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Bruce Springsteen — Spirit In The Night
Album: Greetings from Asbury Park
Avg rating:
7.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1339









Released: 1973
Length: 4:54
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Crazy Janey and her Mission Man
Were back in the alley tradin' hands
'Long came Wild Billy with his friend, G-Man
All duded up for Saturday night

Well Billy slammed on his coaster brakes
And said, "Anybody wanna go on up to Greasy Lake?
It's about a mile down on the dark side of Route 88
I got a bottle of rose, so let's try it

"We'll pick up Hazy Davy and Killer Joe
And I'll take you all out to where the gypsy angels go
They're built like light
Ooh, and they dance like spirits in the night"

In the night
Oh, you don't know what they can do to ya
Spirits in the night
Oh, in the night
Stand right up now and let it shoot through ya

Well now wild young Billy was a crazy cat
And he shook some dust out of his coonskin cap
He said, "Trust some of this, it'll show you where you're at
Or at least it'll help you really feel it"

Well by the time we made it up to Greasy Lake
I had my head out the window and Janey's fingers were in the cake
I think I really dug her, 'cause I was to loose to fake
I said, "I'm hurt," she said, "Honey, let me heal it"

And we danced all night to a soul fairy band
And she kissed me just right like only a lonely angel can
She felt so nice
Just as soft as a spirit in the night

In the night
Oh, Janey don't know what she do to ya
Like a spirit in the night
All night
Stand right up now and let it shoot through me

Well now the night was bright and the stars threw light
On Billy and Davy dancing in the moonlight
They were down near the water having a stoned mud fight
Killer Joe gone passed out on the lawn

Well now Hazy Davy got really hurt
He ran into the lake in just his socks and a shirt
Me and Crazy Janey was makin' love in the dirt
Singin' our birthday song

Janey said it was time to go
So we closed our eyes and said goodbye to gypsy angel row
Felt so right
Together we moved like spirits in the night

In the night
Oh you don't know what they can do to ya
Them spirits in the night
All night
Oh stand right up and let it shoot through ya
Like a spirit in the night

All night
All night
All night
All night
All night
All night
...
Comments (198)add comment
 h8rhater wrote:

"Intrinsically"?  Ohhhh, the superiority, condescension, and pretentiousness of this comment.  {#Rolleyes}Intrinsically: "In and of itself" is the  correct terminology  in this case period! O.K.?  Well alright then....
 

 oldsaxon wrote:

Born in the USA was not a slogan.
 

1985: walking through a small town in the Austrian alps, looking for some entertainment... sound pours out of a club we pass, the USA song, with a bunch of Europeans singing at the top of their lungs, "Born in the Ooo-S-Aah"

I always hated the song, mostly because of the terrible production sound on the drums that was popular at the time. It was hard to not associate it with Reagan and a bunch of other bad music. It's too bad, because the lyrics got lost in the production and I might have liked it if it was arranged differently. 
This is my favorite Bruce album, especially Wild Billy's Circus  Story. 
 On_The_Beach wrote:

I guess I'll never understand why people write hateful sh*t like this.
 
in so doing they become what they despise
In 1975, my brother came home with "Born to run"... and my life changed. Springsteen write and sing a american and street poetry. So Sprigsteen is maybe full of default but nobody sounds like him and nobody else make me feel so alive. A great artist.
 Jelani wrote:
And then he became a douchebag, hypocritical, politician. Fuck him.  . . .
 
I guess I'll never understand why people write hateful sh*t like this.
El Jefe
 Imkirok wrote:

I just read his book, which I found interesting.  One thing is clear - all he ever wanted to do and be was a rock and roller.  This is a guy that admits he's not the best musician or singer in the world, but he set out to be the performer and entertainer out there, and he did it through sheer determination and drive (and quite a bit of actual talent to boot).

