On The Tracks 2.20 – Born in the USA
Roy Bittan – synthesizer, piano, background vocals
Clarence Clemmons – saxaphone, percussion, background vocals
Danny Federici – organ, glockenspiel, piano on “Born In The USA“
Garry Tallent – bass, horn, background vocals
Steve van Zandt – acoustic guitar, mandolin, harmony vocals
Bruce Springsteen – lead vocals, guitar, harmonica
Max Weinberg – drums, background vocals
Richie Rosenberg – Trombone
La Bamba – background vocals on “Cover Me” and “No Surrender“
Ruth Jackson – background vocals on “My Hometown“
All songs words and music by Bruce Springsteen (1984)
Charts : Billboard #001, entered Jun 23, 1984
BORN IN THE USA 4.36 (Take 3)
COVER ME 3.22
DARLINGTON COUNTY 4.44
WORKING ON THE HIGHWAY 3.10
DOWNBOUND TRAIN 3.30
I’M ON FIRE 2.32
NO SURRENDER 3.57
BOBBY JEAN 3.41
I’M GOING BACK 3.25
GLORY DAYS 4.11
DANCING IN THE DARK 3.57
MY HOMETOWN 4.27
JANEY DON’T YOU LOSE HEART 3.18
JOHNNY BYE BYE 1.46
PINK CADILLAC 3.30
SHUT OUT THE LIGHT 3.48
STAND ON IT 2.26
BOBBY JEAN full count in
Starts with a strange keyboard line
BORN IN THE USA V1 long ending (Take 1) 8.14 THL
V2 (Take 2) May 83 5.00 TAPE1/LMXIX
V1 – this is the unedited take which is nearly identical to the album version, but has the long instrumental outro
V2 – Slightly longer than the release version, but is the same take as used for release – the “Oh my God no” line is mixed out
COVER ME V1
V2 slightly longer end 3.28 TAPE1
V1 – has no lead guitar and more sax
V2 – this take has an extended guitar part at the end
DANCING IN THE DARK
V1 extended sax solo
V2 P Scalfia on vocal
DARLINGTON COUNTY diff start/end 5.23 THL/LMXIX
Slightly longer ending and one minor lyric change – “Our Pa’s each own” becomes “Out Daddies each own”
DOWNBOUND TRAIN diff vocal/end 3.26 THL
solo demo (%) 0.34 LMX
May 82 3.11 LMXIX
This was written in the Nebraska period of 1982. This version contains the full introduction and Bruce’s vocal howls in the song’s middle section. It also differs in the arrangement from the middle section to the end with more acoustic guitar.
The solo demo version is only identifiable as such cause Bruce calls it on the tape – you wouldn’t know if he hadn’t
GLORY DAYS V1 May 1983 5.18 LMXIX
V2 longer start &
extra verse 5.33 THL
V3 false start &
count (Take 11) 5.05 TAPE1
solo demo (%) 1.59 LMX
V2 – contains the extra verse, concerning the factory worker at the Ford plant. Otherwise identical to the official release.
The solo demo is the original arrangement and is unfortunately incomplete but is a fascinating snippet of the very early version.
I’M GOING DOWN V1 diff guitar/end 4.04 THL
V2 spoken intro
“No 9” 3.57 TAPE1
V3 Original complete take 4.49 LMXIX
V1 – early track listings call this “Down Down Down” This version has longer introduction and end sequences.
I’M ON FIRE V1 2.48 TAPE1
V2 longer version 2.58 THL
V1 – has two “I’m on fire” lines at the end as opposed to three on the official version
V2 – This has a longer intro and four “I’m on fire” lines at the end
MY HOMETOWN Rockabilly version
Aka “Your Hometown”
V1 3.34 LMXVII
V2 3.18 LMXVII
V3 3.14 LMXVII
V4 3.26 LMXVII
V5 backing vocals 4.53 LMXIX
This track was recorded 30/1/83 and all takes are mostly the same except V2 which has some lyric changes. An excellent variation on the theme. V5 is a much longer version with backing vocals (Patti?). The music track also appears on the outtake “Don’t Back Down”
JANEY DON’T YOU LOSE HEART
Miami Steve on backing vocal 4.31 MI
(16/6/83) 3.21 TRACKS
Initially slated for release on the LP on preliminary lists, Nils Lofgren recorded new backing vocals before the track was released on the B side of “I’m Going Down“.
