Studio rehearsal version

A-one, two, three, four

A little slow. Alright. Yeah. Garry!

Yeah well I got to have you, baby
Oh gotta ???
Got to have you, Mama
I know we can work it out, ooh

Because I got to have you, baby
Yes I got to have ??? my soul
Oh but if things don't happen the old fashion
I'll pack all my clothes and move to an ???

I said I ???

Ah, you know I ain't your honey
??? yes I do
You know I need you, baby
(there ain't nothing no ??? won't do)
Oh no

Because I got to have you, baby
I got to have you in my soul

Yes now you know I need you, honey
??? as much as I need rock and roll

I got-


On the guitar, Steve Van Zandt!

[Steven Van Zandt guitar solo]

Now bring it down!

I said I got to have you, baby
Whoa ??? ain't no doubt
Yes I got to have you, honey
I know, know we can work it out

Because I got to have you, baby
I got to have you, ma, in my soul

Oh but don't leave my heart broken
I'll pack up my clothes and move to Hoboken


[David Sancious piano solo]


Yes I got to have you, mama
Lord, I got to have you, baby
And you have got to have me

I got to have you right on my soul
Whoa whoa whoa whoa yeah


I'VE GOT TO HAVE YOU BABY is a song originally released by The Pretenders in 1956. See the original The Pretenders version for more details.

Bruce Springsteen covered I'VE GOT TO HAVE YOU BABY with The Bruce Springsteen Band in 1971 and 1972. They're version is radically different from the original one by The Pretenders.

The above lyrics are for a Bruce Springsteen Band studio rehearsal of I'VE GOT TO HAVE YOU BABY that took place in early 1972 at Challenger Eastern Surfboards in Highlands, NJ. See the below section for more details.

Challenger Eastern Surfboards Rehearsals

Bruce Springsteen wrote numerous songs in 1971 but did not record any material in a professional recording studio during that period. However, studio rehearsal sessions were frequently conducted at the Challenger Eastern Surfboards factory in Highlands, NJ, in 1971 and early 1972. The primary purpose of the sessions was not to make audio recordings, but to prepare for live shows. So only a fraction of this extensive body of rehearsal sessions was ever recorded, and when they were, it is an unfortunate reality that the reel-to-reel tapes made at Challenger Eastern were often erased and reused to record live shows.

Fortunately, high-quality audio of one Challenger East session is known to exist – a continuous 8-song / 83-minute segment of a rehearsal that took place in early 1972 at Challenger Eastern Surfboard. The recording was engineered and produced by Carl "Tinker" West. The session line-up was Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt, David Sancious, Garry Tallent, and Vini Lopez.

  8. DO IT WITH A FEELING [a partial take and a full take]

The recording is on three reel-to-reel tapes. The first two, which contains the first six songs listed above, is in circulation among collectors. The third reel, which contains the last two songs listed above, is no in circulation and remains in the hands of a private collector. This third tape may have been recorded before the other two.

The original tapes note the audio as emanating from 1972 but do not mention the exact date. However, according to Brucebase, this session is most definitely from very early in the year, prior to Springsteen's March 1972 contract signing with Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos. Bearing in mind that The Bruce Springsteen Band had been idle for over a month due to Springsteen's trip to California, it's likely that this rehearsal took place in order to prepare for the numerous shows scheduled for late January thru early March. Indeed, the arrangements of these songs are remarkably similar to those that have surfaced from live gigs during this specific period. Brucebase lists the recording under its 14 Mar 1972 entry.

In addition to 76 minutes of music, the recording contains nearly 7 minutes of between-song studio chat, much of it between Springsteen and Tinker West. The discussions seem to indicate that the primary intent of the session is for rehearsing, not recording, with the recording merely being done because West wanted to test some new recording equipment. The sound quality is uniformly excellent. Although all the audio is from the same day, it is evident from the discussions that the rehearsals had been going on for some hours before the recording started. It should be noted that this is not Challenger's more famous Wanamassa, NJ factory location, the one that Springsteen had lived at and rehearsed in during the 1969-1971 Child and Steel Mill era. Tinker West had relocated that factory to Highlands, NJ in mid-1971 and had then constructed a more professional rehearsal room (which included a control room like a regular studio) for the various bands he managed.

Live History

I'VE GOT TO HAVE YOU BABY is known to have been performed at least once in Bruce Springsteen's early years (pre-October 1972), on . All of these confirmed performances are from between November 1971 and March 1972. Very little is known about shows from this early period, and therefore, the song may have been played on some more dates in 1971 and 1972.

  1. 01 Sep 1971 at Garfield Park, Long Branch, NJ (with The Bruce Springsteen Band)


Most of the above info about the Challenger Eastern Surfboards rehearsals and the song's live history is taken from Brucebase.


The above lyrics are not complete. If you can help, please contact at or via the below form. You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

Available Versions

List of available versions of I'VE GOT TO HAVE YOU BABY on this website:

I'VE GOT TO HAVE YOU BABY [Studio rehearsal version]
I'VE GOT TO HAVE YOU BABY [Original The Pretenders version]

Page last updated: 18 Feb 2016