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 : BITUSATOL : HT : LT : 1993 Solo : GH : GOTJ : Tracks : Rising : Essential : D&D : Seeger : Magic : WOAD : Promise : WB : HH
Recent large updates to Darkness, River and BITUSA pages


theriver_cover.jpg
Commercially Released: October 17, 1980
Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and Steve Van Zandt
Recorded March 1979-May 1980 at The Power Station (New York City)
Recorded by Neil Dorfsman
Part One - The River Sessions Overview

"The River was a record that was sort of a gateway to a lot of my future writing. It's a record we made after Darkness on the Edge of Town, it was a record made during a recession, hard times in the States. Its title song is a song I wrote for my brother-in-law and sister. My brother-in-law was in the construction industry and lost his job and they had to struggle very hard back in the late 70s, like so many people are doing today. It was a record where I first started to tackle men and women and families and marriage. There were certain songs on it that led to complete records later on, "The River" sort of led to the writing on Nebraska, "Stolen Car" led to the writing on Tunnel of Love. It was a record where, originally it was a single record, I handed it with just one record and I took it back because I didn't feel it was big enough and I wanted to capture the themes that I'd been writing about on Darkness, I wanted to keep those characters with me and at the same time added the music that made our live shows so much fun and enjoyable for our audience. So in the end, we're gonna take you down to The River tonight."
Bruce Springsteen introducing a complete performance of The River album, Madison Square Garden, November 8, 2009.

Springsteen finished the Darkness On The Edge Of Town tour on January 1, 1979. For the next few months he kept a low profile and focused his attention on composing new material for his next album. Recording sessions for what became The River album began in late March 1979 and finished in May 1980 - but were to some extent extended into August due to Springsteen & The E Street Band’s involvement with Gary US Bonds on his April 1981 album Dedication.

All formal studio sessions (including the US Bonds sessions) took place at The Power Station in New York City. However there were extensive song rehearsal sessions with the E Street Band throughout the making of the album that didn't take place at The Power Station. These rehearsals took place in a converted barn on Springsteen’s Telegraph Hill Road property in Holmdel, NJ – the so-nicknamed "Telegraph Hill Studios". However it wasn't a true studio. A significant amount of the River session audio that has surfaced comes from these Telegraph Hill sessions. Unfortunately the audio quality from Telegraph Hill leaves much to be desired. It sounds as if a single boom recording mike was used. Springsteen’s vocals are buried under the instruments on virtually all these recordings.

According to engineer Neil Dorfsman about 50 songs were recorded to a completed state during the River sessions. However The River, despite being a two-LP set only included 20 songs, so about 30 finished songs remain in the vaults. 14 of those 30 "missing" recordings have now been officially released via b-sides, Tracks or The Essential Bruce Springsteen. Information culled from Sony's studio logs gives us another 19 songs (see Part Three below for a breakdown) that were definitely recorded in the studio. Of those 19 songs still unofficially released only two ("Cindy" and the rockabilly "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)) are circulating in finished form. Another ("Little White Lies") that Max Weinberg rates as one of his favourites is circulating as a Power Station outtake but short of its finished state. The other songs are either not circulating at all, or only as poorly recorded band rehearsals from Telegraph Hill. The following list of 65 songs includes a total of 53 from this period that were recorded or are most likely to have been recorded and completed during The River/Bonds sessions.
HUNGRY HEART......................................
3:15....
THE RIVER..............................
RAMROD
3:57
THE RIVER
THE RIVER
4:56
THE RIVER
THE PRICE YOU PAY
5:24
THE RIVER
THE TIES THAT BIND
3:29
THE RIVER
I WANNA MARRY YOU
3:57
THE RIVER
POINT BLANK
5:59
THE RIVER
JACKSON CAGE
3:02
THE RIVER
SHERRY DARLING
4:00
THE RIVER
YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH)
2:34
THE RIVER
I’M A ROCKER
3:32
THE RIVER
TWO HEARTS
2:39
THE RIVER
WRECK ON THE HIGHWAY
3:44
THE RIVER
CADILLAC RANCH
3:01
THE RIVER
FADE AWAY
4:36
THE RIVER
INDEPENDENCE DAY
4:39
THE RIVER
OUT IN THE STREET
4:15
THE RIVER
CRUSH ON YOU
3:08
THE RIVER
DRIVE ALL NIGHT
8:22
THE RIVER
STOLEN CAR
3:50
THE RIVER / TRACKS
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN
1:13
1980 b-side
BE TRUE
3:37
1981 b-side / TRACKS
ROULETTE
3:49
1988 b-side / TRACKS
MARY LOU
3:18
TRACKS
I WANNA BE WITH YOU
3:15
TRACKS
BRING ON THE NIGHT
2:35
TRACKS
RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWN
2:43
TRACKS
LOOSE ENDS
4:00
TRACKS
DOLLHOUSE
3:29
TRACKS
WHERE THE BANDS ARE
3:42
TRACKS
LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD
4:14
TRACKS
RESTLESS NIGHTS
3:41
TRACKS
TAKE ‘EM AS THEY COME
4:25
TRACKS
FROM SMALL THINGS
2:42
ESSENTIAL
CINDY

circulating finished
LITTLE WHITE LIES

circulating unfinished
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER

rough
THE MAN WHO GOT AWAY

rough
CHAIN LIGHTNING

rough
FIND IT WHERE YOU CAN

rough
BREAK MY HEART

rough
OUT ON THE RUN (LOOKING FOR LOVE)

rough
NIGHT FIRE

rough
IN THE CITY TONIGHT

rough
UNDER THE GUN

rough
unknown title
3:41
private
unknown title
2:30
private
unknown title
7:50
private
I DON’T WANNA BE

rough
CHEVROLET DELUXE

rough
SLOW FADE

rough
JOLE BLON

rough
PARTY LIGHTS

uncirculating
DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY ALRIGHT

uncirculating
TIME THAT NEVER WAS

uncirculating
DOWN IN WHITE TOWN

uncirculating
ANGELYNE

uncirculating
A THOUSAND TEARS (WILLIAM DAVIS)

uncirculating
I WILL BE THE ONE

uncirculating
STRAY BULLET

uncirculating
TONIGHT

uncirculating
I’M GONNA TREAT YOU RIGHT

uncirculating
DEDICATION

uncirculating
YOUR LOVE

uncirculating
THIS LITTLE GIRL

uncirculating
Much of the studio session detail below is courtesy of Clinton Heylin's book E Street Shuffle - The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.

