Click the links below for details of each album session
KEY : C, SM, BSB : Demo : GfAP : WIESS : BTR : Darkness : 1979 Solo : River : 1981 Solo : Nebraska : BITUSA : TOL
HT : LT : 1993 Solo : GH : GOTJ : Tracks : Rising : Essential : D&D : Seeger : Magic : WOAD : Promise : WB : HH : TTTB

greatesthits_cover.jpg
Greatest Hits commercially released: February 28, 1995
Various Producers (refer to individual songs)
Various Recording Engineers (refer to individual songs)

Part One - Philadelphia To Blood Brothers Session Overview

Springsteen completed the 1992-3 Human Touch - Lucky Town tour in June 1993. The Philadelphia - Blood Brothers sessions span a 19-month period from July 1993 to January 1995. Although Springsteen recorded somewhere between one and two albums worth of new material during this 19-month period, he never issued any of the recordings coherently on an album. The scattered nature of the releases, couple with the fact that many of the songs remain unheard and/or unknown, make this period somewhat of a mystery, even today.

In early 1993 director Jonathan Demme approached Springsteen about writing a song for his work-in-progress film Philadelphia. Springsteen was non-committal to the project but told Demme he would try and come up with something appropriate for the film. Following the conclusion of the 1992-93 World Tour in support of Human Touch and Lucky Town in June 1993 Springsteen retreated to his home studio and came up with "Streets of Philadelphia". In the autumn of 1993 several other new songs were written and recorded – precise details of these have never come to light. In January 1994 Springsteen confirmed to German magazine Bravo that he was writing new songs for a new album that he hoped to have out by the end of 1994. This album was never released – although the songs were written and recorded.

In March 1994 Springsteen had recorded three or four new songs (details unknown) utilizing a three-man backup band consisting of 1992-93 tour members Roy Bittan (keyboards), Tommy Sims (bass) and Zach Alford (drums). In late 1993 and again in mid-1994 Springsteen and Joe Grushecky collaborated for songwriting sessions which yielded several songs, which in turn led to Springsteen agreeing to produce Grushecky’s next album. The core of Grushecky’s American Babylon album sessions took place during September-October 1994 and the album was completed and in the can by November 1994. However due to contractual delays the American Babylon album (which contains two of their 1993-4 songwriting collaborations) was not released until October 1995.

During October-December 1994 Springsteen recorded seven or eight new songs utilizing a three-man backup band consisting of 1992-93 tour band members Shane Fontayne (guitar), Tommy Sims (bass) and Zach Alford (drums). None of this material has yet leaked out. Fontayne has mentioned the sessions in interviews and noted the working title of the album was “Waiting On The End Of The World”. However these sessions seem to have given way to a surprise decision to re-convene the E Street Band in conjunction with a related decision to release a Greatest Hits anthology during the early months of 1995.

In January 1995 Springsteen assembled the entire E Street Band (+ alumnae Little Steven) together in New York for about ten days of studio sessions. Although Springsteen had utilized individual band members in the studio since 1987, this was seemingly the first time the E Street Band had worked together in the studio since March 1984 (a point Nils Lofgren has since confirmed in interview). It is believed that most of the new compositions recorded at this “reunion” session had already been recorded at sessions with non-E Street Band musicians during 1994.
STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA...........................
3:51....
1993 comp / GREATEST...................
GYPSY WOMAN
4:20
1994 comp
BLOOD BROTHERS
4:31
BBEP / GREATEST
SECRET GARDEN
4:27
BBEP / GREATEST
WITHOUT YOU
3:56
BBEP
HIGH HOPES
4:20
BBEP
BACK IN YOUR ARMS
4:33
TRACKS
MISSING
5:06
1995 comp / ESSENTIAL
THIS HARD LAND
4:48
GREATEST
WAITING ON THE END OF THE WORLD
4:27
circulating
HOMESTEAD
4:14
circulating
DARK AND BLOODY GROUND

uncirculating
NOTHING MAN

uncirculating
BLIND SPOT

uncirculating
FATHER'S DAY

uncirculating
BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH

uncirculating
BY YOUR SIDE
3:45
private
untitled
2:58
private

Part Two - Philadelphia to Blood Brothers Sessions Details

STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA - V1a.....................
........
uncirculating..........................
STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA - V1b
4:11
1993 comp/1994 single
STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA - V1c
3:17
GREATEST HITS
STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA - V1d
2:53
DDITV
STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA - V1e
4:13
promo-only cd
STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA - V1f
3:43
TOTP video mix
STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA - V2

