Sunday, November 30, 2014

Foo Fighters - 2014-11-28 - Seattle

Foo Fighters
November 28, 2014
The Showbox at the Market
Seattle, WA

01. intro
02. Winnebago
03. The Feast And The Famine
04. Learn To Fly
05. White Limo
06. Arlandria
07. Rope
08. The Pretender
09. My Hero
10. Hey, Johnny Park!
11. Monkey Wrench
12. Congregation
13. Walk
14. Cold Day In The Sun
15. In The Clear
16. I'll Stick Around
17. Big Me
18. Something From Nothing
19. These Days
20. Wattershed (part of)
21. Wattershed
22. For All The Cows
23. Miss You
24. Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love
25. Breakdown
26. Stiff Competition
27. Subterranean
28. Under Pressure
29. All My Life
30. This Is A Call
31. Weenie Beenie
32. Best Of You
33. Exhausted
34. Everlong

Mike Ziegler

A Celebration Of Lindsay Cooper - 2014-11-23 - Forli

A Celebration Of Lindsay Cooper
November 23, 2014
Teatro Diego Fabbri
Forli, Italy

Henry Cow, News From Babel, Music For Films and Oh Moscow
play the music of Lindsay Cooper

Half The Sky - Henry Cow
Gretel's Tale - Henry Cow
Falling Away - Henry Cow
Slice - Henry Cow
Moss - News From Babel
Black Gold - News From Babel
Dragon At The Core - News From Babel
Waited / Justice - News From Babel
Late Evening - News From Babel
Victory - News From Babel
Women's Wrongs - Music For Films
Lots Of Strikes / General Strike - Music For Films
Iceland - Music For Films
Empire Song - Music For Films
Plate Dance / As She Breathes - Music For Films
England descending - Oh Moscow
On German Soil - Oh Moscow
Lovers - Oh Moscow
Oh Moscow - Oh Moscow
Forgotten Fruit - Oh Moscow
Anno Mirabilis

Alfred Harth - Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet, Pocket Trumpet
Anne-Marie Roelofs - Violin, Trombone
Chris Cutler - Drums
Dagmar Krause - Vocals
Fred Frith - Guitar, Bass
John Greaves - Bass Guitar, Vocals
Michel Berckmans - Bassoon, Oboe, English Horn
Phil Minton - Vocals
Sally Potter - Vocals
Tim Hodgkinson - Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Keyboards
Veryan Weston - Piano, Keyboards
Zeena Parkins - Harp, Piano, Keyboards

recording juhab1

A Celebration Of Lindsay Cooper - 2014-11-22 - Huddersfield

A Celebration Of Lindsay Cooper
November 22, 2014
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Lawrence Batley Theatre

Henry Cow, Music For Films, News From Babel and Oh Moscow
play the music of Lindsay Cooper

01 welcome clapping
02 Introduction by Sally Potter
03 clapping
04 Half The Sky (Henry Cow)
05 clapping
06 Gretel's Tale (Henry Cow)
07 clapping
08 Falling Away (Henry Cow)
09 clapping
10 Slice (Henry Cow)
11 clapping
12 Fred Frith introduces New From Babel
13 Moss (News From Babel)
14 clapping
15 Black Gold (News From Babel)
16 clapping
17 Late Evening (News From Babel)
18 clapping
19 Victory (News From Babel)
20 clapping
21 Fred Frith introduces Music For Films
22 Lots Of Larks - General Strike (Music For Films)
23 clapping
24 Iceland (Music For Films)
25 clapping
26 Empire Song (Music For Films)
27 clapping
28 Plate Dance - As She Breathes (Music For Films)
29 clapping
30 On German Soil (Oh Moscow)
31 clapping
32 Lovers (Oh Moscow)
33 clapping
34 Oh Moscow (Oh Moscow)
35 clapping
36 Forgotten Fruit (Oh Moscow)
37 clapping
38 Anno Mirabilis (News From Babel)
39 clapping

Alfred Harth - Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet, Pocket Trumpet
Anne-Marie Roelofs - Violin, Trombone
Chris Cutler - Drums
Dagmar Krause - Vocals
Fred Frith - Guitar, Bass
John Greaves - Bass Guitar, Vocals
Michel Berckmans - Bassoon, Oboe, English Horn
Phil Minton - Vocals
Sally Potter - Vocals
Tim Hodgkinson - Alto Saxophone, Clarinet, Keyboards
Veryan Weston - Piano, Keyboards
Zeena Parkins - Harp, Piano, Keyboards

recorded by nadir_53

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Celebration Of Lindsay Cooper - 2014-11-21 - London

A Celebration Of Lindsay Cooper
November 21, 2014

The Barbican

01. Entrance
02. Welcome
03. Half The Sky(False Start) - Henry Cow
04. Half The Sky - Henry Cow
05. Gretel's Tale - Henry Cow
06. Look Back - Henry Cow
07. Falling Away - Henry Cow
08. Slice - Henry Cow
09. Reset
10. Moss - News From Babel
11. Black Gold(False start) - News From Babel
12. Black Gold - News From Babel
13. Dragon At The Core - News From Babel
14. Waited/Justice - News From Babel
15. Late Evening - News From Babel
16. Victory - News From Babel
17. Entrance
18. Women's Wrongs - Music For Films
19. Lots Of Strikes->General Strike - Music For Films
20. Iceland - Music For Films
21. Empire Song - Music For Films
22. Plate Dance->As She Breathes - Music For Films
23. Oh Moscow Intro
24. England descending - Oh Moscow
25. On German Soil - Oh Moscow
26. Lovers - Oh Moscow
27. Oh Moscow - Oh Moscow
28. Forgotten Fruit - Oh Moscow
29. Crowd
30. Anno Mirabilis
31. Outro

Michel Berckmans – Bassoon, Oboe, English Horn
Chris Cutler – Drums
Fred Frith – Guitars, Bass
John Greaves – Bass, Vocals
Alfred Harth – Tenor & Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet, Pocket Trumpet
Tim Hodgkinson – Alto Sax, Clarinet, Keyboards
Dagmar Krause – Vocals
Phil Minton – Vocals
Zeena Parkins – Harp, Piano, Keyboards
Sally Potter – Vocals
Anne-Marie Roelofs – Violin, Trombone
Veryan Weston – Piano, Keyboards

An EBR Recording

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Deep Purple - 2014-11-18 - Buenos Aires

Deep Purple
November 18, 2014
Estadio Luna Park
Buenos Aires

01. Intro (Mars, the Bringer of War)
02. Highway Star
03. Into the Fire
04. Hard Lovin' Man
05. Strange Kind of Woman
06. Vincent Price
07. Contact Lost
08. Guitar Solo + Uncommon Man
09. The Well-Dressed Guitar
10. The Mule (Drum solo)
11. Lazy
12. Hell to Pay
13. Keyboard Solo
14. Perfect Strangers
15. Space Truckin'
16. Smoke on the Water
17. Hush (Bass solo)
18. Black Night

Taper: eltiburon

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Deep Purple - 2014-11-12 - Sao Paulo

