Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Greg Kihn


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 interrupt 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.’ (But that did not happen. 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 a recording produced by Springsteen, a Bonds devotee, and Stevie Van Zandt, and backed by Springsteen’s E Street Band. After recording the album, Columbia Records had Bruce Springsteen remove his vocals from the tracks he backed on Bond’s On The Line album (distributed by competitor EMI Records), with some rerecorded with Van Zandt. Even so, Springsteen can still be heard on several of the tracks, including ‘Rendezvous’, but he is not credited in the original liner notes.