PINK CADILLAC diff longer end
(31/5/83) 3.31 TRACKS
SHUT OUT THE LIGHT V1 4.21 LMXVI
V2 3.24 LMXVIII
single B side (remix) 3.48 TRACKS
V1 is the extended version with two full extra verses which tell a much more complete story. V2 is the cut solo demo similar to the released track. The Tracks version is the same as the single B side release but remixed with less reverb on the vocal.
STAND ON IT (16/6/83) 3.03 TRACKS
Different version to the B side release – full extra verse and chorus and the song ends instead of fading as on the original.
WORKING ON THE HIGHWAY lyric diff 3.18 MI
Slight lyric change and count in.
A different version of the track also exists done more slowly and seriously – it also has a different title
A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND (PITTSBURGH) 3.12 TRACKS
Recorded 5/5/82 – has the feel of a Nebraska out-take, but includes the full band. It’s more than possible that this track and others (including “My Love Will Not Let You Down“) were recorded at the same time as the fabled “Electric Nebraska Sessions”
A GUN IN EVERY HOME (Uncirculated)(Ruled by the gun?)
BABY I’M SO COLD (%) 3.45 LMX
This track is a combination of the melody ultimately used on Follow That Dream, and the lyrics from Loose End.
BETTY JEAN 2.17 LMXVI
BROTHERS UNDER THE BRIDGES (4/9/83) 5.02 TRACKS
Variant of No Surrender – not the same track debuted on the Tom Joad tour
BYE BYE JOHNNY #1 1.43 LMXVI
#2 2.54 LMXVI
#3 2.49 LMXVII
#4 3.36 LMXVII
#5 1.30 LMXVIII
#6 1.39 LMXVIII
V1 – 4 are excellent out-takes of the track and #2-4 feature crickets in the background for atmosphere. V1, 5 – 6 are much shorter.
#4 features a different introduction and an extra verse.
The Tracks version is essentially one of the early demos, prior to the extra guitar and drum tracks that were added for the single B side release of Johnny Bye Bye. The nomenclature gets confusing as Bruce introduced the song on the River tour as the former and the name stuck.
CAR WASH (31/5/83) 2.04 TRACKS
Cut the same day as Pink Cadillac
COUNTY FAIR 5.02 LMXVII
full band version 4.47 LMXIX
may have been considered for Nebraska – a country inspired tune recorded early in the sessions. Another unreleased masterpiece – very atmospheric and superbly crafted.
CHASING A CHEVROLET (Uncirculated)
CYNTHIA V1 4.01 SO
V2 Solo version 2.43 LMXVIII
(20/4/83) 4.10 TRACKS
Contains a great double tracked vocal. Tracks version has minor lyric and arrangement changes.
DELIVERY MAN #1 2.13 LMXVII
#2 2.44 LMXVII
#1 is the studio version with electric parts put on and fades out.
#2 is the acoustic version and presumably the original and is a complete take.
DON’T BACK DOWN (ON OUR LOVE)
V1 electric 3.03 LMXVIII
V2 electric 3.01 LMXVIII
V3 electric 3.02 LMXVIII
V4 acoustic 2.29 LMXVIII
V5 acoustic 0.43 LMXVIII
V6 acoustic 2.23 LMXVIII
V7 acoustic 2.28 LMXVIII
V8 acoustic (key change) 2.52 LMXVIII
V9 2.56 LMXVI
V10 3.12 LMXVI
V11 3.34 LMXVI
V12 rocking acoustic 1.00 TAPE1
The music track is the same as is used for “Your Hometown“, and “The Klansman” Note: This track may have evolved into “I’m Going Down” AKA “Down Down Down”
V1 is a demo with a drum machine and includes some of “No Surrender”
V3 is slower and more complete with a fuller mix The music is the same as that used for the demo “Your Hometown” All V1 – 8 tracks date from 18/1/83
DREAM SONG (Uncirculated)
Known from Bruce’s notes – this is most probably Follow That Dream – set-lists show Bruce calling Follow That Dream, Dream Song.
