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greetings_cover.jpg
Commercially Released: January 5, 1973
Produced by Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos
Recorded June-October 1972 at 914 Sound Studios (Blauvelt, NY)
Recording Engineer: Louis Lahav
Part One - Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ Sessions Overview

Laurel Canyon Productions (Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos) signed a recording contract with CBS (“the CBS Agreement”) on June 9, 1972. Springsteen’s services were subcontracted to Columbia Records by Laurel Canyon (i.e. Bruce was not signed directly to CBS/Columbia). Laurel Canyon was to receive an immediate cash advance from CBS and this money was to be used to pay for the studio time at 914 Sound Studios to record the album. A delay by CBS in delivering the advance money to Laurel Canyon resulted in the band sessions at 914 not starting until late June, although Springsteen had cut four solo acoustic tracks at 914 ("Growin' Up", "Street Queen", "Arabian Nights" and "Lady And The Doctor") on June 7. During June Springsteen had finalized the selection of the musicians that would be used for the initial sessions at 914 Sound. The musicians chosen (with an ok from Appel-Cretecos) constituted the entire line-up of the former 'Bruce Springsteen Band' - David Sancious, Gary Tallent, Vini Lopez and Steve Van Zandt (Steve ended up partaking in almost none of the 914 Sound band sessions because of a prior commitment to tour as a member of The Dovells backing group)

Recording sessions for the Greetings album spanned a four-month period, from early June to late October 1972. All sessions took place at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, New York. The initial sessions at 914 Sound Studios involved the recording of the “band” material. Apparently Springsteen had pretty much decided what songs were going to be given a band arrangement before entering the studio. So the core “band” sessions were completed in only about two weeks. No unreleased band recordings from the debut album sessions have surfaced. Following these band sessions the various band members scattered (keeping in mind Bruce had not decided to form a touring band at this stage).

Springsteen spent the next few weeks recording solo material. It was during this period that differences of opinion surfaced about what material (band vs solo) was going to dominate the eventually released LP. There were two sides in this disagreement. Mike Appel and John Hammond wanted a solo-dominated album, while Springsteen and Jimmy Cretecos preferred a band-dominated album. During early August a compromise was reached and the album track selection was decided upon – featuring five band recordings ("Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street?", "Growin’ Up", "It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City", "For You" and "Lost In The Flood") and five solo recordings ("The Angel", "Mary Queen Of Arkansas", "Jazz Musician", "Arabian Nights" and "Visitation At Fort Horn"). On August 10, 1972 Laurel Canyon transferred the sound recording copyrights to these ten songs to CBS. So it seemed the album was finalized. However when then-CBS President Clive Davis listened to the ten tracks he commented that not only did he prefer the band tracks, but he also felt the album lacked a potential hit single. In essence Davis was siding with Springsteen’s vision of the album as being more rock-orientated.

In August Springsteen composed two more commercial-sounding songs, "Blinded By The Light" and "Spirit In The Night". Consequently a further “band” session was required. However both Sancious and Tallent, then-employed at Alpha Sound Studios in Richmond, were unable to return to New York to record. Bruce wished to incorporate saxophone in both new songs and contacted Clarence Clemons, a then-member of Norman Seldin & The Joyful Noyze. So the studio session line-up for these two songs was Clemons, Lopez and Springsteen (who played all other instruments, except for the piano on "Blinded" (handled by Harold Wheeler). "Blinded" and "Spirit" (as well as the uncirculated "The Chosen") were completed by early September. These two band recordings bumped the three solo recordings ("Visitation", "Arabian Nights" and "Jazz Musician") that had been shortlisted. Therefore the final album was reduced from ten tracks to nine, encompassing seven band tracks and two solo tracks. Columbia Records original intention was to release the album in late November 1972. However the company decided the album might get overlooked among the massive amount of pre-Christmas releases so the album was held back for until early January.
THE ANGEL.........................................
3:23....
GREETINGS..............................
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS
5:19
GREETINGS
DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET?
2:04
GREETINGS
GROWIN’ UP
3:05
GREETINGS
IT’S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY
3:11
GREETINGS
FOR YOU
4:40
GREETINGS
LOST IN THE FLOOD
5:13
GREETINGS
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
5:03
GREETINGS
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT
4:57
GREETINGS
ARABIAN NIGHTS

