Bruce Springsteen – The Ties That Bind (no label ESB-6979)

Bruce Springsteen – The Ties That Bind (Unreleased Album 1979)The Ties That Bind (no label ESB-6979)

The Power Station, New York, NY, USA – April to September, 1979

The Ties That Bind, Cindy, Hungry Heart, Stolen Car, Be True, The River, You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch), The Price You Pay, I Wanna Marry You, Loose Ends

The recording sessions for Springsteen’s fifth album were protracted and occurred in two main phases.  The first, held at The Power Station in New York, ran from late March 1979 to early September 1979. The projected album which emerged from these early sessions was a ten-song single LP entitled The Ties That Bind.  Springsteen and the E Street Band then took a break from recording, during which they played the two MUSE shows at Madison Square Garden (see my review of Godfather’s No Nukes), returning to The Power Station for the second phase of recording which took place between late Septemberber 1979 and May 1980, resulting in the twenty-song double LP The River.  They then continued recording until August 1980, working on Gary US Bonds’ comeback album, Dedication, released in April 1981.  However, not everything that was committed to tape was laid down at the Power Station, as the invaluable Brucebase website relates:

“All formal studio sessions (including the US Bonds sessions) took place at The Power Station in New York City.  However there were extensive song rehearsal sessions with the E Street Band throughout the making of the album that didn’t take place at The Power Station.  These rehearsals took place in a converted barn on Springsteen’s Telegraph Hill Road property in Holmdel, NJ – the so-nicknamed ‘Telegraph Hill Studios.’  However it wasn’t a true studio.  A significant amount of the River session audio that has surfaced comes from these Telegraph Hill sessions.  Unfortunately the audio quality from Telegraph Hill leaves much to be desired. It sounds as if a single boom recording mike was used. Springsteen’s vocals are buried under the instruments on virtually all these recordings.”

In addition, Springsteen recorded what Brucebase calls “solo acoustic practice recordings,” utilizing “a common, run-of-the-mill cassette recorder,” at his house in Holmdel, NJ in three sessions covering January – June 1979, September – December 1979 and January – February 1980.  These recordings are unfinished and largely fragmentary, but they include the first stabs at a handful of songs which eventually emerged on The River.  Many of the songs came to light as part of the multi-volume set The Lost Masters (Labour Of Love); others can be heard on volume 1 of The Definitive River Outtakes Collection (E St. Records).

By early August 1979 the first, version of The Ties That Bind had been assembled, with a projected Christmas release in mind.  The songs were: The Ties That Bind, The Price You Pay, Be True, Ricky Wants A Man Of Her Own, Stolen Car, I Wanna Marry You, Loose Ends, Hungry Heart, The Man Who Got Away and Ramrod, with the side break coming after Stolen Car.  This was not the finished version of the album, however, with four more songs (including what was to become the title track of The River) being recorded during late August and early September.

Further specific details of the album’s development are given in Clinton Heylin’s excellent book E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days OF Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, which combines an account of the years 1971-1988 with a fascinating section elaborating upon the recording details of songs recorded between 1972 and 1984, “culled primarily from Sony’s own database of the sessions.”  Indeed, the Brucebase site acknowledges a debt to Heylin, stating that, “much of the studio session detail…is courtesy of Clinton Heylin’s book E Street Shuffle – The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.”  Heylin writes that, “by…the second week in September, ‘Ricky Wants A Man Of Her Own’ and ‘The Man Who Got Away’ had been replaced by ‘Cindy’ and ‘The River’…[shortly afterwards]…Springsteen pulled ‘Ramrod,’ restored ‘Loose Ends’ and resurrected the rockabilly ‘You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch).'”

A final version of the album (with the track listing contained on this release) was approved.  As Brucebase states:

“Bruce signed off on the above sequence and wheels [were] put in motion to produce artwork for the cover. On October 4, 1979 the ten selected tracks were dubbed to two half-track reel-to-reel tapes at the Power Station, and labelled as side one and two. Producer was Jon Landau and Engineers were Neil Dorfsman and Bob Clearmountain.”