uncirculating
Note: Written in mid-1993 and first registered at the US Copyright office on August 27. 1993. First issued on December 30, 1993 as part of the Philadelphia soundtrack CD, then issued as a single in February 1994. However this is a song with a complex recording and release history. All recordings were co-produced by Springsteen and Chuck Plotkin. V1a was recorded during August 1993 at Thrill Hill West (Bruce’s California home studio) and features only Springsteen – on vocals, guitar, bass, synthesizer and drum machine. V1b, the “hit” version that appeared on the album soundtrack and the single, is the exact same as V1a except that there are added background vocals by Tommy Sims. To complicate matters the V1b version was issued in slightly shorter running time lengths on some versions of the single in some countries (done by shortening either the intro or outro). V1c is a significantly edited version of V1b that was released on the Greatest Hits album. V1d is the version used for the commercial released video – it is the same base recording as V1b except that it features an alternate (“live”) Springsteen vocal. V1e was released as a promotion-only single in the UK and Austria and this is allegedly yet another slightly different mix of V1b. V1f is the audio released as part of a black & white video shot in early 1994 at CBS TV Soundstage studios in New York and originally broadcast on the UK TV show ‘Top Of The Pops’. It is alleged this is yet another slight, but unique, mix variation. V2 is a different recording of the song made in October 1993, apparently at A&M Studios in Los Angeles. It features Bruce on lead vocal, instrumentation provided by Springsteen and jazz virtuoso Ornette Coleman, bass and background vocals by Tommy Sims and additional background vocals by Little Jimmy Scott. V2 was allegedly scheduled to be the officially released version up to early December 1993, when it was nixed at the last second, even after the song’s video (which featured Little Jimmy extensively) was shot. The video had to be re-shot. A brief snippet of V2 (including the tell-tale vocals of Little Jimmy Scott) is actually heard about halfway through the movie (but it’s V1b that is heard in the opening sequence of the movie)
GYPSY WOMAN.......................................
4:20....
1994 compilation.......................
Note: Written by Curtis Mayfield. Recorded by Bruce during September or October 1993 at Thrill Hill West (Bruce’s Los Angeles home studio). Co-produced by Springsteen and Tommy Sims. This features Bruce on lead vocals and guitars and Tommy Sims on bass, keyboards, percussion and background vocals. First released in February 1994 on the Curtis Mayfield tribute album.
HOMESTEAD.........................................
4:14 ....
circulating............................
Note: Co-written by Springsteen and Joe Grushecky in Los Angeles in late 1993, with Springsteen providing most of the music and Grushecky most of the lyrics. This was the first of what has turned out to be numerous Springsteen-Grushecky collaborations to date. The song was first issued by Grushecky on his American Babylon album in October 1995. Springsteen's version (recorded some time in 1995) surfaced in November 2013, broadcast on E Street Radio.
DARK AND BLOODY GROUND............................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Co-written by Springsteen and Joe Grushecky in mid-1994, with Springsteen providing most of the music and Grushecky most of the lyrics. The song was first issued by Grushecky on his American Babylon album in October 1995. A Springsteen studio vocal rendition has yet to surface.
MISSING - V1a....................................
5:06....
1995 compilation........................
MISSING - V1b
5:06
ESSENTIAL / DDITV
Note: Recorded in the autumn of 1994 at Thrill Hill West (Springsteen’s Los Angeles home studio). Produced by Springsteen (no co-producer) and recorded by Toby Scott. Bruce handles all vocals and instruments. Springsteen didn’t write “Missing” with a film in mind – he played the recording for actor/director Sean Penn in late 1994 and Penn asked if he could use it in a film he was directing, which turned out to be the November 1995 movie The Crossing Guard. First issued on the movie soundtrack in November 1995 and then as a Springsteen single in some countries in early 1996. V1a and V1b are slightly different mixes of the same recording.
NOTHING MAN.......................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Recorded sometime during 1994. Song was re-recorded in early 2002 with the E Street Band and that version was issued on The Rising album.
BLIND SPOT........................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: This song and its sound recording were first registered with the US Copyright Office in spring 1995. However the title of this Springsteen composition had leaked out in late 1994 and it is believed the recording emanates from sometime in the fall of 1994.
FATHER'S DAY......................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: This song and its sound recording were first registered with the US Copyright Office in spring 1995. However the title of this Springsteen composition had leaked out in late 1994 and it is believed the recording emanates from sometime in the fall of 1994.
BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH..........................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: This song and its sound recording were first registered with the US Copyright Office in spring 1995. However the title of this Springsteen composition had leaked out in late 1994 and it is believed the recording emanates from sometime in the fall of 1994.
SECRET GARDEN - V1................................
1:50....
YBNT2..................................
SECRET GARDEN - V2
4:08
YBNT2
SECRET GARDEN - V3
4:15
DDITV
SECRET GARDEN - V4a
4:27
GREATEST HITS
SECRET GARDEN - V4b
4:32
BBEP
SECRET GARDEN - V4c
4:27
promo-only cd single
