Greatest Hits (1995)

Bruce’s first compilation album incorporates 14 of his best-known songs, along with his recent hit “Streets of Philadelphia,” from the film Philadelphia, which won multiple Grammys and an Academy Award. Also included is fan-favorite outtake “Murder Incorporated” and three more songs newly recorded with a reunited E Street Band in January 1995.

Released: February 27, 1995
Label: Columbia Records
Produced By: Bruce Springsteen, Mike Appel, Jon Landau, Steven Van Zandt, Chuck Plotkin, Roy Bittan
1 Born to Run
Lyrics
In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages on Highway 9
Chrome-wheeled, fuel-injected
And steppin' out over the line
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we're young
'Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

Wendy let me in, I wanna be your friend
I want to guard your dreams and visions
Just wrap your legs 'round these velvet rims
and strap your hands across my engines
Together we could break this trap
We'll run till we drop, baby we'll never go back
Will you walk with me out on the wire
'Cause baby I'm just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta find out how it feels
I want to know if love is wild
girl I want to know if love is real

Beyond the Palace hemi powered drones scream down the boulevard
The girls comb their hair in rearview mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I wanna die with you out on the streets tonight
In an everlasting kiss

The highway's jammed with broken heroes
On a last chance power drive
Everybody's out on the run tonight
but there's no place left to hide
Together, Wendy, we can live with the sadness
I'll love you with all the madness in my soul
Someday girl, I don't know when,
we're gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go
and we'll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
baby we were born to run
Also Appears On
Born to Run Born to Run: 30th Anniversary Edition Live 1975–85 Chimes of Freedom Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen Hammersmith Odeon, London ’75 London Calling: Live in Hyde Park Live in Barcelona Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen Chapter and Verse
2 Thunder Road
Lyrics
The screen door slams
Mary's dress waves
Like a vision she dances across the porch
As the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
Hey that's me and I want you only
Don't turn me home again
I just can't face myself alone again
Don't run back inside
darling you know just what I'm here for
So you're scared and you're thinking
That maybe we ain't that young anymore
Show a little faith, there's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty but hey you're all right
Oh and that's all right with me

You can hide 'neath your covers
And study your pain
Make crosses from your lovers
Throw roses in the rain
Waste your summer praying in vain
For a savior to rise from these streets
Well now I'm no hero
That's understood
All the redemption I can offer, girl
Is beneath this dirty hood
With a chance to make it good somehow
Hey what else can we do now
Except roll down the window
And let the wind blow back your hair
Well the night's busting open
These two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back, heaven's waiting on down the tracks
Oh come take my hand
We're riding out tonight to case the promised land
Oh Thunder Road, oh Thunder Road
oh Thunder Road
Lying out there like a killer in the sun
Hey I know it's late we can make it if we run
Oh Thunder Road, sit tight, take hold
Thunder Road

Well I got this guitar
And I learned how to make it talk
And my car's out back
If you're ready to take that long walk
From your front porch to my front seat
The door's open but the ride ain't free
And I know you're lonely
For words that I ain't spoken
But tonight we'll be free
All the promises'll be broken
There were ghosts in the eyes
Of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road
In the skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets

They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
And in the lonely cool before dawn
You hear their engines roaring on
But when you get to the porch they're gone on the wind
So Mary climb in
It's a town full of losers
And I'm pulling out of here to win.
Also Appears On
Born to Run Born to Run: 30th Anniversary Edition Live 1975–85 In Concert - MTV Plugged In Concert - MTV Plugged Film Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen Hammersmith Odeon, London ’75 Live in Barcelona VH-1 Storytellers Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
3 Badlands
Lyrics
Lights out tonight
trouble in the heartland
Got a head-on collision
smashin' in my guts, man
I'm caught in a crossfire
that I don't understand
But there's one thing I know for sure, girl
I don't give a damn
For the same old played out scenes
I don't give a damn
For just the in-betweens
Honey, I want the heart, I want the soul
I want control right now
You better listen to me baby
Talk about a dream
Try to make it real
you wake up in the night
With a fear so real
Spend your life waiting
for a moment that just won't come
Well don't waste your time waiting

