After months of speculation, Bruce Springsteen has finally announced The River box set. Coming on December 4th is the ‘The Ties That Bind: The River Collection’ which will include a unique and comprehensive look at The River era. All together you will get plenty of remastered music and unreleased tracks. All together you will get 52 tracks on 4 CD’s and 4 hours of never before seen footage spread across 3 DVD’s.

You will get the full double album version of The River and yes it will be remastered. You might remember that The River dropped on October 17, 1980 and was #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Plus they will be releasing the The River: Single Album. This will be a gold mine of unreleased tracks as it is studio outages from 1979 and 1980. This album is a 10 track album that was recorded as a follow-up to The Darkness on the Edge of Town, but never saw the light of day. Bruce noted that, The songs lacked the kind of unity and conceptual intensity I liked my music to have. So we went back in the studio” and this album truly marked the 18 month trip that would be the recording of the double album.

Seven out of the original 10 songs on the single album did appear on The River, but have different arrangements and lyrics. This will give listeners a unique perspective into how the progression of the songs occurred. The fourth CD will be a treasure trove for diehard fans, as it is The River: Outtakes, which pulls on tracks from entire recording of the album. There are 11 outtakes which for the most part have not been heard by anybody before. Some of the other out takes on the album will be from Tracks and the Essential, but are coming together on one disc now.


Similar to the treatment given to Born to Run and The Darkness on the Edge of Town, Thom Zimny has made The Ties That Bind. And this is an hour-long documentary that will give us story on Springsteen wrote and recorded the album. It features an exclusive interview with the man himself, solo acoustic guitar performances, scenes from the studio, and clips from concerts.

Photo Credit: David Gahr

The second video piece will be Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: The River Tour, Tempe 1980, and this is regarded as on of Springsteen’s best performances ever. It comes in at 2 hours and 40 minutes, which comes down to 24 songs. Most of which are live versions of songs from The River. We will also get a peek into the rehearsal process for The River Tour, with 20 minutes of footage from late September, 1980 River Tour rehearsals held in Lititz, PA.

Last but not least, we will get another visual and textual part to the collection. This is 148-page coffee table book that contained never before seen photos and artifacts from the tour, along with the original Rolling Stone album review from 1980, Springsteen’s updated comments about the album from the 1998 “Songs” book, liner notes, and an essay from journalist Mikal Gilmore.

Photo Credit: Antonio Rossi
Photo Credit: Antonio Rossi

Overall, ‘The Ties That Bind: The River Collection’ seems awesome and December 4th cannot come soon enough. Good news is that one song is available now, if you pre-order, plus it is available on Apple Music right now. It seems that all the audio will be on the streaming service as well! The box set will come $129.98 for the physical variant and is available for pre-order on Amazon.com now. You can get everything but the coffee table book from iTunes, and that will come in at $89.99. You can check out a gallery below and check out the first track Meet Me In The City, and the track list below!


Track List

CD 1

The River – Record One

1   The Ties That Bind

2   Sherry Darling

3   Jackson Cage

4   Two Hearts

5   Independence Day

6   Hungry Heart

7   Out In The Street

8   Crush On You

9   You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)

10 I Wanna Marry You

11 The River

CD 2

The River – Record Two

1   Point Blank

2   Cadillac Ranch

3   I’m A Rocker

4   Fade Away

5   Stolen Car

6   Ramrod

7   The Price You Pay

8   Drive All Night

9  Wreck On The Highway

CD 3

The River: Single Album

1   The Ties That Bind

2   Cindy

3   Hungry Heart

4   Stolen Car  (Vs. 1)

5   Be True

6   The River

7   You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch) (Vs. 1)

8   The Price You Pay

9   I Wanna Marry You

10 Loose End

CD 4

The River: Outtakes

Record One

1   Meet Me In The City

2  The Man Who Got Away

3   Little White Lies

4   The Time That Never Was

5   Night Fire

6   Whitetown

7   Chain Lightning

8   Party Lights

9   Paradise By The “C”

10 Stray Bullet

11 Mr. Outside

Record Two

12 Roulette

13 Restless Nights

14 Where The Bands Are

15 Dollhouse

16 Living On The Edge Of The World

17 Take ’em As They Come

18 Ricky Wants A Man Of Her Own

19 I Wanna Be With You

20 Mary Lou

21 Held Up Without A Gun

22 From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)


The Ties That Bind (Documentary)


The River Tour, Tempe 1980

Concert – Part 1

1   Born To Run

2   Prove It All Night

3   Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

4   Jackson Cage

5   Two Hearts

6   The Promised Land

7   Out In The Street

8   The River

9   Badlands

10 Thunder Road

11 No Money Down

12 Cadillac Ranch

13 Hungry Heart

14 Fire

15 Sherry Darling

16 I Wanna Marry You

17 Crush on You

18 Ramrod

19 You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)


The River Tour, Tempe 1980

Concert – Part 2

1   Drive All Night

2   Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

3   I’m A Rocker

4   Jungleland

5   Detroit Medley

6   Where The Bands Are (Credits)

BONUS: The River Tour Rehearsals

– Ramrod

– Cadillac Ranch

– Fire

– Crush On You

– Sherry Darling

Photo Credit: Joel Bernstein
Photo Credit: Joel Bernstein

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