 
And then he became a douchebag, hypocritical, politician. Fuck him.
But I do think his first album was/is brilliant.
 Skydog wrote:
way to many characters in this song, I couldn't keep up with them all{#Rolleyes}

 
Try an Excel spreadsheet. That should help your enjoyment of the song. I know it did for me. 
 bentonian wrote:
Dylanesque (Bob) poetry of the streets. So fresh, clear, and needed. Sad he descended into chanting slogans like Born in the USA.

 
Born in the USA was not a slogan.
 bentonian wrote:
Dylanesque (Bob) poetry of the streets. So fresh, clear, and needed. Sad he descended into chanting slogans like Born in the USA.
 
Clearly another person misunderstanding of “Born in the USA”, which is not a slogan but a comment on big shots sending other peoples kids into stupid wars.
{#Bananajam}
RP has got me {#Bananajam}now...
 Steely_D wrote:

Saw him in the mid 70s because a friend nagged me into going.

As he got louder and faster and louder and faster and, by the 5th encore, was standing on top of the amps waving his shirt as he sang...

years later, at the Oakland Amnesty International show, Sting introduced him: "Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest rock and roller in the world."

And I stopped for a second, thought about the mid 70s, and thought, "yeah. That's true. He is." 

 
I just read his book, which I found interesting.  One thing is clear - all he ever wanted to do and be was a rock and roller.  This is a guy that admits he's not the best musician or singer in the world, but he set out to be the performer and entertainer out there, and he did it through sheer determination and drive (and quite a bit of actual talent to boot).


 MinMan wrote:
Nostalgia sells! Particularly well when referencing an imagined industrial / Arcadian ideal. Just ask the president elect.

 
This album came out in 1973.  Bruce wrote it about his life at the time.  Hardly nostalgia.
way to many characters in this song, I couldn't keep up with them all{#Rolleyes}
Asbury Park NJ

 Image result for asbury park nj
 MinMan wrote:
Nostalgia sells! Particularly well when referencing an imagined industrial / Arcadian ideal. Just ask the president elect.

 
Just because your ass is chafed because idiot Trump won, don't be layin' it off on The Boss.

Also, there is absolutely nothing "industrial" about this song.  There are no Arcadian ideals at play here either.  I don't think partying at the lake classifies as a "pastoral vision in harmony with nature".  Well, maybe making love with Crazy Janey in the dirt does.   {#Cool}


Nostalgia sells! Particularly well when referencing an imagined industrial / Arcadian ideal. Just ask the president elect.
Most all of the Boss's old music is rocking good IMO. the way later stuff after say 1990 begin to bore me. I am not sure why
Dylanesque (Bob) poetry of the streets. So fresh, clear, and needed. Sad he descended into chanting slogans like Born in the USA.
 PockettVenus wrote:
Goes on forever. Bland and dull. Nope. {#Undecided}
I can imagine it could be a tune with memories for some people, but not intrinsically a good piece of music.  

 
"Intrinsically"?  Ohhhh, the superiority, condescension, and pretentiousness of this comment.  {#Rolleyes}
Goes on forever. Bland and dull. Nope. {#Undecided}
I can imagine it could be a tune with memories for some people, but not intrinsically a good piece of music.  
Prefer the 1975 Manfred Mann's Earth Band version (Mick Rogers) although the original by Springsteen is not as boring as most of his later stuff. 
 4merdj wrote:
Some Costello phrasing ... so glad the boss found his own self! {#Cool}

 

This album predates Costello's by 3 or 4 years.
 stalfnzo wrote:
Never quite got the Boss. A solid 2. 

 
You're not from these parts, are you?
Thank you Bill Happy New Year to you. 
Never quite got the Boss. A solid 2. 
When this came out it was sooooo refreshing.
Music was a bit static at that point.
 Proclivities wrote:

Lou Costello?  He was also from New Jersey. 

 
Paterson, if I'm not mistaken.

"Heyyyyyyyy, Abbott!"

 


 4merdj wrote:
Some Costello phrasing ... so glad the boss found his own self! {#Cool}

 
Lou Costello?  He was also from New Jersey.  Elvis Costello released his first album in 1977, this album came out in 1973.
Some Costello phrasing ... so glad the boss found his own self! {#Cool}
Nice.
Party on Bruce... Good Times{#Bananasplit}
Echoes of Astral Nights to me.