Note: Recorded in January 1995 at The Hit Factory, New York City. V1 is a combination of two brief snippets shown in the video. V2 is a complete, alternate take. V3 is recording “take #1”. V4a is the original single that was also issued on Greatest Hits album. V4b features strings (courtesy David Kahn) added to V4a and released on the official Sony Blood Brothers EP, as well as a single b-side in some countries. V4c, known as “the Jerry McGuire Remix”, was produced by New York City radio station Z100 (with permission from Springsteen/Sony) as part of a spring 1997 listener contest promotion exclusive to that station. The V4c version features dialog excerpts from the movie added on top of the instrumental sections of the regular commercial version of the song. There are also additional, brief radio station plug spots before and after the song that are heard on this promo-only “contest giveaway” CD.
BLOOD BROTHERS - V1...............................
1:11....
YBNT2..................................
BLOOD BROTHERS - V2a
5:01
YBNT2
BLOOD BROTHERS - V2b
5:02
DDITV
BLOOD BROTHERS - V3
4:31
GREATEST HITS
BLOOD BROTHERS - V4
4:53
private
BLOOD BROTHERS - V5
4:00
BBEP
BLOOD BROTHERS - V6
3:12
private
BLOOD BROTHERS - V7
5:12
private
BLOOD BROTHERS - V8
5:42
private
BLOOD BROTHERS - V9
3:54
private
BLOOD BROTHERS - V10
4:20
private
BLOOD BROTHERS - V11
2:20
private
BLOOD BROTHERS - V12
4:16
private
Note: Recorded in January 1995 at The Hit Factory, New York City. Session player Frank Pagano guests on percussion instruments. There are many different arrangements, and it's clear that Springsteen was uncertain about which to use. V1 is a brief snippet shown in the video. V2a and V2b are slightly different mixes of the official video take. V3 and V5 are different recordings, both of them officially issued. V4 (take #31) is very similar to the V3, slightly slower with small lyrical variations. V5 is the stirring "rock" version that many consider superior to V3, while V6 is an alternative take (#20) of the "rock" version with some lyrical variation and an upfront accordion accompaniment. V7 is the earliest complete take and an alternative arrangement of the "rock" version with a melody very close to that of the Greatest Hits version. This take (#3) also has some lyrical variations, including "..out on west end" rather than "...out on the end". V8 features a quiet, downbeat arrangement and is take #9. V9 is performed by Bruce, Max and Roy (on keyboards). This take (#18) features some lyrical variations and can perhaps be described as "Secret Garden-ish". V10 is fascinating, and the arrangement can only be described as heavily Dylan-inspired with a organ riff that is very reminiscent of "Like A Rolling Stone". There's also plenty of harmonica and some lyrics that are unique to this arrangement. At the conclusion Bruce says "well that's the idea anyway!". This is the same arrangement found in V1. V11 is a cut work-in-progress of the Greatest Hits arrangement in a different key (D) and Bruce providing instruction and direction to the band. V12 is a stunning solo acoustic performance that is deserving of an official release.
WITHOUT YOU - V1..................................
4:33....
YBNT2..................................
WITHOUT YOU - V2
3:56
BBEP
Note: Recorded in January 1995 at The Hit Factory, New York City. V1 is longer but not quite finished. V2 is the complete, officially issued take.
HIGH HOPES - V1...................................
1:51....
YBNT2..................................
HIGH HOPES - V2
4:20
BBEP
HIGH HOPES - V3
2:46
private
Note: Song written in 1987 by Tim McConnell (aka Tim Scott). Recorded by Springsteen in January 1995 at The Hit Factory, New York City. V1 is a brief snippet of a different recorded take, as heard in the video. V2 is the complete, officially issued take. V3 is an alternative, rather funky arrangement with low, almost whispered lyrics and is reminiscent of War's "Spill The Wine". The take is aborted early, with Bruce requesting a cup of tea. Re-recorded in 2013 with the E Street Band and Tom Morello and issued on the High Hopes album, released January 2014. See the High Hopes Studio Sessions page for more details.
BACK IN YOUR ARMS - V1............................
0:34....
YBNT2..................................
BACK IN YOUR ARMS - V2
3:16
YBNT2
BACK IN YOUR ARMS - V3a
4:38
DDITV
BACK IN YOUR ARMS - V3b
4:33
TRACKS
BACK IN YOUR ARMS - V4
4:57
private
BACK IN YOUR ARMS - V5
4:47
private
Note: Recorded in January 1995 at The Hit Factory, New York City. V1 is a brief snippet shown in the video. V2 is an incomplete alternate take. V3b (recorded on January 12) is the officially issued recording. V3a is the same basic recording as V3b but with the keyboard deleted and a different, more passionate vocal by Springsteen. Many consider V3a to be the superior version. V4 is an early take (#1) with some bluffed lyrics, and an overdubbed introduction with some nice organ work. V5 is take #6.
THIS HARD LAND - V1...............................
1:57....
YBNT2..................................
THIS HARD LAND - V2
4:40
DDITV
THIS HARD LAND - V3
4:48
GREATEST HITS
THIS HARD LAND - V4
5:40
private
Note: Recorded in January 1995 at The Hit Factory, New York City. Frank Pagano guests on percussion instruments. V1 is a brief snippet shown in the video. V2 and V3 are two different recordings, though very similar. Neither is as good as the original 1982 Born In The USA studio session version that is available on Tracks. V4 is take #3 with mandolin and accordion and an extended coda.
WAITING ON THE END OF THE WORLD...................
4:27....
DDITV..................................
Note: Recorded in January 1995 at The Hit Factory, New York City with the E Street Band. An earlier version was recorded in 1994 featuring Shane Fontayne and other members of the 1992-3 touring band.
BY YOUR SIDE......................................
3:45....
private................................
Note: Recorded in January 1995 at The Hit Factory, New York City with The E Street Band. The only song from the Greatest Hits sessions not released, officially or otherwise. A nice, quiet, contemplative love song with the refrain "I will wait by your side". This take is still in the early stages of development however, with some called out key changes and bluffed lyrics later in the song.
untitled..........................................
2:58....
private................................
Note: Recorded in January 1995 at The Hit Factory, New York City with The E Street Band. This appears to be a work-in-progress, with Bruce singing falsetto over a backing of guitar, bass and drums. The vast majority of the lyrics are bluffed. The song was not worked to any conclusion during the sessions.

