57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON)

Live 22 Sep 1992 version


One, two, one two three four!

(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
One, two, one two three four!
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on)
(Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)

Well I bought a bourgeois house in the Hollywood hills
With a truckload of hundred thousand dollar bills
Man came by to hook up my cable TV
We settled in for the night my baby and me
We switched 'round 'round 'til half-past dawn
There was fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Come on!

Well now home entertainment was my baby's wish
So I hopped into town for a satellite dish
Tied it to the top of my Japanese car
Came home and I pointed it out into the stars
A message come back from the great beyond
There's fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
There's fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Come on!

Well we might'a made some friends with some billionaires
We might'a got all nice and friendly if we'd made it upstairs
All I got was a note said "Bye-bye John
You're fifty-seven channels and nothin' on"
Just fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Just fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Woah!

One, two, one two three four!
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)
(No justice, no peace!)

Well I bought a .44 magnum, it was solid steel cast
And in the blessed name of Elvis I just let it blast
'Til my TV lay in pieces there at my feet
And they busted me for disturbin' the almighty peace
Judge said "What you got in your defense son?"
"Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on"
There's fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on

Well
I can see by your eyes man you just about gone
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
There's fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
There's fifty-seven channels and nothin' on
I got ???!
(No justice, no peace!)
(fifty-seven channels and nothin' on)
(No justice, no peace!)
(fifty-seven channels and nothin' on)
(No justice, no peace!)
(fifty-seven channels and nothin' on)
(No justice, no peace!)
(fifty-seven channels and nothin' on)
(No justice, no peace!)
(fifty-seven channels and nothin' on)
(No justice, no peace!)
(fifty-seven channels and nothin' on)


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 22 Sep 1992 performance of 57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON) at Warner Hollywood Studios (Stage #4) in Los Angeles, CA, during the taping of Springsteen's episode of MTV Unplugged. The song was released on the In Concert / MTV Plugged home video in 1992.

MTV Plugged Concert

MTV Unplugged is a popular MTV series that began in the 1989/1990 TV season and first aired on 26 Nov 1989. Produced by Viacom and most frequently directed by Milton Lage and Beth McCarthy, the program showcases popular musicians primarily known for playing electric amplified instruments (usually the electric guitar and electric bass) performing live using only acoustic instruments.

MTV Unplugged logo
MTV Unplugged logo

During a break in his World Tour 1992-1993, Bruce Springsteen was booked on 22 Sep 1992 for the taping of an episode of MTV Unplugged. The taping took place at Warner Hollywood Studios in Los Angeles, CA. Springsteen opened the show with a solo acoustic version of RED HEADED WOMAN, but he then brought his 1992-93 touring band onstage, and in a twist on the program's theme, put the plug back in and played a full-band concert – though there were also stripped down renditions of GROWIN' UP and THUNDER ROAD. Reportedly Springsteen had been unhappy with the touring band's rehearsals of acoustic arrangements, and this was what led him to break the unplugged format.

  • RED HEADED WOMAN
  • BETTER DAYS
  • LOCAL HERO
  • LUCKY TOWN
  • ATLANTIC CITY
  • DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN
  • BOOK OF DREAMS
  • 57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON)
  • THE BIG MUDDY
  • LIVING PROOF
  • IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND
  • LEAP OF FAITH
  • LEAP OF FAITH [second take]
  • MAN'S JOB
  • ROLL OF THE DICE
  • GROWIN' UP
  • HUMAN TOUCH
  • SOUL DRIVER
  • SOULS OF THE DEPARTED
  • I WISH I WERE BLIND
  • THUNDER ROAD
  • MY BEAUTIFUL REWARD
  • LIGHT OF DAY
  • LOCAL HERO [second take]
  • DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN [second take]
  • GLORY DAYS
Handwritten setlist for the 22 Sep 1992 show at Warner Hollywood Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Handwritten setlist for the 22 Sep 1992 show at Warner Hollywood Studios, Los Angeles, CA
(Taken from Brucebase)

Springsteen was the first to insist on an electric performance, and MTV executives were reportedly furious at his decision to abandon the acoustic format of the show. "When you have the chance to work with Bruce Springsteen, he can do what he wants," MTV Unplugged producer Alex Coletti told UK's Q magazine. "It was a fantastic show, and it still had a lot of Unplugged's feel. It was very small, very intimate, very loose, and that's all part of what makes Unplugged special. But it was very loud!" To make best of the situation, the "Un" was crossed out from "Unlugged", and the concert premiered on MTV on 11 Nov 1992 as MTV Plugged.