I see now that I am not the first to see the comparison. No doubt Bruce is the more honest performer of the two.
 OHMish wrote:

"respected icons"... meh!
What is an "icon"?
Popularity by other people is not a quality stamp that you must surrender to.
And a big name means nothing
I can find it hard to listen to Springsteen, Van M, Dylan and other major "icons" too. Although they do have a few decent tracks

Too many people worship music just for the big name

"This music is dull.."
"omg, don't you know who this is?? it's Bruce Springsteen! You cannot dislike it!"

Sheep ;)

 
If you want to have your own little iconoclast leave us out, hipster.  The music came first, NOT the names.  Great artists appeal to many because their output is great.  Not because their names are. 

This song was already a great song before Bruce Springsteen was a household "name".

Try surrendering to some humility.

Goat ;)
 hempmandan wrote:
This is such a great Cat Stevens song...
 
 
?
Play it Clarence!  Here he is at Maryland State over 50 years ago.
 clarence-clemons-football.JPG
I went to Rutgers in the 70's. Which is kinda, sorta, down the shore. Not too far.  Two joints worth.

And there is a RT 88.

And there is a greasy * lake.

We all loved Bruce.

So, we went down to greasy lake ourselves.

As for me, I never did get no Janeycakes... 

* Not it's real name 
This is such a great Cat Stevens song...
 
What a set, way to go Bill, plowing through my work this afternoon,
 Deedub wrote:
Saw him in Stockbridge in the mid 70's. His band set up on an open flatbed truck trailer. Afternoon thunderstorm came through. He apologized and they covered the equipment with plastic while it rained. After the rain stopped a few of us remained in the muddy field. Bruce and his band came back out and finished the concert. Greatest showman I ever saw.

 
Saw him in the mid 70s because a friend nagged me into going.

As he got louder and faster and louder and faster and, by the 5th encore, was standing on top of the amps waving his shirt as he sang...

years later, at the Oakland Amnesty International show, Sting introduced him: "Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest rock and roller in the world."

And I stopped for a second, thought about the mid 70s, and thought, "yeah. That's true. He is." 
I can't tell you how many times this album has lit me up. Good Times, the best Boss album ever.
 Sasha2001 wrote:

Wow, how do you throw two of music's most well-respected icons under the same bus with such casual ease? You must have the most awesome taste.
 
"respected icons"... meh!
What is an "icon"?
Popularity by other people is not a quality stamp that you must surrender to.
And a big name means nothing
I can find it hard to listen to Springsteen, Van M, Dylan and other major "icons" too. Although they do have a few decent tracks

Too many people worship music just for the big name

"This music is dull.."
"omg, don't you know who this is?? it's Bruce Springsteen! You cannot dislike it!"

Sheep ;)
You're dead to me.

pinem wrote:
Sounds too much Van Morrison, whom I abhor.

 


 pinem wrote:
Sounds too much Van Morrison, whom I abhor.

 
Maybe somewhat, in terms of the arrangement and the tempo, but their voices and energy have very little in common.
 pinem wrote:
Sounds too much Van Morrison, whom I abhor.

 
Wow, how do you throw two of music's most well-respected icons under the same bus with such casual ease? You must have the most awesome taste.
My favorite Springsteen album.
Still not much of a fan.  He comes across as a pretty cool guy, though.  That's a plus in my book.
Sounds too much Van Morrison, whom I abhor.
Wow! This can't be 40 years old!!{#Clap}
Springsteen was the Dylan of the '70s. These lyrics are genius. A time and place and generation summed up in one fantastic poem. 
Saw him in Stockbridge in the mid 70's. His band set up on an open flatbed truck trailer. Afternoon thunderstorm came through. He apologized and they covered the equipment with plastic while it rained. After the rain stopped a few of us remained in the muddy field. Bruce and his band came back out and finished the concert. Greatest showman I ever saw.
 colt4x5 wrote:

Said no one ever.

 
so right.
 rich95969 wrote:
"The Manfred Mann version is so much better …"

 
Said no one ever.
Look at the year of this album: 1973

Every song is a masterpiece Pure genious. 
 leafmold wrote:
Naysayers be damned--Bruce is fantastic.

