18 Tracks

An album that takes what is arguably the best from Tracks and adds three more never-released titles, including the long-clamored-for “The Fever” and “The Promise.” The latter was later released in its 1978 form on the 2010 box set of the same name, but here it’s a stripped-down piano version Bruce recorded specifically for this sampler.

Released: April 13, 1999
Label: Columbia Records
Produced By: Bruce Springsteen
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1 Growin' Up
Lyrics
I stood stone-like at midnight suspended in my masquerade
I combed my hair till it was just right and commanded the night brigade
I was open to pain and crossed by the rain and I walked on a crooked crutch
I strolled all alone through a fallout zone and came out with my soul untouched
I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd but when they said "Sit down" I stood up.
Ooh-ooh growin' up

The flag of piracy flew from my mast, my sails were set wing to wing
I had a jukebox graduate for first mate, she couldn't sail but she sure could sing,
I pushed B-52 and bombed 'em with the blues with my gear set stubborn on standing
I broke all the rules, strafed my old high school, never once gave thought to landing,
I hid in the clouded wrath of the crowd but when they said "Come down" I threw up
Ooh-ooh growin' up

I took month-long vacations in the stratosphere and you know it's really hard to hold your breath.
I swear I lost everything I ever loved or feared, I was the cosmic kid in full costume dress
Well, my feet they finally took root in the earth but I got me a nice little place in the stars
And I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car
I hid in the mother breast of the crowd but when they said "Pull down" I pulled up
Ooh-ooh growin' up. Ooh-ooh growin' up
Also Appears On
Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. Live 1975–85 In Concert - MTV Plugged Film Tracks Live in Dublin Live in Dublin Film Chapter and Verse
2 High Hopes
2 Seaside Bar Song
Lyrics
Well Billy bought a Chevy '40 coupe deluxe
Chrome wheels, stick shift, give her gas, pop the clutch
Girls on the corner like a diamond they shine
Someday Billy I'm gonna make 'em all mine
Hey girl, you wanna ride in Daddy's Cadillac?
'Cause I love the way your long hair falls down your back
Bo Diddley, Bo Diddley's at the Seaside Bar
We'll run barefoot in the sand, listen to his guitar
You say your mama's gonna meet you when the morning comes
And your papa's gonna beat you 'cause he knows you're out on the run
I'm gonna live a life of love and tonight you're the one
The highway is alive tonight so baby do not be frightened
There's something about a pretty girl on a sweet summer night
That gets this boy excited
The radio man finally understands and plays you something you can move to
You lay back, cut loose your drive power
Your girl leans over and says, "Daddy, can you turn that radio up any louder?"
The juke joint's hummin', everybody came down
Little Willie and his Soul Brooms laying all this stuff now
Well don't let that daylight steal your soul
Get in your wheels and roll, roll, roll, roll, roll, roll, roll
Oh that's all right now
Oh go on, go on, go on
Oh mama's gonna meet you when the morning comes
And your daddy's gonna beat you 'cause he knows you're out on the run
But I don't care, I wanna live a life of love while the night's still young
Also Appears On
Tracks
3 Rendezvous
Lyrics
I had a dream our love would last forever
I had a dream tonight my dream comes true
And if you'll hold me tight
We'll be riders, girl, on the night
Ooh, I want a rendezvous

Haven't I told you, girl, how much I like you
I got a feeling that you like me too
well if you hold me tight
We'll be riders, girl, on the night
Ooh, I want a rendezvous

You deserve so much more than this, girl
Well I'm riding on the power and livin' on the promise in your last kiss
Because I had a dream our love would last forever
I had a dream tonight my dream comes true
And if you'll hold me tight
We'll be riders, girl, on the night
Ooh, ooh, rendezvous
I want a rendezvous
I want a rendezvous
Also Appears On
Tracks The Promise The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story
4 Hearts of Stone
Lyrics
You stare in the mirror at the lines in your face
And you try to see, girl
The way things were when we were at your place
In the days it was just you and me, girl
And you cry because things ain't like before
Well don't you know they can't be that way anymore
But don't worry baby

CHORUS

I can't talk now, I'm not alone
So put your ear close to the phone
'Cause this is the last dance
This is the last chance for hearts of stone

If there was something, baby, that I could do
Something that would last, honey, I would
But we all know, girl, especially you do
How you can't return to your past, no
So girl close your eyes and I'll be there
Hold me once more and we can go anywhere
Ah, we could

