Released: October 10, 1980
Peak: 14 US, 2 UK, 13 CN, 8 AU
Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 0.3 UK, 10.0 world (includes US and UK)
Genre: classic rock
The Ties That Bind: The River Collection
Released: December 4, 2015
Recorded: 1979-80, 2015
Peak: 31 US, 49 UK
Sales (in millions): 0.06 UK
Genre: classic rock
All songs written by Bruce Springsteen.
Tracks, Disc 1 (The River):
Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Tracks, Disc 2 (The River):
Total Running Time (The River): 82:58
Tracks, Disc 3 (The Ties That Bind):
* These songs were not on The River.
Total Running Time (The Ties That Bind): 38:26
Tracks, Disc 4 (The River: Outtakes):
^ Released on the Tracks box set.
Total Running Time (The River: Outtakes): 76:23
Rating (The River):
4.232 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)
Awards (The River): (Click on award to learn more).
Rating (The Ties That Bind: The River Collection):
4.238 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)
About The River:
“Imbedded within the double-disc running time of The River is a single-disc album that follows up on the themes and sound of Darkness on the Edge of Town – wide-screen, mid-tempo rock and stories of the disillusionment of working-class life and the conflicts within families. In these songs, which include the title track, Independence Day, and Point Blank, Bruce Springsteen’s world view is just as dire as it had become on Darkness, but less judgmental. ‘Independence Day,’ for example, is a father-and-son ballad that has little of the anger of its hard rock counterpart on Darkness, Adam Raised a Cain.” AMG
“Springsteen’s heroes again seek to overcome their crushing troubles through defiance and by driving around, and though The River repeats the soured love theme of ‘Racing in the Street,’ he also posits romance as a possible escape, sometimes combining it with one of the other solutions, as on the eight-plus-minute Drive All Night.” AMG
“But there is also another album lurking within The River, and it is a more lighthearted pop/rock collection of short, sometimes humorous songs like Sherry Darling and I'm a Rocker. At times Springsteen combines elements of the two, as on Out in the Street, perhaps the album’s quintessential song, a catchy, up-tempo number that sounds like something from the early '60s and echoes the theme of the Vogues’ 1966 hit ‘Five O' Clock World.’” AMG
“Hungry Heart, which became Springsteen’s first Top Ten hit, combines a rollicking musical track with a more sober lyrical theme that emphasizes longing over disappointment.” AMG
“But a better guide to Springsteen’s development are the songs Stolen Car and the album-closing Wreck on the Highway, gentle, moody ballads imbued with a sense of hopelessness that anticipate his next record, Nebraska.” AMG
About The Ties That Bind: The River Collection:
In 2015, a reissue of the album added two more CDs. The first was The Ties That Bind, the original single-disc album Springsteen planned. The second disc is outtakes from the era. The collection also included DVDs of a documentary and a live show from 1980.
Most of the songs featured on the two additional CDs had been released in some form before (see track listing above). The biggest chunk came from Springsteen’s archival box set Tracks which he released in 1998. However, there were also songs initially featured as B-sides on singles and one from The Essential Bruce Springsteen in 2003. The latter was a 2-disc compilation with a third bonus disc of archival material on the limited edition. Finally, alternate versions of Stolen Car and You Can Look But You Better Not Touch were released on the single disc The Ties That Bind. The original versions were on The River.
Even with all this material, there were still songs from this era not featured on The Ties That Bind: The River Collection. Many of these can be found on the Lost Masters bootleg collection which was released in the 1990s. WK
Resources and Related Links:
Other Related DMDB Pages:
First posted 3/23/2008; last updated 9/1/2021.