circulating
VISITATION AT FORT HORN

circulating
JAZZ MUSICIAN

circulating
LADY AND THE DOCTOR

circulating
COWBOYS OF THE SEA

circulating
TWO HEARTS IN TRUE WALTZ TIME

circulating
STREET QUEEN

circulating
THE CHOSEN

uncirculating

Part Two - Greetings Sessions Details

MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS - V1a

uncirculating
MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS - V1b......................
5:19....
GREETINGS..............................
COMMENTS: Both V1a and V1b are the same basic recording from June 26-27, 1972 at 914 Sound. V1b contains a harmonica overdub by Bruce that was added later in the sessions. V1a does not include the any harmonica.
THE ANGEL - V1a

uncirculating
THE ANGEL - V1b
3:26
PS / EY
THE ANGEL - V1c...................................
3:23....
GREETINGS..............................
COMMENTS: All three are the same basic recording from June 26-27 and 29, 1972 at 914 Sound. V1a is just acoustic guitar and vocals. Near the end of the sessions Bruce had Richard Davis overdub upright bass onto the track - this overdub was recorded October 26, 1972. V1b and V1c (both which contain the bass) are the same recording (i.e. same instrumentation and vocal). V1b is allegedly a different mix than V1c but the difference, if there is one, is not perceptible. Running time variation is at fade out.
DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET? - V1a..........
2:05....
PS / EY................................
DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET? - V1b
2:04
GREETINGS
COMMENTS: V1a and V1b are the same recording (i.e. same instrumentation and vocal). V1a is allegedly a different mix but the difference, if there is one, is not perceptible. Running time variation is only at fade out. Recorded at 914 Sound on June 26-27 and July 12, 1972.
GROWIN’ UP - V1a..................................
3:08....
PS / EY................................
GROWIN’ UP - V1b
3:05
GREETINGS
GROWIN’ UP - V2

uncirculating
COMMENTS: V1a and V1b are the same core recording (i.e. same instrumentation and vocal), cut June 27, 1972. V1a is allegedly a different mix but the difference, if there is one, is not perceptible. Running time variation is only at fade out. V2 recorded at the first session on June 7, almost certainly in its solo acoustic guise. This recording does not circulate.
IT’S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - V1a.........
3:16....
DDITV..................................
IT’S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - V1b
3:11
GREETINGS
COMMENTS: V1a and V1b are the same core recording (i.e. the same instrumental and vocal take). The only difference is that Bruce’s vocal on V1b is faded out several seconds earlier than in V1a, which reveals that there were a few “street rapping” words spoken by Bruce that were cut from the officially released version. Recorded June 26-27, 1972 with overdubs/mixing work undertaken on October 26.
FOR YOU - V1a.....................................
4:43....
PS / EY................................
FOR YOU - V1b
4:40
GREETINGS
COMMENTS: Recorded June 27, 1972 at 914. Some overdubs may have been recorded at the final session of October 26, 1972. V1a and V1b are the same core recording (i.e. same instrumentation and vocal). V1a is allegedly a different mix but the difference, if there is one, is not perceptible. Running time variation is at fade out.
LOST IN THE FLOOD - V1a...........................
........
uncirculating..........................
LOST IN THE FLOOD - V1b
5:13
GREETINGS
COMMENTS: Both V1a and V1b are the same core recording from June 27, 1972. V1b contains sound effects (courtesy of Steve Van Zandt) that were added on late in the sessions. V1a does not include the dubbed sound effects.
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT - V1a........................
5:03....
GREETINGS..............................
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT - V1b
3:58
original USA 7” single
COMMENTS: the band lineup for this track was Springsteen-Clemons-Lopez, plus sessionman Harold Wheeler on piano. Both V1a and V1b are the same recording (from September 11, 1972), however V2 has been edited (with an entire verse removed). The lyrics on the back of the rare 7” picture sleeve are also missing this edited verse.
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT...............................
4:57....
GREETINGS..............................
COMMENTS: the band lineup for this track was Springsteen, Clemons and Lopez, with Bruce playing multiple instruments. A stereo fold down mono version is available as the b-side of the white label promo 45.
ARABIAN NIGHTS - V1...............................
4:57....
BTF / PS / EY / UNE / DT...............
ARABIAN NIGHTS - V2