CHORUS

And you cry because things ain't like before
Well don't you know they can't be like that anymore
Well I know it, baby
Also Appears On
Tracks
5 Where the Bands Are
Lyrics
I hear the guitars ringin' out
Ringin' out down Union Street
I hear the lead singer shoutin' out, girl
I wanna be a slave to the beat
Yeah, tonight I wanna break my chains
Somebody break my heart
Somebody shake my brains
Downtown there's something that I wanna hear
There's a sound, little girl, keeps ringing in my ear

CHORUS
I wanna be where the bands are
I wanna be where the bands are
Where the bands are
I wanna be where the bands are

I get off from work and I grab something to eat
I turn the corner and I drive down your street
Little gray houses darling looks like nowhere
But hey I know you're hiding in there
Come on out for just a little while
You know that heart of stone, girl, it just ain't your style
Tonight I wanna feel the beat of the crowd
And when I tell you that I love you
I wanna have to shout it out loud
Shout it out loud

CHORUS

I hear the guitars ringin' out again
Ringin' on down Union Street
I hear the lead singer shoutin' out girl
I wanna be a slave to the beat
And I want something that'll break my chains
Something to break my heart
Something to shake my brains
There's a rocker's special on tonight
So meet me on down
'Neath the neon lights

CHORUS
Also Appears On
The Ties That Bind: The River Collection Tracks
6 Loose Ends
Lyrics
We met out on open streets when we had no place to go
I remember how my heart beat when you said I love you so
Then little by little we choked out all the life that our love could hold
Oh no

CHORUS
It's like we had a noose and baby without check
We pulled until it grew tighter around our necks
Each one waiting for the other, darlin', to say when
Well baby you can meet me tonight on the loose end

We didn't count tomorrows, we took what we could and baby we ran
There was no time for sorrow, every place we went I held your hand
And when the night closed in I was sure your kisses told me all I had to know
But oh no

CHORUS

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

CHORUS
Also Appears On
Tracks
7 I Wanna Be With You
Lyrics
Let the frozen cities crumble, crumble and fall
That's alright, I don't mind at all
Let 'em all tumble right into the sea
Well that's just fine, that's alright with me
Since you came down the line
I can't sleep at night, I got one thing on my mind
That's every day, every night
I wanna be with you
I wanna be with you, that's what I wanna do
'Cause you're just so out of sight
I wanna be with you, that's what I wanna do
Now I lost my job at the Texaco station
'Cause instead of pumping gas I'd dream of you
I got thrown out of my house, I got such a bad reputation
'Cause all I wanna do is be seen with you
They gave me my pay and said walk
I don't care what they say, go ahead and let 'em all talk

'Til the world falls apart
I wanna be with you
I wanna be with you
That's what I wanna do
Until they will rip out my heart
I wanna be with you, I wanna be with you
Well that's all I wanna do

Hold tight, love me just a little bit
Alright, a little bit more
Tonight, tonight give me just a little kiss
No I don't know, I don't know, I don't
I just can't understand it, you're not pretty at all
But I come when you whisper, I run when you call
When I see you on the street I fall on my face
I drop to my knees, I plead my case
Oh, oh I wanna be with you
I wanna be with you, that's what I wanna do
Oh, oh I wanna be with you
I wanna be with you, that's all I wanna do
Oh, oh I wanna be with you
I wanna be with you, darlin', don't you know
Oh, oh I wanna be with you
I wanna be with you because I love you so
Also Appears On
Tracks The Ties That Bind: The River Collection
8 Born in the U.S.A.
Lyrics
Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up

Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hand
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man

Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"
Went down to see my V.A. man
He said "Son, don't you understand"

I had a brother at Khe Sahn fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone

He had a woman he loved in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms now

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years burning down the road
Nowhere to run ain't got nowhere to go

Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A.
Also Appears On
Born in the U.S.A. Live 1975–85 Greatest Hits (1995) Tracks Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen Live in Barcelona Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen Chapter and Verse
9 My Love Will Not Let You Down
Lyrics
At night I go to bed but I just can't sleep
I got something running around my head
That just won't keep
In the silence I hear my heart beating, time slippin' away
I got a time bomb ticking deep inside of me
I gotta tell you what I wanna say
I keep searching for you, darling
Searching everywhere I go
And when I find you there's gonna be
Just one thing that you gotta know
My love will not let you down
My love will not let you down

At night I walk the streets looking for romance
But I always end up stumbling in a half-trance
I search for connection in some new eyes
But they're hard for protection from too many dreams passed by
I see you standing across the room watching me without a sound
Well I'm gonna push my way through that crowd, I'm gonna tear all your walls down
Tear all your walls down
My love will not let you down
My love will not let you down

