Rarities, Oddities, and other fun stuff
Airing Saturday mornings 10 am - 11 am - Hosted by Eric Davis
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This show is dedicated to Ryan Moreno – thanks for the great e-mail and positive comments on the shows.
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band– BLINDED BY THE LIGHT –"Blinded by the Light" is a song written and originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen, although it is mostly known by its 1976 #1 hit version recorded by Manfred Mann's Earth Band. It was the first song on, and first single from, Bruce Springsteen's 1973 debut album Greetings from Asbury Park N.J. Springsteen's version was commercially unsuccessful and did not appear on the music charts. Taken from “The Bruce Springsteen Songbook”, an import-only CD collection released in 1996.
The Patti Smith Group – BECAUSE THE NIGHT – "Because the Night" is the title of a song first released by the Patti Smith Group, and co-written by Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen, which was released as a single in 1978, taken from Smith's album Easter. The song was originally recorded by Bruce Springsteen during sessions for his Darkness on the Edge of Town album. He was not satisfied with it; the Patti Smith Group was working on Easter in the studio next door, with engineer/producer Jimmy Iovine working on both albums. Iovine gave Smith a tape of the song, she recast it, and it was included on Easter, becoming the first single released from that album. Though it was never released on any of Springsteen's studio albums, in concert beginning with his Darkness Tour Springsteen would often perform the song with his own lyrics. The song was first performed live (with Patti Smith) at CBGB's in New York City on December 30, 1977. Until the 2010 release of Springsteen's box set The Promise, which included the original recording from the Darkness on the Edge of Town sessions, the only commercially released recording of a Springsteen version of the song was in the 1986 box set Live/1975–85, where Smith was listed as co-writer. Taken from the “Cover Me” CD, 1989.
Pearl Jam – GROWIN’ UP – "Growin' Up" is a song by Bruce Springsteen from the album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. in 1973. It concerns an adolescent as a rebellious New Jersey teen, with the lyric written in the first-person. The lyrics feature a chorus that is progressively modified as the song continues, with the first chorus being "I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd but when they said 'Sit down,' I stood up," while the second chorus switches to "clouded warmth...'come down,' I threw up" and the third finishes the song with "mother breast...'pull down,' I pulled up." The track soon became a live favorite for the Springsteen audiences and Springsteen often told a long history of his problems with his father as an intro to the song. A version of this history can be heard on the album Live/1975-85. An acoustic version of the song, part of Springsteen's 1972 audition for CBS Records, appears on Tracks and 18 Tracks. Recorded 7/14/03 at the Capitol Theatre, in Holmdel, NJ. Unreleased.
Robert Gordon & Danny Gatton – FIRE – "Fire" is a song written by Bruce Springsteen, around 1977. Though written and first recorded during the troubled sessions that followed Born to Run. Springsteen's version of the song remained unreleased until his 1986 live compilation Live/1975-85. Springsteen's studio recording of the song remained unreleased until 2010's The Promise. In addition, "Fire" has been covered by a number of notable artists, including Robert Gordon, The Pointer Sisters, Shakin' Stevens and Cher. The song was written as a tribute to Elvis Presley, who died during the recording sessions on August 16, 1977. Taken from “The Humbler” CD, recorded live at the Berkeley Square Nightclub, circa 1980.
Warren Zevon – CADILLAC RANCH – "Cadillac Ranch" is a song written by Bruce Springsteen that was first released on Springsteen's 1980 album The River. It is an exuberant, playful rocker with rockabilly influences. However, the theme of the song is "the transitoriness of all existence" and the inevitability of death. The song's title comes from Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas. Cadillac Ranch is a sculpture showing ten Cadillac automobiles with their hoods buried in the ground. Springsteen used Cadillac Ranch as a metaphor for his theme; that these once elite cars are now expendable. Recorded 10/22/82 at the Capitol Theatre, in Holmdel, NJ. Unreleased.
Aimee Mann & Michael Penn – REASON TO BELIEVE – Originally released on Nebraska is the sixth studio album by Bruce Springsteen, released in 1982. Springsteen stated that the stories in this album were partly inspired by historian Howard Zinn's book A People's History of the United States. Taken from the CD “Badlands – A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska – 2000.