Part Two - The River Sessions Details

The studio sessions for The River can be broken down into two "phases". Phase One was from late March to late August 1979 and it produced a projected single album – "The Ties That Bind". There was then an informal break of three to four weeks (during which Bruce and the band gave a benefit performance for MUSE). Following that MUSE benefit gig the original album was scrapped and then Phase Two (not originally planned) commenced in September and went through summer 1980. The combined sessions produced the double album The River that was released in October 1980.
PHASE ONE OF THE RIVER SESSIONS (March thru early September 1979)
Those titles marked with an hash (#) are Telegraph Hill band rehearsal recordings, not Power Station recordings.
ROULETTE – V1.....................................
2:26....
DROC1..................................
ROULETTE – V2
3:39
LM-4
ROULETTE – V3a
3:42
RO
ROULETTE – V3b
3:42
RO
ROULETTE – V3c
3:46
DROC1
ROULETTE – V3d
3:37
DROC2
ROULETTE – V3e
3:45
1988 b-side
ROULETTE – V3f
3:49
TRACKS
Note: V1 is an earlier incomplete take with double-tracked lead vocals and a slower tempo. The lyrics show some variations to later versions. V2 and V3 are two different recordings, both recorded on April 3, 1979, just days after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident on March 28. This was the first song completed at the River sessions and one of Bruce and the band’s greatest studio achievements. V2 contains some interesting alternate words and many consider it to be even more powerful than the stunning officially available versions. V3 is circulating in six different mix variations. The Tracks mix features more snare drum but less guitar than the 1988 b-side. Springsteen injured his leg in an off-terrain vehicle accident a few days after this, which delayed further sessions at The Power Station for three to four weeks.
JACKSON CAGE – V1.................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Recorded at The Power Station on May 22, 1979. Springsteen would return to this track in Phase Two of the sessions, in February and April of 1980. It's possible this is a completely different arrangement to the album version.
LITTLE WHITE LIES.................................
2:42....
DROC1..................................
Note: Recorded at The Power Station on June 1 (this take) and 13, 1979. Also known by the title "White Lies" or "Don’t Do It To Me", it appears on the studio logs as "Little White Lies". In this lone circulating version the song bears a resemblance to both "Mary Lou" and "Be True". Comments made by Max Weinberg would suggest there is a differently arranged and complete take of the song, one that has never circulated.
HUNGRY HEART – V1a................................
2:48....
DROC2..................................
HUNGRY HEART – V1b
3:44
DROC2
HUNGRY HEART – V1c
3:26
LM-6
HUNGRY HEART – V1d
3:18
LM-6
HUNGRY HEART – V1e
3:29
LM-6
HUNGRY HEART – V1f
3:31
private cdr
HUNGRY HEART – V1g
3:21
TTTB
HUNGRY HEART – V1h
3:15
THE RIVER
Note: These all appear to be different mixes of the same basic performance that are also running at widely varying tape speeds. The version released on The River is the best. V1a is the backing track only. V1f has heavy echo added. Recorded at The Power Station on 14 and 21 June and September 5, 1979 with further mixing or overdub sessions on March 24 and April 10, 1980. Comedic duo Flo & Eddie contribute backing vocals.
THE TIES THAT BIND – V1#..........................
4:02....
LM-14..................................
THE TIES THAT BIND – V2a
3:25
LM-6
THE TIES THAT BIND – V2b
3:29
TTTB / DROC2
THE TIES THAT BIND – V2c
3:29
THE RIVER
Note: V1 is a rehearsal take from Telegraph Hill sometime late March 1979. V2 (three different mixes) was recorded at The Power Station on April 10-11, 1979. Further work was undertaken on April 10, 1980. Collectors should note the version performed during soundcheck at the Capitol Theatre, Passaic, NJ on September 20, 1978 shares some lyrics with the finished article but is otherwise completely different with some searing guitar work.
JANEY NEEDS A SHOOTER#............................
6:50....
DDO / ICE / private....................
Note: There has been confusion about the source of this particular recording for some time. It was originally considered to have been an outtake from Darkness On The Edge Of Town, and then from the October 1978 rehearsal session in Holmdel, NJ. Given the evidence (including audio not circulating), we can confirm it is a Telegraph Hill rehearsal from March 1979. It was around this time (Spring 1979) that Springsteen and Warren Zevon met socially - the meeting that allegedly resulted in Bruce giving Zevon the song to re-work/re-vamp. Zevon's studio take from his Bad Luck Streak album was recorded during the summer of '79.
FIND IT WHERE YOU CAN – V1#.......................
1:36....
LM-14..................................
FIND IT WHERE YOU CAN – V2#
3:53
LM-14
Note: Two different performances, both from the Telegraph Hill rehearsals in late March 1979. A gem, but never recorded at The Power Station.
BREAK MY HEART – V1#..............................
2:46....
LM-14..................................
BREAK MY HEART – V2#
3:00
LM-14
Note: Two different performances, both from a Telegraph Hill rehearsal in late March 1979. According to studio logs, not recorded at The Power Station. This track is a rewrite of the track "Tonight", known from the October 26, 1978 rehearsal.
OUT ON THE RUN (LOOKING FOR LOVE) – V1#...........
3.27....
LM-14..................................
OUT ON THE RUN (LOOKING FOR LOVE) – V2#
3.23
LM-14
OUT ON THE RUN (LOOKING FOR LOVE) – V3#
3.08
LM-14
OUT ON THE RUN (LOOKING FOR LOVE) – V4#
2.59
private
Note: Four different performances, all from a Telegraph Hill rehearsal. The first three are from late March 1979, V4 is perhaps slightly more polished. According to studio logs, not recorded at The Power Station. This track recycles the main riff from 1977's "Don't Say No".
IN THE CITY TONIGHT – V1#.........................
4:47....
LM-14..................................
IN THE CITY TONIGHT – V2#
4:14
LM-14
IN THE CITY TONIGHT – V3#
1:37
LM-14
IN THE CITY TONIGHT – V4#
4:01
LM-14
IN THE CITY TONIGHT – V5#
8:41
LM-14
IN THE CITY TONIGHT – V6#
3:46
LM-14
IN THE CITY TONIGHT – V7#
3:19
LM-14
Note: V1 thru V7 are all different performances from the Telegraph Hill rehearsals on March 25, 1979. Also known by the title "In The City". Shares a melody with "Night Fire".
THE MAN WHO GOT AWAY - V1#......,.................
4:00....
LM-4...................................
THE MAN WHO GOT AWAY – V2#
3:29
private
THE MAN WHO GOT AWAY – V3#
0:28
private
THE MAN WHO GOT AWAY – V4