 
Seconded.
 oldfart48 wrote:

indeed, if he learned to open his mouth and sing he might sound as good as he wrights. great songs can't understand 90 % of his lyrics. this tune is the rare understandable track...

 
I didn't even realize that Bruce was a skilled maker of wooden objects (ships, perhaps?).  indeed, he is truly a renaissance man.




Naysayers be damned--Bruce is fantastic.
 dig wrote:

       What does prolific have to do with good?
 
Sometimes "prolific" is related to "good", but not always, of course.  What's puzzling about the post you were responding to is that Bruce Springsteen isn't really any more prolific than most other musicians or bands who have been around for forty-or-so years.
 dig wrote:

       What does prolific have to do with good?



 
indeed, if he learned to open his mouth and sing he might sound as good as he wrights. great songs can't understand 90 % of his lyrics. this tune is the rare understandable track...
 msymmes wrote:
Overrated?  The most prolific singer, songwriter , musician on the planet since about 10,000 BC.

I am willing to bet you have never seen Bruce and the best band in the world live!



 




 
       What does prolific have to do with good?


An early sign of his brilliance
Overrated?  The most prolific singer, songwriter , musician on the planet since about 10,000 BC.

I am willing to bet you have never seen Bruce and the best band in the world live!


dig wrote:
Like most of the Boss's output, overrated.

 



 rich95969 wrote:
The Manfred Mann version is so much better.

 
You're kidding, right?
The Manfred Mann version is so much better.

This song is good for the ears...  this album is phenomenal...
 
Like most of the Boss's output, overrated.
Straight back to high school, this is.
actually "Mary Queen of Arkansas" gave a glimpse of what I came to find preferable from Springsteen. early middle or late i dont think it's possible to define his "best" period. (whether its with or without the e street fellows) there's just too much good stuff throughout his career there. I like bits and pieces of just about every album he put out.......that said, I'll throw born to run into the campfire,  every couple months listen to human touch on vinyl with the gfriend,  and for sure i'll keep nebraska loaded into the trucks cd player and always close by
May I reply to both of you oldsaxon and neuticle.  Go to YouTube.  Look up "Candy's Room" and the way he performed it in the 70's, and then the way he performed in the 21st century at the Paladium or Troubadour or something.  Clearly, clearly people, the 21st century version is far harder, far more rock n' roll than his pretty-boy version in the 70's.  Remarkably better.  I think life's hard knocks can actually make you more of a rock 'n' roll artist, in some cases.  Also, well-seasoned experience can add to a talent, too.


   neuticle wrote:

well put


 


Geez people, it was a good song, but not great -- he had much better ones during that time.
 WayUpNorth wrote:

No blasting from me ... I agree 100%.  This was some amazing, original stuff — he was very gritty and bohemian then.  He was my idea of the perfect man:  a brilliant, sensitive, edgy, non-conformist.  Then the record company got hold of him and turned him into a buff super-hero type. 


 
"Born in the USA" was the start of that corporate bit. Springsteen went away from singing about Jersey and blue-collar stuff. People complained that "The River" was a bit of a sellout too when it came out, IIRC. 

Sadly, you don't hear a lot about "Nebraska" ('82) which rejected commercial FM as much as "Born" embraced it.  
Always liked this, no matter who or which version.  Maybe it's because hazy memories of similar nights flashback into my head.
 lexica wrote:

Snarkiness points: 10.

Accuracy points, correct-assessment-of-musical-history points, and evaluation-of-artist's-ongoing-and-current-musical-impact points: 0.

