3 Songs You Didn’t Know Bruce Springsteen Wrote For Other Artists

Whether he’s rocking out with the Obamas or making Tom Hanks sing along with glee, Bruce Springsteen is a walking musical icon.

From his early band Steel Mill, Springsteen made his name by touring incessantly and singing about the working-class lifestyle at the top of his lungs for hours on end. It’s a practice he continues to this day.
Born September 23, 1949, in Long Branch, New Jersey, the now-73-year-old Springsteen became a star 26 years later in 1975 with his third album, Born to Run. The LP’s title track is considered one of the most important rock and roll tracks of the 20th century and is still a fan favorite.

But while The Boss has many popular singles to his name (see: “Dancing in the Dark,” “Born in the U.S.A.” and “I’m on Fire”), we’re looking at some songs he wrote for others. Here are 3 songs you likely didn’t know Springsteen wrote for other artists.

1. “Because The Night,” Patti Smith
Written by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith

While you may have heard rumors of this, the details are fascinating. And it all starts with music lifer Jimmy Iovine. Today, Iovine is a mogul, the co-founder of Interscope Records and the Beats by Dre headphones. But before all of that, he was a relatively unknown music producer working with some big-name artists, including Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith. He also worked with John Lennon.

Iovine, who is featured along with Dr. Dre in the documentary The Defiant Ones, has a knack for convincing people to go along with his vision. So, one day, amidst working on Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town and Smith’s Easter, Iovine asked a favor. He knew Bruce had a song that he likely wasn’t going to use, a song he only had the chorus and a few mumbled lyrics for. That song was “Because The Night.”

Wanting to make a name for himself and, thus, needing a hit for Easter, Iovine asked Springsteen if Smith could have the song for her album. Springsteen said if she could make something of the song, she could have it. Smith, a legend already in New York City thanks to her album, Horses, did make something of it. It remains her biggest hit. The love song hit No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been covered extensively, including by 10,000 Maniacs.

Today, Bruce and Smith share writing credits on the track. And in the end, it was a win for all involved.

Take me now baby here as I am
Pull me close, try and understand
Desire is hunger is the fire I breathe
Love is a banquet on which we feed

Come on now try and understand
The way I feel when I’m in your hands
Take my hand come undercover
They can’t hurt you now,
Can’t hurt you now, can’t hurt you now
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to lust
Because the night belongs to lovers
Because the night belongs to us

2. “Out of Work,” Gary U.S. Bonds
Written by Bruce Springsteen

The anthem of the unemployment line saw a recent renaissance during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, in one way or another, we were all out of work. Written by Springsteen, this track is plucky and fun, showcasing his signature beach boardwalk sensibility, though the subject matter isn’t exactly jubilant. Released from Gary U.S. Bonds’ 1982 album, On The Line, the song was a relative hit in the United States, hitting No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of its release year.

As for Bonds, the rock and R&B singer, who had a few hits in the early ’60s, himself enjoyed something of a resurgence in the 1980s thanks to working with Springsteen and his E Street Band. Bonds released two albums recorded with The Boss, Dedication in 1981 and On the Line in 1982. Bonds’ most recent album, Let Them Talk, was released in 2009.

Eight a.m., I’m up, and my
Feet beatin’ on the sidewalk
Down at the unemployment agency
All I get’s talk
I check the want ads but there
Just ain’t nobody hiring
What’s a man supposed to do
When he’s down and

Out of work
I need a job, I’m out of work
I’m unemployed, I’m out of work
I need a job, I’m out of work

3. “Savin’ Up,” Clarence Clemons and The Red Bank Rockers
For 40 years, Clarence Clemons was the saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. In 1983, Clemons released his album, Rescue, with his band, Clarence Clemons And The Red Bank Rockers. The song, “Savin’ Up,” which was produced by Springsteen and Ralph Schuckett, was also written by Springsteen and showcases his signature passion and sense of hard work. The track is all about those things money can’t buy. Indeed, you have a big house or jewels, but if you want love, you better start savin’ up. As for the singer, who passed away in 2011, Clemons was an actor as well as a musician. And he performed on dozens of albums with Springsteen, including his first, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., in 1973.

You may have diamonds
You may have pearls
You may think you got it baby
Over all the other girls
But honey you ain’t got nothing
And I’ll tell you why
If you’re empty as a soul can be, baby
Deep down inside

You better start savin’ up
For the things that money can’t buy
You better start savin’ up
For the things that money can’t buy
You better start savin’ up
For the things that money can’t buy
You better start savin’ up
For the things that money can’t buy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *