Tracks (Bruce Springsteen album)

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Tracks
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
(1996)
Tracks
(1998)
18 Tracks
(1999)
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.

History[edit]

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 tracks written by Bruce Springsteen, except where noted.

Disc one
No. Title Recording date and location Length
1. "Mary Queen of Arkansas" (Demo Version) May 2, 1972 4:27
2. "It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City" (Demo Version) May 2, 1972 2:52
3. "Growin' Up" (Demo Version) May 2, 1972 2:38
4. "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?" (Demo Version) May 2, 1972 1:58
5. "Bishop Danced" January 31, 1973 at Max's Kansas City, NY 4:18
6. "Santa Ana" 4:35
7. "Seaside Bar Song"
  • June 28, 1973
  • The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle outtake
3:33
8. "Zero and Blind Terry"
  • June 28, 1973
  • The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle outtake
5:56
9. "Linda Let Me Be the One" June 29, 1975 Born to Run outtake 4:24
10. "Thundercrack"
  • June 28, 1973
  • The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle outtake
8:25
11. "Rendezvous" live at Nassau Coliseum, NY on December 31, 1980 2:48
12. "Give the Girl a Kiss"
3:51
13. "Iceman"
  • October 27, 1977
  • Darkness on the Edge of Town outtake
3:17
14. "Bring On the Night"
2:36
15. "So Young and in Love"
  • 1974
  • Born to Run outtake
3:47
16. "Hearts of Stone"
  • October 14, 1977
  • Darkness on the Edge of Town outtake
4:29
17. "Don't Look Back"
  • July 2, 1977
  • Darkness on the Edge of Town outtake
3:00
Disc two
No. Title Recording date and location Length
1. "Restless Nights"
  • April 11, 1980
  • The River outtake
3:44
2. "A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Pittsburgh)"
3:15
3. "Roulette"
  • April 3, 1979
  • The River outtake
4:19
4. "Dollhouse"
  • August 21, 1979
  • The River outtake
3:31
5. "Where the Bands Are"
  • October 9, 1979
  • The River outtake
3:43
6. "Loose Ends"
  • July 18, 1979
  • The River outtake
4:00
7. "Living on the Edge of the World"
  • December 7, 1979
  • The River outtake
4:17
8. "Wages of Sin"
  • May 10, 1982
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
4:51
9. "Take 'Em as They Come"
  • April 10, 1980
  • The River outtake
4:28
10. "Be True"
  • July 21, 1979
  • The River outtake
3:39
11. "Ricky Wants a Man of Her Own"
  • July 16, 1979
  • The River outtake
2:44
12. "I Wanna Be with You"
  • May 31, 1979
  • The River outtake
3:21
13. "Mary Lou"
  • May 30, 1979
  • The River outtake
3:21
14. "Stolen Car" (alternate version)
  • July 26, 1979
  • The River outtake
4:26
15. "Born in the U.S.A." (Demo Version)
3:08
16. "Johnny Bye-Bye" (writers: Chuck Berry, Springsteen)
  • January 1983
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
1:49
17. "Shut Out the Light"
  • January 1983
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
3:51
Disc three
No. Title Recording date and location Length
1. "Cynthia"
  • June 15, 1983
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
4:13
2. "My Love Will Not Let You Down"
  • May 5, 1982
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
4:28
3. "This Hard Land"
  • May 11, 1982
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
4:46
4. "Frankie"
  • May 14, 1982
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
7:22
5. "TV Movie"
  • June 13, 1983
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
2:48
6. "Stand on It" (alternative version)
  • June 16, 1983
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
3:05
7. "Lion's Den"
  • January 25, 1982
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
2:18
8. "Car Wash"
  • May 31, 1983
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
2:06
9. "Rockaway the Days"
  • February 3, 1984
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
4:40
10. "Brothers Under the Bridges '83"
  • September 4, 1983
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
5:06
11. "Man at the Top"
  • January 12, 1984
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
3:19
12. "Pink Cadillac"
  • May 31, 1983
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
3:33
13. "Two for the Road"
1:57
14. "Janey, Don't You Lose Heart"
  • June 16, 1983
  • Born in the U.S.A. outtake
3:24
15. "When You Need Me"
  • January 20, 1987
  • Tunnel of Love outtake
2:54
16. "The Wish"
  • February 22, 1987
  • Tunnel of Love outtake
5:14
17. "The Honeymooners"
  • February 22, 1987
  • Tunnel of Love outtake
2:04
18. "Lucky Man"
  • April 4, 1987
  • Tunnel of Love outtake
3:31
Disc four
No. Title Recording date and location Length
1. "Leavin' Train"
4:05
2. "Seven Angels"
  • June 29, 1990
  • Human Touch outtake
3:26
3. "Gave It a Name"
  • August 24, 1998
  • Human Touch outtake, re-recorded for "Tracks"
2:47
4. "Sad Eyes"
  • January 25, 1990
  • Human Touch outtake
3:47
5. "My Lover Man"
  • December 4, 1990
  • Human Touch outtake
3:56
6. "Over the Rise"
  • December 7, 1990
  • Human Touch outtake
2:38
7. "When the Lights Go Out"
  • December 6, 1990
  • Human Touch outtake
3:05
8. "Loose Change"
  • January 31, 1991
  • Human Touch outtake
4:18
9. "Trouble in Paradise" (writers: Roy Bittan, Springsteen)
  • December 1, 1989
  • Human Touch outtake
4:37
10. "Happy"
  • January 18, 1992
  • Lucky Town outtake
4:51
11. "Part Man, Part Monkey"
  • January 1990
  • Human Touch outtake
4:28
12. "Goin' Cali"
  • January 29, 1991
  • Human Touch outtake
2:59
13. "Back in Your Arms" January 12, 1995 1:57
14. "Brothers Under the Bridge '95"
3:55

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]