However, Springsteen remained dissatisfied and the album was pulled.  He told journalist Robert Hilburn that the reason was that, “it wasn’t personal enough,” while Dave Marsh was given the explanation that, “the exuberance of the audience at MUSE had just made the album seem inadequate.”  He also stated that he did not release The Ties That Bind because, “I didn’t feel that that [sense of conflicting emotions] was there.  [In the end,] I felt…I just got a bigger picture of what things are, of the way things work [with the double album]…I wanted that all on there.”  Looking back in 1998-1999 he added:

“After some recording we prepared a single album and handed it to the record company. When I listened to it later on, I felt that it just wasn’t good enough.  The songs lacked the kind of unity and conceptual intensity I liked my music to have…It wasn’t expansive enough…I wanted a record that balanced the two things I was doing [at that time], that had a sense of continuity coming out of Darkness.”

The Ties That Bind may never have had an official release, but a bootleg version did appear.  The first version was a no label production, though Heylin, in Bootleg! The Rise & Fall Of The Secret Recording Industry, seems to suggest a Scorpio/Gold Standard origin for the release.  It was also issued by Capricorn Records, Chance Records and Red Robin, and Alternative Edge Productions released a CD-R version.  Additionally, the same versions of The Ties That Bind, Cindy, You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch) and The Price You Pay that feature on The Ties That Bind also appear on volume two of The Definitive River Outtakes Collection.   Heylin points out that “the original tape box doubled as the artwork” and this is reproduced in black-and-white in his book and on the Lebanese Tribute To Bruce Springsteen website and in colour on Brucebase.  Now comes this new release derived from the 2010 JEMS transfer.

The album opens, appropriately enough, with The Ties That Bind, recorded on 10-11 April 1979 in what Heylin refers to as “a stomping version.”  Brucebase cites four versions labelled V1, V2a, V2b and V2c, of which this version is V2b and the version on The River is V2c, and notes that the three variants of V2 are “three different mixes.”  I would not use the phrase “a stomping version.”  Indeed, the mix heard here conveys, to my sensibilities, a certain deftness, a lightness of touch that makes it seem fresher than the official release, making it an excellent opening to the album.

Next comes the medium-paced Cindy, recorded on 16 and 17July, a sad-but-funny song about unrequited love characterized by Erik Flannigan, writing in Gary Graff, ed., The Ties That Bind: Brue Springsteen A To E to Z, as “a lilting tale of a hopeless and hapless romantic.”  Brucebase notes three versions, V1a, V1b and V2, of which we hear V2, and says that there are, “two different performances…Both are excellent.  This is the only unreleased River session composition that is circulating among collectors in finished form and in excellent quality.”  Heylin is clearly impressed with the song, writing that, “‘Cindy’ is one of the great lost Springsteen songs.  It is also perhaps the perfect representation of what the 1979 album would have been like if it had remained a bunch of ‘early English style stuff.’  ‘Cindy’…effortlessly achieves that rare balance between pop sensibility and fractured reality he was reaching for.”

Bruebase lists eight versions of Hungry Heart (V1a-V1h), recorded on 14 and 21 June and 5 September, with this version being V1g and the version from The River being V1h, stating; “These all appear to be different mixes of the same basic performance that are also running at widely varying tape speeds.”  Wayne Darlington, in his notes on the Jungleland site, considers this one of the two songs here which, while “still distinct,” is “most like their official selves.”

Stolen Car’s six versions are listed by Brucebase as V1, V2, V3a, V3b, V4a, V4b. V4 was recorded on 20-21 June (not 26 July as the booklet notes of Tracks state).  The Ties That Bind features V4a, while V4B appears on Tracks.  Brucebase notes that, “despite the song being completed at this point Bruce, seemingly unsatisfied, decided months later to radically alter the musical arrangement.”  The lyrics also underwent considerable alteration.  (The lyrics to the various versions of Springsteen’s songs can be found on the Lebanese Tribute To Bruce Springseen website –  Heylin is extremely impressed with this version and he laments the changes:

“With ‘Stolen Car,’ Springsteen chanced upon a way to tie together all the elements he looked to address on Darkness On The Edge Of Town‘s successor…What took him half an hour to evoke would take him nine months to dismantle, as the Tinker Man again set about deconstructing a song he – and the E Street band – captured in all its ineffable essence those first two days in the studio…The thematic centrepiece of The Ties That Bind LP, it would become a shadow if its ghostly self when Springsteen returned it to rehearsals in the new year with a different arrangement and truncated lyric.”