Deep Purple
November 12, 2014
Espaço das Americas
Sao Paulo, Brazil

00. Mars, the Bringer of War
01. Highway Star
02. Into the Fire
03. Hard Lovin' Man
04. Strange Kind of Woman
05. Vincent Price
06. Contact Lost
07. Uncommon Man
08. The Well-Dressed Guitar
09. The Mule
10. Lazy
11. Hell to Pay
12. Keyboard Solo
13. Perfect Strangers
14. Space Truckin
15. Smoke on the Water
16. Green Onions
17. Hush
18. Bass Solo
19. Black Night

Deep Purple - 2014-11-11 - Sao Paulo

Deep Purple
November 11th, 2014
Espaço das Américas
Sao Paulo, Brazil

01. Intro (Mars, The Bringer Of War)
02. Highway Star
03. Into the Fire
04. Hard Lovin' Man
05. Strange Kind of Woman
06. Vincent Price
07. Contact Lost
08. Uncommon Man
09. The Well-Dressed Guitar
10. The Mule
11. Punhetation #1
12. Lazy
13. Hell to Pay
14. Punhetation #2
15. Perfect Strangers
16. Space Truckin'
17. Smoke on the Water
18. Green Onions
19. Hush
20. Punhetation #3
21. Black Night

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Leo Brouwer - 1976-10-09 - Amsterdam (FM)

Leo Brouwer
Kleine Zaal

Six Lute Pieces of the Renaissance
Anonymous - Transcribed by Oscar Chilesotti

- I. Vaghe belleze et bionde treccie d'oro vedi che per ti moro.
- II. Bianco Fiore.
- III. Danza.
- IV. Gagliarda
- V. Se io m'accorgo
- VI. Saltarello

Johan Sebastian Bach
Chaconne from Violin Partita No. 2 BVW 1004

Domenico Scarlatti
Six sonatas for harpsichord
- Uknown Title
- Uknown Title
- Uknown Title
- Uknown Title
- Uknown Title
- Uknown Title

Leo Brouwer
- Parábola
- Canticum
- La espiral eterna

Tres piezas populares argentinas

- Astor Piazzolla - Uknown Title
- Astor Piazzolla - Uknown Title
- Astor Piazzolla - Uknown Title

Tres piezas populares cubanas

- Leo Brouwer - Berceuse (Cancion de Cuna)
- Uknown Title
- Uknown Title

Tres piezas populares brasileiras

- Uknown Title
- João Pernambuco - Sons De Carrilhoes
- Antonio Carlos Jobim - Samba de Uma Nota Só

Leo Brouwer
Metáfora del amor (guitar and tape)

(based loosely on the song "Romance" (Anon.):

Cuban guitarist and composer Leo Brouwer plays a solo recital in the hall of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The works on the program are all exemplary of Leo Brouwer. Arrangements of Baroque music, his own work and as a final piece of work for guitar and electronics. Due to an injury to his right hand in the early 1980's, Leo Brouwer stopped performing and switched to composing full-time.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Bruce Springsteen - 1978-08-18 - Philadelphia

Bruce Springsteen
August 18, 1978
The Spectrum
Philadelphia, PA

01 Summertime Blues
02 Badlands
03 Spirit In The Night
04 Darkness On The Edge Of Town
05 Factory
06 The Promised Land
07 Prove It All Night
08 Racing In The Street
09 Thunder Road
10 Jungleland
11 Paradise By The "C"
12 The Fever
13 Sherry Darling
14 Sandy
15 Not Fade Away > Gloria > She's the One
16 Growin' Up
17 Backstreets
18 Rosalita
19 Born To Run
20 Because The Night
21 Rave On (with Gary Busey)
22 Quarter To Three (with Gary Busey)

Bruce Springsteen - 1978-08-14 - Hampton

Bruce Springsteen
August 14, 1978
Hampton Coliseum,
Hampton, VA

101. High School Confidential (3:45)
102. Badlands (4:40)
103. Spirit In The Night (9:57)
104. Darkness On The Edge Of Town (4:42)
105. Factory (3:59)
106. The Promised Land (7:03)
107. Prove It All Night (10:13)
108. Racing In The Street (8:43)
109. Thunder Road (6:07)
110. Jungleland (10:06)

201. Paradise By The C (4:48)
202. For You (6:45)
203. 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (7:02)
204. Sweet Little Sixteen (4:10)
205. Not Fade Away - Gloria - She's The One (14:32)
206. Growin' Up (10:20)
207. Backstreets (11:03)
208. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (12:38)

301. Born To Run (6:11)
302. Because The Night (7:59)
303. Quarter To Three (8:59)

Bruce Springsteen - 1978-06-24 - Portland

Bruce Springsteen
June 24, 1978
Paramount Theater
Portland, OR

01 Badlands (5:01)
02 Night (3:06)
03 Spirit In The Night (8:17)
04 Darkness On The Edge Of Town (6:05)
05 For You (6:00)
06 The Promised Land (5:05)
07 Prove It All Night (9:48)
08 Racing In The Street (8:08)
09 Thunder Road (5:53)
10 Jungleland (9:59)
11 Paradise By The 'C' (4:37)
12 Fire (2:47)
13 Adam Raised A Cain (5:12)
14 Mona (5:56)
15 She's The One (6:00)
16 Growin' Up (11:31)
17 Backstreets (5:40)
18 Sad Eyes (3:32)
19 Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (10:22)
20 The Promise (7:39)
21 Born To Run (5:50)
22 Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (5:35)
23 Quarter To Three (11:26)

Bruce Springsteen - 1978-06-03 - Uniondale

Bruce Springsteen
June 3, 1978
Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, NY

01. Badlands
02. Night
03. Spirit In The Night
04. Something In The Night
05. For You
06. The Promised Land
07. Prove It All Night
08. Racing In The Street
09. Thunder Road
10. Paradise By The C
11. Fire
12. Adam Raised A Cain
12. Mona/She’s The One
13. Growing Up
14. Saint In The City
15. Backstreets
16. Rosalita
17. The Promise
18. Born To Run
19. Tenth Ave Freeze-Out
20. Fourth Of July, Asbury Park
21. Quarter To Three

Bruce Springsteen - 1978-05-30 - Boston

Bruce Springsteen
May 30, 1978
Boston Music Hall
Boston, MA

01. Badlands [portion only]
02. Night [beginning cut]
03. Spirit In The Night
04. Something In The Night
05. For You
06. The Promised Land
07. Prove It All Night
08. Racing In The Street
09. Thunder Road
10. Paradise By The "C"
11. Fire
12. Adam Raised A Cain
13. Candy's Room
14. Growin' Up
15. It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City
16. Mona
17. She's The One
18. Backstreets [beginning slight cut]
19. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
20. The Promise
21. Born To Run
22. Because The Night
23. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

Bruce Springsteen - 1978-05-27 - Philadelphia

Bruce Springsteen
May 27, 1978
The Spectrum
Philadelphia, PA

01 Badlands
02 Night
03 Spirit in the night
04 Something in the night
05 For You
06 The promised land
07 Prove it all night [With long guitar intro]
08 Racing in the street
09 Thunder road
10 Jungleland
11 Paradise by the C
12 Fire
13 Adam raised a Cain
14 Growin' up
15 It's hard to be a saint in the city
16 Mona
17 She's the one
18 Backstreets
19 Rosalita (Come out tonight)
20 The promise
21 Born to run
22 Tenth avenue freeze-out
23 You can't sit down

