Tracks (Bruce Springsteen album)

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Bruce springsteen tracks.jpg
Box set by Bruce Springsteen
Released November 10, 1998
Recorded 1972-1998
Genre Rock
Length 254:58
Label Columbia
Producer Various
Bruce Springsteen chronology
Blood Brothers
18 Tracks
Singles from Tracks
  1. "I Wanna Be With You"
    Released: 1998
  2. "Sad Eyes"
    Released: 1999

Tracks is a four-disc box set by Bruce Springsteen, released in 1998 containing 66 songs. This box set mostly consists of never-before-released songs recorded during the sessions for his many albums, but also includes a number of single B-sides, as well as demos and alternate versions of already-released material.


The project began in early 1998, when Springsteen and his chief recording engineer, Toby Scott, began going through his massive collection of unreleased songs. Springsteen had been known as a very prolific songwriter (Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River, and Born in the U.S.A. each had more than 50 songs written for them), and by 1998 the number of unreleased songs was up to more than 350- 3/4 of all his recorded material.

Although the idea of simply releasing the rough demos of the songs was kicked around, Springsteen eventually decided to mix them properly. Springsteen, Scott, and three sets of engineers spent most of 1998 going through his massive song library, mixing songs and picking out the best of the unreleased material. Sometimes, a song would need extra parts added on, such as in the case of "Thundercrack", a song dating back to 1973. Springsteen called in then-former bandmates Danny Federici and Clarence Clemons, along with original drummer Vini Lopez to fill in the missing pieces.[1]

By July, 100 songs (six CD's worth) had been selected as the songs for the boxset, and it was being prepared for commercial release. However, Springsteen eventually decided to cut the number to 66, leaving a total of 4 CDs. The project was completed in mid-September 1998, and was released two months later.

Even though the original intention was to cover material from all aspects of Bruce's career, acoustic demos from 1972 (such as "Arabian Nights", "Jazz Musician", "Ballad Of The Self-Loading Pistol", and "Visitation At Fort Horn") were not available for release, due to ongoing court proceedings surrounding the songs (concerning the attempted release of these songs by a different, European based label in 1993).[2][3] Songs from the "Electric Nebraska" sessions, as well as songs from an unreleased 1994 album, were also missing.

The songs came from varying backgrounds:

  • "Roulette", "Be True", "Pink Cadillac", "Johnny Bye Bye", "Shut Out the Light", "Stand on It", "Janey Don't You Lose Heart", "Lucky Man", "Two for the Road", and "Part Man, Part Monkey" were all B-sides to singles. However, the take of "Stand on It" included on "Tracks" is a previously unknown alternate version that features an extra verse and a fully finished ending (as opposed to the fade-out on the original B-side).
  • "Bishop Danced", "Santa Ana", "Seaside Bar Song", "Zero and Blind Terry", "Thundercrack", "Rendezvous", "So Young and in Love", "Man at the Top", "The Wish", "When the Lights Go Out", and "Brothers Under the Bridge" were all known from previous live performances.
  • "Hearts of Stone" was previously recorded by Southside Johnny.
  • A rerecorded "This Hard Land" was released on Greatest Hits, although the original recording did not appear until "Tracks".
  • "Linda Let Me Be the One", "Iceman", "Bring On the Night", "Don't Look Back", "Restless Nights", "Where the Bands Are", "Loose Ends", "Living on the Edge of the World", "Take 'Em as They Come", "Ricky Wants a Man of Her Own", "I Wanna Be with You", "Mary Lou", "Cynthia", "My Love Will Not Let You Down", "Frankie", "T.V. Movie", and "Back in Your Arms" had previously been unofficially released on bootlegs, sometimes under different titles.
  • "A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Pittsburgh)" and "Lion's Den" were documented to exist, but had not been unofficially released.
  • "Give the Girl a Kiss", "Dollhouse", "Wages of Sin", "Car Wash", "Rockaway the Days", "Brothers Under the Bridges ('83)", "When You Need Me", "The Honeymooners", "Leavin' Train", "Seven Angels", "Gave It a Name", "Sad Eyes", "My Lover Man", "Over the Rise", "Loose Change", "Trouble in Paradise", "Goin' Cali", and "Happy" were all unknown songs before "Tracks".