CHORUS
Badlands, you gotta live it everyday
Let the broken hearts stand
As the price you've gotta pay
We'll keep pushin' till it's understood
and these badlands start treating us good

Workin' in the fields
Till you get your back burned
Workin' 'neath the wheel
Till you get your facts learned
Baby, I got my facts
Learned real good right now,
You better get it straight, darling,
Poor man wanna be rich
Rich man wanna be king
And a king ain't satisfied
Till he rules everything
I wanna go out tonight,
I wanna find out what I got

I believe in the love that you gave me
I believe in the faith that can save me
I believe in the hope and I pray
That some day it may raise me
Above these badlands

(CHORUS)

For the ones who had a notion
A notion deep inside
That it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive
I wanna find one face that ain't looking through me
I wanna find one place
I wanna spit in the face of these badlands

(CHORUS)
Also Appears On
Darkness on the Edge of Town Darkness on the Edge of Town (Remastered) Live 1975–85 Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen London Calling: Live in Hyde Park Live in Barcelona Greatest Hits (2009) The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story Chapter and Verse
4 The River
Lyrics
I come from down in the valley
where mister when you're young
They bring you up to do like your daddy done
Me and Mary we met in high school
when she was just seventeen
We'd ride out of that valley down to where the fields were green

We'd go down to the river
And into the river we'd dive
Oh down to the river we'd ride

Then I got Mary pregnant
and man that was all she wrote
And for my nineteenth birthday I got a union card and a wedding coat
We went down to the courthouse
and the judge put it all to rest
No wedding day smiles no walk down the aisle
No flowers no wedding dress

That night we went down to the river
And into the river we'd dive
Oh down to the river we did ride

I got a job working construction for the Johnstown Company
But lately there ain't been much work on account of the economy
Now all them things that seemed so important
Well mister they vanished right into the air
Now I just act like I don't remember
Mary acts like she don't care

But I remember us riding in my brother's car
Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir
At night on them banks I'd lie awake
And pull her close just to feel each breath she'd take
Now those memories come back to haunt me
they haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don't come true
Or is it something worse
that sends me down to the river
though I know the river is dry
That sends me down to the river tonight
Down to the river
my baby and I
Oh down to the river we ride
Also Appears On
The River Live 1975–85 Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen London Calling: Live in Hyde Park The Ties That Bind: The River Collection Chapter and Verse
5 Hungry Heart
Lyrics
Got a wife and kids in Baltimore Jack
I went out for a ride and I never went back
Like a river that don't know where it's flowing
I took a wrong turn and I just kept going

CHORUS
Everybody's got a hungry heart
Everybody's got a hungry heart
Lay down your money and you play your part
Everybody's got a hungry heart

I met her in a Kingstown bar
We fell in love I knew it had to end
We took what we had and we ripped it apart
Now here I am down in Kingstown again

(CHORUS)

Everybody needs a place to rest
Everybody wants to have a home
Don't make no difference what nobody says
Ain't nobody like to be alone

(CHORUS)
Also Appears On
The River Live 1975–85 The Essential Bruce Springsteen Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen The Ties That Bind: The River Collection
6 Atlantic City
Lyrics
Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night now they blew up his house too
Down on the boardwalk they're gettin' ready for a fight gonna see what them racket boys can do

Now there's trouble busin' in from outta state and the D.A. can't get no relief
Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade and the gamblin' commission's hangin' on by the skin of its teeth

CHORUS
Well now everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Well I got a job and tried to put my money away
But I got debts that no honest man can pay
So I drew what I had from the Central Trust
And I bought us two tickets on that Coast City bus

CHORUS

Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold but with you forever I'll stay
We're goin' out where the sand's turnin' to gold so put on your stockin's baby 'cause the night's getting cold
And everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back

Now I been lookin' for a job but it's hard to find
Down here it's just winners and losers and don't get caught on the wrong side of that line
Well I'm tired of comin' out on the losin' end
So honey last night I met this guy and I'm gonna do a little favor for him
Well I guess everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your hair up nice and set up pretty
and meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Also Appears On
Nebraska In Concert - MTV Plugged In Concert - MTV Plugged Film Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen Live in Dublin Live in Dublin Film MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
7 Dancing in the Dark
Lyrics
I get up in the evening
and I ain't got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain't nothing but tired
Man I'm just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help

You can't start a fire
You can't start a fire without a spark
This gun's for hire
even if we're just dancing in the dark

Message keeps getting clearer
radio's on and I'm moving 'round the place
I check my look in the mirror
I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face
Man I ain't getting nowhere
I'm just living in a dump like this
There's something happening somewhere
baby I just know that there is

You can't start a fire
you can't start a fire without a spark
This gun's for hire
even if we're just dancing in the dark

You sit around getting older
there's a joke here somewhere and it's on me
I'll shake this world off my shoulders
come on baby this laugh's on me

Stay on the streets of this town
and they'll be carving you up alright
They say you gotta stay hungry
hey baby I'm just about starving tonight
I'm dying for some action
I'm sick of sitting 'round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
come on now baby gimme just one look

You can't start a fire sitting 'round crying over a broken heart
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Hey baby
Also Appears On
Born in the U.S.A. The Essential Bruce Springsteen London Calling: Live in Hyde Park Live in Barcelona Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
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 Tracks 18 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 Hometown
Lyrics
I was eight years old and running with a dime in my hand
Into the bus stop to pick up a paper for my old man
I'd sit on his lap in that big old Buick and steer as we drove through town
He'd tousle my hair and say son take a good look around this is your hometown
This is your hometown
This is your hometown
This is your hometown

In '65 tension was running high at my high school
There was a lot of fights between the black and white
There was nothing you could do
Two cars at a light on a Saturday night in the back seat there was a gun
Words were passed in a shotgun blast
Troubled times had come to my hometown
My hometown
My hometown
My hometown

Now Main Street's whitewashed windows and vacant stores
Seems like there ain't nobody wants to come down here no more
They're closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain't coming back to your hometown
Your hometown
Your hometown
Your hometown

Last night me and Kate we laid in bed
talking about getting out
Packing up our bags maybe heading south
I'm thirty-five we got a boy of our own now
Last night I sat him up behind the wheel and said son take a good look around
This is your hometown
Also Appears On
Born in the U.S.A. Live 1975–85 Live in New York City (DVD) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
10 Glory Days
Lyrics
I had a friend was a big baseball player
back in high school
He could throw that speedball by you
Make you look like a fool boy
Saw him the other night at this roadside bar
I was walking in, he was walking out
We went back inside sat down had a few drinks
but all he kept talking about was

Chorus:
Glory days well they'll pass you by
Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye
Glory days, glory days

Well there's a girl that lives up the block
back in school she could turn all the boy's heads
Sometimes on a Friday I'll stop by
and have a few drinks after she put her kids to bed
Her and her husband Bobby well they split up
I guess it's two years gone by now
We just sit around talking about the old times,
she says when she feels like crying
she starts laughing thinking about

Chorus

Now I think I'm going down to the well tonight
and I'm going to drink till I get my fill
And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it
but I probably will
Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture
a little of the glory of, well time slips away
and leaves you with nothing mister but
boring stories of glory days

Chorus (repeat twice)
Also Appears On
Born in the U.S.A. In Concert - MTV Plugged Film The Essential Bruce Springsteen London Calling: Live in Hyde Park Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
11 Brilliant Disguise
Lyrics
I hold you in my arms
as the band plays
What are those words whispered baby
just as you turn away
I saw you last night
out on the edge of town
I wanna read your mind
To know just what I've got in this new thing I've found
So tell me what I see
when I look in your eyes
Is that you baby
or just a brilliant disguise

I heard somebody call your name
from underneath our willow
I saw something tucked in shame
underneath your pillow
Well I've tried so hard baby
but I just can't see
What a woman like you
is doing with me
So tell me who I see
when I look in your eyes
Is that you baby
or just a brilliant disguise

Now look at me baby
struggling to do everything right
And then it all falls apart
when out go the lights
I'm just a lonely pilgrim
I walk this world in wealth
I want to know if it's you I don't trust
'cause I damn sure don't trust myself