uncirculating
COMMENTS: Stunning solo acoustic number left off the album, recorded June 7, 1972. This very same recording was later utilized as a publishing demo by Laurel Canyon – as such it has a dual history. Therefore this recording is also included in the On The Tracks section under “Demo”. The DT recording is from a downstream source and of weaker sound quality. Springsteen returned to the song on June 27 and may have recorded a full band take (V2), which remains uncirculated.
VISITATION AT FORT HORN...........................
7:44....
BTF / PS / EY / UNE....................
COMMENTS: Solo acoustic number left off the album, recorded June 27, 1972. This very same recording was later utilized as a publishing demo by Laurel Canyon – as such it has a dual history. Therefore this recording is also included in the On The Tracks section under “Demo”.
JAZZ MUSICIAN.....................................
6:08....
BTF / PS / EY / UNE....................
COMMENTS: Piano solo number left off the album. This very same recording (from June 27, 1972) was later utilized as a publishing demo by Laurel Canyon – as such it has a dual history. Therefore this recording is also included and examined in greater detail in the On The Tracks section under “Demo”
LADY AND THE DOCTOR - V1..........................
4:15....
BTF / PS / EY / UNE....................
LADY AND THE DOCTOR - V2

uncirculating
COMMENTS: Solo acoustic number left off the album, recorded June 7, 1972. Springsteen returned to the song on June 27 and may have recorded a full band take (V2), which remains uncirculated. Also included in the On The Tracks section under “Demo”.
TWO HEARTS IN TRUE WALTZ TIME.....................
3:40....
BTF....................................
COMMENTS: Fantastic solo acoustic number left off the album. Recorded at 914 Sound on June 27 and 29, 1972. Considered for Greetings, found in a August 1972 short-list. Also included in the On The Tracks section under “Demo”.
COWBOYS OF THE SEA................................
4:13....
BTF / U4...............................
COMMENTS: Solo acoustic number left off the album, recorded June 1972 at 914 Sound. A full-band take may well have been recorded as well, but there are no mentions of the song (in either arrangement) in the studio logs. Also included in the On The Tracks section under “Demo”.
STREET QUEEN......................................
3:52....
DT.....................................
COMMENTS: Performed solo with an electric piano, recorded at the first Greetings session on June 7, 1972. Also included in the On The Tracks section under "Demo".
THE CHOSEN........................................
........
uncirculating..........................
COMMENTS: The only uncirculated song from the Greetings sessions. Recorded at the penultimate session of September 11, 1972. Not much is known, but Springsteen may have referred to the song in an unprinted interview with Paul Nelson, describing it as nine minutes long with a great Clarence solo. Bruce couldn't remember the title, but could recall a single lyric, 'Blow the whistle from the mountaintop', which does not fit any known song from the period. Alternative title may be "Let The Words", known from a provisional album sequence that post dates the September 11 session.

Part Three - Additional Information

In addition to what was released on the official Greetings album, Springsteen recorded other songs (most in solo mode) at 914 Sound Studios during the Greetings sessions. Some of these recordings were later utilized as copyright/publishing demos – and therefore can be categorized as both Greetings session outtakes and publishing demos. It is difficult to distinguish in every case between the Greetings album session solo outtakes recorded at 914 Sound Studios and some demo recordings made slightly earlier at other locations. Please refer to the On The Tracks section under “Demo” for a detailed listing of all known demo recordings and the best available information as to the timing and location of when/where these recordings emanate.

Part Four - Rumoured Songs From The Greetings From Asbury Park Era

The following titles emanate from the April 1972 to February 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 Greetings From Asbury Park 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 “Rumoured Songs” in the Born To Run and WIESS sessions section, as some of those titles may turn out to be from the Greetings era.
  1. AMERICAN DREAM
  2. ANGELINA
  3. BALBOA VS THE EARTH SLAYER
  4. BALLAD OF ELMER THE PEA
  5. BEFORE THE FLOOD
  6. BILLY BOY
  7. BLACK NIGHT IN BABYLON
  8. BUSTED
  9. CALVIN JONES AND THE 13TH APOSTLE
  10. CASPER
  11. CIRCUS TOWN
  12. DANNY JONES
  13. GRANDPA'S GONE DOWN
  14. HIGH NOON
  15. IT'S EASY
  16. IT'S JUST YOU
  17. LET THE WORDS
  18. LONELY STREET
  19. LORRAINE
  20. MISSIE
  21. ON A DAY OF THE COWBOYS
  22. ORLEANS
  23. PRISONER OF WARS
  24. SHILO
  25. SHE'S GOT NOTHING YOU NEED
  26. SHE'S NOT MY WOMAN
  27. SPANISH ROSE
  28. SUMMERTIME IN MY MIND
  29. TAKE ME DOWN
  30. TEN COMMANDMENTS
  31. TEXAS CARNIVAL
  32. WHITE HOUSE
  33. WISCONSIN



Page last edited by Peteadmin on Jan 25, 2014 9:24 am
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