DROP ON DOWN AND COVER ME 4.37 MI
Radically different version of what would become Cover Me. The lyric is basically the same.
FADE TO BLACK (%) 0.45 LMX
Different to the earlier River acoustic take
FOLLOW THAT DREAM (AKA Dream Song)
V1 (30/1/83) 3.55 LMXVII/MI
V2 (30/1/83) 3.56 LMXVII
V3 3.45 LMXVIII
V4 3.45 LMXVIII
Different in both the arrangement and the lyrics to the version performed on the River tour. The quality on the newly available versions is breathtaking. V3 – 4 are 24 track mixes from early 1983.
FRANKIE V1 sax solo at end 7.23 TAPE1
V2 harmonica at end
& is longer 7.41 THL
V3? may 1983 7.31 LMXIX
(14/5/82) 7.19 TRACKS
Originally scheduled for the finished album, as it was for both Darkness and The River. The version from the Lost Masters is the same as V2 and was included in a rough mix down for the LP on 10/5/83. The Tracks version is the same take again as V3, but with the mix very different and some guitar at the end taken out.
FUGITIVES DREAMS 3.59 LMXVI
I NEED YOU (%) #1 2.00 LMX
#2 http://web.archive.org/web/20040328020457/http://www.springsteen.org.uk/sboot9.htm#tlm17 0.46 LMX
JAMES LINCOLN DEAR 4.14 LMEC2
An early demo which would evolve into Richfield Whistle, possibly recorded with the original Nebraska acoustic demos.
JESSE JAMES (%) #1 4.10 LMX
#2 1.39 LMX
Two takes of a song which makes reference to Robert Ford (as the man who shot Jesse James) so this may be an early variant of the out-take of that name. #2 is the proposed song structure and is absolutely brilliant – this is one song I really want to hear more of.
THE KLANSMAN 2.54 LMXVI
LIONS DEN (25/1/82) 2.14 TRACKS
Originated from the Nebraska demo “Daniel In The Lion’s Den“. This track may have been recorded when other Nebraska tracks were getting their electric treatment or, more likely, was recorded when Bruce worked on the Gary US Bonds LP in early ’82.
LITTLE GIRL LIKE YOU V1 1.20 LMXVII
V2 1.24 LMXVI
Great song – voted for by the band members to make it to the LP
LONG WAY HOME (%) 1.16 LMX
MAN AT THE TOP (12/1/84??) 3.18 TRACKS
This track was thought not to be a BITUSA out-take as it wasn’t copy written until on or around July 12 1984 when the song was played live. However we now have a studio take from early in the year with different lyrics.
MURDER INCOR PORATED V1 guitar solo 4.15 THL/MI/LMXIX
V2 sax solo 4.13 TAPE1
V3 diff count in 4.15 TAPE1
V4 diff count in 3.57 SFEM
V1 – contains a guitar solo instead of the sax. Intro is 1,2,3,4 then eight drumbeats
V2 – Intro is 1,2,1,2,3,4 – with background vocals in first verse
V3 – intro is 2,3,4
V4 – Intro of 1,2,3,4 and then piano chords instead of drums
This is where things get complicated as Bruce re-recorded this track as well as This Hard Land for the Greatest Hits LP. It’s still a BITUSA out-take however and all takes probably date from November 1983.
MY LOVE WON’T (WILL NOT) LET YOU DOWN
V1 No count in + fades 4.29 THL
V2 Count in 4.27 TAPE1
V3 No count/cut 3.09 TAPE1
V4 May 83 4.17 LMXIX
(5/5/82) 4.22 TRACKS
Note: early variants of this track are variously listed as “My Love“, “Your Love” and possibly “Our Love“. Tracks version is full mix down of V4. See also “Bring On The Night” which had some lines and themes used in this track. Recorded the same day as “A Good Man Is Hard To Find”
NONE BUT THE BRAVE 5.28 MI
Sax led song with great guitar solo
ONE LOVE 4.40 LMXVI
PROTECTION 3.22 LMIV
Given to Donna Summer, here’s the E St Band in full flow – tremendous
RICHFIELD WHISTLE 6.27 LMXVIII
The liner notes to the CD hint heavily that this is a band version of a Nebraska solo track – more to come we hope!