Well hold still now darling, hold still for God's sake
'Cause I got me a promise I ain't afraid to make
My love will not let you down
My love will not let you down
Also Appears On
Tracks Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD)
10 Lion's Den
Lyrics
You broke my heart, tore it apart
Thought it was cute, thought it was smart
But now I'm back and I've got the strength of ten
So I got a message for you my friend

CHORUS
I'm Daniel waitin' in the lion's den
Daniel waitin'for that lion to come
Daniel waitin'in the lion's den
Dum dum dee dum dum dee dee dum dum

That old lion's mean and long in the tooth
And like you, baby, he's out on the loose
Messin' hearts up time and time again
Now it's the time for that messin' to end

CHORUS

At night I hear you out prowling around
Tearing guys up, scaring 'em down
Now all that growling's gonna come to no end
'Cause I'm just bidding my time, my little friend

CHORUS
Also Appears On
Tracks
11 Pink Cadillac
Lyrics
You may think I'm foolish
For the foolish things I do
You may wonder how come I love you
When you get on my nerves like you do
Well baby you know you bug me
There ain't no secret 'bout that
Well come on over here and hug me
Baby I'll spill the facts
Well honey it ain't your money
'Cause baby I got plenty of that
I love you for your pink Cadillac
Crushed velvet seats
Riding in the back
Oozing down the street
Waving to the girls
Feeling out of sight
Spending all my money
On a Saturday night
Honey I just wonder what you do there in back
Of your pink Cadillac
Pink Cadillac

Well now way back in the Bible
Temptations always come along
There's always somebody tempting
Somebody into doing something they know is wrong
Well they tempt you, man, with silver
And they tempt you, sir, with gold
And they tempt you with the pleasures
That the flesh does surely hold
They say Eve tempted Adam with an apple
But man I ain't going for that
I know it was her pink Cadillac
Crushed velvet seats
Riding in the back
Oozing down the street
Waving to the girls
Feeling out of sight
Spending all my money
On a Saturday night
Honey I just wonder what it feels like in the back
Of your pink Cadillac
Now some folks say it's too big
And uses too much gas
Some folks say it's too old
And that it goes too fast
But my love is bigger than a Honda
It's bigger than a Subaru
Hey man there's only one thing
And one car that will do
Anyway we don't have to drive it
Honey we can park it out in back
And have a party in your pink Cadillac
Also Appears On
Tracks
12 Janey, Don't You Lose Heart
Lyrics
You got your book baby with all your fears
Let me, honey, and I'll catch your tears
I'll take your sorrow if you want me to
Come tomorrow that's what I'll do
Listen to me

CHORUS
Janey don't you lose heart
Janey don't you lose heart
Janey don't you lose heart
Janey don't you lose heart

Well you say you got no new dreams to touch
You feel like a stranger babe who knows too much
Well you come home late and get undressed
You lie in bed, feel this emptiness
Well listen to me

CHORUS

'Til every river runs dry
Until the sun honey's torn from the sky
'Til every fear you've felt burst free
And gone tumblin' down into the sea
Listen to me

CHORUS
Also Appears On
Tracks
13 Sad Eyes
Lyrics
Every day here you come walking
I hold my tongue, I don't do much talking
You say you're happy and you're doin' fine
Well go ahead, baby, I got plenty of time
Sad eyes never lie
Sad eyes never lie

Well for a while I've been watching you steady
Ain't gonna move 'til you're good and ready
You show up and then you shy away
But I know pretty soon you'll be walkin' this way
Sad eyes never lie
Sad eyes never lie

Baby don't you know I don't care
Don't you know that I've been there
Well if something in the air feels a little unkind
Don't worry darling, it'll slip your mind

I know you think you'd never be mine
Well that's okay, baby, I don't mind
That shy smile's sweet, that's a fact
Go ahead, I don't mind the act
Here you come all dressed up for a date
Well one more step and it'll be too late
Blue blue ribbon in your hair
Like you're so sure I'll be standing here
Also Appears On
Tracks
14 Part Man, Part Monkey
Lyrics
They prosecuted some poor sucker in these United States
For teaching that man descended from the apes
They coulda settled that case without a fuss or fight
If they'd seen me chasin' you, sugar, through the jungle last night
They'da called in that jury and a one two three said
Part man, part monkey, definitely

