ATLANTIC CITY

Album version


Well they blew up the chicken man in Philly last night
Now they blew up his house too
Down on the boardwalk they're getting ready for a fight
Gonna see what them racket boys can do

Now there's trouble busting in from outta state
And the D.A. can't get no relief
Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade
And the gambling commissions hanging on by the skin of its teeth

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

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

Now baby everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday 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're going out where the sand's turning to gold
So put on your stockings, baby, 'cause the night's getting cold

And maybe everything dies, that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back

Hoo hoo

Now I've been looking for a job but it's hard to find
Down here it's just winners and losers and don't get caught on the wrong side of that line
Well I'm tired of coming out on this losing end
So honey last night I met this guy and I'm gonna do a little favor for him

Well I guess everything dies baby that's a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your hair up nice and set up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City


PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Info

ATLANTIC CITY is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and released on his 1982 album Nebraska. The above lyrics are for Bruce Springsteen's album version of ATLANTIC CITY as released in 1982.

The album version of ATLANTIC CITY was included on the Greatest Hits (1995 edition) compilation album, The Essential Bruce Springsteen (both 2003 and 2015 editions) compilation album, and the Collection: 1973-2012 compilation album.

Studio Recording

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Nebraska

Following The River Tour, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band were scheduled to start recording the next album in New York City in February 1982. Springsteen felt that the upcoming band studio sessions would progress faster than they had for his previous three albums if he first records finished demos and demonstrates them to the band. He decided to record multi-channel, professional sounding, finished demos of some songs he had written during the period.

To achieve his goal, Springsteen asked his guitar technician, Mike Batlan, in December 1981 to set up a recording facility in a spare room at his home in Colts Neck, NJ. Some modification work was done to the room making it more receptive to achieving a decent sound. Batlan purchased a Teac Tascom Series 144 4-track cassette recorder, two Shure SM57 microphones, and two microphone stands. The sound was mixed through an old Gibson Echoplex and an old Panasonic boom box acted as the mix-down deck.

The four-track cassette recorder that Bruce Springsteen used to record his famous Nebraska demo tape of January 1982
The four-track cassette recorder that Bruce Springsteen used to record his famous Nebraska demo tape of January 1982

Batlan told journalist David McGee, "Springsteen began organizing his work for Nebraska during the first week of December 1981 – that's when I was directed to buy the four-track... actual recording began on 17 or 18 December and ended around January 3." Some of the songs were recorded two or three times in slightly different arrangements. A cassette tape was compiled and edited at the end of the sessions, likely on 03 Jan 1982. It contained fourteen songs recorded during these late December 1981 / early January 1982 sessions plus what is almost certainly a live recording of a fifteenth song, JOHNNY BYE-BYE. It also included seven alternate takes and five alternate mixes. The first person to listen to the tape was Jon Landau. Two or three months later, Springsteen recorded two additional songs (MY FATHER'S HOUSE and THE BIG PAYBACK) at home on the same equipment – thus making a total of 17 different songs.

  1. NEBRASKA (released on Nebraska)
  2. ATLANTIC CITY (released on Nebraska)
  3. MANSION ON THE HILL (released on Nebraska)
  4. BORN IN THE U.S.A. (released on Tracks)
  5. JOHNNY 99 (released on Nebraska)
  6. DOWNBOUND TRAIN (unreleased)
  7. LOSIN' KIND (unreleased)
  8. STATE TROOPER (released on Nebraska)
  9. USED CARS (released on Nebraska)
  10. OPEN ALL NIGHT (released on Nebraska)
  11. PINK CADILLAC (unreleased)
  12. HIGHWAY PATROLMAN (released on Nebraska)
  13. REASON TO BELIEVE (released on Nebraska)
  14. CHILD BRIDE (unreleased)
  15. MY FATHER'S HOUSE (released on Nebraska)
  16. THE BIG PAYBACK (released as a B-side)
  17. JOHNNY BYE-BYE (unreleased live version)

The solo demo tape was never conceived to result in a commercially released album, as the songs were recorded by the E Street Band with multi-instrument arrangements, during what's known by fans as the "Electric Nebraska Sessions". It should be noted that most of the songs were not recorded in "rock" arrangements. Instead, Springsteen and Max Weinberg just added light percussion, or Roy Bittan added a synth pad.

During the E Street Band sessions it became apparent to Springsteen that a majority of these songs did not lend themselves well to a full band arrangement. He later wrote in his 1998 book Songs, "I went into the studio, brought in the band, rerecorded, remixed, and succeeded in making the whole thing worse." At one point he even went back into the studio with an acoustic guitar to try and re-record the songs solo, but the result lacked the atmosphere and feeling of isolation only found on the original home demos. According to Toby Scott, Springsteen handed him the original solo demo tape in April 1982 and asked him if it was possible to just master off the tape, with the intention to release some of the songs as a solo album. It took Scott a few weeks before eventually saying yes and in May a decision was taken to release a solo album ahead of the still-in-progress E Street Band album.