Now you play the loving woman
I'll play the faithful man
But just don't look too close
into the palm of my hand
We stood at the alter
the gypsy swore our future was right
But come the wee wee hours
Well maybe baby the gypsy lied
So when you look at me
you better look hard and look twice
Is that me baby
or just a brilliant disguise

Tonight our bed is cold
I'm lost in the darkness of our love
God have mercy on the man
Who doubts what he's sure of
Also Appears On
Tunnel of Love The Essential Bruce Springsteen VH-1 Storytellers Chapter and Verse
12 Human Touch
Lyrics
You and me we were the pretenders
We let it all slip away
In the end what you don't surrender
Well the world just strips away

Girl, ain't no kindness in the face of strangers
Ain't gonna find no miracles here
Well you can wait on your blesses my darlin'
But I got a deal for you right here

I ain't lookin' for praise or pity
I ain't comin' 'round searchin' for a crutch
I just want someone to talk to
And a little of that Human Touch
Just a little of that Human Touch

Ain't no mercy on the streets of this town
Ain't no bread from heavenly skies
Ain't nobody drawin' wine from this blood
It's just you and me tonight

Tell me, in a world without pity
Do you think what I'm askin's too much
I just want something to hold on to
And a little of that Human Touch
Just a little of that Human Touch

Oh girl that feeling of safety you prize
Well it comes at a hard hard price
You can't shut off the risk and the pain
Without losin' the love that remains
We're all riders on this train

So you've been broken and you've been hurt
Show me somebody who ain't
Yeah, I know I ain't nobody's bargain
But, hell, a little touchup
and a little paint...

You might need somethin' to hold on to
When all the answers, they don't amount to much
Somebody that you could just to talk to
And a little of that Human Touch

Baby, in a world without pity
Do you think what I'm askin's too much
I just want to feel you in my arms
Share a little of that Human Touch
Feel a little of that Human Touch
Give me a little of that Human Touch
Also Appears On
Human Touch In Concert - MTV Plugged In Concert - MTV Plugged Film The Essential Bruce Springsteen
13 Better Days
Lyrics
Well my soul checked out missing as I sat listening
To the hours and minutes tickin' away
Yeah, just sittin' around waitin' for my life to begin
While it was all just slippin' away.
I'm tired of waitin' for tomorrow to come
Or that train to come roarin' 'round the bend
I got a new suit of clothes a pretty red rose
And a woman I can call my friend

These are better days baby
Yeah there's better days shining through
These are better days baby
Better days with a girl like you

Well I took a piss at fortune's sweet kiss
It's like eatin' caviar and dirt
It's a sad funny ending to find yourself pretending
A rich man in a poor man's shirt
Now my ass was draggin' when from a passin' gypsy wagon
Your heart like a diamond shone
Tonight I'm layin' in your arms carvin' lucky charms
Out of these heard luck bones

These are better days baby
These are better days it's true
These are better days
There's better days shining through

Now a life of leisure and a pirate's treasure
Don't make much for tragedy
But it's a sad man my friend who's livin' in his own skin
And can't stand the company
Every fool's got a reason to feelin' sorry for himself
And turn his heart to stone
Tonight this fool's halfway to heaven and just a mile outta hell
And I feel like I'm comin' home

These are better days baby
There's better days shining through
These are better days
Better days with a girl like you

These are better days baby
These are better days it's true
These are better days
Better days are shining through
Also Appears On
Lucky Town In Concert - MTV Plugged In Concert - MTV Plugged Film
14 Streets of Philadelphia
Lyrics
I was bruised and battered and I couldn't tell
what I felt
I was unrecognizable to myself
Saw my reflection in a window I didn't know
my own face
Oh brother are you gonna leave me
wasting away
On the streets of Philadelphia

I walked the avenue till my legs felt like stone
I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone
At night I could hear the blood in my veins
Just as black and whispering as the rain
On the streets of Philadelphia

Ain't no angel gonna greet me
It's just you and I my friend
And my clothes don't fit me no more
I walked a thousand miles
just to slip this skin