Well the church bell rings from the corner steeple
Man in a monkey suit swears he'll do no evil
Offers his lover's prayer but his soul lies
Dark and driftin' and unsatisfied
Well hey bartender, tell me whaddaya see
Part man, part monkey, looks like to me

Well the night is dark, the moon is full
The flowers of romance exert their pull
We talk awhile, my fingers slip
I'm hard and crackling like a whip

Well did God make man in a breath of holy fire
Or did he crawl on up out of the muck and mire
Well the man on the street believes what the bible tells him so
Well you can ask me, mister, because I know
Tell them soul-suckin' preachers to come on down and see
Part man, part monkey, baby that's me
Also Appears On
Tracks
15 Trouble River
Lyrics
There's a river runs through this valley
Cold and deep and black
Comin' like a tombstone shadow across my back

CHORUS
Trouble river, six foot high and risin
Trouble river, I can't keep from cryin'

I woke up last night shakin'
Shakin' from a dream
That all I seen was smiling faces staring back at me

CHORUS

Snakes crawling in the hi house
I'm stuck in muddy ground
Tonight I'm gonna shed this skin
And I'll be breathin' free air now

CHORUS
16 Brothers Under the Bridge
Lyrics
Saigon, it was all gone
The same Coke machines
As the streets I grew on
Down in a mesquite canyon
We come walking along the ridge
Me and the brothers under the bridge

Campsite's an hour's walk from the nearest road to town
Up here there's too much brush and canyon
For the CHP choppers to touch down
Ain't lookin' for nothin', just wanna live
Me and the brothers under the bridge
Come the Santa Ana's, man, that dry brush'll light
Billy Devon got burned up in his own campfire one winter night
We buried his body in the white stone high up along the ridge
Me and the brothers under the bridge

Had enough of town and the street life
Over nothing you end up on the wrong end of someone's knife
Now I don't want no trouble
And I ain't got none to give
Me and the brothers under the bridge

I come home in '72
You were just a beautiul light
In your mama's dark eyes of blue
I stood down on the tarmac, I was just a kid
Me and the brothers under the bridge

Come Veterans' Day I sat in the stands in my dress blues
I held your mother's hand
When they passed with the red, white and blue
One minute you're right there ... and something slips...
Also Appears On
Tracks
17 The Fever
Lyrics
When I get home from my job I turn on my T.V.
But I can't keep my mind on the show
When I lay down at night, oh I can't get no sleep
So I turn on my radio
But the only sound I hear is you whisperin' in my ear
The words that you used to say
Now my days grow longer
'Cause my love grows stronger
And the fever gets worse
And I've got the fever for this girl

CHORUS
Got the fever, oh I've got the fever
Nothing that a po' boy can do
When he's got the fever for this girl
Got the fever, oh I've got the fever
Left this little boy blue

I can remember comin' home
See you standin' at the stove
With the dishes on the table
Dinner ready to go
We'll maybe go out to a movie show
Something that you like to see
Well now you are my sun in the morning
And my moon at night
I think about you baby
I feel alright
Now my days grow longer
'Cause my love grows stronger
And the fever gets worse
And I've got the fever for this girl

CHORUS
18 The Promise
Lyrics
Johnny works in a factory and Billy works downtown
Terry works in a rock and roll band
Lookin' for that million-dollar sound
I got a little job down in Darlington
But some nights I don't go
Some nights I go to the drive-in, or some nights I stay home
I followed that dream just like those guys do up on the screen
And I drive a Challenger down Route 9 through the dead ends and all the bad scenes
And when the promise was broken, I cashed in a few of my dreams

Well now I built that Challenger by myself
But I needed money and so I sold it
I lived a secret I should'a kept to myself
But I got drunk one night and I told it
All my life I fought this fight
The fight that no man can never win
Every day it just gets harder to live
This dream I'm believing in
Thunder Road, oh baby you were so right
Thunder Road there's something dyin' on the highway tonight

I won big once and I hit the coast
But somehow I paid the big cost
Inside I felt like I was carryin' the broken spirits
Of all the other ones who lost
When the promise is broken you go on living
But it steals something from down in your soul
Like when the truth is spoken and it don't make no difference
Something in your heart goes cold
I followed that dream through the southwestern flats
That dead ends in two-bit bars
And when the promise was broken I was far away from home
Sleepin' in the back seat of a borrowed car
Thunder Road, for the lost lovers and all the fixed games
Thunder Road, for the tires rushing by in the rain
Thunder Road, Billy and me we'd always say
Thunder Road, we were gonna take it all and throw it all away
Also Appears On
Live in New York City (DVD) The Promise The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story