Most of the E Street Band arrangements of these songs were discarded and ten of the original solo demos from the tape were released on the Nebraska album. Max Weinberg revealed to Rolling Stone in June 2010 that the recording of the "Electric Nebraska Sessions" does exist. He said that "the E Street Band actually did record all of Nebraska and it was killing [...] It was all very hard-edged. As great as it was, it wasn't what Bruce wanted to release. There is a full band Nebraska album, all of those songs are in the can somewhere."

"Open All Night" and "January 3, 1982" were considered as titles for the album, but ultimately "Nebraska" was chosen. The album was produced by Bruce Springsteen and was commercially released on 20 Sep 1982 by Columbia Records.

Bruce Springsteen -- Nebraska
Bruce Springsteen -- Nebraska

Nebraska features 10 new Springsteen compositions and clocks at 40:50.

Greatest Hits 1995 Edition

Greatest Hits (1995 edition) is a collection of some of Bruce Springsteen's hit singles and popular album tracks through the years, in addition to four previously unreleased songs, three of which were recorded with the E Street Band in 1995 – Springsteen's first release with his backing band since the late eighties. Some of the songs on Greatest Hits are shorter versions of the original album releases.

In 1994 Bruce Springsteen recorded an album that was never released. His manager Jon Landau wasn't a fan of the project and recommended shelving it and focusing more on a "career overview". This lead to the Greatest Hits sessions with the E Street Band in 1995. Springsteen called the band in early January to record some new songs for the album and they assembled for the recording sessions on 09 Jan 1995 at The Hit Factory in New York City, NY. The sessions, which lasted about ten days, were the band's first studio reunion in 11 years (since the Born In The U.S.A. sessions) and their first ever with Nils Lofgren.

Bruce Springsteen -- Greatest Hits
Bruce Springsteen -- Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits was released on 27 Feb 1995 on Columbia Records. It was commercially successful, debuting at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 where it stayed on the chart for 32 weeks. It also peaked at #1 in Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and many European countries. By 2008 the album had sold more than four million copies in the United States.

In 2013, Sony Music reissued the album in Venezuela as part of its Star Collection series, which was made exclusively for the Venezuelan market via Sony Music Venezuela in 2013. The album is titled after the series and features totally different artwork. Just like on Greatest Hits, the songs are shorter versions of the original album releases.

Bruce Springsteen -- Star Collection
Bruce Springsteen -- Star Collection

CD - Sony Music (001) - Venezuela, 2013

In the liner notes found in the Greatest Hits booklet, Springsteen wrote about ATLANTIC CITY: "Cut in my bedroom for $1000 (the cost of the 4 Track Tascam recorder), mixed through an old Gibson guitar echo unit to a beat box, Nebraska was my ultimate homemade demo. This song was about the early 80's gold rush when gambling hit South Jersey."

The Essential Bruce Springsteen

The Essential Bruce Springsteen is a compilation album released as part of Sony BMG'S (previously Sony Music Entertainment) series of "Essential" sets. According to Springsteen's liner notes comments, the collection was intended as an introduction to his music for new fans who attended shows on The Rising Tour.

The collection is fundamentally a 2-disc set (clocking at 153:37) compiling songs from all of Springsteen's studio albums to date plus his Live In New York City release. A 3-disc limited edition (clocking at 201:04) was also released. It includes a bonus third disc comprising of a selection of rarities and previously unreleased recordings.

The Essential Bruce Springsteen was released on 11 Nov 2003 on Columbia Records. It debuted and peaked at #14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart where it spent 13 weeks. It also reached #28 on the UK Albums Chart. The album was awarded certified gold and platinum records by the RIAA on 16 Dec 2003.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 edition)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 edition)

The Essential Bruce Springsteen was reissued on 16 Oct 2015, this time as a 2-disc set (clocking at 156:25) with an updated track list, compiling songs from all of Springsteen's studio albums to date plus his Greatest Hits (1995 edition) collection. This 2015 reissue features remastered tracks not found in that form on other Springsteen releases.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2015 edition)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2015 edition)

Collection: 1973-2012

Collection: 1973-2012 is a Bruce Springsteen compilation album released on Columbia Records in 2013. It was released on 08 Mar 2013 in Australia and 15 Apr 2013 in Europe. The compilation was not released commercially in the United States. Instead, a promotional version was given out exclusively to $1,500 ticket holders at the "MusiCares Person Of The Year" tribute event held in Los Angeles, CA, on 08 Feb 2013. The event honoured Springsteen for both his artistic achievements and philanthropic efforts. The compilation consists of 18 previously released studio tracks.