While I hold the version from The River (recorded on 16 January 1980) in higher regard than does Heylin, I would agree that the version on The Ties That Bind is more effective, and one element contributing to this is Danny Federici’s sensitive accordion part.

Be True, long a favourite of mine, is listed as To Be True on the tape box and the track listing on this release acknowledges the minor amendment by giving the title as (To) Be True.  The song’s six versions are given by Brucebase as V1a-V1f.  This is V1e; the version which became a single B-side (to Fade Away in the USA, Sherry Darling in the UK and Cadillac Ranch in France) and later emerged on Tracks is V1f.  Be True evolved from two earlier songs, Mary Lou and Little White Lies, and it was recorded on July 18, 1979.  Brucebase notes that, “these are all different mixes of the same basic recording.”  As with The Ties That Bind, I feel that the version here is a little more vivacious than the official version.

The River, which evolved from an earlier song called Oh Angelyne recorded during the first of the three solo acoustic sessions, comes in versions V1a and V1b, recorded on 26 and 29 August, 1979 with V1a being heard here and V1b ending up on The River.  There is little in the way of difference between the two variants.  Brucebase states that, “both of the above versions are different mix takes of the same basic recording,”  and also points out that, “in an interview, engineer Neil Dorfsman says he recalls cutting several versions of the song, trying out different tempos and a more embellished rock ‘n’ roll arrangement.  None of these alternative arrangements circulate, and it is not known whether they still even exist in the vaults.”  It is to be hoped that they do; though I doubt it would be superior to the standard version, I should very much like to hear “a more embellished rock ‘n’ roll arrangement” of the song.  .

Two different arrangements exist of You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch), which is listed on the tape box, without parentheses, as You Can Look…But You Better Not Touch.  Oddly, this release misplaces the parentheses, giving the title as (You Can Look) But You Better Not Touch.  V1, performed in a rockabilly style, was recorded on 24-24 August, 1979 and this is what we hear on The Ties That Bind.  V2, as heard on The River, dates from the second phase of the recording sessions, and it is another instance of a song which Heylin wishes Springsteen had left alone, complaining of him, “grafting the music from ‘Held Up Without  Gun’ to ‘You Can Look.’  Mistake.”  I would agree with him in this instance, regarding the first version as decidedly superior.

The Price You Pay’s three versions, V1, V2 and V3, are three different performances, with V2 being heard here and V3 ending up on The River.  All three versions were recorded on 15, 18-19 and 21 June, 1979. Brucebase states that, “V2 contains an additional lyric verse not found on the released version.  Many consider V2 to be the definitive studio take, with some justification,” and it is definitely musically superior to V1.  Heylin also considers the official version “inferior,” contending that, “in its Ties That Bind incarnation, the song’s message was made clearer by the inclusion of a bridge which gave the listener the real pay-off,” in the form of the excised verse.  In fact, both V1 and V2 contain the additional verse.  The lyrics of the extra verse in V1 are: “Some say forget the past, and some say don’t look back/But for every breath you take, you leave a track/And it just don’t seem fair, but for every smile that breaks/A tear must fall somewhere, oh the price you pay.”  V2, as we hear, has one minor difference, replacing “And it just don’t seem fair, but for every smile that breaks” with “And though it don’t seem fair, for every smile that breaks.”

The rather inconsequential I Wanna Marry You, a song characterized by Jimmy Guterman, in Runaway American Dream: Listening To Bruce Springsteen, as, “a straight soul ballad, drenched in tremolo guitar,” comes in ten versions, V1a-V1j.  This is V1a, with V1j appearing on The River, and they are very similar.  Recording took place during 5 and 11-12 June, 1979.  Brucebase points out that, “these are all mix variations with different vocal takes over the same basic recording, with some significant tape speed variations.”