Part Three - Greatest Hits Sessions Overview

Bruce Springsteen: Greatest Hits was released on February 28, 1995. Please refer to the individual sessions from which these recordings emanate for further details. Those items marked with a hash (#) are recordings that were officially unreleased prior to their appearance on Greatest Hits. Please note that the version of “Human Touch” found on Greatest Hits is an edited/shortened version of the album track that was previously only available as a promotional item issued to radio stations.
BORN TO RUN.......................................
........
BTR....................................
THUNDER ROAD

BTR
BADLANDS

DARKNESS
THE RIVER

RIVER
HUNGRY HEART

RIVER
ATLANTIC CITY

NEBRASKA
DANCING IN THE DARK

BITUSA
BORN IN THE U.S.A.

BITUSA
MY HOMETOWN

BITUSA
GLORY DAYS

BITUSA
BRILLIANT DISGUISE

TUNNEL OF LOVE
HUMAN TOUCH

HUMAN TOUCH
BETTER DAYS

LUCKY TOWN
STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA

1994 single
MURDER INCORPORATED

1982 recording#
SECRET GARDEN

1995 recording#
BLOOD BROTHERS

1995 recording#
THIS HARD LAND

1995 recording#



Page last edited by vzciko on Feb 24, 2016 2:08 pm
Disclaimer | © 1996 - 2016 | Brucebase
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterCheck us out on YoutubeFollow us on Google+