Bruce Springsteen

Don't Look Back [bootleg]

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Subtitled "Collectors Items 1974-1980," Don't Look Back is an eight-track compilation bootleg containing studio outtakes from the 1977-1978 sessions for Darkness on the Edge of Town and the 1979-1980 sessions for The River, as well as some unusual live performances. The outtakes include the title track, "Roulette" (a powerful rocker with lyrics referring to the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster, a later version of which turned up as a B-side) and "The Way" (an intense ballad), any one of them the equal of what was finally released. The other never-released songs are "The Fever," performed live in a duet with Southside Johnny, who recorded a studio version of it, and "The Promise," one of Springsteen's best songs, performed live during the 1978 Darkness on the Edge of Town Tour. Also included are drastically different versions of "Rosalita" (an acoustic performance from an April 1974 radio station broadcast) and "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" (a slowed down arrangement). The album is completed by the December 1975 performance of "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" that did find legitimate release. Don't Look Back gives a sense of the strength of Springsteen's unreleased back catalog and of the different ways he re-imagines his familiar material in concert.