Bruce Springsteen - 1978-05-26 - Philadelphia

Bruce Springsteen
May 26, 1978
The Spectrum
Philadelphia, PA

01 Badlands
02 Night
03 Spirit in the Night
04 Something in the Night
05 For You
06 Candy's Room
07 Prove It All Night
08 Racing in the Street
09 Thunder Road
10 Promised Land
11 Paradise by the "C"
12 Fire
13 Adam Raised a Cain
14 Growin' Up
15 Saint in the City
16 Mona > She's the One
17 Backstreets
18 Rosalita
19 The Promise
20 Born to Run
21 Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
22 You Can't Sit Down

Bruce Springsteen - 2013-06-20 - Coventry

Bruce Springsteen
June 20, 2013
Ricoh Arena

01 - The Ghost of Tom Joad (solo acoustic)
02 - Long Walk Home
03 - My Love Will Not Let You Down
04 - Two Hearts ("Sign request", sign actually said "PLAY ANYTHING")
05 - Seeds (Sign request)
06 - Trapped (Sign request)
07 - Long Time Comin' (Sign request, Full band debut)
08 - Wrecking Ball
09 - Death to My Hometown
10 - Hungry Heart
11 - The River (Sign request)
Born To Run Album - dedicated to James Gandolfini
12 - Thunder Road
13 - 10th Avenue Freeze-Out
14 - Night
15 - Backstreets
16 - Born to Run
17 - She's the One
18 - Meeting Across the River
19 - Jungleland
20 - Pay Me My Money Down
21 - Shackled and Drawn
22 - Waitin' On a Sunny Day (guest singer is a random small boy)
23 - Lonesome Day
24 - Badlands
25 - We Are Alive
26 - Born in the U.S.A.
27 - Bobby Jean
28 - Dancing in the Dark
29 - Raise Your Hand
30 - American Land

Bruce Springsteen - 2012-05-30 - Berlin

Bruce Springsteen
& The E Street Band
May 30, 2012

01. When I Leave Berlin
02. We Take Care Of Our Own
03. Wrecking Ball
04. Badlands
05. Death to My Hometown
06. My City of Ruins
07. Spirit in the Night
08. Hungry Heart
09. Trapped
10. Jack of All Trades
11. Youngstown
12. Johnny 99
13. Working on the Highway
14. Shackled and Drawn
15. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
16. Save My Love
17. The River
18. The Rising
19. Lonesome Day
20. We Are Alive
21. Thunder Road
22. Rocky Ground
23. Born in the U.S.A.
24. Born to Run
25. Glory Days
26. Seven Nights to Rock
27. Dancing in the Dark
28. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

recorded by wb

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bruce Springsteen - 2012-04-01 - Washington

Bruce Springsteen
and the E Street Band
Verizon Center
Washington, D.C.

01. Intro
02. We Take Care Of Our Own
03. Wrecking Ball
04. Night
05. Death to My Hometown
06. My City of Ruins
07. Seaside Bar Song
08. Does This Bus Stop at 82nd St?
09. Intro to . . .
10. Jack of All Trades
11. Trapped
13. Easy Money
14. She's the One
15. Waitin' On a Sunny Day
17. The Way You Do the Things You Do
18. 634-5789
19. American Skin (41 Shots)
20. Because the Night
21. The Rising
22. We Are Alive
23. Thunder Road
24. PSA for Walter Reed Hospital veterans, DC Central Kitchen and a dedication to Bobby Muller
25. Rocky Ground
27. Born to Run
28. Dancing In The Dark
29. Land of Hope and Dreams
30. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

Bruce Springsteen - 2012-03-09 - New York City

Bruce Springsteen
& The E Street Band
March 9, 2012
The Apollo Theater
New York City, NY

101. Intro
102. We Take Care of Our Own
103. Wrecking Ball
104. Badlands
105. Death to My Hometown
106. My City of Ruins
107. Intro / "The Beginning Of It All"
108. The E Street Shuffle
109. Intro / "We Have A New Record Out"
110. Jack of All Trades
111. Shackled and Drawn
112. Waitin' on a Sunny Day
113. The Promised Land
114. Intro / "Hotter Than You Know"
115. Mansion on the Hill
116. Outro

201. Intro / "Come On, Singers!"
202. The Way You Do the Things You Do
203. 634-5789
204. The Rising
205. We are Alive
206. Thunder Road
207. Intro
208. Rocky Ground (w/ Michelle Moore)
209. Land of Hope and Dreams
210. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
211. Hold On I'm Coming

312. We Take Care of Our Own *
313. Death To My Hometown ** (w/ Tom Morello)
314. Jack Of All Trades ** (w/ Tom Morello)

* From "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" 2/28/2012
** From "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" 3/2/2012

Notes (from
On June 5, 1992, Bruce Springsteen warmed up for his first tour without the E Street Band by sending out a "dress rehearsal" show live over the radio airwaves. While the tour itself wouldn't start for another ten days, listeners everywhere (and a handful of contest winners in-house) got a sneak peek at the upcoming tour. Twenty years later, and Bruce is doing it again: this time not on terrestrial radio but via satellite on SiriusXM; this time with the E Street Band, with an album headed up the charts instead of down, and not from a "mysterious location" but rather from the place where stars are born and legends are made, Harlem's historic Apollo Theatre.
Thing is, Friday night didn't feel like a tour warm-up. It wasn't touted as a rehearsal show, and it didn't feel like one — it felt like a special night curated for the Apollo Theater. Which, no matter what takes shape further on down the road, is exactly what it was: from the band coming out and rubbing Harlem's legendary Tree of Hope as they each took the stage, to Springsteen's delightedly over-the-top self-introduction ("A young man who was born in the U.S.A.... won an Academy Award... the hardest working white man in show business!") to the tributes to soul greats, the special appearance of vocalist Michelle Moore, and the blasting apart of the fourth wall that separates performer and audience in this 1,200-seater. By the time Springsteen began scaling the walls, climbing into opera boxes and out onto the edge of the lower mezzanine, we'd already lost track of how many times he'd ventured into the crowd. It was hardly something he'll be able to repeat at a Corporate Arena Near You.
That said, the new album got a workout, giving a taste of things to come with all songs performed on Fallon returning plus the tour debuts of "Shackled and Drawn," "We Are Alive," and "Rocky Ground." "Shackled" was a Sessions Band-style tour de force, with all the vocalists down front on an a capella intro, even Garry stepping to the mic, and Cindy Mizelle bringing it home at the end: "I want everybody to stand up and be counted tonight!" "Rocky Ground" brought the album's featured vocalist Michelle Moore to the stage, with Bruce recalling fondly how long they've worked together, from Asbury Park holiday shows to The Rising and beyond.
"On our new record," Bruce said, "our motto is dancing and crying." And hand-in-hand with that theme of resilience in the face of adversity and loss, the spirit of Clarence Clemons was very much with us tonight — Bruce and the E Street Band's first full show without him. There was a collective breath held as the "Badlands" solo approached in slot three... and an exhale of relief as Jake Clemons stepped out of the five-horn line-up to do his Uncle (and Bruce and the band and the song and himself) proud. It wasn't much later that Bruce addressed the loss directly, honoring the Big Man, his fans, the band, and our communal bond in the process.
He touched on it first in a mission statement after "Death to My Hometown": "We're so glad to be here with you tonight at the legendary Apollo Theater. We're glad to be here again — we've missed you. Tonight we've got some old friends and some new friends with us... but our mission remains the same. We're here to bring the power, hour after hour... we're here to put a whoop-ass session on the recession... we're here to bring a smile to your face, an extra beat to your heart, and to raise your spirits high in these hard times."
But it was in the next song, a horn-heavy "My City of Ruins" with a newfound groove, that Springsteen met the elephant in the room head on. "Roll Call!" he shouted, introducing each member of the band, who each took a solo. And when they were done: "Are we missing anybody?" There was a tentative feeling in the crowd as a whole, and one of the most moving moments of the night was as we first wondered, is this really what he means? And the look on Bruce's face as he beckoned said it all. He was giving us permission. "Are we missing anybody?" he asked again, and this time the crowd knew to respond. Soon he was telling us, "The only thing I can guarantee tonight... if you're here and we're here, they're here."
In the encore, "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out" brought an even more moving salute to Clarence, Bruce first holding out the mic to the crowd for "kid you better get the picture," and soon bringing the song to a complete halt after "the Big Man joined the band," the crowd hollering in tribute, the moment stretching out before the entire horn section played that quick, signature solo in unison.
These were moments when we acknowledged loss, particularly of Danny and Clarence. Important moments that it felt like we needed, as an audience, and that reminded us of the courage it must take for Bruce and the band to soldier on without their longtime brothers in arms. But we didn't feel just loss all night. We celebrated, we raged, we gasped (jesus, don't let him fall off the balcony, or the tour is over before it starts!), we grooved, and we dug deep into "Soul Music! The Apollo! Home of the Gods and the True Temple of Soul!" In a lengthy and clearly heartfelt salute to the music that is inseparable from the venue and that also nurtured his own musical soul, Bruce described it as "an education." Geography: "Funky Broadway." Math: "99 and a Half Won't Do." Religion: Aretha. Sex Education: Marvin Gaye. "The Wisdom of Solomon... Burke! And of course, the poetry of Smokey Robinson." So many powerful vocalists onstage brought their talents to bear on a superbly arranged "The Way You Do the Things You Do," and Bruce kept the soul train rolling right into Wilson Pickett's "634-5789," as he gave Eddie Vedder and his wall-scaling a run for the money.
The final song of the night, after mixing in more of his own staples like "The Rising" and "Thunder Road," was both another soul classic and a promise to the thousands of fans listening in all night on SiriusXM: Atlanta, Greensboro, Tampa, Boston... "Hold on... we're comin'!"