uncirculating
Note: From the Telegraph Hill rehearsals on March 30, 1979. V3 is a short take of just the end of the song. Tremendous song. V4 recorded at The Power Station on June 13 and July 5, 1979. Appeared on an early sequence for The Ties That Bind and included on a 1993 in-house Tracks "concept album". Bumped off The River by the title track.
CHAIN LIGHTNING - V1#.............................
2:18....
LM-4...................................
Note: From the Telegraph Hill rehearsals on March 30, 1979. Resurrected nearly a year later; it was recorded at The Power Station on February 17, 1980.
NIGHT FIRE – V1#..................................
4:41....
DROC2..................................
NIGHT FIRE – V2#
0:30
DROC2
NIGHT FIRE – V3#
1:36
DROC2
NIGHT FIRE – V4#
4:48
DROC2
NIGHT FIRE – V5#
4:40
LM-4
NIGHT FIRE – V6

uncirculating
Note: V1-V5 are different performances from the Telegraph Hill rehearsals. V1 thru V4 are probably from late March 1979. V2 is a partial take of an instrumental section. V3 is Bruce and Clarence working on the saxophone solo. V4 is a complete take (running fast) that for some reason is listed as "Untitled Song #2" on E. St. Records' Definitive River Outtakes Collection Vol 2. V5 is from March 30, 1979. Another stirring song. V6 recorded at The Power Station on June 13, 1979. Included on a 1993 in-house Tracks "concept album".
UNDER THE GUN – V1#...............................
3:02....
LM-4...................................
UNDER THE GUN – V2#
3:03
LM-4
UNDER THE GUN – V3#
2:44
LM-4
UNDER THE GUN – V4#
2:06
LM-4
UNDER THE GUN – V5#
1:54
LM-4
UNDER THE GUN – V6