The box set was a minor success, peaking at #27 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It has been certified platinum in the U.S. and gold in Canada.

Since its release, 44 of the songs on the set have been played live at least once, with "My Love Will Not Let You Down" receiving the most attention at over 100 plays.[4]

The box set was later condensed into an album called 18 Tracks, with 3 songs ("Trouble River", "The Fever", and "The Promise") not on the 4-CD box set.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bruce Springsteen, except where noted.

Disc 1[edit]

  1. "Mary Queen of Arkansas" [Demo Version] – 4:27
    • Recorded May 2, 1972
  2. "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City" [Demo Version] – 2:52
    • Recorded May 2, 1972
  3. "Growin' Up" [Demo Version] – 2:38
    • Recorded May 2, 1972
  4. "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?" [Demo Version] – 1:58
    • Recorded May 2, 1972
  5. "Bishop Danced" – 4:18
  6. "Santa Ana" - 4:35
  7. "Seaside Bar Song" – 3:33
  8. "Zero and Blind Terry" – 5:56
  9. "Linda Let Me Be the One" – 4:24
  10. "Thundercrack" – 8:25
  11. "Rendezvous" – 2:48
  12. "Give the Girl a Kiss" – 3:51
  13. "Iceman" – 3:17
  14. "Bring On the Night" – 2:36
  15. "So Young and in Love" – 3:47
  16. "Hearts of Stone" – 4:29
  17. "Don't Look Back" – 3:00

Disc 2[edit]

  1. "Restless Nights" – 3:44
    • Recorded April 11, 1980 (The River outtake)
  2. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Pittsburgh)" – 3:15
  3. "Roulette" – 3:51
    • Recorded April 3, 1979 (The River outtake; B-Side to "One Step Up" single)
  4. "Dollhouse" – 3:31
    • Recorded August 21, 1979 (The River outtake)
  5. "Where the Bands Are" – 3:43
    • Recorded October 9, 1979 (The River outtake)
  6. "Loose Ends" – 4:00
  7. "Living on the Edge of the World" – 4:17
    • Recorded December 7, 1979 (The River outtake)
  8. "Wages of Sin" – 4:51
  9. "Take 'Em as They Come" – 4:28
    • Recorded April 10, 1980 (The River outtake)
  10. "Be True" – 3:39
    • Recorded July 21, 1979 (The River outtake; B-Side to "Fade Away" single)
  11. "Ricky Wants a Man of Her Own" – 2:44
    • Recorded July 16, 1979 (The River outtake, incorrectly listed as July 16, 1977 in boxset)
  12. "I Wanna Be with You" – 3:21
  13. "Mary Lou" – 3:21
  14. "Stolen Car" (alternate version) – 4:26
  15. "Born in the U.S.A." [Demo Version] – 3:08
    • Recorded January 1982 (Nebraska outtake)
  16. "Johnny Bye-Bye" (Chuck Berry, Springsteen) – 1:49
  17. "Shut Out the Light" – 3:51

Disc 3[edit]

