Cover Me (song)
|Single by Bruce Springsteen|
|from the album Born in the U.S.A.|
|Released||July 31, 1984|
|Format||7" single, 12" single|
Steven Van Zandt
|Bruce Springsteen singles chronology|
|Born in the U.S.A. track listing|
"Cover Me" is a Gold-certified 1984 hit song, written and performed by American rock singer Bruce Springsteen. It was the second single released from his successful album Born in the U.S.A. Springsteen wrote the song for Donna Summer. However, his manager, Jon Landau, decided the song had hit potential, and so he kept it for the upcoming Springsteen album.
The song was recorded in January 1982, during the first wave of the Born in the U.S.A. sessions. At the time, the song was originally suggested for Donna Summer, but rejected by Jon Landau in favor of "Protection" (another song written by Springsteen). Interestingly, an unreleased "outtake" of the song, titled "Drop On Down and Cover Me", has long been considered a precursor to the officially released "Cover Me", but was actually recorded much later over the course of the album sessions.
No music video was made for the song.
Charts and certifications
Continuing the club play goal started with "Dancing in the Dark", Arthur Baker created the 12-inch "Undercover Mix" of "Cover Me". This was a large-scale transformation: a new bass line was cut, an unused backing vocal by industry legend Jocelyn Brown was restored, and reggae and dub elements were introduced. It was released on October 15, 1984.
- Cover Me - 3:26
- Jersey Girl - 6:40 or less
The B-side of the single, "Jersey Girl", was a live performance of a Tom Waits song, recorded on July 9, 1981 at Meadowlands Arena. Springsteen had introduced the song earlier in that special River Tour homecoming stand that opened the arena, slightly rewriting it to replace a Waits line about "whores on Eighth Avenue" and adding a verse that included "that little brat of yours and drop[ping] her off at your mom's." "Jersey Girl" would become a Springsteen fan favorite, although played rarely as time went on.
Differing pressings of the single had different lengths of "Jersey Girl", sometimes dropping a spoken introduction.
- "Cover Me" (Undercover Mix) - 6:09
- "Cover Me" (Dub 1) - 4:02
- "Cover Me" (Radio Mix) - 3:46
- "Cover Me" (Dub 2) - 4:15
CD single (1988)
- "Cover Me" - 3:26
- "Pink Cadillac" - 3:33
Live performance history
Springsteen was unsure of how to play "Cover Me" in concert, and initially it appeared irregularly in the 1984-1985 Born in the U.S.A. Tour. Then, inspired by Arthur Baker's remix, he rearranged it to open and close with a quiet, ominous, extended, echoing segment as new E Street backup singer Patti Scialfa wailed a snippet of Martha & the Vandellas' "Nowhere to Run" (in her one spotlight role of the show) while her future husband reverbed "Cuh ... vuh ... me-ee-ee", after which the song ramped up into showcase guitar work for Springsteen and Nils Lofgren. "Cover Me" thus became a featured song on the tour, often opening the second set; such a performance was included on the 1986 Live/1975-85.
"Cover Me" continued as a regular selection on the 1988 Tunnel of Love Express and Human Rights Now! Tours, and the 1992 leg of the "Other Band" Tour (now without Scialfa's part). After December 1992 it was dropped until Springsteen's first concert in Oslo on July 7, 2008 and most recently in Philadelphia on October 20, 2009. The song has been performed 300 times through 2008. The song has turned up as a semi-regular on the Working On A Dream Tour, especially after Springsteen and the E Street Band began playing the entire "Born in the U.S.A." album in New York and Philadelphia.
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