Bruce Springsteen - 2012-05-28 - Landgraaf

Bruce Springsteen
May 28, 2012
Pinkpop Festival

101. We take care of our own
102. Wrecking ball
103. Badlands
104. Death to my hometown
105. My city of ruins
106. Spirit in the night
107. Because the night
108. Radio nowhere
109. I'm on fire
110. Shackled & drawn
111. Waitin' on a sunny day
112. The promised land

201. The river
202. The rising
203. We are alive
204. Thunder road
205. - crowd -
206. 96 tears (with Garland Jeffreys)
207. Born in the USA *
208. Born to run
209. Hungry heart (with Mumford and Sons)
210. Dancing in the dark
211. American land
212. Tenth Avenue freeze-out

Bruce Springsteen - 1977 - The Unbroken Promise

Bruce Springsteen
The Unbroken Promise:
Lighting Up The Darkness Sessions

The Godfatherecords
G.R. BOX 01

On 28 May 1977, Bruce Springsteen’s long drawn out litigation with former manager Mike Appel was eventually settled, finally allowing him to enter a recording studio with new manager and producer Jon Landau and therefore to record his fourth album and masterpiece, Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Recording sessions began early in June at New York’s Atlantic Studios but problems swiftly emerged. As Christopher Sandford writes in Springsteen: Point Blank, “no one was happy with the drum sound, and the studio wasn’t terribly liveable, the latter an important consideration since the recording would inevitably drag on for several months.” Consequently, the decision was taken to move operations to another studio, The Record Plant, which, as Sandford points out, had the advantages of, “state-of-the-art ADT and EQ-ing boxes, as well as a kitchen, bedrooms and an exercise area.” Recording therefore continued solely at The Record Plant from September 1977.

Subsequent events are described by Brucebase as follows:

“The actual recording sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town were completed by early January 1978. The mixing sessions began in early January 1978 and dragged on until late March – there were a tremendous amount of different mixes considered, with Springsteen changing his mind on the mix of one song (“The Promised Land”) as late as early April…According to comments by Darkness sessions recording engineer Jimmy Iovine about 30 songs were recorded to a completed state and available for inclusion on the Darkness album. There were an unknown number of additional songs not fully completed. What “not fully completed” means is uncertain. At this stage 33 songs have been officially released (the 10 on the original album, 5 on Tracks and 18 on The Promise) but several of these have modern vocal takes.”

As I am aware from my own collecting experience, outtakes from the Darkness sessions emerged quite quickly. My first acquisition was the EP Outside The Seven-Eleven Store (WNYC Radio) which contained The Promise, Racing In The Street and two versions of Because The Night (one by Springsteen and one by Patti Smith). These three songs, and several others from the Darkness sessions, appeared on an LP in my collection, Do I Have To Say His Name? (Devil Record Company) and I also possessed an album with Darkness and River outtakes entitled Son You May Kiss The Bride (Basil Records). Two further releases, the single LP Electric Collection (Rough Stuff Records) and Castaway (Hoss For Boss), a double album additionally containing live and studio material up to 1984, eluded me. Brucebase points out that these vinyl releases tended to disappoint in terms of sound quality, stating that, “the audio from the Darkness sessions that has surfaced unofficially over the years has been of rather disappointing quality. During the late 1970s and 1980s most of it was of very weak quality.”

Brucebase goes on to say that, “over the past 15 years lower generation audio specimens have emerged and the CD-era boots of this audio have been a noticeable improvement over their vinyl era counterparts,” though this does not seem to apply to very early CD releases (which, of course, appeared more than fifteen years ago). Lynn Elder’s bootleg guide Bruce Springsteen: You Better Not Touch awards the prosaically-named 2-CD set Darkness/River Outtakes (Tunnel Records ) 5 out of 10 for sound quality, while the CD version of Son You May Kiss The Bride (no label) merits a lowly 4. Perhaps this is unsurprising, given its origins. As Clinton Heylin points out in The Great White Wonders: A History Of Rock Bootlegs, this “particularly shoddy” product which “arrived in Europe…was a…copy of a vinyl bootleg, complete with serious sound faults, manufactured to see if a particular conduit worked.” Castaway also received a CD release on the Classics Limited label, squeezed onto a single disc through the omission of the whole of side 2 of the original LP. Another early release, At The Edge Of Darkness (Musique Sabot), is rated 3 for sound by Elder and runs for an incredibly ungenerous thirty-seven minutes.