Loose Ends exists in four versions, V1a-V1d, recorded  July, 1979.  V1c appears on The Ties That Bind, with V1d featuring on Tracks.  Brucebase states that, “these are all different mixes of the same basic recording.  Later evolved into ‘Baby I’m So Cold,’ an outtake from Born In The USA.”  This is the second of the two songs that Darlington considers, “most like their official selves.”  Writing of The River Dave Marsh, in Bruce Springsteen On Tour 1968-2005, notes that Springsteen had, “not used some of his most potent rock numbers,” citing Loose Ends as one of three examples, along with Restless Nights and Take ‘Em As They Come.  Peter Basham, in Bruce Springsteen, includes the song as one of the “Key Missing Tracks” from the album, writing of, “a seemingly effortless melody with every part of the  strongly, cushioning the sad tale of a passionate romance inexplicably unravelling” – as the song’s protagonist reflects at the end: “Our love has fallen around us like we said it never could/We saw it happen to all the others but to us it never would/Well how could something so bad, darling, come from something that was so good?/I don’t know.”

[Note:  The recording dates given above are only for the first phase of the recording sessions that were, eventually, to result in The River, not the solo acoustic sessions or the second phase which saw some re-recording, remixing and overdubbing of songs from the first phase.  Moreover, some songs which later appeared on The River had initially been recorded during the sessions for Darkness On The Edge Of Town (1977-1978) and had been performed on the Darkness Tour.]

The Ties That Bind has always sounded good.  Brucebase’s score for the original release rates the sound quality as 9.7/92.  (The first figure is clearly a mark out of ten; I was mystified by the second until communication with Pete Russell at Brucebase revealed that’ “the number after the slash is the number of votes counted.So in the case of The Ties That Bind, there were 92 votes, with an average rating of 9.7.  This vote was carried out some years ago on Rich Breton’s Bootleg site.”)  The Brucelegs section of the Killing Floor database ( notes the “stunning quality,” and Heylin, in Bootleg! The Rise & Fall Of The Secret Recording Industry, calls it, “a jaw-dropping transfer…from a studio ‘safety.'”

However, this release, as noted above, employs the 2010 JEMS transfer.  Darlington’s notes on the Jungleland site, go into great detail as to how the sound was improved even further and, bearing in mind how informative these notes are, they are quoted here at some length:

“Unlike most upgrades, this 2011 edition of The Ties That Bind utilizes the same source tapes: a pair of 15 IPS, half-track reels that turned up at a Pasadena swap meet in the early ’90s.  The initial transfer of those reels – from which, to be clear, ALL known copies and releases emanate – was done on a rented open-reel tape deck to DAT at 16 bit/48 kHz.  There was no playback azimuth correction. No demagnetization of the heads (at least they were cleaned between tape sides).  No correcting for balanced/unbalanced connections.  In short, it was the best transfer that could be made given the time and circumstances…and it sounded damn good, all things considered, because they were, after all, master tapes.

However, we always knew it could sound even better.  And given [the] historic nature of the material and the source, The Ties That Bind deserved an upgraded transfer.  In late 2010, that finally happened.  There was baking involved, as the tapes had degraded in the two decades since the initial transfer was made.  This time, the reel-to-reel tape deck was best of breed, what the pros use, in a proper studio, calibrated and adjusted in every way for optimal playback and capture at 24/96 using the best possible sound card, cabling, etc.  The nature of how this transfer was made compels me to be silent on the equipment details, but suffice it to say that no one among us to could make a transfer this good.

But The Ties That Bind already sounded great, so how much better could an upgrade be?  Well, we think it is materially upgraded, everything you ever loved about the original TTTB only better.  The stereo separation is improved, the highs higher and the lows lower.  Quoting my own original notes, ‘the only sonic flaw is on the introduction to Stolen Car.  Because of the extremely quiet nature of the piano passage that begins the song, some hiss is evident on the CD that would have been masked on an LP…so the hiss has been left intact.’

For all intents and purposes that hiss is now gone/dramatically reduced, not through computer noise reduction but proper playback.  The 24/96 capture and superior playback deck simply extracted more out of the tape than the DAT and rental unit did the first time around…Consider this the audiophile edition of The Ties That Bind.

For mastering, we enlisted Erno, the man behind the EV2 releases and collaborator on prior JEMS upgrades, to apply a very light touch in the spirit of the original EQ notes on the tape boxes.  We stayed away from heavy compression and anything that would modernize the sound.  Our goal was to make it sound as good as it could and should have in 1980.  And it still sounds better than the official CD of The River.”