The night has fallen, I'm lyin' awake
I can feel myself fading away
So receive me brother with your faithless kiss
or will we leave each other alone like this
On the streets of Philadelphia
Also Appears On
The Essential Bruce Springsteen MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
15 Secret Garden
16 Murder Incorporated
Lyrics
Bobby's got a gun that he keeps beneath his pillow (oh yeah)
Out on the street your chances are zero (oh yeah)
Take a look around you (come on down)
It ain't too complicated
You're messin' with Murder Incorporated

Now you check over your shoulder everywhere that you go (oh yeah)
Walkin' down the street, there's eyes in every shadow (oh yeah)
You better take a look around you (come on down)
That equipment you got's so outdated
You can't compete with Murder Incorporated
Everywhere you look now there's Murder Incorporated

So you keep a little secret down deep inside your dresser drawer
From dealing with the heat you're feelin' down on the killin' floor
No matter where you step you feel you're never out of danger
So the comfort that you keep's a gold-plated snub-nose thirty-two
I heard that you

You got a job downtown, man it leaves your head cold (oh yea)
And everywhere you look life ain't got no soul (oh yeah)
That apartment you live in feels like it's just a place to hide
When your walkin' down the streets you won't meet no one eye to eye
Now the cops reported you as just another homicide
I can tell that you was just frustrated
from livin' with Murder Incorporated

Incorporated
Everywhere you look now
Murder Incorporated
Down on your knees
Murder Incorporated
Everywhere that you turn it's murder Incorporated
Also Appears On
Blood Brothers Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) Blood Brothers (DVD)
17 Blood Brothers
Lyrics
We played king of the mountain out on the end
The world come chargin' up the hill, and we were women and men
Now there's so much that time, time and memory fade away
We got our own roads to ride and chances we gotta take
We stood side by side each one fightin' for the other
We said until we died we'd always be blood brothers

Now the hardness of this world slowly grinds your dreams away
Makin' a fool's joke out of the promises we make
And what once seemed black and white turns to so many shades of gray
We lose ourselves in work to do and bills to pay
And it's a ride, ride, ride, and there ain't much cover
With no one runnin' by your side my blood brother

On through the houses of the dead past those fallen in their tracks
Always movin' ahead and never lookin' back
Now I don't know how I feel, I don't know how I feel tonight
If I've fallen 'neath the wheel, if I've lost or I've gained sight
I don't even know why, I don't know why I made this call
Or if any of this matters anymore after all

But the stars are burnin' bright like some mystery uncovered
I'll keep movin' through the dark with you in my heart
My blood brother
Also Appears On
Blood Brothers Blood Brothers (DVD)
18 This Hard Land
Lyrics
Hey there mister can you tell me
What happened to the seeds I've sown
Can you give me a reason, sir, as to why they've never grown
They've just blown around from town to town
Back out on these fields
Where they fall from my hand
Back into the dirt of this hard land

Well me and my sister
From Germantown we did ride
We made our bed, sir
From the rock on the mountainside
We been blowin' around from town to town
Lookin' for a place to stand
Where the sun burst through the clouds and fall like a circle
A circle of fire down on this hard land

Now even the rain it don't come 'round
Don't come 'round here no more
And the only sound at night's the wind
Slammin' the back porch door
Yeah it stirs you up like it wants to blow you down
Twistin' and churnin' up the sand
Leavin' all them scarecrows lyin' facedown
In the dirt of this hard land

From a building up on the hill
I can hear a tape deck blastin' "Home on the Range"
I can hear them Bar-M choppers
Sweepin' low across the plains
It's me and you, Frank, we're lookin' for lost cattle
Our hooves twistin' and churnin' up the sand
We're ridin' in the whirlwind searchin' for lost treasure
Way down south of the Rio Grande
We're ridin' 'cross that river in the moonlight
Up onto the banks of this hard land

Hey, Frank, won't you pack your bags
And meet me tonight down at Liberty Hall
Just one kiss from you, my brother
And we'll ride until we fall
Well sleep in the fields
We'll sleep by the rivers
And in the morning we'll make a plan
Well if you can't make it stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive if you can
And meet me in a dream of this hard land
Also Appears On
Tracks Live in New York City (DVD)