My own early-90s acquaintance with the Darkness sessions came in the form of three volumes of outtakes entitled The Iceman, The Way and The Promise (no label evident on my copies but attributed to Scorpio by the Killing Floor Database). These releases represent at least some improvement in sound quality and Killing Floor describes them as, “not superb quality, but anyway the best possible at the time this serie[s] was put out.” E Street Records weighed in with a 2-CD set called The Definitive Darkness Outtakes Collection, the second pressing of which was rated in the third volume of Elder’s guide as 6-8 for sound quality (the first pressing had been given the mark of 5-8). The label had previously issued The Original Darkness Mixes, described on the rear insert as, “original mixes for the ’Darkness’ album recorded from original acetates.” Two CDs of Darkness outtakes were issued in 1996 by the Labour Of Love label as part of its monumental nineteen disc series The Lost Masters. The two CDs appeared as the second and third volumes in the series, subtitled One Way Street (Darkness Masters Volume I) and Rattling The Chains (Darkness Masters Volume II), and they represent a clear improvement in sound quality. Elder awards them both 8, stating of the first volume that, “the quality here is better than previously circulated,” and of the second volume, “the sound quality is excellent.” A single disc collection also appeared on Scorpio, entitled Loose Ends. In 2003, Godfather issued its first two-disc Darkness outtakes compilation, with the title The Definitive Remastered Darkness Outtakes. This reproduced the exact track listing of the earlier E Street release, with two extra songs added at the end. A handful of tracks also turned up on more wide-ranging compilations such as Mosquito Records’ Ultra Rare Tracks Vol.1 and E Street’s excellent 3-CD collection, Deep Down In The Vaults.

There has, of course also been the official release, the handsomely packaged but long-delayed 3-CD/3-DVD set The Promise: The Darkness On The Edge Of Town Story, which finally emerged late in 2010 (together with a more modest 2-CD set containing only the outtakes), despite the fact that the intention had been to issue it as a thirtieth-anniversary commemorative edition. This, in turn, delayed Godfather’s release, as the label was keen to avoid any unnecessary overlap in material, thereby producing a collection designed to effectively complement the official set.

Still In The Vaults

101 Break Out - Version 1
102 Break Out - Version 2
103 Don't Say No - Version 1
104 Don't Say No - Version 2
105 Say Sons
106 I Wanna Be With You
107 I'm Goin' Back
108 Frankie
109 Janey Needs A Shooter
110 Sherry Darling - Verion 1
111 Sherry Darling - Version 2
112 Bring On The Night

201 Drive All Night - Version 1
202 Drive All Night - Version 2
203 Drive All Night - Version 3
204 Preacher's Daughter
205 Crazy Rocker
206 What's The Matter Darling - Version 1
207 What's The Matter Darling - Version 2
208 Indepence Day
209 Ramrod
210 Castaway

The six discs which make up The Unbroken Promise are presented as three 2-CD sets. The first is described as, “featuring all songs from the ‘Darkness Sessions’ still in the vaults, never selected for a possible inclusion neither in ‘Tracks’ box set, nor in ‘The Promise’ double CD.”

Disc one opens with two versions of Breakout, described by Godfather’s booklet as “quick and easy Rock’n'Roll,” and as a precurser to rockers such as Ramrod and Crush On You from The River. Version 1, recorded at Atlantic Studios in September 1977, is described by Brucebase as, “a rough workout with lyrics very bluffed,” and Springsteen’s attempts to insert vocals where there are no lyrics come across as not a million miles removed from scat singing. Version 1 is driven by Danny Federici’s organ, together with Roy Bittan’s piano, underpinned by Max Weinbergs’s muscular drumming. By the time version 2 was recorded, a little later and probably at the Record Plant, the lyrics were virtually complete. In this version Bittan’s piano has disappeared and Garry Tallent’s bass is more prominent. The song has circulated under the title All Night Long, and, indeed there are working titles or alternative titles for several of the Darkness sessions songs. The next song, Don’t Say No, also appears in two versions, both probably from The Record Plant. The booklet describes it as, “a Rock’n'Roll song with a drum intro which will be later used in ‘Roulette’ [and] Shadows-style guitars.” Lyrically incomplete, and clearly not a finished recording, it may well be, as the booklet contends, “a kind of live in the studio rehearsal of a new song idea.” In version 1 Springsteen’s vocals are rather muffled, so that it is sometimes difficult to discern whether he is articulating actual lyrics or merely singing wordlessly. Brucebase contends that version 2 is “in very weak sound quality.” Here, however, the instruments sound just fine; the vocals, by contrast, are extremely recessed. Again there is an alternative title, in this case I Wanna Be Wild, and Brucebase states that, “a take of this song with the virtually identical title ‘I Want To Be Wild’ was recorded at the Record Plant on November 11, 1977.

Next up is the “short rocker” recorded at The Record Plant in October-November 1977 that Brucebase maintains is called Down By The River, though the website notes that, “the very strange working title for this was Say Sons.’” Godfather uses the latter title for, “this rousing number [which] spotlights the Big Man in particular,” with a prominent sax part at the start and a solo later on. Although the vocals might well have been rather more up-front in a finished version, here they are not, as Brucebase states, “buried in the mix.”

I Wanna Be With You is more medium-paced, rather in the manner of Don’t Look Back. Described in the booklet as “a rollicking love song,” this was recorded at Atlantic Studios early on in the sessions, in June 1977. A later version, recorded during the River sessions eventually ended up on Tracks. Godfather argues that the Tracks version “lost something.” and notably, “lacks the pleasant piano phrase (beginning before the entrance of the voice) and the devastating central solo guitar,” a description which makes the song sound more emotionally charged than it actually is. Brucebase states that, “this is a complete take but it’s clearly not a final take.” The next song is another raucous number, I’m Goin’ Back. The “fully finished take,” as Brucebase says, recorded at The Record Plant in October-November 1977, bore the working title of Bo Diddley Rocker. This hugely enjoyable performance features some wonderfully rasping sax from Clemons and demonic harmonica from Springsteen, who ends the song with a wicked laugh. Again, on this release, there is no sense that, as Brucebase says, the vocal is “buried in the mix.”

The next song, the gently-paced Frankie, is one of the highlights among the outtakes presented here. Frankie is the ”little angel” whom the song’s protagonist hopes will, “walk with me tonight…to the shadows where the lovers go,” where she will “whisper you secrtes soft and low.” Godfather’s booklet rightly describes the number as, “a wonderful song, full of evocative images and a truly beautiful melody.” The Lebanese Tribute To Bruce Springsteen website refers to the song as,”probably the clearest bridge between the fanciful urban lyricism of Born To Run and the edgy Americana of Darkness On The Edge Of Town.” The version here, with a fine sax part from Clemons, dates from June-July 1977, but the song is believed to have been written in early 1976, and it was performed numerous times during April of that year, beginning with the show of 4 April at the Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. The second known performance, from 7 April in Cleveland, which appeared on Scorpio’s Live At The Allen Theatre, is described by Elder as “perhaps the definitive version.” A later recording of Frankie, dating from the Born In The U.S.A. sessions is included on Tracks.

The next song is the slow-paced Janey Needs A Shooter. This song had a lengthy history. Brucebase notes that it was recorded in January-February 1973 at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvely, NY, and the Lebanese tribute website cites the extence of, and quotes the lyrics from, an earlier solo piano version dating from 1972. The song was also considered for Born To Run and Brucebase states that “a Spanish-flavored, full band arrangement of this song was recorded at some point during the BTR sessions.” Springsteen also included the song among the solo recordings he made in 1979 in preparation for The River. By this time it was called Jeannie Needs A Shooter, and a version using this title but with very different lyrics was recorded by Warren Zevon. Curiously. Brucebase makes no mention of the song being recorded during the Darkness sessions. The full-band version found here, was recorded, according to the booklet notes, at The Record Plant in 1977, and Godfather considers it “a lost masterpiece.” This is the first song on this set where the recording is quite rough, and the sound has a distinctly harsh edge.