Thanks for playing! We have some lovely parting gifts for you…

(signed, Born in 1970 and Thus Have No Sentimental Attachment to the Song, Having Been Too Young to Recognize It at the Time)

 
Accuracy points, "correct"-assessment-of-musical-history points, and evaluation of artist's-ongoing-and-current-musical-impact-points-as far-as-we-RP-listeners-of-a-"certain-demographic"-are-concerned: 3.
 Thin_Air wrote:
I can only imagine that this sounded ok in 1973 - but it has not worn well - my bed ridden drunken sot of a great aunty is in better shape as we head into the final third of 2012 - even at 95 years old (bless her) there is something about her that makes BS look just a tad shallow.
 
Snarkiness points: 10.

Accuracy points, correct-assessment-of-musical-history points, and evaluation-of-artist's-ongoing-and-current-musical-impact points: 0.

Thanks for playing! We have some lovely parting gifts for you…

(signed, Born in 1970 and Thus Have No Sentimental Attachment to the Song, Having Been Too Young to Recognize It at the Time)
 JrzyTmata wrote:

I think Manfred Mann sucked the spirit right out of the song.
 
Amen
 bronorb wrote:
 finoufk wrote:
the more I listen to that song, the more I prefer Manfred mann's cover !

I always liked MM's version of this song better.
 
I think Manfred Mann sucked the spirit right out of the song.
A really great album too!
Dude walks into our freshman dorm room, winter 1972-1973, says, "Behold gentleman! I bring you the future of rock and roll..."
Dude was from Jersey shore area (we were in college in Upstate New York.)
We were there at the start. Privileged.
Don't care for this version of Bruce's, but IMHO,gd this one rocked!

https://brucespringsteen.net/albums/live1975-85 - cd

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0-S1X-fyk4&feature=related 
    

    
  
Another reason why I love RP - you come across  beauties like this!  {#Lol}
johnjconn wrote:
First time I saw Springsteen was 78 during the Darkness tour.
He jumped off stage into the crowd, stood on a chair about 7-8 rows back from the stage and sang this song.
One hand on the mic as he sang, the other hand was busy pushing the girls hands off of his package as they kept grabbing him
4 or 5 hands kept massaging him. He had a smile while he sang.  If the song went any longer, who knows what would have errupted

Good to be the boss!

 


This is probably the first time I heard the studio version after listening the live versions for years.

Great{#Drummer} 
Can I bump this up to a TWELVE?
 
I can only imagine that this sounded ok in 1973 - but it has not worn well - my bed ridden drunken sot of a great aunty is in better shape as we head into the final third of 2012 - even at 95 years old (bless her) there is something about her that makes BS look just a tad shallow.


My favorite Springsteen tune. Thanks for playing this one!
All "duded up" right now for a Sunday afternoon barbecue, and damn glad this came on.
 MiracleDrug wrote:


wrong-o...
 

not wrong-o but bang on the money-o  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Can I bump this up to an ELEVEN ?
 
 finoufk wrote:
the more I listen to that song, the more I prefer Manfred mann's cover !

I always liked MM's version of this song better.
No doubt this is a TEN in my books.  
We actually used to go there (the Lake, in Ocean county park) in the 70's, when I was at Rutgers. Just because it was on this song. Then to the boardwalk in Point Pleasant
 
Lotta nutty stuff goin' on back then...
Great song from his early period.  Timeless.  On that last word's "note," some here need to know that the young do not have a "monopoly" on rebellion.
 oldsaxon wrote:
 WonderLizard wrote:

He isn't 24 any more. IMHO an awful lot of the changes that plague rockers (think Mellencamp, Petty, McCartney, and more) who age in place is that rock'n'roll is about being young, rebellious, and just not giving a shit. Well, Bruce is 61, and he's not any of that stuff any more. I also believe that Bruce, like Mellencamp, Petty, and to a lesser extent McCartney, has learned to wear his age well, so he—like they—makes stuff that is older, different but can still be fresh, vital. Petty's and Mellencamp's latest are each a case in point.


I like that, well said!
 
well put

One song...one moment in the past...memories that will never die. For me, for that moment.... definitely a ten
 finoufk wrote:
the more I listen to that song, the more I prefer Manfred mann's cover !
 



