Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Rendezvous

First recorded (as an outtake) by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (1976, released 2010).
Commercially-released by Greg Kihn (1979), Gary “U.S.” Bonds (1982).
Also recorded (live) by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (1980, released 1998).

From the wiki: “‘Rendezvous’ was written by Bruce Springsteen during the recording sessions for the Darkness On The Edge of Town album but was not included in the album’s final release because Bruce felt it could interupt the sonic intensity of the album.

“After making a guest appearance with The Knack at L.A.’s The Troubadour club in October 1978, Springsteen first offered the group ‘Rendezvous’ or ‘Don’t Look Back’ for their debut album, Get the Knack, but later had second thoughts thinking his own ‘Rendezvous’ recording would be included in the final mix of Darkness On The Edge of Town and requested they not record it. After his appearance with The Knack the group’s Bruce Gary recalls, ‘I asked Bruce if he had any songs that The Knack might use in our stage show, and he offered two unreleased numbers, ‘Rendezvous’ and ‘Don’t Look Back.’ The band selected ‘Don’t Look Back,’ which was ‘Knackified’ and recorded in one take at MCA Whitney studios in April, 1979. The tune was originally scheduled to appear on the Get The Knack album, but was pulled at the request of Springsteen’s management in order to allow him to release the song first.’ (Ironically, the Knack’s ‘Don’t Look Back’ would ultimately be released first … in 1992 on the compilation album Retrospective, six years before the official release of Springsteen’s own studio recording on Tracks in 1998.)

“Bruce ultimately offered ‘Rendezvous’ to another Springsteen devotee, Greg Kihn (‘because I liked the way he did ‘For You’ on that early album’), who released it in 1979 on The Greg Kihn Band album With the Naked Eye.

“‘Rendezvous’ was covered again in 1982 by Gary ‘U.S.’ Bonds with an arrangement produced by Springsteen and backed by the E Street Band. Columbia Records had Bruce Springsteen remove his vocals from all the tracks he backed on Bond’s On The Line album (distributed by competitor EMI Records). Because of this, although Springsteen can still be heard on several of the tracks, including ‘Rendezvous’, he is not credited in the original liner notes.

“A live performance of ‘Rendezvous’ by Springsteen and the E Street Band, recorded on New Year’s Eve 1980 at the Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, NY, was included in the 1998 compilation album, Tracks. Springsteen’s original 1976 studio recording was released in 2010 as part of the compilation The Promise of material recorded but not used for the Darkness On The Edge of Town sessions.”

Bruce Springsteen, demoing “Rendezvous” for The Knack (1978):

Greg Kihn, “Rendezvous” (1979):

Bruce Springsteen, live performance “Rendezvous” (1980, released 1998):

Gary “U.S.” Bonds, “Rendezvous” (1982):

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