Bruce Springsteen to Release Long Awaited 'River' Box Set This December

Bruce Springsteen
Photo: David Gahr 

Bruce Springsteen

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection will be released on Dec. 4.

For Bruce Springsteen fans, faith will be rewarded this Christmas with the Dec. 4 release of the long rumored box set The Ties That Bind: The River Collection.

Described as a “comprehensive look at the River era,”  the Columbia Records collection contains 52 tracks on four CDs which includes unreleased tracks and four hours of never-before-seen video spread out over three DVDs, according to an official release.

While the set includes the original double album, bonus goodies include the unreleased The River: Single Album, a CD of 1979/80 studio outtakes; a two-DVD film of never-released concert footage from the band's 1980 show in Tempe, AZ; rare tour rehearsal footage of what was then new songs; a brand new documentary The Ties That Bind about The River; and a coffee table book of 200 rare or previously unseen photos and memorabilia with a new essay by Mikal Gilmore

Bruce Springsteen Surprises Fans at Box-Set Listening Party

Of note to Springsteen collectors is the inclusion of the Single album, which the Freehold native recorded as a follow-up to 1978’s Darkness on the Edge of Town. It was originally intended for a 1979 release, but the musician wasn’t satisfied with the results.

“The songs lacked the kind of unity and conceptual intensity I liked my music to have. So we went back in the studio," he previously wrote in the 1998 lyrics/photo book Songs.

Seven of the ten tracks on the album made it onto the double album, but with different lyrics and arrangements. An earlier version of “You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch),” for example, had a rockabilly feel to it.  

The fourth CD -- The River: Outtakes -- are rarities from the 1979 and 1980 recording sessions with 11 songs “completely unknown” to fans. The outtakes on Record One -- which includes  "Night Fire" and "Mr. Outside" -- were mixed by Bob Clearmountain and mastered by Bob Ludwig. 11 additional outtakes ("Record Two") are from the releases Tracks and Essentials

The 60-minute documentary, directed by Thom Zimney, features an interview with Springsteen. Accompanying himself with an acoustic guitar, the singer shares his stories behind the music. Closing out the set is a 2-hour 40 minute set of the E Street Band’s concert at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ and a behind-the scenes glimpse of tour rehearsals in Litiz, PA.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Salute Jon Stewart with Rocking Farewell

The entire package is available in a 10" x 12" box with a hardcover 148-page coffee table book. Other images include pages from Springsteen's notebooks, single covers, and photos from the original album package.

Springsteen shared the audio for "Meet Me in the City" overnight. Listen to it below.

The Ties That Bind: The River Collection is now available for pre-order on and on iTunes.

Here is the tracklisting:


The River - Disc 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


The River - Disc Two

1.Point Blank
2.Cadillac Ranch
3.I'm A Rocker
4.Fade Away
5.Stolen Car
7.The Price You Pay
8.Drive All Night
9.Wreck On The Highway


The River: Single Album

1.The Ties That Bind
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


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
7.Chain Lightning
8.Party Lights
9.Paradise By The "C"
10.Stray Bullet
11.Mr. Outside

Record Two

2.Restless Nights
3.Where The Bands Are
5.Living On The Edge Of The World
6.Take 'em As They Come
7.Ricky Wants A Man Of Her Own
8.I Wanna Be With You
9.Mary Lou
10.Held Up Without A Gun
11.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
10.Thunder Road
11.No Money Down
12.Cadillac Ranch
13.Hungry Heart
15.Sherry Darling
16.I Wanna Marry You
17.Crush On You
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
5.Detroit Medley
6.Where The Bands Are (Credits)

Bonus: The River Tour Rehersals

2.Cadillac Ranch
4.Crush On You
5.Sherry Darling

Coming December 4 -- The Ties That Bind: The River Collection box set featuring 52 tracks on 4 CDs + 4 hours of...

Posted by Bruce Springsteen on Thursday, 15 October 2015


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