The Ties That Bind is no Born To Run or Darkness On The Edge Of Town, but I do consider it superior to The River, and I am not alone in that judgment.  Photographer Joel Bernstein, to whom Springsteen gave a tape of the album in mid-September, stated that, “I [always] preferred it to the released album.” Heylin, in Bootleg! The Rise & Fall Of The Secret Recording Industry, contends that it is “a far stronger album than its official successor.”  Nonetheless, as he writes in E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days Of Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, he considers it a “flawed masterpiece,” lamenting the inclusion of Hungry Heart and I Wanna Marry You at the expense of stronger material such as Roulette and Independence Day.  Indeed, Springsteen seems to have been prone to some highly questionable choices of material  during this period.  In the early years of my bootleg collecting obsession I was fortunate enough to acquire a picture disc LP entitled Restless Nights (no label).  The track listing was Be True, Ricky Wants A Man Of Her Own, Cindy, Roulette, Restless Nights, Loose Ends, Take ‘Em As They Come, You Can Look  (But You Better Not Touch), Held Up Without A Gun and The Way.  Discounting The Way (a Darkness On The Edge Of Town outtake), we are left with nine songs from the era, none of which, if we consider the rockabilly version of You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch) to be effectively a different song, appear on The River and eight of which (the exception being the brief and somewhat inconsequential Held Up Without A Gun) are markedly superior to the weaker material on the album such as Crush On You and Ramrod.  Guterman also contends that, “at least a dozen rockers…are as strong as the songs that were released on the album, noting that, “when many of them were included on Tracks, [Steve] Van Zandt ruefully cited these songs as among his favorites, ‘each one a lost argument.'”

The packaging of The Ties That Bind is simple but quite effective, largely in black, with monochrome photographs, the exception being the colour shot (taken during photo sessions for The River) of Springsteen on the front insert, which also appears on the disc itself.  The rear of the front insert shows Springsteen and Clarence Clemons and the inner side of the rear insert shows the whole band – both photos familiar from the inner sleeves of The River.  The outer side of the rear insert depicts Springsteen, with guitar, against a pale background and also shows the track listing.  The rear insert gives the recording dates as “from June to September 1979,” which is correct other than in the case of the title track, which, as stated above, was recorded in April.


brucespring-81zurich-3recorder-mix1-300x294Bonus CD-Rs: Zurich 1981 3 Recorder Mix (no label EST 41181A-B)

Hallenstadion, Zurich, Switzerland – 11April, 1981

Disc 1: Factory, Prove It All Night, Out In The Street, Tenth Avenue Freeze-out, Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Independence Day, Who’ll Stop The Rain, Two Hearts, The Promised Land, This Land Is Your Land, The River, Badlands, Thunder Road

Disc 2: Cadillac Ranch, Sherry Darling, Hungry Heart, Fire, You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch), Wreck On The Highway, Racing In The Street, Backstreets, Ramrod, Roslita (Come Out Tonight), Born To Run, Detroit Medley/I Hear A Train, Rockin’ All Over The World

The numbered, stickered edition of The Ties That Bind comes with bonus CD-Rs containing the complete Zurich show from 1981, Springsteen’s first performance in Switzerland and only his seventh in Europe.  Fifteen songs from the show appeared on the double LP Hallenstadion Zurich (Ocean Records).  These were: Tenth Avenue Freeze-out, Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Independence Day, Who’ll Stop The Rain, The Promised Land, This Land Is Your Land, The River, Thunder Road, Cadillac Ranch, Wreck On The Highway, Racing In The Street, Fire, Rosalita (Come Out Tonight), Detroit Medley/I Hear A Train and Rockin’ All Over The World.  A copy of this release, in red and green vinyl, appeared under the title In Concert.  A single LP on the Boss Records label entitled Live In Zurich contained the following ten tracks: Factory. Out In The Street, Tenth Avenue Freeze-out, Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Independence Day, Who’ll Stop The Rain, You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch), The Promised Land, The River and Fire.  A repress of the single album credited to Ocean Records also circulated.  A fourteen-song CD called Rockin’ All Over The World, on the Pluto label (an imprint of Great Dane), was copied form the double album but omits Rosalita.  It fell to the Winged Wheel label to produce the first complete version of the show, the 2-CD release Hallenstadion ’81.