Bruce Springsteen -- Collection: 1973-2012
Bruce Springsteen -- Collection: 1973-2012

Single Release

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Other Official Releases

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Other versions of ATLANTIC CITY were also officially released.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Brendan Byrne Arena, New Jersey 1984
The live 05 Aug 1984 version of ATLANTIC CITY was released on the Brendan Byrne Arena, New Jersey 1984 official live download in 2015.
Bruce Springsteen -- The Christic Shows, November 16 & 17, 1990
The live 16 Nov 1990 version of ATLANTIC CITY was released on The Christic Shows, November 16 & 17, 1990 official live download in 2016.
Bruce Springsteen with The Sessions Band -- Live In Dublin
The live 17 Nov 2006 version of ATLANTIC CITY was released on the Live In Dublin album and home video in 2007.

Live History

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Covers

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Various artists -- Cover Me
Various artists -- Cover Me

LP - Rhino (RNIN 70700) - USA, 1986
MC - Rhino (RNIC 70700) - USA, 1986

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. It was reissued in 1989 under the same title. It includes one track not found on the 1989 reissue and is missing three tracks found only on the 1989 reissue. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by The Reivers.
Various artists -- One Step Up / Two Steps Back: The Songs Of Bruce Springsteen
Various artists -- One Step Up / Two Steps Back: The Songs Of Bruce Springsteen

2xCD - The Right Stuff (7243 8 59780 2 9) - USA, 1997
2xCD - EMI (TOCP-50377/8) - Japan, 1997

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. Disc 1 was reissued in 2000 as The Songs Of Bruce Springsteen. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Kurt Neumann.
American Boys -- Bruce Springsteen - Coverversion
American Boys -- Bruce Springsteen - Coverversion

CD - Azzurra (TBP 1113) - Italy, 2000

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. It was reissued in 2003 under the title Bruce Springsteen: The Best - Cover 100%, with catalog number TBP 1152 and with a different artwork.
Various artists -- Badlands - A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska
Various artists -- Badlands - A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska

CD - Sub Pop (SPCD 525) - USA, 2000
CD - Sub Pop (9878-70525-2) - Germany, 2000
CD - Sub Pop (WPCR-10845) - Japan, 2000

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Hank III.
The Section -- Hometown: The String Quartet Tribute To Springsteen
The Section -- Hometown: The String Quartet Tribute To Springsteen

CD - Vitamin (CD 8678) - USA, 2002

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Session musicians featuring David West -- Pickin' On Springsteen Volume 2
Session musicians featuring David West -- Pickin' On Springsteen Volume 2

CD - CMH (CD-8463) - USA, 2003

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Various artists -- Born To Run 2003 Volume Two
Various artists -- Born To Run 2003 Volume Two

CD - Uncut (2003 04B) - UK, 2003

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. It's a free CD (volume 2 of 2) issued exclusively with the April 2003 issue of Uncut magazine. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Ed Harcourt.
Various artists -- Light Of Day: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen
Various artists -- Light Of Day: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

2xCD - Schoolhouse Records (SHR0022-2) - USA, 2003
3xCD - Good Sounds (DM 797-02) - Spain, 2003
2xCD - Good Sounds (DM 797E-02) - Spain, 2003
2xCD - Revolver (REV XD244) - UK, 2004
2xCD - Sony (MHCP-928/9) - Japan, 2005
2xCD - Sony Records (MHCO 928-929) - Japan, 2007

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. There are six issues of this album (with three track configurations) and this track was included on all six issues listed above. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Mike Rimbaud.
Paul Baribeau & Ginger Alford -- Darkness On The Edge Of Your Town Tour
Paul Baribeau & Ginger Alford -- Darkness On The Edge Of Your Town Tour

CD-R - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2006
CD-R - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2009

This is a live Bruce Springsteen tribute album. CD-R copies were sold on tour and online. The 2006 issue contains 10 tracks and the 2009 reissue includes 5 additional tracks. ATLANTIC CITY can be found on both issues.
Luigi Mariano e La Banda di Tom Joad -- Demo Luglio 2007
Luigi Mariano e La Banda di Tom Joad -- Demo Luglio 2007

CD EP - no label (no catalog number) - Italy, 2007

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute EP.
The Bruceband -- Nebraska Electric
The Bruceband -- Nebraska Electric

CD - Stemra (88690-2) - Holland, 2008

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Various artists -- Play Some Pool, Skip Some School, Act Real Cool: A Global Pop Tribute To Bruce Springsteen
Various artists -- Play Some Pool, Skip Some School, Act Real Cool: A Global Pop Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

2xCD - Where It's At Is Where You Are (WIACD20) - UK, 2009

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Allo, Darlin' featuring Paul from Hexicon.
Various artists -- Skip More School
Various artists -- Skip More School