uncirculating
Note: V1-V5 are different performances from the Telegraph Hill rehearsals on March 30, 1979. V6 recorded at The Power Station on June 14, 1979. Included on a 1993 in-house Tracks "concept album".
unknown title#....................................
3:41....
private................................
Note: Hard rocking number from a Telegraph Hill band rehearsal, probably from late March 1979. Riff is pure "Trouble River", and there's a guitar solo very reminiscent of "Roulette". Unfortunately Bruce's voice is buried in the music, making it very hard to hear lyrics. As such the actual title is unknown, but "We Talk" and "Talk Talk" are possibilities. Bruce exclaims "wow!" at the conclusion of the song.
unknown title#....................................
2:30....
private................................
Note: Upbeat song from a band rehearsal, probably from late March 1979. Unfortunately Bruce's voice is buried in the music, making it hard to identify lyrics. Based on what we can hear, "Love Will Be The Name" or "Love Will Be The Game" are possible titles. A well-developed and practised song, it's feasible that the song was subsequently recorded in the studio.
unknown title#....................................
7:50....
private................................
Note: Upbeat, rockabilly style song from a Telegraph Hill band rehearsal, probably from late March 1979. As with all the Telegraph Hill material the lyrics are buried in the music, but possible titles are "Walk You Through The Door" or "Charlie Miles". Running time above includes several takes, most incomplete. Sounds similar to the March/April 1981 solo demo of "Party Lights" found on CDs Fistfull Of Dollars and How Nebraska Was Born.
MARY LOU – V1#....................................
2:00....
LM-11..................................
MARY LOU – V2#
0:34
LM-11
MARY LOU – V3#
2:13
LM-11
MARY LOU – V4#
3:14
LM-11
MARY LOU – V5#
3:13
LM-11
MARY LOU – V6#
3:10
LM-11
MARY LOU – V7#
3:04
LM-4
MARY LOU – V8a
3:19
DBTR
MARY LOU – V8b
3:10
DROC1
MARY LOU – V8c
3:10
DROC2
MARY LOU – V8d
3:18
TRACKS
Note: V1 thru V6 are different performances from the Telegraph Hill rehearsals on May 14, 1979. V7 is another Telegraph Hill rehearsal, probably from May 16, 1979. The September 16, 1979 date in the Lost Masters IV liner notes is certainly an error. V8 (four different mixes) was recorded at The Power Station on May 30, June 1 and July 13, 1979.
POINT BLANK – V1..................................
4:59....
DROC1..................................
POINT BLANK – V2
5:07
DROC1
POINT BLANK – V3
5:37
DROC1
POINT BLANK – V4
5:24
DROC1
POINT BLANK – V5
5:59
THE RIVER
Note: V1 thru V4 were recorded on the same night at The Power Station on May 29 and 30, 1979 and are takes #12 (the last take of the night), #11, #9 and #3 respectively. These four takes feature a completely different, faster, rocking arrangement with alternative lyrics to both the 1978 live versions and the eventual River release. The mid-section includes a searing guitar solo. V5, which contains a newly written, extended narrative middle section, was recorded some months later, possibly on August 23 and 25, 1979 but perhaps as late as the final stages of the sessions in 1980. Studio logs show further work was undertaken on February 16, 1980.
I WANNA BE WITH YOU – V1..........................
3:12....
LM-6...................................
I WANNA BE WITH YOU – V2
3:15
TRACKS
Note: Two different performances, both from the Power Station. Takes were recorded May 31, June 21 and September 24, 1979. The May 31 take was used for Tracks.
BRING ON THE NIGHT – V1#..........................
0:53....
LM-11..................................
BRING ON THE NIGHT – V2#
0:55
LM-11
BRING ON THE NIGHT – V3
2:36
LM-12
BRING ON THE NIGHT – V4
2:35
TRACKS
Note: Resurrected from the Darkness On The Edge Of Town sessions. V1 & V2 are band performances from Telegraph Hill rehearsals on May 14, 1979. V3 is an early alternate take from the Power Station. V4 recorded at The Power Station on June 13, 1979.
I DON’T WANNA BE#.................................
3:37....
LM-4...................................
Note: a rehearsal workout at Telegraph Hill in May 1979. Mis-dated in the Lost Masters IV liner notes. Studio logs indicate it was never recorded at The Power Station.
RAMROD – V1a......................................
3:50....
DROC1..................................
RAMROD – V1b
3:39
DROC2
RAMROD – V1c
3:46
RO
RAMROD – V1d
3:45
RO
RAMROD – V1e
4:20
LM-5
RAMROD – V1f
4:20
LM-5
RAMROD – V1g
4:23
LM-5
RAMROD – V1h
3:57
THE RIVER
Note: Originally recorded in September 1977 during the recording sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town. These all appear to be mixing variations of the same performance. Recorded at The Power Station on June 12, 1979. Further recordings or mixing sessions (possibly overdubs) took place on August 27 and September 5, 1979, as well as much later in the sessions on April 4 and 19, 1980. Selected for an August 1979 album sequence.
DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY ALRIGHT.....................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Uncirculated outtake, recorded at The Power Station on June 14, 1979. Included on a Tracks concept compilation in 1993.
THE PRICE YOU PAY – V1............................
5:29....
LM-6...................................
THE PRICE YOU PAY – V2
5:43
TTTB / DROC2
THE PRICE YOU PAY – V3
5:24
THE RIVER
Note: Three different performances. All three versions recorded on June 15, 18, 19 and 21, 1979. V2 contains an additional lyric verse not found on the released version. Many consider V2 to be the definitive studio take, with some justification. Further recording or mixing sessions took place on April 4, 1980.
TIME THAT NEVER WAS...............................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Uncirculated outtake, recorded at The Power Station on June 27, 1979. Bruce would return to this song during Phase Two of the sessions. Not included on any Tracks shortlist.
RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWN - V1.................
2:47....
DROC1..................................
RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWN - V2
2:54
LM-5
RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWN - V3
2:43
TRACKS
Note: V3 recorded July 16, 1979. V1 and V2 also recorded around this time. Similarly arranged versions, with some slight lyric differences between each. Selected for (and later removed from) an August 1979 album sequence.
LOOSE ENDS – V1a..................................
4:01....
DROC1..................................
LOOSE ENDS – V1b
4:00
DROC1
LOOSE ENDS – V1c
4:04
TTTB
LOOSE ENDS – V1d
4:00
TRACKS
Note: Recorded at The Power Station on July 18, 1979. These are all different mixes of the same basic recording. Later evolved into "Baby I'm So Cold", an outtake from Born In The USA.
CINDY – V1a.......................................
2:24....
LM-5...................................
CINDY – V1b
2:24
LM-5
CINDY – V2
2:18
TTTB / DROC2
Note: Two different performances, both recorded at The Power Station on July 16-17, 1979. Both are excellent. This is the only unreleased River session composition that is circulating among collectors in finished form and in excellent quality. Included on The Ties That Bind and received further attention in April 1980, but still didn't make The River.
I WANNA MARRY YOU – V1a........,,.................
3:27....
DROC2 / RO.............................
I WANNA MARRY YOU – V1b
3:25
DROC2 / RO
I WANNA MARRY YOU – V1c
3:20
DROC2 / RO
I WANNA MARRY YOU – V1d
3:22
DROC2 / TTTB
I WANNA MARRY YOU – V1e
3:30
DROC2 / RO
I WANNA MARRY YOU – V1f
3:30
LM-5
I WANNA MARRY YOU – V1g
3:28
LM-5
I WANNA MARRY YOU – V1h
3:21
LM-5
I WANNA MARRY YOU – V1i
3:31
LM-5
I WANNA MARRY YOU – V1j
3:57
THE RIVER
Note: Recorded at The Power Station on July 5 and 11-12, 1979 with further sessions on April 12 and May 6-7, 1980. These are all different mixes of the same basic recording, with some significant tape speed variations.
BE TRUE – V1a.....................................
3:39....
LM-6...................................
BE TRUE – V1b
3:46
DROC1
BE TRUE – V1c
3:48
DROC1
BE TRUE – V1d
3:50
DROC1
BE TRUE – V1e
3:45
TTTB
BE TRUE – V1f
3:37
1981 b-side / TRACKS
Note: Evolved from "Mary Lou" and "Little White Lies". Recorded at The Power Station on July 18, 1979. These are all different mixes of the same basic recording. A mixing or overdub session took place on April 22, 1980.
STOLEN CAR – V1...................................
4:48....
LM-6...................................
STOLEN CAR – V2
4:10
LM-6
STOLEN CAR – V3a
4:18
DBTR
STOLEN CAR – V3b
4:13
DBTR
STOLEN CAR – V4a
4:28
TTTB / DROC2
STOLEN CAR – V4b
4:24
TRACKS
Note: V1 is longer, containing three additional verses and is the most interesting of all these. All recorded during June 1979. V4 recorded on June 20 and 21, 1979 according to the studio logs, in contrast with July 26 quoted in the Tracks liner notes. Despite the song being completed at this point Bruce, seemingly unsatisfied, decided months later to radically alter the musical arrangement. The session history/details for the “revised” version of “Stolen Car” can be found in the Phase Two Session listings below.