Factory makes for an unusually sombre start to the show.  Things move up tempo with Prove It All Night, which is followed by lively crowd pleasers Out In The Street and Tenth Avenue Freeze-out.  The pairing of Darkness On The Edge Of Town and Independence Day provides rather more emotional depth and, as so often, Springsteen prefaces the latter song with some detail of his relationship with his father, stating that, “it took us 30 years just to be able to tell each other that we loved each other.”  Then comes Who’ll Stop The Rain, the Creedence Clearwater song from the 1970 album Cosmo’s Factory also released as a single with Travelin’ Band.  Springsteen had first performed it earlier on this tour at New York’s Madison Square Garden on 18 December 1980.  An effervescent Two Hearts gives way to a suitably stirring rendition of The Promised Land which is in turn followed by Woody Guthrie’s This Land Is Your Land, first performed by Springsteen earlier on the tour at the Nassau Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY on 28 December 1980.  A poignant version of The River begins with the short piano intro characteristic of this tour and pianist Roy Bittan also prefaces a muscular performance of Badlands with an excerpt of Ennio Morricone’s music for Once Upon A Time In The West, helping to make the song a highlight of the show.  This is followed by a full band rendition of Thunder Road which brings the first disc, and the first set, to a close.

Disc two kicks off with boisterous renditions of Cadillac Ranch and Sherry Darling and then the audience gets to sing at the start of Hungry Heart. Fire contains the usual mid-song break for some stage antics and then comes  an ebullient You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch).  The next three songs collectively form another highlight of the show.  The haunting Wreck On The Highway is followed by an excellent performance of Racing In The Street, featuring a splendid contribution form Bittan.  After the emotional intensity of Backstreets, which begins with a wordless vocalise, comes the vacuous Ramrod and then a barnstorming Roslita, complete with band introductions, brings the second set to a close.

The encore begins with splendid performances of Born To Run, and the Detroit Medley, which includes the I Hear A Train section, and the concert then ends in fine style with a raucous version of Rockin’ All Over The World, the first single from John Fogerty’s second, eponymous, solo album, perhaps better known to many in the version by Status Quo.  This was Springsteen’s third performance of the song, following its appearance at the previous two shows in Hamburg and West Berlin.

With regard to sound quality, Winged Wheel’s Hallenstadion ’81 receives short shrift from Lynn Elder in the third volume of You Better Not Touch.  A rating of four out of ten for the sound is expanded upon thus: “Horrible sound quality…this double set is nothing but more awful sound from the same bad source that made the vinyl bootleg years ago.  Disc two is better than disc one (it was probably copied from the Pluto release) but that’s not saying much.  The bass distorts, the highs are cut off, there’s whistling in the background.”  The fact that Hallenstadion ’81 contains Rosalita, whereas the Rockin’ All Over The World does not, would seem to mitigate against the argument that the second disc was copied form the Pluto release.  Moreover, as can be seen below, Elder’s contention that it comes from the same source as the double album is contradicted by the contention that the CD, the double album and the single album emanate from three different recordings.  Chris Hunt, in Springsteen: Blinded By The Light, calls the sound of the single album “good/very good” and the double album as “very good.”  The sound of the songs from Hallenstadion ’81 is nicely full-bodied but somewhat lacking in clarity – it is certainly not “horrible.”  The sound of the songs taken from Live In Zurich is clearer but rather coarse and a little lacking in dynamics.  Occasionally, this source  has some intrusive talking from people close to the taper.  By comparison, the songs derived from Hallenstadion Zurich possess a clearer, fuller and more satisfying sound.  The transitions between sources can be jarring and there is also occasional low level LP surface noise.