Son Volt – OPEN ALL NIGHT – "Open All Night" is a song written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen, which first appeared on Springsteen's 1982 solo album Nebraska. Of the 10 songs on Nebraska, "Open All Night" is the only one to feature an electric guitar. With a Chuck Berry-style riff, the song tells the story of an unnamed narrator's all-night drive across industrial New Jersey to reach his girl, Wanda, whom he met when she a waitress at the Route 60 Bob's Big Boy. Taken from the CD “Badlands – A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska – 2000.
Chris LeDoux – TOUGHER THAN THE REST – "Tougher Than the Rest" is a song by Bruce Springsteen from his 1987 Tunnel of Love album. Although the singer knows how messy and rough love can be, he claims that he is ready for it, but insists that the woman must also be equally tough and willing to take chances. Taken from the late Chris LeDoux’s CD “Haywire”, 1994. LeDoux was a big fan of Springsteen’s work.
Hank Williams III – ATLANTIC CITY – "Atlantic City" is a song written and recorded by Bruce Springsteen, which first appeared on Springsteen's 1982 solo album Nebraska, considered to be one of Springsteen's most dour albums in tone. It has since often been heard in a full band arrangement in concert. The song depicts a young couple's romantic escape to the New Jersey city Atlantic City, but it also wrestles with the inevitability of death, as the man in the relationship intends to take a job in organized crime upon arriving in the city. The opening lines of "Atlantic City" refer to mafia violence in nearby Philadelphia, with Springsteen singing: "Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night, now they blew up his house too" (the "chicken man" was mafia boss Philip Testa, who was killed by a bomb planted at his Philadelphia house in March 1981). Taken from the CD “Badlands – A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska – 2000.
David Bowie – IT’S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY - "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City" is a song written and performed by Bruce Springsteen on his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. in 1973. This is the song that impressed producer Mike Appel so much that he quit his job to become Springsteen's manager, even though Springsteen did not have a record contract yet. This was also the first song Springsteen played at his audition for John Hammond at CBS Records, who eventually signed him to a record contract, on May 2, 1972. The following day, Springsteen recorded "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City" as part of a 12-song demo for Hammond. The demo version of the song was released on Tracks in 1998. The version included on Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. was recorded during the summer of 1972 backed by future E-Street Band members David Sancious on piano, Vini Lopez on drums and Garry Tallent on bass. Taken from “One Step Up/Two Steps Back: The Songs of Bruce Springsteen” 2 CD collection, 1997.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood – BORN TO RUN - "Born to Run" is a song by Bruce Springsteen, and the title song of his album Born to Run. Written at 7½ West End Court in Long Branch, New Jersey in early 1974, the song was Bruce Springsteen's last-ditch effort to make it big. The prior year, Springsteen had released two albums to critical acclaim but with little commercial success. The lyrics to the song are appropriately epic for his last-ditch, all-or-nothing shot at the stars, yet they remain rooted in the universal desperation of adolescence. Written in the first person, the song is a love letter to a girl named Wendy for whom the hot-rod-riding protagonist certainly has enough passion to love, but perhaps not the patience. However, Springsteen has noted that it has a much simpler core: getting out of Freehold, the city in New Jersey where he lived. In his 1996 book Songs, Springsteen relates that while the beginning of the song was written on guitar around the opening riff, the song's writing was finished on piano, the instrument that most of the Born to Run album was composed on. In recording the song Springsteen first earned his noted reputation for perfectionism, laying down as many as eleven guitar tracks to get the sound just right. The recording process and alternate ideas for the song's arrangement are described in the Wings For Wheels documentary DVD included in the 2005 reissue Born to Run 30th Anniversary Edition package. Upon release in August 1975, the song and the album became unparalleled successes for Springsteen, springing him into stardom, and resulting in simultaneous cover stories in Time and Newsweek magazines. Taken from “The Bruce Springsteen Songbook”, an import-only CD collection released in 1996.