  1. RED HEADED WOMAN
  2. BETTER DAYS
  3. LOCAL HERO
  4. ATLANTIC CITY
  5. DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN
  6. MAN'S JOB
  7. GROWIN' UP
  8. HUMAN TOUCH
  9. LUCKY TOWN
  10. I WISH I WERE BLIND
  11. THUNDER ROAD
  12. LIGHT OF DAY
  13. THE BIG MUDDY
  14. 57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON)
  15. MY BEAUTIFUL REWARD
  16. GLORY DAYS

A VHS release of the show preceded any audio release, coming out on 15 Dec 1992. It was titled In Concert / MTV Plugged, with "Plugged" written as "UnPlugged" on the cover art. The concert was not released in its complete form, but the home video release included the complete broadcast in addition to two bonus tracks, LIVING PROOF and IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND. In Concert / MTV Plugged was also released on LaserDisc on 31 Jan 1993, which included all the tracks found on the VHS release, in addition to a third bonus track, ROLL OF THE DICE.

Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (VHS, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (VHS, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (USA LaserDisc, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (USA LaserDisc, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (Japan LaserDisc, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (Japan LaserDisc, front)

The audio album of the same title was released in Europe (CD and double disc vinyl) on 12 Apr 1993 to promote the 1993 European (and final) leg of World Tour 1992-1993. It was not released in the United States until 26 Aug 1997. The album contains only 13 tracks, two of which were not part of the broadcast, IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND (which was not even released on video) and LIVING PROOF.

  1. RED HEADED WOMAN
  2. BETTER DAYS
  3. ATLANTIC CITY
  4. DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN
  5. MAN'S JOB
  6. HUMAN TOUCH
  7. LUCKY TOWN
  8. I WISH I WERE BLIND
  9. THUNDER ROAD
  10. LIGHT OF DAY
  11. IF I SHOULD FALL BEHIND
  12. LIVING PROOF
  13. MY BEAUTIFUL REWARD
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (album cover art)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (album cover art)

In Concert / MTV Plugged was reissued on DVD on 09 Nov 2004. The DVD release includes the same 19 tracks found on the LaserDisc release.

Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (DVD cover art)
Bruce Springsteen -- In Concert / MTV Plugged (DVD cover art)

The 22 Sep 1992 rehearsal and concert at Warner Hollywood Studios were commercially released in Europe. Since 2005 some enterprising record labels in Europe (mostly in the UK) have been releasing Bruce Springsteen radio and TV broadcasts (and some soundboard recordings) from the seventies, eighties, and nineties. Though these releases are not authorized by Bruce Springsteen or his record company, they are lawful due to a legal loophole in Europe.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Rehearsals
Bruce Springsteen -- The Rehearsals

Digital album - Doxy Records (no catalog number) - UK, 2016

This is a download-only digital album. It contains the 22 Sep 1992 rehearsal at Warner Hollywood Studios.
Bruce Springsteen -- September 22, 1992
Bruce Springsteen -- September 22, 1992

Digital album - Lilith Records (no catalog number) - UK, 2016

This is a download-only digital album. It contains the 22 Sep 1992 rehearsal at Warner Hollywood Studios.
Bruce Springsteen -- Unplugged 1992
Bruce Springsteen -- Unplugged 1992

4xCD - Digital Legends (DL 822) - UK, 2017

This release contains the 22 Sep 1992 rehearsal and concert at Warner Hollywood Studios.

Available Versions

List of available versions of 57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON) on this website:

57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON) [Album version]
57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON) [Live 16 Nov 1990 version]
57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON) [Live 17 Nov 1990 version]
57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON) [Live 05 Jun 1992 version]
57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON) [Live 10 Jul 1992 version]
57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON) [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
57 CHANNELS (AND NOTHIN' ON) [Teddy Zig Zag's cover version]

Page last updated: 01 Sep 2012