Zurich 1981 3 Recorder Mix is obviously an attempt to create the fullest and best-sounding version of the show.  As Brucebase states, “Mjk5510 has combined these three sources to form the most complete version of this show to-date.”  The following extensive notes are taken from the Lighthouse website:

“The sources worked with were:
Recorder 1: Hallenstadion ’81 (Winged Wheel)
Recorder 2: Hallenstadion Zurich 2LP (Ocean Records Original Black Vinyl Pressing)
Recorder 3: Live In Zurich 1LP (Boss Records Limited Edition 1000 Copies)

Disc 1(66:13)
1. Factory (Live In Zurich) – complete from recorder 3 source
2. Prove It All Night (Hallenstadion ’81) 3. Out In The Street (Live In Zurich)
4. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out (Live In Zurich) 5. Darkness On The Edge Of Town (Live In Zurich)
6. Independence Day (Live In Zurich (4 seconds of Intro) > Hallenstadion Zurich)
– 4 seconds of Intro announcing song is only available on Live In Zurich source and is missing from Hallenstadion ’81
7. Who’ll Stop The Rain (Hallenstadion Zurich) 8. Two Hearts (Live In Zurich)
9. Promised Land (Hallenstadion Zurich / Live In Zurich (last 6 seconds))
– Hallenstadion Zurich source includes the complete intro missing from Hallenstadion ’81
– Last 6 seconds of song is available on Live In Zurich and missing from Hallenstadion ’81
10. This Land Is Your Land (Hallenstadion ’81 (24 seconds of tune up dialogue) > Hallenstadion Zurich)
11. The River (Hallenstadion Zurich) 12. Badlands (Hallenstadion ’81)
13. Thunder Road (Hallenstadion Zurich > Hallenstadion ’81 > Hallenstadion Zurich)
– 26 seconds of crowd and dialogue missing on Hallenstadion Zurich between after the song ends and break announcement patched with Hallenstadion ’81
– Hallenstadion ’81 is missing the first few seconds of the harmonica intro but intro is complete on Hallenstadion Zurich

Disc 2(79:22)
1. Cadillac Ranch (Hallenstadion Zurich) – Hallenstadion ’81 is missing 17 seconds of tune up/drum intro at the start of Cadillac Ranch, this has been patched with Hallenstadion Zurich which still may be missing a drum beat or two from a small cut but otherwise has the complete crowd and drum intro
2. Sherry Darlin’ (Hallenstadion ’81) 3. Hungry Heart (Hallenstadion ’81)
4. Fire (Hallenstadion ’81 (4 seconds of intro only) > Hallenstadion Zurich > Hallenstadion ’81 (restored 10 seconds of audience in middle break) > Hallenstadion Zurich)
– 4 seconds of the song title intro was missing from Hallenstadion Zurich so I patched it from Hallenstadion ’81, then I noticed on both Live in Zurich and Hallenstadion Zurich the middle break was shortened by about 10 seconds so in the interest of completeness I patched the missing middle crowd clapping section back in to reflect what actually took place at the show
5. You Can Look (Hallenstadion ’81)
6. Wreck On The Highway (Hallenstadion Zurich) 7. Racing In The Street (Hallenstadion Zurich)
8. Backstreets (Hallenstadion ’81) 9. Ramrod (Hallenstadion ’81)
– start cut, no patch available
10. Rosalita (Hallenstadion ’81 (to break before band intros) > Hallenstadion Zurich > Hallenstadion ’81 (last 18 seconds))
– CDR Rockin’ All Over The World doesn’t list Rosalita as appearing, I don’t know if it actually does or if it was cut due to only half of it being available
11. Born To Run (Hallenstadion ’81) 12. Detroit Medley (Hallenstadion Zurich)
13. Rockin’ All Over The World (Hallenstadion Zurich > Hallenstadion ’81 (8 seconds of music and 17 seconds total including audience and dialogue added to end)”

The two discs are housed in a slimline jewel case in which there is a front insert only, with a striking onstage shot on the front and an abbreviated version of the recording information on the reverse, superimposed on a second onstage photo featuring Springsteen and drummer Max Weinberg.

Overall, this is a most significant release.  The bonus discs are just that – a bonus, nice to have but certainly not essential.  The show is enjoyable but not, by Springsteen’s standards, exceptional.  However, With The Ties that Bind, as Darlington so rightly contends, “one of the most important unreleased recordings in the Springsteen bootleg canon finally gets remastered.”  It deserves to be in every Springsteen collection and it will give many, many hours of listening pleasure.

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  1. Cliff, another valued, informative and exhaustive review, thank you!


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