The songs Bruce Springsteen has never played live

The quintessential American rock hero Bruce Springsteen sits comfortably among the musical royalty of the 20th century as both a dynamic performer and a seminal wordsmith. With the Boss strutting his way through interminable sell-out tours with his E Street Band over the past 45 years, it’s difficult to picture his tenacious snail crawl to international acclaim over the late 1960s and early-70s.

Springsteen’s first rock ‘n’ roll romance came in his childhood after seeing Elvis Presley perform on television, but his clear-cut ambition took shape after seeing four famous faces from Liverpool. “I saw Elvis on TV, and when I first saw Elvis, I was nine, but I was a little young, tried to play the guitar, but it didn’t work out, I put it away,” Springsteen once told Rolling Stone. “The keeper was in 1964, ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ on South Street with my mother driving.”

“I immediately demanded that she let me out; I ran to the bowling alley, ran down a long neon-lit aisle, down the alley into the bowling alley,” he added. “Ran to the phone booth, got in the phone booth, and immediately called my girl and asked, ‘Have you heard this band called The Beatles?’ After that, it was nothing but rock ‘n’ roll and guitars.”

Springsteen and his early E Street Band signed to Columbia Records in 1972 and appeared bound for glory, but choppy waters lay ahead. After the surprising commercial disappointment of his debut, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., in 1973, Springsteen had already begun pouring long-laboured material into his second shot, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. Sadly, despite a positive reaction from critics, Springsteen’s second studio album followed the same commercial fate as the first.

Encouraged by the critical reception of the first two studio attempts, Columbia gave Springsteen a generous make-or-break recording budget for his third album, which was understood to be a last-ditch effort at commercial reception. “So, I was going to have to give it everything I had,” Springsteen recalled of the tense moment in an interview with BBC News in 2018. Thankfully, the third album Springsteen conjured up was Born To Run, a golden ticket to fame and fortune.

Born To Run gave Springsteen creative momentum that he seized to produce his masterpiece follow-up, Darkness on the Edge of Town, in 1978. These two albums undoubtedly mark Springsteen’s artistic peak and opened the door to a prolific future in the business. The 1980s would hold yet more glory, with 1984’s Born in the USA marking Springsteen’s commercial peak.

Springsteen’s prolific touring activity over the past half-century has allowed him to play all of the popular tracks from the above-mentioned albums. However, some of his deeper cuts from more recent or less successful records have evaded his setlists.

Below, we list every Bruce Springsteen track yet to feature in a live performance.

The songs Bruce Springsteen has never played live:
Tracks (Outtakes)
‘Bring On The Night’
‘Rockaway The Days’
‘Brothers Under The Bridges’
‘When You Need Me’
‘The Honeymooners’
‘Lucky Man’
‘Gave It A Name’
‘My Lover Man’
‘Over The Rise’
‘Loose Change’
‘Trouble In Paradise’
‘Goin’ Cali’
Working On A Dream
‘Tomorrow Never Knows’
‘Life Itself’
‘The Last Carnival’
The Promise
‘Someday (We’ll Be Together)’
‘Wrong Side of the Street’
‘Candy’s Boy’
‘It’s a Shame’
‘The Little Things (My Baby Does)’
‘City of Night’
Wrecking Ball
‘Swallowed Up (In The Belly Of The Whale)’
High Hopes
‘Harry’s Place’
‘Down in the Hole’
The Ties That Bind: The River Collection (Outtakes)
‘The Man Who Got Away’
‘Little White Lies’
‘The Time That Never Was’
‘Night Fire’
‘Chain Lightning’
‘Stray Bullet’
‘Mr. Outside’
‘Mary Lou’
Chapter and Verse
‘Baby I’
‘You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover’
‘He’s Guilty (The Judge Song)’
Western Stars
‘Hitch Hikin”
‘The Wayfarer
‘Tucson Train’
‘Western Stars’
‘Sleepy Joe’s Café’
‘Drive Fast (The Stuntman)’
‘Chasin’ Wild Horses’
‘Somewhere North of Nashville’
‘There Goes My Miracle’
‘Hello Sunshine’
‘Moonlight Motel’
Letter To You
‘One Minute You’re Here’
‘Janey Needs A Shooter’
‘The Power Of Prayer’

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