TIMELINE: By early August 1979 enough quality material had been recorded over the course of the previous four months that it seemed possible an album might be released for Christmas 1979. A title ("The Ties That Bind") was chosen before eleven tracks were selected and sequenced as follows:
Side one.............................................
THE TIES THAT BIND
THE PRICE YOU PAY
BE TRUE
RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWN
STOLEN CAR
Side two
I WANNA MARRY YOU
LOOSE ENDS
HUNGRY HEART
THE MAN WHO GOT AWAY
RAMROD
However, Springsteen continued to record and tinker with the album sequence. Four further songs (including "The River") were recorded in August and early September.

DOLLHOUSE.........................................
3:29....
TRACKS.................................
Note: Recorded at The Power Station on August 20 and 21, 1979.
YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) – V1......
2:04....
TTTB / DROC2...........................
Note: Two different arrangements exist. V1, which is done in rockabilly style, was recorded at The Power Station Studios on August 24-25, 1979. V2, the album arrangement, dates from Phase Two of the sessions, information on which can be found below.
THE RIVER – V1a...................................
4:44....
TTTB...................................
THE RIVER – V1b
4:56
THE RIVER
Note: Recorded at The Power Station on August 26 and 29, 1979. Both of the above versions are different mix takes of the same basic recording. Further work was undertaken on January 21 and April 12 and 24, 1980. Evolved from "Oh Angelyne", a solo demo recorded January-May, 1979. In an interview, engineer Neil Dorfsman says he recalls cutting several versions of the song, trying out different tempos and a more embellished rock 'n' roll arrangement. None of these alternative arrangements circulate, and it is not known whether they still even exist in the vaults.
FROM SMALL THINGS – V1a...........................
2:33....
DROC2..................................
FROM SMALL THINGS – V1b
2:42
ESSENTIAL
Note: Two slightly different mixes. Recorded at The Power Station on September 2, 1979.

TIMELINE: By the second week of September, "Ricky Wants A Man Of Her Own" and "The Man Who Got Away" had been replaced by "Cindy" and "The River", and "Loose Ends" had been removed altogether. Before long "Ramrod" was cut, "Loose Ends" was resurrected and the rockabilly "You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)" was added. The ten tracks that Springsteen finally settled on were:
TITLE........................................
TAKE....
THE TIES THAT BIND
#8
CINDY
#3
HUNGRY HEART
#2
STOLEN CAR
#3
(TO) BE TRUE
#2
THE RIVER
#5
YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH)
#3
THE PRICE YOU PAY
#1
I WANNA MARRY YOU
#4
LOOSE ENDS
#2
Bruce signed off on the above sequence and wheels put in motion to produce artwork for the cover. On October 4, 1979 the ten selected tracks were dubbed to two half-track reel-to-reel tapes at the Power Station, and labelled as side one and two. Producer was Jon Landau and Engineers were Neil Dorfsman and Bob Clearmountain. However, it wasn't to be. Before long, Springsteen had a change of heart about the album concept:

"When I didn't put the album out in 1979 it was because I didn't feel that that [sense of conflicting emotions] was there. [In the end,] I felt ... I just got a bigger picture of what things are, of the way things work [with the double album] ... I wanted that all on there. [1981]

"After some recording we prepared a single album and handed it to the record company. When I listened to it later on, I felt that it just wasn't good enough. The songs lacked the kind of unity and conceptual intensity I liked my music to have ... / ... It wasn't expansive enough ... I wanted a record that balanced the two things I was doing [at that time], that had a sense of continuity coming out of Darkness." [1998/1999]

Therefore, the single album ("The Ties That Bind") was shelved. Springsteen began a new series of studio sessions in October 1979, more songs flowed forth and the sessions continued well into the spring of 1980. At some point in early 1980 a decision was made to release a double album.

PHASE TWO OF THE RIVER SESSIONS (October 1979 thru May 1980)
Those titles marked with an hash (#) are Telegraph Hill band rehearsal recordings, not Power Station recordings.
PARTY LIGHTS......................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Demoed at home in 1979 and recorded at The Power Station on October 8, 1979. The first track recorded at the Phase Two sessions remains uncirculated.
WHERE THE BANDS ARE – V1a.........................
3:27....
DROC1..................................
WHERE THE BANDS ARE – V1b
3:42
TRACKS
Note: Two slightly different mixes. Recorded at The Power Station Studios on October 9, 1979.
CRUSH ON YOU – V1a................................
3:19....
DROC2 / RO.............................
CRUSH ON YOU – V1b
3:06
DROC2 / RO
CRUSH ON YOU – V1c
3:08
THE RIVER
Note: These are all mix permutations of the same basic recording. Recorded at The Power Station Studios on October 11 and 12, 1979.
INDEPENDENCE DAY – V1.............................
5:18....
private cdr............................
INDEPENDENCE DAY – V2a
5:27
DROC1
INDEPENDENCE DAY – V2b
4:39
THE RIVER
Note: Originally recorded for Darkness On The Edge Of Town, cut several times during the latter parts of 1977. Bruce would re-record it for The River, recorded at The Power Station on May 29 and October 11, 1979 and late in the sessions on April 24 and 25, 1980. V2a is the complete, uncut recording with the instrumental coda that was removed from the album version.
I’M A ROCKER – V1.................................
3:20....
LM-5...................................
I’M A ROCKER – V2
3:22
LM-5
I’M A ROCKER – V3
3:32
THE RIVER
Note: All three are different recordings from The Power Station. V1 (take #4) and V2 (take #6) are performed in the third person (“She’s A Rocker”) and date from late 1979. V3 is a later take that dates from 1980.
CHEVROLET DELUXE – V1#............................
5:19....
LM-12..................................
CHEVROLET DELUXE – V2#
6:53
LM-12
V1 and V2 are rehearsal workouts at Telegraph Hill on November 15, 1979. The studio logs indicate this stunning song was never recorded at The Power Station.
LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD - V1#.............
3:52....
LM-12..................................
LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD - V2#
4:26
LM-12
LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD - V3#
4:16
LM-12
LIVING ON THE EDGE OF THE WORLD - V4
4:14
TRACKS
Note: V1 thru V3 are rehearsal workouts at Telegraph Hill on November 15, 1979. V4 recorded at The Power Station on December 7, 1979. Aspects of this song would later appear in Nebraska's "Open All Night" and "State Trooper".
DEDICATION........................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Recorded at The Power Station on December 4 and 6, 1979 during the River sessions and donated to Gary U.S. Bonds. According to comments by Bonds, Bruce brought him this song as something from The River session arsenal that Bruce felt suited Bond’s style. It seems likely that Bonds' overdubbed his vocal onto the E Street Band backing.
TAKE 'EM AS THEY COME – V1a.......................
4:16....
DROC2..................................
TAKE 'EM AS THEY COME – V1b
4:20
DDITV
TAKE 'EM AS THEY COME – V2
4:25
TRACKS
Note: Two different recordings, although they're similarly arranged. V2 has some alternate lyrics in the last two verses. Backing track appears to have been recorded December 5, 1979 and Springsteen's vocal recorded at The Power Station on April 10, 1980.
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V1#.............................
2:37....
LM-12..................................
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V2#
3:41
LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V3#
1:36
LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V4#
4:07
LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V5#
3:37
LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V6#
4:32
LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V7#
4:29
LM-12
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V8#
5:41
LM-13
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V9#
2:13
LM-13
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V10#
3:30
LM-13
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V11#
3:45
LM-13
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V12#
4:17
LM-13
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V13#
3:47
LM-13
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V14a
3:52
DROC1
RESTLESS NIGHTS – V14b
3:41
TRACKS
Note: V1 thru V7 are rehearsal workouts at Telegraph Hill on January 10, 1980. V8 thru V13 are rehearsal workouts from Telegraph Hill the following evening - on January 11, 1980. V14a and V14b and different mixes of the same performance recorded at The Power Station on January 14, 1980, with further work undertaken on April 12 and May 2, 1980.
JOLE BLON – V1#...................................
4:44....
LM-13..................................
JOLE BLON – V2#
1:29
LM-13
JOLE BLON – V3#
3:44
LM-13
Note: Although it’s a cover of Moon Mullican’s Cajun classic this song was considered for the album once it became a two-LP set. All three performances are from the Telegraph Hill rehearsals on January 11, 1980. A Springsteen vocal rendition recorded at The Power Station in January 1980 exists.
YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) – V2......
........
................................
YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) – V3
2:34
THE RIVER..............................
Note: Dropping the rockabilly arrangement recorded in Phase One, Bruce would instead use the music from "Held Up Without A Gun". V2 is a Telegraph Hill rehearsal from January 11, 1980. V3 recorded at The Power Station on February 17 and 23, as well as April 1, 9 and 21, 1980.
STOLEN CAR – V1#..................................
3:21....
LMEC2..................................
STOLEN CAR – V2#
2:10
LM-13
STOLEN CAR – V3#
3:39
LM-13
STOLEN CAR – V4#
2:40
LM-13
STOLEN CAR – V5#
2:55
LM-13
STOLEN CAR – V6#
7:42
LM-15
STOLEN CAR – V7#
6:14
LM-15
STOLEN CAR – V8#
7:31
LM-15
STOLEN CAR – V9#
7:58
LM-15
STOLEN CAR – V10
3:50
THE RIVER
Note: V1 thru V9 are band rehearsal workouts at Telegraph Hill. V2 thru V9 were recorded on January 16, 1980 and feature revised arrangements from that of the version recorded and completed six months earlier (see Phase One listing above). V1 is an oddity - it features Bruce experimenting and singing the song over a pre-recorded tape of the band’s January 10 Telegraph Hill rehearsal of “Restless Nights”. The end result of all this was V10, which was recorded at The Power Station on January 21 and February 20, with further mixing or overdubs undertaken on April 1 and 9, plus May 9, 1980.
