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The Band — Atlantic City
Album: Jericho
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 644









Released: 1993
Length: 5:01
Plays (last 30 days): 0
Well, they blew up the Chicken Man in Philly last night
And they blew up his house, too
Down on the boardwalk they're ready for a fight
Gonna see what them racket boys can do

Now there's trouble busin' in from outta state
And the D.A. can't get no relief
Gonna be a rumble on the promenade
And the gamblin' commissioner's hangin' on by the skin of his teeth

Everything dies, baby, that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies some day comes back
Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Well, I got a job and I put my money away
But I got the kind of debts that no honest man can pay
So I drew out what I had from the Central Trust
And I bought us two tickets on that Coast City bus

Everything dies, baby, that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies some day comes back
Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold
But with you forever I'll stay
We'll be goin' out where the sand turns to gold
But put your stockings on, 'cause it might get cold

Oh, everything dies, baby, that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies some day comes back
Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Now I've been a-lookin' for a job, but it's hard to find
There's winners and there's losers and I'm south of the line
Well, I'm tired of gettin' caught out on the losin' end
But I talked to a man last night, gonna do a little favor for him

Well, everything dies, baby, that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies some day comes back
Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Oh, meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Oh, meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Comments (137)add comment
 ozzie1313 wrote:
I caused a shoot out down the coast on the Seaside Heights boardwalk.  I worked in a stand called Smoke City (never smoked, cigarettes at least, in my life).  I told some Philly mobster glorified in gold rings, watch, chain to say "please" as I got sick of "gimme."  Irish-Catholic boy from New England don't much care for those Italian types.  Of course there were words, bravado, and threats.  Late that night, when the stand was close to closing, the boss made sure I was still working in the stand.  He lay low with a couple other Jersey connected characters waiting.  The Philly guy and his court returned.  I hit the deck and shots were exchanged.  No one was shot but there were bullet holes in the stand.  After I later got arrested, drunk, peeing on a fire hydrant exclaiming that I was Sparky the fire dog.  Was subsequently pulverized by the local police.  I decided to go home.  Never been back to N.J.  But sure saw Springsteen a few times.
 

 
what did I just read?
I caused a shoot out down the coast on the Seaside Heights boardwalk.  I worked in a stand called Smoke City (never smoked, cigarettes at least, in my life).  I told some Philly mobster glorified in gold rings, watch, chain to say "please" as I got sick of "gimme."  Irish-Catholic boy from New England don't much care for those Italian types.  Of course there were words, bravado, and threats.  Late that night, when the stand was close to closing, the boss made sure I was still working in the stand.  He lay low with a couple other Jersey connected characters waiting.  The Philly guy and his court returned.  I hit the deck and shots were exchanged.  No one was shot but there were bullet holes in the stand.  After I later got arrested, drunk, peeing on a fire hydrant exclaiming that I was Sparky the fire dog.  Was subsequently pulverized by the local police.  I decided to go home.  Never been back to N.J.  But sure saw Springsteen a few times.
 
Sentimental favorite: both my folks moonlighted driving charters for Coast City Coaches.
Love it when great artists cover great songs————doesn't matter a thing to me which one is "better"
Decent cover but I like Springsteen's version better.
If I can land to Antics city, I can so paint the city sepia.
 Proclivities wrote:

Robert Gordon's version is the best.

 
Gotta check that out (if I can find it...)—this is pretty fantastic, though #1 for me is Bruce's version. "Nebraska" is such a contrast to the all-in commercial approach of "Born in the USA." 
 lemmoth wrote:


Pointer Sisters Fire,

 
Robert Gordon's version is the best.
 springof63 wrote:
 BikeCoachDave wrote:
Quite possibly the only song remade that exceeds Springsteens own version.
xtalman wrote:

Really?  I can think of a number of covers that are better the Springsteen's original versions.   

I think of Springsteen as a more talented Dylan when is comes to preforming.  Great writers both just not my mug o' beer in the preforming department.



 
Manfred Manns version of Blinded By The Light is IMHO a blindingly better cover.

Talking of cover i'll be running for some about now . . .
cheers

 
I agree completely. {#Yes}  I remember hearing Springsteen's version after Manns and thinking that it was lame. {#Lol}
 BikeCoachDave wrote:
Quite possibly the only song remade that exceeds Springsteens own version.
xtalman wrote:

Really?  I can think of a number of covers that are better the Springsteen's original versions.   

I think of Springsteen as a more talented Dylan when is comes to preforming.  Great writers both just not my mug o' beer in the preforming department.



 
Manfred Manns version of Blinded By The Light is IMHO a blindingly better cover.

Talking of cover i'll be running for some about now . . .
cheers
Accordions rock.
Excellent Song. I like this one. We hope more songs like this from this Band. Thank you.
Carry on...{#Bananajam}
 laprincessa wrote:
Hank Williams Jr Jr does a GREAT version of this. 

 
+1 for the Hank III version of this….(forgive the hijack)
 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
Kind of interesting that I also heard this this morning on the way to work, Wyoming Public Radio.

 
I listen to both WPR and RP everyday.  And there are times the overlap is amazing -- kind of like they each listen to each other.
 jktravl wrote:
Love you Levon, The angels now have a new choir member, for midnight rambling

 
{#Clap} {#Clap} {#Clap}
Love you Levon, The angels now have a new choir member, for midnight rambling
 ziakut wrote:
Band name missing an "L" between "B" and "A".

 
It's not bland.  Levon and the guys do this one justice. Very nice.
 ziakut wrote:
Band name missing an "L" between "B" and "A".

 
HUH?
Band name missing an "L" between "B" and "A".
Love it!  {#Bananapiano}
Nice, but the zydeco thing doesn't quite hit it for me.

Awesome.
 
 Byronape wrote:

Actually, in my crappy little high school, they did teach this.  Of course, the American HistoryCivics teacher was under constant pressure to only teach to the standardized test that seniors had to pass in order to graduate.  

The fact that this little nugget of history isn't on the test amazes me.
 
 

I learned it too, but I was in high school a long time ago.  Back then when we had to take those test by filling in the little circles, we would color them in and make designs.   

Everybody in my hotel room loves this cover...
 
 ThePoose wrote:
''American'' band?!!  There was only one American in the Band, and four men from Ontario, which for you Americans is a province (kind of like a state without as much ability to thumb its nose at the federal government) in Canada, which trounced war-declaring America in the War of 1812—even chasing the President from his dinner table, eating his dinner, and torching and gutting the White House. Bet they don't teach you that in history class.

 
Actually, in my crappy little high school, they did teach this.  Of course, the American History\Civics teacher was under constant pressure to only teach to the standardized test that seniors had to pass in order to graduate.  

The fact that this little nugget of history isn't on the test amazes me.
 
 BikeCoachDave wrote:
Quite possibly the only song remade that exceeds Springsteens own version.
 

Really?  I can think of a number of covers that are better the Springsteen's original versions.   

I think of Springsteen as a more talented Dylan when is comes to preforming.  Great writers both just not my mug o' beer in the preforming department.


hey darcand,

Yeah right. Songs with soul and musicianship suck.

Oh well, you may want to listen to the thud and drone souless crap of these 21st century "rock n roll" bands. 
 BikeCoachDave wrote:
Quite possibly the only song remade that exceeds Springsteens own version.
 

Ponter Sisters Fire,

So lyrically Bruce!!!  Even if you didn't know it and were familiar with his work.

Not a major band fan but this is a fine interpretation.


What a bore. Contrived. Fake. Worse than the original.
''American'' band?!!  There was only one American in the Band, and four men from Ontario, which for you Americans is a province (kind of like a state without as much ability to thumb its nose at the federal government) in Canada, which trounced war-declaring America in the War of 1812—even chasing the President from his dinner table, eating his dinner, and torching and gutting the White House. Bet they don't teach you that in history class.


dsd wrote:
Arguably Springsteen's masterpiece covered by arguably the best American band ever (from Canada) —Love this!
 

I was prepared to hate this version because I love the original so much, but I must confess to liking this rendition.
friggin' awesome! {#Sunny}
I like the song, just not this version
Quite possibly the only song remade that exceeds Springsteens own version.
Utterly terrible
Arguably Springsteen's masterpiece covered by arguably the best American band ever (from Canada) —Love this!
Pass.
Is that Garth on accordion?  Nice.
I like this version!
 scraig wrote:
Red neck Jimmy Buffet.
 

Please stay in Santa Barbara.
this breaks my heart. i love it.
 jonahboo wrote:

another good one is Hank Williams III
very dark
starts out fast and goes to a slow down - damn good

 
Yea, it is great! Someone should upload that one, if I ever get a slot again!{#Headache}
 msymmes wrote:
Awesome. Never heard this cover before.
 
another good one is Hank Williams III
very dark
starts out fast and goes to a slow down - damn good

 scraig wrote:
Red neck Jimmy Buffet.
  Dude! Harsh. What did Levon Helm ever do to you? Love the homage to The Big Pink on the cover art.

 scraig wrote:
Red neck Jimmy Buffet.
  Is that a bad thing?

Red neck Jimmy Buffet.
 jbtidwell wrote:
What is the part about "they blew up the Chicken Man" about? I assume it is a reference to something...anybody know the history?
 
The song depicts a young couple's romantic escape to the New Jersey city Atlantic City, but also wrestles with the inevitability of death as the man in the relationship intends to take a job in organized crime once arriving in the city. The opening lines of "Atlantic City" refer to mafia violence in nearby Philadelphia, with Springsteen singing: "Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night, now they blew up his house too." (The "chicken man" was a mafia boss named Philip Testa, who was killed by a bomb planted at his house in Philadelphia in March 1981.) The song also evokes the widespread uncertainty regarding gambling during its early years in Atlantic City and its promises to resurrect the city. This uncertainty and the man's uncertainty about taking the less-than-savory job are echoed in the lyrics "Everything dies, baby, that's a fact, but maybe everything that dies someday comes back."
    from wikipedia.  I remember this from growing up in Philly area.

Awesome. Never heard this cover before.
 johnjconn wrote:
This song is so good, even Ricky Martin could play it well.
 
I would love to hear that.
A bit shouty, ain't he? That violent pink cover is a bit of an eyeache, too. Best take 5, I think.
Love this Band!
 domstead wrote:
Great cover!  I've never heard this version before.  This is my favorite Bruce Springsteen song of all time.  Hank Williams III does a good cover too.
 
My favorite cover of this one is by a band variously called Zeitgeist or The Reivers; it appeared on a Rhino Records compilation of Springsteen covers called (oddly enough) Cover Me.

Like the zydeco spin on this one, though.

Hank Williams Jr Jr does a GREAT version of this. 
Love the swinginess of what they did with it.
Great cover!  I've never heard this version before.  This is my favorite Bruce Springsteen song of all time.  Hank Williams III does a good cover too.
I shouldn't like this, but I do. A bit 'safe' sounding...but it has an appeal. Maybe it's the mandolin carrying it.
saw Levon and company at the Greek in LA a couple weeks ago... he wasn't singing much, but was certainly in full control of the music.  great show! 
YES!    {#Clap}
Kind of interesting that I also heard this this morning on the way to work, Wyoming Public Radio.
 Papernapkin wrote:
Too much of the twangy red-neck sound for me.
 

I imagine Levon would take that as a compliment.
I love the Bruce and this is a brilliantly written song, but I also love this cover.  The accordian and Levon's voice just give it a really cool sound.
Brilliant- listening today— loved the transition from the Band's Atlantic City to Bruce's "It's Hard to be a Saint in the City." Kudos!


 
divisionlane wrote:
"got bills no honest man can pay"—is that Bruce's own line or a quote from someone else?

*kinda debt 


uh this is pure Levon
 
ch83575 wrote:
I love Bruce, and I love Robbie; but this is great music.  Post Robbie Band does lack something (maybe a slightly off pitch or off beat kilter that made everything seem to add up to music that was actually better than perfect), but on each post-robbie album there was at least one song that had something magical in it.  Not the same as Robbie era Band, but great none the less.
 


"got bills no honest man can pay"—is that Bruce's own line or a quote from someone else?
9 pickin' thumbs up
I haven't listened to much of the Band - post Robbie Robertson.
But this sounds pretty good.
Still, The Band to me is that group of guys you see on stage in The Last Waltz.

 toterola wrote:
No one should be allowed to cover this song. It is, part and parcel, a segment of the masterpiece that is "Nebraska". I've been listening to the album for 27 years, and it still astounds me.
 
. . . Mister state trooper, please don't stop me . . .
Love it.

 jbtidwell wrote:
What is the part about "they blew up the Chicken Man" about? I assume it is a reference to something...anybody know the history?
 
I wanna know what "The Last Waltz" was about.

 Papernapkin wrote:
Too much of the twangy red-neck sound for me.
 
I like a little twangy redneck every now and then ;)

Too much of the twangy red-neck sound for me.
"But I got the kind of debts that no honest man can pay." {#Clap}
Love The Band. Love Bruce.

