Being in the public eye for over 40 years and being one of the biggest rock stars on the planet for much of that time, there has been much written and documented about Bruce Springsteen - from articles to interviews to documentaries to books. But despite some of his songs having some personal content, The Boss had never sat down to tell his own story. Happily, this fall, Springsteen's autobiography Born To Run is released by Simon and Schuster on September 27. Four days before that, on September 23, Columbia will release a companion 18-track compilation album entitled Chapter and Verse.
Springsteen has personally chosen the song selection on the new album to reflect the themes of the book. They range in time from his high school days up through 2012's Wrecking Ball. Five of the tracks are previously unreleased, all from before Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and the formation of the E Street Band. Two come from Springsteen's high school band The Castiles and were recorded in 1966-67. After graduating high school, he would help form a band called Steel Mill (which would include three future E Street Band members) which is represented by one track on the compilation. Several other bands followed including The Bruce Springsteen Band in 1971 and 1972 and that group has one track on this album. Springsteen would soon cut a demo for Columbia (the version of "Growin' Up" from this session is also on the set - having earlier appeared on the Tracks box set) and be signed to a record deal. The rest, as they say, is history. The final unreleased track is a studio recording of "Henry Boy" which Springsteen performed in the first couple of years of the 1970s and would eventually morph into "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)."
While there have been numerous Springsteen compilations over the years, several with more comprehensive tracklistings, the unreleased tracks here do make this a unique album. It should serve as a good companion soundtrack to the book. You can view a trailer for the compilation by filmmaker Thom Zimny here. The album will be available from Columbia on September 23 as a single CD, 2-LP set and digital download. You can see the full tracklisting and pre-order links below.
- Baby I - The Castiles (rec. 5/2/66 at Mr. Music, Bricktown, NJ - written by Bruce Springsteen and George Theiss)
- You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover - The Castiles (rec. 9/16/67 at The Left Foot, Freehold, NJ - written by Willie Dixon)
- He's Guilty (The Judge Song) - Steel Mill (rec. 2/22/70 at Pacific Recording Studio, San Mateo, CA)
- Ballad of Jesse James - The Bruce Springsteen Band (rec. 3/14/72 at Challenger Eastern Surfboards, Highland, NJ
- Henry Boy (rec. 6/72 at Mediasound Studios, New York, NY)
- Growin' Up (rec. 5/3/72 at Columbia Records Recording Studios, New York, NY - previously appeared on Tracks)
- 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) (from The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle, 1973)
- Born to Run (from Born to Run, 1975)
- Badlands (from Darkness on the Edge of Town, 1977)
- The River (from The River, 1980)
- My Father's House (from Nebraska, 1982)
- Born in the U.S.A. (from Born in the U.S.A., 1984)
- Brilliant Disguise (from Tunnel of Love, 1987)
- Living Proof (from Lucky Town, 1992)
- The Ghost of Tom Joad (from The Ghost of Tom Joad, 1995)
- The Rising (from The Rising, 2002)
- Long Time Comin' (from Devils and Dust, 2005)
- Wrecking Ball (from Wrecking Ball, 2012)
Tracks 1-5 are previously unreleased.