WRECK ON THE HIGHWAY – V1#........................
3:30....
LM-13..................................
WRECK ON THE HIGHWAY – V2
3:44
THE RIVER
Note: V1 is a rehearsal version from Telegraph Hill on January 16, 1980, which is interesting because it’s done in a country arrangement. V2 was recorded at The Power Station Studios across three days on April 10-12, 1980. The last song recorded for the album.
THE RIVER.........................................
........
THE RIVER?.............................
Note: Recorded at The Power Station on January 21, April 12 and April 24, 1980. Likely mixing or overdub sessions. See information in Phase One.
A THOUSAND TEARS (WILLIAM DAVIS)..................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Uncirculated outtake, recorded at The Power Station on January 31 and February 1, 1980. A song called "William Davis" was recorded in May 1982 during the sessions for Born In The USA.
ANGELYNE..........................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Recorded at The Power Station on February 1, 1980. Donated to Gary U.S. Bonds for his album On The Line, released in 1982. Bonds' likely overdubbed his vocal onto an E Street backing. A version with Springsteen's vocals was included on a 1993 in-house Tracks concept album.
SLOW FADE – V1#...................................
18:57...
LM-15..................................
SLOW FADE – V2#
2:52
LM-15
SLOW FADE – V3#
3:10
LM-15
SLOW FADE – V4#
3:24
LM-15
SLOW FADE – V5#
2:49
LM-15
SLOW FADE – V6#
3:04
LM-15
Note: V1 thru V6 are rehearsal workouts at Telegraph Hill on February 5, 1980. The studio logs indicate this song was never recorded at The Power Station as "Slow Fade", but it could be the uncirculated "I Will Be The One", which was recorded in the studio just eleven days after these rehearsals. Great song, unfortunately the lyrics are utterly buried under the music. The solo demo of "Slow Fade" recorded in late 1979 and found on The Lost Masters Essential Collection Vol. 1 is not related to this song, rather it is an early version of "Fade Away". This iteration of "Slow Fade" is not related to "Fade Away" in any respect.
JACKSON CAGE – V2#................................
1:31....
LMEC2..................................
JACKSON CAGE – V3#
2:42
LM-15
JACKSON CAGE – V4#
2:55
LM-15
JACKSON CAGE – V5
3:02
THE RIVER
Note: Bruce returned to "Jackson Cage" after a full session of recordings in May 1979 (see V1 in Phase One above). V2 is a brief snippet that features Springsteen singing over a January 11, 1980 Telegraph Hill band rehearsal of “Restless Nights”. V3 and V4 are rehearsal workouts of an alternative arrangement with different lyrics from Telegraph Hill on February 5, 1980. V5 was recorded at The Power Station on February 17 and March 10, 1980.
POINT BLANK.......................................
........
THE RIVER?.............................
Note: Originally recorded during the Phase One sessions, further work on this song was undertaken at The Power Station on February 16, 1980. Likely a mixing or overdub session. See information in Phase One.
I WILL BE THE ONE.................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Uncirculated outtake, recorded at The Power Station on February 16 and 26, 1980. Potentially the song bootlegged as "Slow Fade", see above. Considered for Tracks.
CADILLAC RANCH – V1a..............................
2:58....
DROC2 / RO.............................
CADILLAC RANCH – V1b
3:03
private cdr
CADILLAC RANCH – V1c
3:05
private cdr
CADILLAC RANCH – V1d
3:03
private cdr
CADILLAC RANCH – V1e
3:01
private cdr
CADILLAC RANCH – V1f
3:01
THE RIVER
Note: These are all mix permutations of the same basic recording. Recorded at The Power Station on February 16, March 9, 15 and 17, as well as April 9 and 26, 1980.
CHAIN LIGHTNING - V2..............................
2:18....
uncirculating..........................
Note: Recorded at The Power Station on February 17, 1980.
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN – V1#.......................
5:33....
LM-11..................................
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN – V2#
1:10
LM-11
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN – V3#
1:15
LM-11
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN – V4#
1:11
LM-11
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN – V5#
1:34
LM-11
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN – V6#
1:13
LM-11
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN – V7#
2:00
LM-11
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN – V8#
1:12
LM-11
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN – V9a
1:07
DROC1
HELD UP WITHOUT A GUN – V9b
1:13
1980 b-side
Note: V1 thru V8 are rehearsal workouts at Telegraph Hill on February 22, 1980 (with Miami Steve on lead vocals on V4). V9a and V9b are different mixes of the same performance, recorded at The Power Station starting the following day, February 23 and April 1, 9, 20 and 21, 1980.
TWO HEARTS – V1#..................................
2:36....
LM-11..................................
TWO HEARTS – V2#
1:55
LM-11
TWO HEARTS – V3#
2:37
LM-11
TWO HEARTS – V4#
2:41
LM-11
TWO HEARTS – V5#
1:13
LM-11
TWO HEARTS – V6#
4:23
LM-11
TWO HEARTS – V7#
5:08
LM-11
TWO HEARTS – V8#
3:26
LM-11
TWO HEARTS – V9
2:39
THE RIVER
Note: V1 thru V8 are rehearsal workouts at Telegraph Hill on February 22, 1980. V9 was recorded at The Power Station on February 23 and 24, with further work undertaken on March 17 plus April 9 and 26, 1980.
PIPELINE#.........................................
2:20....
LM-11..................................
Note: This is merely a band warm-up exercise from Telegraph Hill on February 22, 1980. It’s a cover of The Chantay’s 1963 surf-instrumental, sometimes mistakenly listed as The Ventures “Walk Don’t Run”. Included here for completeness but this was never considered for the album.
SHERRY DARLING – V1a..............................
4:05....
DROC2..................................
SHERRY DARLING – V1b
4:00
THE RIVER
Note: An outtake from Darkness On The Edge Of Town, originally recorded in June/July 1977 and performed on that tour. These are alternate mixes of the same basic performance. V1a contains different party noises. Recorded at The Power Station on May 25, 1979 and February 23, March 8 and April 12, 1980.
STRAY BULLET......................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Uncirculated outtake, recorded at The Power Station on February 24, March 9 and April 10, 1980.
DRIVE ALL NIGHT – V1#.............................
