsequently turned over by him when he signed his recording contracts. The vastly superior PS/EY version was recorded at 914 Sound Studios in July 1972 during sessions for the first album. No known live performance.
MARIE 4.44 PS/EY
NO NEED 6.04 U4
AKA “She’s My Westside Angel“
PRODIGAL SON 7.08 PS/EY
RANDOLF STREET (MASTER OF ELECTRICITY) 3.52 PS/EY
SAGA OF THE ARCHITECT ANGEL 4.18 U6
SHES LEAVING V1 2.14 U4
SHES LEAVING V2 5.10 U4
V1 is incomplete with Bruce forgetting the words
V2 is the full version of the song – almost twice as long
I HEARD THE WORD
(AKA “THE WORD”) 3.44 DT
SAINT IN THE CITY 2.38 U4
SONG TO ORPHANS 6.34 PS/EY
SOUTHERN SON 4.15 U4/UNEARTH
The version on Unearthed is much better quality as it’s from the master tape rather than an acetate.
STREET QUEEN 3.52 DT
TOKYO (aka AND THE BAND PLAYED) 3.50 DT
A live favorite at the time it was written, AKA “Shanghai”
TWO HEARTS IN TRUE WALTZ TIME 3.40 BTF BTF99
Written in April 1972 and performed (with tentativeness and with a couple of words in the lyrics not yet formulated) by Bruce as part of the CBS Audition session on May 3rd. This stunning BTF version, which had never circulated prior to appearance on this CD, was recorded at 914 Sound Studios in July 1972 during sessions for the first album. Gary Tallent provides the subtle counter bass. This is an essential recording to own. No known live performance.
Possible title from a handwritten lyric sheet probably from 1972. No recording of the song is known.
VIBES MAN 3.07 U4
Written during March – April 1972 and recorded in piano solo mode at Wes Farrel’s Pocketful Of Tunes Studio in May. Bruce would later combine this composition with his early 1973 composition “New York Song” to create the mid-1973 epic “New York Serenade“. A 1970’s era bootlegger spliced audience clapping onto the end of this studio recording in an attempt to increase sales by deceiving collectors into thinking their boot had a previously uncirculating recording on it.
Some people got sucked in then – people are still getting conned 25 years later. There is, in fact, no known live performance of the song in its “Vibes Man” incarnation.
VISITATION AT FORT HORN 7.50 PS/EY
(aka THE VISITATION)
Written in late June-July 1972, the first in a series of amazing fantasy-epics that Bruce would write during the mid-late 1972 period. Original working title was “The Visitation“. Incorrectly listed by the title “American Tune” in some early books about Springsteen. Recorded at 914 Sound Studios July-Aug 1972 during sessions for the first album. One of the five songs included on a “work-in-progress” acetate from the debut LP sessions handed over to John Hammond and Clive Davis (CBS President) for their critique.
Seriously considered for the first LP and even loosely contemplated (on paper at least) for the 2nd and 3rd LP’s. This recording (the only known circulating take) ended up serving as the publishing/copyright demo for Laurel Canyon and was sent to Intersong Music (Bruce’s UK/European publisher) in 1974 – circulating on bootleg shortly thereafter. There is no known live performance of the song..
WAR NURSE 2.05 PS/EY
WINTER SONG 5.57 U6
Piano based track from a known acetate. Track was recorded on 20/2/73 at 914 Studios – the best early example of Bruce’s skill on the instrument and one of the best out-takes known.
The recordings above took place over 10 months or so primarily to promote the songs as saleable items to other artists, hence we get what has been commonly called “Sioux City demos“, “London Publishing Tapes/Demos” and “Laurel Canyon Demos“. Quite a few tracks were also put onto acetates for this purpose also. The sessions overlap and encompass the 1st LP and go on up to the recording of the second.
In essence then –
The Hammond Demo’s were first.
Then Bruce recorded a bunch of copyright/publishing demos for Sioux City during mid-May to mid-June. These all appear to have been recorded at the offices of Laurel Canyon, although a few may have been recorded at Wes Farrell.
Then Bruce went into the 911 Studios to record the first LP. The electric songs with the band were selected and rehearsed before they went into the studio. These were recorded first. (late June – mid July), except for “Blinded” and “Spirit” which weren’t recorded until late August.
Then Bruce recorded a bunch of solo acoustic material for the first album (mid July – mid August), most of which never made the album because Bruce fought ferocously to have the electric stuff included instead. This acoustic material included some songs Bruce had already recorded either on the Hammond Demo or for Sioux City demos. However they also included some brand new songs, songs which Bruce hadn’t recorded for Sioux City in May-June because they hadn’t been finished at that point.
Even though these acoustic outtakes ended up not being used for the LP, the recordings didn’t go to waste – they ended up serving as the copyright/publishing demo for Sioux City. Both “Visitation At Fort Horn” and “Prodigal Son” (from the PS/EY boot) are, in fact, completed outtakes from the Greetings LP sessions.