Surely you jest?
 WonderLizard wrote:

He isn't 24 any more. IMHO an awful lot of the changes that plague rockers (think Mellencamp, Petty, McCartney, and more) who age in place is that rock'n'roll is about being young, rebellious, and just not giving a shit. Well, Bruce is 61, and he's not any of that stuff any more. I also believe that Bruce, like Mellencamp, Petty, and to a lesser extent McCartney, has learned to wear his age well, so he—like they—makes stuff that is older, different but can still be fresh, vital. Petty's and Mellencamp's latest are each a case in point.


I like that, well said!
6->8
Hit the sweet spot today.
looking forward to the open air concert in the Berlin Olympiastadion, unfortunately without the great  great Clarence Clemons ...
 ncollingridge wrote:

The more I listen to Bruce's loose and relaxed version, the more I prefer it to the much slicker Mannfred Mann cover.

 

roger that.
 finoufk wrote:
the more I listen to that song, the more I prefer Manfred mann's cover !
 
The more I listen to Bruce's loose and relaxed version, the more I prefer it to the much slicker Mannfred Mann cover.

the more I listen to that song, the more I prefer Manfred mann's cover !
 iTuner wrote:
Sucko-Barfo
 

wrong-o...
First time I saw Springsteen was 78 during the Darkness tour.
He jumped off stage into the crowd, stood on a chair about 7-8 rows back from the stage and sang this song.
One hand on the mic as he sang, the other hand was busy pushing the girls hands off of his package as they kept grabbing him
4 or 5 hands kept massaging him. He had a smile while he sang.  If the song went any longer, who knows what would have errupted

Good to be the boss!

Tuneless, no?

I get that there's a case to be made for Springsteen the poet, but songs like this are a tough listen. 
This is just so . . . precious.  Blech. 
Sucko-Barfo
 rabbi_phil wrote:
This was just so different from anything else out there at the time. couldn't get enough. then he followed with e street shuffle, Fantasmic. and that was pretty much it. everything following just seemed like a different artist. a step down really.  (go ahead, blast away)
 
No blasting from me ... I agree 100%.  This was some amazing, original stuff — he was very gritty and bohemian then.  He was my idea of the perfect man:  a brilliant, sensitive, edgy, non-conformist.  Then the record company got hold of him and turned him into a buff super-hero type. 

 finoufk wrote:
the cover by Manfred mann's earth band is far far far better !
 
R.I.P. Clarence—the Big Man.

the cover by Manfred mann's earth band is far far far better !
 robco1 wrote:
Why isn't he making stuff like this anymore?
 
Because he outgrew cheesy rhymes? Seuss Springsteen?

One of Bruce's better efforts.  Good song writer.  Like Manford Mann's better.
This was just so different from anything else out there at the time. couldn't get enough. then he followed with e street shuffle, Fantasmic. and that was pretty much it. everything following just seemed like a different artist. a step down really.  (go ahead, blast away)


Goosebumps
I've heard the original from Springsteen late after Manfred Mann's remake... and there so good at it !

 
tanstaafl wrote:
Always liked the Manfred Mann cover better than Bruce's.
 


One of Bruce's better efforts!
snooki
Springsteen sux!! Great song! 9!{#Bananajam}
One of I think 2 or 3 songs by Springsteen that I like.  Maybe I haven't spent enough time in New Jersey to appreciate the rest.
 robco1 wrote:
Why isn't he making stuff like this anymore?
 
He isn't 24 any more. IMHO an awful lot of the changes that plague rockers (think Mellencamp, Petty, McCartney, and more) who age in place is that rock'n'roll is about being young, rebellious, and just not giving a shit. Well, Bruce is 61, and he's not any of that stuff any more. I also believe that Bruce, like Mellencamp, Petty, and to a lesser extent McCartney, has learned to wear his age well, so he—like they—makes stuff that is older, different but can still be fresh, vital. Petty's and Mellencamp's latest are each a case in point.