Things move up-tempo again with two versions of Sherry Darling, a song familiar from its later appearance on The River, and both versions eincluded here are substantially similar to the officially-released recording. Version 1, dating from August 1977 at Atlantic Studios, opens with the band making appropiate “party noises.” The band members are clearly having fun, and at one point Springsteen nearly bursts out laughing. Version 2, probably dating from around the same time, fades in at the beginning. Disc 1 ends with Bring On The Night, described by the booklet as a “furious R’n'R” song. This is another unfinished take with “bluffed lyrics.” Once again a later River sessions version appeared on Tracks.

Disc 2 begins with three versions of Drive All Night, another song which, like Sherry Darling, later featured on The River. Versions 1 and 2 are from June 1977 at Atlantic studios and version 3 from shortly afterwards. The first version is relatively short at just under five minutes. As the booklet points out, this is “because it lacks the rhythmic and the long Clemons sax solo.” It also has a strikingly different opening, without percussion and with Federici’s organ sounding like a church instrument. Bittan’s piano is also prominent. The other two versions are akin to the River version. Of the two, version 2 is superior both in execution and sound. The booklet describes Springsteen’s singing as “inspired” and “affected” [presumably emotionally affecting], and notes that he is, “accompanied by a simple and steady rhythm section, some nice guitar riffs (Miami Steve) and a searing sax.” The song was listed on some vinyl bootlegs as Sad Eyes, due to its origins in the spoken”Sad Eyes” interlude included in live performances of Backstreets. Together with the live version played during the complete River performance at Madison Square Garden in 2009, these versions have done much to persuade me that it is a much better song than I had previously thought.

Preacher’s Daughter, which Godfather’s booklet describes as, “on a slow time, which hides the Bo Diddley beat,” is, as Brucebase puts it, “a completed take and one of the few that has surfaced from the sessions with the vocals mixed correctly.” There is, however, some noticeable hiss. Recorded at The Record Plant in October-November 1977, it was also performed as part of the prelude to She’s The One on the latter stages of the Darkness Tour and can be heard in this capacity, along with Bo Diddley’s own Mona, on Crystal Cat’s Winterland Night. The next song is Crazy Rocker, recorded some time between October and December 1977. The booklet draws our attention to the song’s twangy guitar and the echo on the drums, which it says gives it the atmosphere of a Link Wray record. The song’s obviously working title seems never to have been superseded, despite this being, as Brucebase states, ”a near finished take.” Brucebase also states that, “the circulating audio quality is not great.” We then get two versions of the song which Brucebase lists as Ain’t Good Enough For You, but which the booklet calls What’s The Matter Darling. The song, recorded during September-December 1977, has also been bootlegged under the slightly different title What’s The Matter Little Darling. The booklet refers to the “festive atmosphere,” of a number which bears a resemblance to This Little Girl, a Springsteen song later recorded by Gary US Bonds. It does appear on The Promise, so Godfather transgresses its self-imposed rule quoted above, presumably due to the confusion over the title.

Next we have two songs familiar from The River. Independence Day, which just failed to make the cut for Darkness, receives a six-and-a half minute rendition in sound which Brucebase describes as “weak,” a description which seems rather harsh when listening to the version heard on this release. Ramrod, recorded at The Record Plant September-December 1977, is substantially similar to its officially released conterpart. The first 2-CD set comcludes with Castaway, a song with, as Brucebase states, a “lovely melody,” rather reminiscent of another Darkness outtake, The Way. The song was recorded at Atlantic Studios in June 1977 and appeared on bootlegs under its working title of The Ballad. Brucebase describes it as, “an embyonic take with very unfinished lyrics.”

A Masterpiece In The Making

301 Badlands - Version 1A Instrumental
302 Badlands - Version 1B
303 Badlands - Version 1C
304 Badlands - Version 2
305 Something In The Night - Version 1
306 Something In The Night - Version 2A
307 Something In The Night - Version 2B
308 Racing In The Street - Version 1
309 Racing In The Street - Version 2
310 Racing In The Street - Version 3
311 Racing In The Street - Version 4
312 Streets Of Fire - Version 1
313 Streets Of Fire - Version 2

401 Prove It All Night - Version 1
402 Prove It All Night - Version 2A
403 Prove It All Night - Version 2B
404 Factory - Version 1
405 Factory - Version 2A
406 Factory - Version 2B
407 Adam Raised A Cain - Version 1
408 Candy's Room (The Fast Song) - Version 1 Instrumental
409 Candy's Room (The Fast Song) - Version 2
410 Candy's Room (The Fast Song) - Version 3
411 Candy's Room (The Fast Song) - Version 4A
412 Candy's Room (The Fast Song) - Version 4B
413 The Promised Land - Version 1A
414 Darkness On The Edge Of Town - Version 1
415 Darkness On The Edge Of Town - Version 2

The sleeve describes this second 2-CD set as “featuring the alternate versions of the songs that make the final selection going to create the definitive ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ album.” The booklet notes go on to say that the presentation of multiple versions, “allows us to appreciate the construction of a song and its evolution.”

Disc 1 opens with three versions of Badlands from Atlantic Studios, with version 1a being an instrumental version. Versions 1a and 1b have different and unfamiliar lyrics and are also noteworthy for having no sax solo. Version 2a, recorded later at The Record Plant, sounds much more familiar, and is, as the booklet points out, “from the acetate of the original mixes of the album.” Something In The Night also appears in three versions, Version 1 being recorded in June-July 1077 at Atlantic Studios and versions 2a and 2b during September-October 1977. All are substantially similar to the Darkness version. There is some hiss on version 2a and a change in volume near the beginning.

Four versions of Racing In The Street are included. Version 1 is described by the booklet as, “a nice solo piano take from early in the sessions. Only Bittan is there to accompany Springsteen['s] performance. The song is complete and significant differences in the lyrics.” One lyrical difference is the striking lines, “I got tired of waking up/In a world somebody else owns,” and at the end Springsteen sings “dying in the street,” rather than “racing in the street.” The sound is rather muffled, though it seems to improve a little as the song progresses, and there is some hiss. Version 2 is described as “essentially the same take presented as V1 in better quality.” Unfortunately, this version cuts off after three-and-a-half minutes. The remaining two versions are very similar indeed to the Darkness version. The second has the restrained, ethereal backgound vocals; the first does not

The first disc ends with two versions of Streets Of Fire, another song recorded both at Atlantic Studios and The Record Plant. The two versions included here are substantially similar to the Darkness version, though there is a different guitar solo and some lyrical differences.

The second disc opens with three versions of Prove It All Night. Version 1 is from August at Atlantic Studios and, as lyrics had not yet been written, Springsteen substitutes the lyrics of Something In The Night, “thus making for fascinating listening” as Brucebase rightly contends. Despite this, Version 1 is musically very similar to the Darkness version. Versions 2a and 2b were recorded at The Record Plant during September and October 1977, and the booklet states that both “are from the acetate of the original mixes of the album.”