  1. "Cynthia" – 4:13
  2. "My Love Will Not Let You Down" – 4:28
  3. "This Hard Land" – 4:46
  4. "Frankie" – 7:22
  5. "TV Movie" – 2:48
  6. "Stand on It" (alternate version) – 3:05
  7. "Lion's Den" – 2:18
  8. "Car Wash" – 2:06
  9. "Rockaway the Days" – 4:40
  10. "Brothers Under the Bridges '83" – 5:06
  11. "Man at the Top" – 3:19
  12. "Pink Cadillac" – 3:33
    • Recorded May 31, 1983 (Born in the U.S.A. outtake; B-Side to "Dancing In The Dark" single)
  13. "Two for the Road" – 1:57
    • Recorded February 1987 (Tunnel of Love outtake; B-Side to "Tunnel Of Love" single)
  14. "Janey, Don't You Lose Heart" – 3:24
  15. "When You Need Me" – 2:54
  16. "The Wish" – 5:14
  17. "The Honeymooners" – 2:04
  18. "Lucky Man" – 3:31
    • Recorded April 4, 1987 (Tunnel of Love outtake; B-Side to "Brilliant Disguise" single)

Disc 4[edit]

  1. "Leavin' Train" – 4:05
  2. "Seven Angels" – 3:26
  3. "Gave It a Name" – 2:47
    • Recorded August 24, 1998 (Human Touch outtake, rerecorded for "Tracks")
  4. "Sad Eyes" – 3:47
  5. "My Lover Man" – 3:56
  6. "Over the Rise" – 2:38
  7. "When the Lights Go Out" – 3:05
  8. "Loose Change" – 4:18
  9. "Trouble in Paradise" (Springsteen, Roy Bittan) – 4:37
  10. "Happy" – 4:51
  11. "Part Man, Part Monkey" – 4:28
    • Recorded January 1990 (Human Touch outtake ; B-Side to "57 Channels (and Nothin' On)" single)
  12. "Goin' Cali" – 2:59
  13. "Back in Your Arms" – 4:34
    • Recorded January 12, 1995
  14. "Brothers Under the Bridge" ('95) – 4:55


Disc 1[edit]

Disc 2[edit]

  • Bruce Springsteen- guitar, lead vocals
  • Steve Van Zandt- guitar, background vocals
  • Garry Tallent- bass guitar
  • Roy Bittan- piano
  • Max Weinberg- drums
  • Danny Federici- organ, glockenspiel
  • Clarence Clemons- saxophone, tambourine
  • Soozie Tyrell- violin on "Shut Out the Light"

Disc 3[edit]

  • Bruce Springsteen- guitar, lead vocals, bass guitar (tracks 13, 15-18), keyboards (tracks 13, 15-18)
  • Steve Van Zandt- guitar, background vocals
  • Nils Lofgren- guitar, background vocals on "Janey, Don't You Lose Heart"
  • Garry Tallent- bass guitar (tracks 1-12, 14)
  • Roy Bittan- piano (tracks 1-12, 14)
  • Max Weinberg- drums (tracks 1-12, 14)
  • Gary Mallaber- drums (tracks 13, 15-18)
  • Danny Federici- organ, glockenspiel
  • Clarence Clemons- saxophone, tambourine
  • Miami Horns- horns on "Lion's Den"

Disc 4[edit]

  • Bruce Springsteen- guitar, lead vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, percussion
  • Randy Jackson- bass guitar (Leavin' Train, Seven Angels, Sad Eyes, Trouble in Paradise)
  • Garry Tallent- bass guitar (Back in Your Arms, Brothers Under the Bridge)
  • Roy Bittan- piano (Seven Angels, Trouble in Paradise, Back in Your Arms)
  • Jeff Porcaro- drums (Leavin' Train, Sad Eyes, My Lover Man, When the Lights Go Out, Trouble in Paradise)
  • Omar Hakim- drums on "Part Man, Part Monkey"
  • Shawn Pelton- drums (Seven Angels, Happy)
  • Max Weinberg- drums on "Back in Your Arms"
  • Gary Mallaber- drums on "Brothers Under the Bridge"
  • Michael Fisher- percussion on "Sad Eyes"
  • David Sancious- keyboards (Sad Eyes, Part Man, Part Monkey)
  • Danny Federici- organ (Back in Your Arms, Brothers Under the Bridge)
  • Ian McLagen- organ on "Leavin' Train"
  • Clarence Clemons- saxophone on "Back in Your Arms"