No one should be allowed to cover this song. It is, part and parcel, a segment of the masterpiece that is "Nebraska". I've been listening to the album for 27 years, and it still astounds me.

Not the ultimate truth, just one guys opinion.

BTW, I love the comments about "The Last Waltz". Everyone should watch it at least once. {#Wave}
 Danimal174 wrote:
I have never understood the appeal of this band. I've yet to hear anything by them that would rank higher than a 4 or 5 to me.
 
One man... Garth Hudson!

He's playing on the new Neko Case CD too!

keller1 wrote:
Are you a slow learner?

My wife is, she plays-I drink. {#Drunk}
The Boss is the Boss... not some assistant manager.
 Danimal174 wrote:
I have never understood the appeal of this band. I've yet to hear anything by them that would rank higher than a 4 or 5 to me.
 
Rent the remastered director's cut of The Last Waltz DVD, turn the sound up LOUD, then check back in with us.

Al_Koholic wrote:

Getting better-"free room" only cost me $200 this time. Maybe next time I can bring home some money.


On a roll, went last month and only down $200 again.  Oh well.


What a great version of a great song.  Love it!  Thanks for playing!
I expect he had nothing a'tall to do with it, but this song kinda has a John Hiatt vibe for me.
i hate handing out 2s, but there it is.  the accordion keeps it from being a 1, but just barely.
Don't attempt to cover a song unless you understand its essence.


Man, this is one cool cover...


The accordion tune have a reminiscences from "If I should fall from grace with God" by The Pogues.


I love Bruce, and I love Robbie; but this is great music.  Post Robbie Band does lack something (maybe a slightly off pitch or off beat kilter that made everything seem to add up to music that was actually better than perfect), but on each post-robbie album there was at least one song that had something magical in it.  Not the same as Robbie era Band, but great none the less.
I have never understood the appeal of this band. I've yet to hear anything by them that would rank higher than a 4 or 5 to me.
 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
I didn't know either so Wiki to the rescue: Mafia guy.

 
Hey, thanks. I never knew what that was a reference to.

Al_Koholic wrote:
Went again last week-am ahead of the game. Free room only $300 this time.


Getting better-"free room" only cost me $200 this time.  Maybe next time I can bring home some money.