Godfather’s Versions 1, 2a and 2b of Factory are Brucebase’s versions 3, 4a and 4b, as the latter counts the proto-version, entitled Come On (Let’s Go Tonight) as Versions 1 and 2. The first version here, from August 1977 at Atlantic Studios is very mach the same as the Darkness version with minimal lyrical differences. The other two versions were recorded at The Record Plant during October- November, and the second of them, from the acetate, has the same lyrics as the Darkness version. The first of these two versions includes a violin overdub played by David Lindley (from Jackson Browne’s band) which fails to enhance the song in any way. (Lindley’s violin part also appears on the recording of Come On (Let’s Go Tonight) released on The Promise.)

Adam Raised A Cain was recorded at Atlantic Studios in August 1977 and the song’s working title was the punning Daddy Raised A Cain. This version is not too different from the Darkness version, though the guitar solo is different and there are small lyrical differences, principally the line, “Now he walks these empty rooms/Rattling his chains.” Next we have Candy’s Room, which began life as an instrumental known simply as The Fast Song. It later gained some lyrics from Candy’s Boy. Bruce base considers Candy’s Boy and Candy’s Room as one song, so, as with Factory, Godfather’s numbering of the versions is different. Versions of the song were recorded at Atlantic Studios in August 1977 and The Record Plant in October- November 1977. The first is an instrumental, while the second, as Brucebase states, “features non-descript, bluffed lyrics.” The third version features fuller, but different lyrics. The fourth version has better sound and finished lyrics. Curiously the last version closely resembles the third version. Here, in particular, as the booklet claims, the different versions, “provide a good insight into how Springsteen develops some songs through the course of numerous sessions.” There are a few clicks at the start of the penultimate version.

The Promised Land was, as Brucebase states, “one of the last songs written and recorded for the album.” Brucebase also states that both this and the Darkness version, “are the same performance, recorded at Record Plant in November-December 1977. V1a is a slightly different mix (no lead guitar) that was only dumped from the album in favor of V1b at the very last moment.” The second 2-CD set concludes with Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Completed late on, during November-December 1977, this song, initially entitled The Racer was only included on the album (hitherto entiled Badlands) at the last moment. Version 1 comes in what Brucebase “rockabilly arrangement” (not a term I would have used), described by Godfather’s booklet as, ” very crude in its execution even if the structure is already clear.” The sound is rather lacking in clarity. Version 2 is a different mix of the Darkness Version. (Brucebase lists this version as 2a and the Darkness version as 2b.)

The Alternate Versions

501 Racing In The Street
502 Candy's Boy
503 Come On (Let's Go Tonight)
504 Don't Look Back - Version 1 Instrumental
505 Don't Look Back - Version 2 Instrumental
506 Don't Look Back - Version 3
507 Hearts Of Stone
508 The Promise - Version 1
509 The Promise - Version 2
510 The Promise - Version 3
511 Spanish Eyes - Version 1
512 Spanish Eyes - Version 2

601 Because The Night - Version 1
602 Because The Night - Version 2
603 Gonna Get That Feeling - Version 1
604 Gonna Get That Feeling - Version 2
605 Talk To Me - Instrumental
606 Someday (We'll Be Together) - Instrumental
607 Rendezvous
608 Fire
609 One Way Street
610 Outside Lookin' In
611 Wrong Side Of The Street
612 The Way

The final 2-CD set is described as, “featuring the alternate versions of the songs that didn’t make the final tracklist of ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ album, but were included later on ‘Tracks’ box set or ‘The Promise’ double CD.”

Disc 1 kicks off with a tremendous version of Racing In The Street. This is the version listed as Version 3a by Brucebase, “a stunning alternate band performance with wailing harmonica and tremendous vocal by Bruce.” Godfather reckons this as “the definitive version.” Candy’s Boy, as stated above, contributed lyrics to Candy’s Room. This version is from June 1977 at Atlantic Studios. It is a gentle, mid-paced, keybord-led number, which the booklet refers to as “a soft ballad.” Also as stated above, Come On (Lets Go Tonight), is an early version of Factory. Brucebase describes it as, “a rough workout in June 1977 at Atlantic Studios, with the melody complete but with embryonic, different lyrics.” The sound is lacking a little in clarity.

There are three versions of Don’t Look Back, which only narrowly missed out on inclusion on Darkness. All three were recorded at Atlantic Studios (the Tracks version comes from The Record Plant). Versions 1 and 2 are two different instrumental backing tracks, while Version 3 has a rather rough vocal. Version 3 has prominent hiss. This is followed by Hearts Of Stone. This and the Tracks version (which additionally has a horn section added in 1998), are different mixes of the same recording, and it was also used as a base recording for Southside Johnny’s version, whose vocal style better suits the song.

The Promise, another song which nearly made it on to Darkness, and which had been played live on several occasions beginning in August 1976, is included in three versions. Writing for Rolling Stone in July 1978, Paul Nelson calls it, “one of [Springsteen's] best new songs,” a considerable understatement in the view of this reviewer. The first two were recorded at Atlantic Studios, Version 1 in June or July 1977 and Version 2 in August 1977. Version 2 is the one I first encountered all those years ago on the Outside The Seven-Eleven Store EP and it is still my preferred version. The longer third version, from The Record Plant during September-October 1977, is the completed recording, which failed to make it on to Tracks, the version later included as one of the extra songs on the 1-CD distillation 18 Tracks being a new recording. Version 1 has some hiss and a change in the sound. Two versions of Spanish Eyes complete disc 1. Version 1 dates from August 1977 at Atlantic Studios, and likely Version 2 does too. Version 2 is clearly more developed, but still has some “bluffed lyrics.” Chris Hunt, in Springsteen:Blinded By The Light, likens it to Them’s Here Comes the Night.

The final disc begins with two versions of Because The Night. Version 1 was recorded during August-September 1977 at Atlantic Studios and version 2 at around the same time, probably at The Record Plant. Both have some “bluffed lyrics,” though Version 2 is somewhat more complete. Version 1 cuts in at the start, but is in somewhat better sound quality, Version 2 being rather muffled. The version on The Promise has newly recorded vocals. We then get two versions of the infectiously jaunty but essentially insubstantial Gonna Get That Feeling, which Brucebase calls an “up-tempo, pop-flavored” song. Version 1 was recorded at Atlantic Studios in August 1977, with Version 2 probably emanating from The Record Plant in September-October. As with Because The Night, the version to be found on The Promise has modern vocals.

The instrumental version of Talk To Me is also from August 1977 at Atlantic Studios. The song was later recorded by Southside Johnny for Hearts Of Stone. It is followed by another instrumental, Someday We’ll Be Together, recorded at The Record Plant in September 1977. It appears, complete with vocals, on The Promise. Rendezvous, another song performed live during 1976-77, comes from June 1977 at Atlantic Studios. As Brucebase states, “this is a good take but the circulating audio is marred by vocal drop-out during the first verse.” Fire was written in May 1977, shortly after Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt had attended an Elvis Presley concert, and recorded in June at Atlantic Studios. The Backstreets books states that a demo tape was sent to Presley in the hope that he would record the song, though Brucebase contends that this may be a myth. This version has a distinct rockabilly feel and Springsteen’s vocals are somewhat in the style of Presley.