0:30....
LM-7...................................
DRIVE ALL NIGHT – V2
8:22
THE RIVER
Note: An outtake from the Darkness On The Edge Of Town sessions. V1 is from early 1980, with Springsteen singing over what sounds like a pre-recorded Telegraph Hill band backing. V2 was recorded at The Power Station on February 24, March 8 and 16, as well as April 10, 1980.
FADE AWAY – V1a...................................
1:01....
private cdr............................
FADE AWAY – V1b
1:37
private cdr
FADE AWAY – V1c
4:40
private cdr
FADE AWAY – V1d
4:46
private cdr
FADE AWAY – V1e
4:46
DROC2 / RO
FADE AWAY – V1f
4:36
THE RIVER
Note: All appear to be different mix permutations of the same basic recording. Recorded at The Power Station on March 9 and 15-17, as well as April 9 and 29, 1980.
TIME THAT NEVER WAS...............................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Uncirculated outtake, recorded at The Power Station on March 16, 1980. Previously recorded during Phase One of the sessions, on June 27, 1979. Not included on any Tracks shortlist.
DOWN IN WHITE TOWN................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: A composite of home demos "You Gotta Be Kind" and "Mr Outside". Demoed at home in early 1980 and recorded at The Power Station on March 16, 1980.
OUT IN THE STREET – V1#...........................
2:13....
DROC2..................................
OUT IN THE STREET – V2#
3:27
DROC2
OUT IN THE STREET – V3a
4:13
DROC2
OUT IN THE STREET – V3b
4:14
DROC2
OUT IN THE STREET – V3c
4:15
THE RIVER
Note: V1 and V2 are both early 1980 Telegraph Hill band rehearsals of the song in an embryonic form, sometimes noted by the alternate title “I’m Gonna Be There Tonight”. V3 are all Power Station mix permutations of the same basic recording. Recorded March 21, 1980 – among the final batch of songs completed.
HUNGRY HEART......................................
........
THE RIVER?.............................
Note: Originally recorded during the Phase One sessions, further work on this song was undertaken at The Power Station on March 24 and April 10, 1980. Likely a mixing or overdub session, perhaps for Flo and Eddie's backing vocals. See information in Phase One.
RAMROD............................................
........
THE RIVER?.............................
Note: Originally recorded during the Phase One sessions, further work on this song was undertaken at The Power Station on April 4 and 19, 1980. Likely a mixing or overdub session. See information in Phase One.
THE PRICE YOU PAY.................................
........
THE RIVER?.............................
Note: Originally recorded during the Phase One sessions, further work on this song was undertaken at The Power Station on April 4, 1980. Likely a mixing or overdub session. See information in Phase One.
THE TIES THAT BIND................................
........
THE RIVER?.............................
Note: Originally recorded during the Phase One sessions, further work on this song was undertaken at The Power Station on April 10, 1980. Likely a mixing or overdub session. See information in Phase One.
RICKY WANTS A MAN OF HER OWN......................
........
TRACKS?................................
Note: Originally recorded during the Phase One sessions, further work on this song was undertaken at The Power Station on April 10, 1980. Likely a mixing or overdub session. See information in Phase One.
ROULETTE..........................................
........
.......................................
Note: Originally recorded during the Phase One sessions, further work on this song was undertaken at The Power Station on April 11-12, 1980. Likely a mixing or overdub session. See information in Phase One.
CINDY.............................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Originally recorded during the Phase One sessions, further work on this song was undertaken at The Power Station on April 11-12, 1980. Likely a mixing or overdub session. See information in Phase One.
I WANNA MARRY YOU........,,.......................
........
THE RIVER?.............................
Note: Originally recorded during the Phase One sessions, further work on this song was undertaken at The Power Station on April 12 and May 6-7, 1980. Likely a mixing or overdub session. See information in Phase One.
BE TRUE...........................................
........
THE RIVER?.............................
Note: Originally recorded during the Phase One sessions, further work on this song was undertaken at The Power Station on April 22, 1980. Likely a mixing or overdub session. See information in Phase One.
YOUR LOVE.........................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Recorded at The Power Station sometime July to August 1980 during sessions for Gary US Bonds. A Springsteen vocal rendition from these sessions is likely to exist.
THIS LITTLE GIRL..................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Recorded at The Power Station sometime June to August 1980 during sessions for Gary US Bonds. A Springsteen vocal rendition from these sessions is likely to exist.
TONIGHT...........................................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Known from circulating audio of a second leg Darkness On The Edge Of Town tour rehearsal at Telegraph Hill Studio on October 26, 1978. Unlikely to have been recorded during the River sessions since it was re-written as "Break My Heart", see info above.
I’M GONNA TREAT YOU RIGHT.........................
........
uncirculating..........................
Note: Known from circulating audio of a second leg Darkness On The Edge Of Town tour rehearsal at Telegraph Hill Studio on October 26, 1978. There's no sign of this lovely Buddy Holly-ish song in the studio logs. Also known by the title “Wild Kisses”.

Part Three - Unreleased songs recorded during the sessions

For ease of reading, the 19 songs below were all recorded at The Power Station during sessions for The River but are currently unreleased. All are strong candidates for inclusion on any future outtake collection such as a River boxset.
LITTLE WHITE LIES..................................
THE MAN WHO GOT AWAY
NIGHT FIRE
UNDER THE GUN
DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY ALRIGHT
TIME THAT NEVER WAS
CINDY
PARTY LIGHTS
DEDICATION
YOU CAN LOOK (BUT YOU BETTER NOT TOUCH) (rockabilly)
JOLE BLON
A THOUSAND TEARS (WILLIAM DAVIS)
ANGELYNE
I WILL BE THE ONE
CHAIN LIGHTNING
STRAY BULLET
DOWN IN WHITE TOWN
YOUR LOVE
THIS LITTLE GIRL



Page last edited by Peteadmin on Feb 24, 2014 6:34 am
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