jbtidwell wrote:
What is the part about "they blew up the Chicken Man" about? I assume it is a reference to something...anybody know the history?
I didn't know either so Wiki to the rescue: Mafia guy.
dmax wrote:
And now no Rick Danko... :cry:
The single most musical human being I've ever seen ... when he performed his entire body was a musical instrument.
jeffersonpump wrote:
Hank III has a pretty sweet version of this song. ya'll should check it out.
Hank Williams III | Atlantic City | sorry | 0/0 (0%) | 192
What is the part about "they blew up the Chicken Man" about? I assume it is a reference to something...anybody know the history?
Al_Koholic wrote:
Went again last week-am ahead of the game. Free room only $300 this time. :wall:
Are you a slow learner?
Al_Koholic wrote:
Was just in Atlantic City last week-my "free" room cost me 500 BUCKS!
Went again last week-am ahead of the game. Free room only $300 this time. :wall:
spindrift wrote:
Yuck. This isn't a country song.
but seems to be. that's cool. i love country songs.
Yuck. This isn't a country song.
Pete Yorn does a great cover lead-in version of this on his live album.
I like Ed Harcourt's cover of this - rather melodramatic, but it works.
Hank III has a pretty sweet version of this song. ya'll should check it out.
fooGuy wrote:
In one of RP's few true sins, the Boss' version of this song is nowhere to be found. Bill, there are some pretty moving live versions, if you don't care for the Nebraska take. Of course, I'm assuming you care for the song at all...which you must.
:yes:
In one of RP's few true sins, the Boss' version of this song is nowhere to be found. Bill, there are some pretty moving live versions, if you don't care for the Nebraska take. Of course, I'm assuming you care for the song at all...which you must.
spacemoose wrote:
Check out the original version, on the "Nebraska" album by Bruce Springsteen. Vastly better (IMO). I think a lot of the dissatisfaction with this version is the lack of emotion put into it. My impression was the band didn't give a rats ass about the song. I wonder why they bothered with it? Maybe they just rehearsed it so much they got bored with it.
The key thing with this song, I believe, is not to compare it to Springsteen's version, but rather to judge it against other covers. Not that I think you are right about there being lack of emotion on this track, because I don't. (Is it even possible for Danko or Helm to sound emotionless?) The point remains that assessing a cover version by the standards of the original seems patently unfair. For one thing, each presents a different means and end. Consider this version against what others did with it. The most obvious target is the version from Badlands: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska , which, if you have been in a coma for the last ten years, is a compilation of covers by different artists of the entire Nebraska album. It contains many impressive renderings, mostly because it avoids enlisting crowd-pleasing pop singers who might give the CD initial buzz to the detriment of quality. Rather it employs contemporary artists with talent and depth (Raul Malo and Ben Harper, respectively, come to mind), as well as more seasoned performers who can be relied upon to deliver the goods (Johnny Cash is the perfect example) - but I digress. The version of "Atlantic City" on Badlands is by Hank III, and, as our British friends might say, it is a complete and utter piece of SHITE. (The {:puke:} icon doesn't even begin to explain this one.) I don't know if the album's producers owed this guy money or they just made a stab in the dark attempt to appeal to a C&W audience, but lawd ha' mercy it's awful. I mean, who in their right mind hands a song whose lyrics read like a Sopranos script to a hick singer whose principal asset is a famous name? Maybe the producers thought the tune would come across as quirky or cute, but as Hank III interprets it the song is ruined. He fails to render a new perspective or a signature performance (if he even has one to give), yet at the same time strips the song of the raw honesty and import that made it the initial standout single from the LP. Now consider this version by The Band. It does right everything that the Hank version does wrong. Not only does the feel for the song stay intact, but The Band also leaves no doubt as to whose version you are hearing. As with the best of cover songs, this one makes the music sound like the artist's own. There is no sense that you are listening to one performer try to mimic the strengths of another. The Band sounds like The Band (sans Richard & Robbie, of course, for purists). They make you believe the Boardwalk was made of Acadian Driftwood. They make a bluegrass style actually work - and work very well - with a quintessentially urban tale of dark realities. This version more than stands on its own, but when compared to the Badlands version it amounts to a towering achievement.
guitar_man_101 wrote:
How can so many people dislike this song. I've never heard it before, but I think it's an excellent tune.
Check out the original version, on the "Nebraska" album by Bruce Springsteen. Vastly better (IMO). I think a lot of the dissatisfaction with this version is the lack of emotion put into it. My impression was the band didn't give a rats ass about the song. I wonder why they bothered with it? Maybe they just rehearsed it so much they got bored with it.
How can so many people dislike this song. I've never heard it before, but I think it's an excellent tune.
NeilBlanchard wrote:
And no Richard Manuel... :cry: Neil
And now no Rick Danko... :cry:
Nice cover of the Boss' tune... :drummer:
Hello, Rickvee wrote:
But its not really The Band - no Robbie Robertson. In a personal sense the guy's a jerk but his contribution to The Band is incalculable.
And no Richard Manuel... :cry: I've met Levon Helm -- he is definitely a nice guy; but he smokes way too much. Neil
May have sounded like a good idea, but the results find The Band degenerating into a clone of Hayseed Dixie (who did those silly AC/DC covers) or the like here.
two horrible covers. reminds me of Leroy Neiman
This version is just too 'happy-doody' for me... This tune requires soul and passion, not the goofiness demostrated here.
they managed to make it sound comeletely banal, didn't they?
redeyespy wrote:
Hearing an upbeat take on this song is a bit jarring. I'm thinking we need Bruce's original on the playlist.
There's a twang in the vocals, too, that doesn't quite fit. Sort of a "country" effect, and I don't think that was what Bruce had in mind.
Listening to these guys is like coming home to fresh pot stew. Yum.
Hearing an upbeat take on this song is a bit jarring. I'm thinking we need Bruce's original on the playlist.
Killer version of this song by Zeitgeist (who became The Reivers) on Cover Me, an old (1986) disc of Springsteen covers.
I love The Band, but this doesn't hold a candle to Springsteen's version--a fact I'm reminded of a lot when The Band's version follows right behind a (different) Springsteen song.
ANNE_MARIE wrote:
love this tune....so great to hear The Band on RP! :cheers: thanks!
But its not really The Band - no Robbie Robertson. In a personal sense the guy's a jerk but his contribution to The Band is incalculable.
Great song, unremarkable rendition.