This version of the slow-paced One Way Street, which highlights Fedrici’s organ, was recorded at Atlantic studios in June 1977. “This is a complete take,” states Brucebase, “but it’s clearly not a final take.” The short Outside Lookin’ In, which has echoes of Buddy Holly, comes from the same month. “This is a very rough early take,” says Brucebase, “with an uneven mix and some seriously off-key harmony vocals by Van Zandt,” near the end. This version of Wrong Side Of The Street, also known as Endless Night or English Sons, was recorded at The Record Plant during October-November 1977. It is clearly a fully finished take and is another song which is stated stated by Brucebase to have the vocals “buried in the mix,” though there is no sign of that here. This set concludes with The Way, also from October-November. “This is a nice ballad,” states the booklet, “excellent sound and a finished song.” Hunt refers to the, “rich deep vocal from Bruce and nice sax solo in the middle break courtesy of ‘The Big Man.’” It makes a fine conclusion to this set.

Many of the songs here are in excellent sound quality, close to and at times equal to that of official releases. The sound of some is not quite up to that standard, though nonetheless very good. I have attempted to indicate above instances where sound quality is somewhat problematic. Occasional deficiencies in sound in no way reflect on Godfather; these are, after all, outtakes. As Brucebase reminds us,” it has become apparent that there were flaws in the way the original source individuals taped these studio sessions. There certainly appears [sic] to have been some hidden “fly-on-the-wall” type tapings. The other problem is that much of the leaked audio is of early studio workouts of these songs, rather than later, fully realized renditions.” Godfather’s sound is far better than that to be found on releases such as The Way, The Iceman and The Promise, and also has the edge on the substantially improved sound to be found on The Lost Masters, with to my ears, a little more depth and presence.

The packaging of this release is gorgeous. The three 2-CD sets are housed in a box measuring 165cmx165cm featuring a photograph of Springsteen from the Darkness cover shoot. The rear of the box, against a background of the wallpaper behind Springsteen in that shoot, reproduces the front covers of the three sets with the track listings underneath. Inside the box there is a deep black tray which holds the CDs and inserts. A white ribbon allows the CDs to be lifted from the tray easily and without damage. Each 2-CD set, as can be seen above, also shows a Darkness cover shoot photo on the front, the first of which will be familiar to many collectors from Godfather’s older release. The sleeves also feature further shots, mostly of Springsteen alone (some from the Darkness cover shoot and others from the era); a couple, however, depict band members and one shows Springsteen with Landau, Jimmy Iovine and Chuck Plotkin. There is also a 48-page booklet, bearing the same photo as the box lid on its front cover, with extensive notes, which are heavily indebted to the invaluable Brucebase website (as, indeed, is this review), and numerous additional photographs. Lastly, there is a mini-poster, with a photo of Springsteen on one side and a list of Darkness sessions songs, also in the style of Brucebase, on the other. The CDs themselves are picture discs, and bear the same photo found on the box lid and booklet front cover. The overall effect is stunning.

This purpose of this boxed set is not to present the collector with a large quantity of new material; indeed, as detailed above, much of it has been circulating for many years. Godfather’s achievement has been to compile the most extensive collection of Darkness sessions material, arrange it in a logical and thematically satisfying manner, present it in the best possible sound and package it beautifully. The Unbroken Promise is an essential supplement to the official boxed set, a splendid release in its own right and an aesthetically pleasing artefact. It deserves to be a cornerstone of any serious Springsteen collection.

Bruce Springsteen - 1977 - The Boston Godfather

Bruce Springsteen
The Boston Godfather
The Definitive Boston March 1977 Tapes

G.R. BOX 17

March 22, 1977
Music Hall
Boston, MA

101. Night
102. Don't Look Back
103. Spirit In The Night
104. It's My Life
105. Thunder Road
106. Mona / She's The One
107. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
108. Action In The Streets
201. Backstreets
202. Jungleland
203. Rosalita
204. Born To Run
205. The Promise
206. Quarter To Three
207. You Can't Sit Down

March 23, 1977
Music Hall
Boston, MA

301. Night
302. Don't Look Back
303. Spirit In The Night
304. Incident On 57th Street
305. Thunder Road
306. Mona / She's The One
307. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
308. Growin' Up
401. Backstreets
402. Jungleland
403. Rosalita
404. Born To Run
405. Quarter To Three
406. Little Latin Lupe Lu
407. You Can't Sit Down

March 24, 1977
Music Hall
Boston, MA

501. Intro
502. Don't Look Back
503. Spirit In The Night
504. Incident On 57th Street
505. Thunder Road
506. Mona / She's The One
507. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
508. Growin' Up
509. It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City
601. Backstreets
602. Jungleland
603. Rosalita
604. Born To Run
605. Quarter To Three
606. Little Latin Lupe Lu
607. You Can't Sit Down
608. Higher And Higher

March 25, 1977
Music Hall
Boston, MA

701. Night
702. Don't Look Back
703. Spirit In The Night
704. Incident On 57th Street
705. Thunder Road
706. Mona / She's The One
801. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
802. Action In The Streets
803. It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City
804. Backstreets
805. Jungleland
806. Rosalita
901. Born To Run
902. Quarter To Three
903. Little Latin Lupe Lu
904. You Can't Sit Down
905. Higher And Higher

Hard on the heels of the no label releases Boston 1977: Are You Ready For The Final Moment? (featuring the show from 25th March) and Boston 1977: Legends From The Music Hall (containing the other three shows) comes Godfather’s handsome boxed set The Boston Godfather – The Definitive Boston March 1977 Tapes, which contains all four concerts. As with the no label releases, Godfather’s source for these shows is the recently torrented Steve Hopkins master tapes.

Listening to the Godfather and no label releases reveals no significant differences in sound quality, which is excellent throughout. However, The Boston Godfather: The Definitive Boston March 1977 Tapes has two distinct advantages. Firstly, it collects all the shows into one set. Secondly, and much more significantly, the packaging, in common with the other Godfather boxes, is gorgeous. The box front and the front covers of the tri-fold sleeves of each individual concert set (as seen above) feature posed black-and-white photos of Springsteen taken by Eric Meola, the photographer who took the iconic shot of Springsteen and Clarence Clemons that features on the sleeve of Born To Run. Several more appear in the twenty-page booklet. These photographs appear in the book Streets of Fire: Bruce Springsteen in Photographs and Lyrics 1977-1979. The four front covers also appear in miniature on the rear of the box, together with the track listings. The individual sets and booklets feature appropriate onstage shots, some of which will be familiar from the no label sets. There are also a couple of posed band shots, one of which also appeared on the packaging of Boston 1977: Are You Ready For The Final Moment? and another which was used in advertisements for the Darkness On The Edge Of Town album. The sleeves of the four individual sets also reproduce Springsteen’s between-song comments as compiled by Johanna Pirttijärvi and contained in the “Storyteller” section of the Brucebase website. The booklet contains extensive notes charting “the most difficult years of Bruce Springsteen’s entire career,” and credited, as usual, to “Joe Roberts.” The discs themselves reproduce the photograph from the box lid on the “label” side. The overall effect is stunning. These fantastic Boston shows are an essential acquisition for Springsteen collectors and the care taken over the production of this set makes The Boston Godfather: The Definitive Boston March 1977 Tapes the version to have.