Digital EP - Where It's At Is Where You Are (WIA052) - UK, 2009

This is a free download-only digital Bruce Springsteen tribute EP. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Little Eiffel And The Birthday Girl.
Le Voci Del Tempo -- Il Mio Nome È Joe Roberts
Le Voci Del Tempo -- Il Mio Nome È Joe Roberts

CD - Pubblico-08 (no catalog number) - Italy, 2010

This is a live Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Jon Bingham -- Deliver Me From Nowhere
Jon Bingham -- Deliver Me From Nowhere

Digital album - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2012

This is a free download-only digital Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Native Son -- Reimagining Springsteen
Native Son -- Reimagining Springsteen

Digital EP - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2012

This is a download-only digital Bruce Springsteen tribute EP.
Various artists -- Long Distance Salvation: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska
Various artists -- Long Distance Salvation: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska

LP - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2012
Digital album - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2012

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album, available in downloadable digital form and on limited edition colored vinyl. The digital version contains three tracks not found on the LP issue. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Juniper Tar.
Various artists -- Long Distance Salvation: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska
Various artists -- Long Distance Salvation: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska

LP - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2012
Digital album - no label (no catalog number) - USA, 2012

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album, available in downloadable digital form and on limited edition colored vinyl. The digital version contains three tracks not found on the LP issue. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Kyle Morton & Danielle Sullivan. The song is one of the tracks found only on the digital version.
Various artists -- Return To Nebraska
Various artists -- Return To Nebraska

Digital album - no label (no catalog number) - Holland, 2012

This is a free download-only digital Bruce Springsteen tribute album. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Taneytown.
Various artists -- The Nebraska Sessions - A Tribute
Various artists -- The Nebraska Sessions - A Tribute

CD - Clubhouse Records (no catalog number) - UK, 2012
Digital album - Clubhouse Records (no catalog number) - uk, 2012

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album, available in downloadable digital form and on CD. The digital version contains two tracks not found on the CD issue. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by The Dreaming Spires.
Various artists -- I Hear You're From Australia - My Name's Bruce Too
Various artists -- I Hear You're From Australia - My Name's Bruce Too

2xCD - Laughing Outlaw (LOR160CD) - Australia, 2013

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Charlie Horse.
Andrew Bissel -- Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions Of Bruce Springsteen
Andrew Bissel -- Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions Of Bruce Springsteen

CD - Rockabye Baby! (CD 9701) - USA, 2014

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Boo Hoo & The Burning Hell -- Sing For The Lonely
Boo Hoo & The Burning Hell -- Sing For The Lonely

CD - no label (no catalog number) - Germany, 2014

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Hungry Hearts -- Tortona City Serenade
Hungry Hearts -- Tortona City Serenade

Digital album - no label (no catalog number) - Italy, 2014

This is a download-only digital live Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Pony Face -- Pony Face Presents Nebraska
Pony Face -- Pony Face Presents Nebraska

2xLP - Cobra Snake Necktie Records (unknown catalog number) - Australia, 2014
CD - Love & Theft Recording Co. (LNT022) - Australia, 2014

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.
Various artists -- Bruce Springsteen Tribute (Rauch Auf Dem Wasser - Edition)
Various artists -- Bruce Springsteen Tribute (Rauch Auf Dem Wasser - Edition)

CD - COAAST-TMP (no catalog number) - Germany, 2014

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Pandora.
Various artists -- Thunder Road - A Folk-Punk Tribute To Bruce Springsteen
Various artists -- Thunder Road - A Folk-Punk Tribute To Bruce Springsteen

Digital album - Anxiety Attack Recordings (AA-005) - Canada, 2014

This is a free download-only digital Bruce Springsteen tribute album. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Jon Creeden.
Hungry Hearts -- Live In My Hometown
Hungry Hearts -- Live In My Hometown

CD-R - no label (no catalog number) - Italy, 2015

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album, recorded live on 09 Jan 2015 at Inferno Di Dante in Tortona, Italy.
Various artists -- The Boss Project: The Songs Of Bruce Springsteen
Various artists -- The Boss Project: The Songs Of Bruce Springsteen

Digital album - no label (no catalog number) - Canada, 2016

This is a free download-only digital Bruce Springsteen tribute album. ATLANTIC CITY is performed by Elliot C. Way.
Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit -- Live From Welcome To 1979
Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit -- Live From Welcome To 1979

12" EP - Southeastern Records (SER99871) - USA, 2017

This is a Record Store Day exclusive release. It's a live 6-track EP.

Available Versions

List of available versions of ATLANTIC CITY on this website:

ATLANTIC CITY [Album version]
ATLANTIC CITY [Early home demo version]
ATLANTIC CITY [Live 20 Aug 1994 version]
ATLANTIC CITY [Live 25 Jun 2006 version]
ATLANTIC CITY [Live 17 Nov 2006 version]

Page last updated: 01 Jun 2016