Regardless of the above – an excellent track, very moody. The solo version may be “James Lincoln Dear”
ROBERT FORD (Uncirculated)
country style number – may date from Nebraska, and may have its roots in the demo “Jesse James”
ROCKAWAY THE DAYS (3/2/83) 4.40 TRACKS
Interesting song, in that it combines a number of recurring themes, and musical ideas and fails to convince on it’s own. Some of the storyline has roots in “Losin’ Kind” and “Highway Patrolman” and the characters may resurface in “Spare Parts“, and the music is similar to a version of “Seeds“. I quite like the song but it fails to sell the story.
RULED BY THE GUN (%)
#1 2.21 LMX
#2 1.27 LMX
#3 5.07 LMX
#4 0.37 LMX
SEVEN TEARS 1.56 LMXVI
Song based on a story of a man with seven teardrops tattooed on his cheek
SUGARLAND 2.46 MI
Rockabilly version (30/1/83) 2.44 LMXVII
Rock version! 2.36 LMXVIII
Acoustic version 2.45 LMXIX
Country version 2.38 LMXVI
Rarely performed song about the plight of a farmer.
The rockabilly version is very strange to say the least – interesting to see what Bruce can do with a song if he chooses.
THEY KILLED HIM IN THE STREET (%) #1 3.13 LMX
#2 0.34 LMX
THIS HARD LAND 4.50 THL
(11/5/82) 4.43 TRACKS
Early version of the track which appeared on Greatest Hits in a newly recorded form. See Murder Inc. above. Tracks version is a full mix down of other bootlegged sources from this take.
TRUE LOVE IS HARD TO COME BY (%)
#1 0.42 LMX
#2 1.41 1.04 LMX
#3 1.19 LMX
An early version of Janey Don’t You Lose Heart
T V MOVIE 2.34 LMXIX
(13/6/83) 2.39 TRACKS
Tracks version differs from the other known take in that the sax has been removed, sound like the same basic track though.
UNSATISFIED HEART 5.22 LMXVII
Another quite unbelievable out-take in terms of the quality of the material as well as the performance.
WAGES OF SIN #1(%) 2.15 LMX
#2 3.02 LMX
#3 2.18 LMX
#4 5.07 LMX
Tracks version recorded 10/5/82 – and is obviously the fully developed track from the demo out-takes listed above. This song seems to have gone through a mood swing from upbeat early acoustic demos to the lower key final full band version. Written early in the sessions.
WHEELS MAKE THE WORLD GO ROUND (%) 1.13 LMX
WHISPERS AND SCREAMS (Uncirculated)
YOUR LOVE IS ALL AROUND ME #1 (%) 5.51 LMX
#2 3.18 0.49 LMX
Written early in the sessions. #1 is a complete take and #2 is Bruce composing the melodies and instrument parts to go onto the band version, if it ever made it that far.
YOUR LOVE (maybe var. of My Love… Uncirculated) (or the solo demo)
The album was recorded between early 1982 and April 1984 at The Hit Factory and The Power Station NY. It has been said that the early session of 1982 was in fact “Electric Nebraska” and sessions followed in 1983 one of which was largely a solo effort in Los Angeles which produced tracks such as Cynthia, Sugarland and Follow That Dream.
With the release of the Lost Masters series, we learn of a series of demos cut solo in 1983 which help to clarify the recording process and provide more new tracks to assess. These demos date from early 1983 at Hollywood Hills and are included in the listings above and marked (%). Bruce had essentially two seperate recording processes available to him at this time.
Early rough versions of ideas, and almost fully completed songs were recorded acoustically much like the Holmdel sessions of earlier years. These were then taken into the studio and worked on electrically, still by Bruce solo playing all the instruments and using a drum machine. This gave Bruce the freedom to try variants of the different songs prior to choosing the version that fitted his mood best. Later still, the band would come in and work on the selected tracks in the studio.
No Surrender (and presumably all its variants) was cut late in the sessions and Dancing In The Dark was the last track cut for the album.