SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT

Live 31 Jan 1973 (early show) version


[Spoken intro:] Let's go, let's go.

All right.


A-one, two, three, four

Crazy Janey and her mission man were back in the alley tradin' hands
Well, 'long came Wild Billy with his friend G-Man, all duded up for Saturday night
Well, Billy slammed on his coaster brakes
Said, “Anybody wanna go on up to Greasy Lake?
It's about a mile down on the dark side of route eighty-eight
I got a bottle of rose, 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” (all night)
In the night (all night)
Whoa, stand right up and let it shoot through you
Like a spirit in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Whoa, baby don't know what she do to you

Well now, Wild Billy was a crazy cat and he shook some dust out of his coonskin cap
Cried, "Trust some of this, it'll show you where you're at, 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; Janey's fingers were in the cake
I think I really dug her; I was too 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
Felt so right, just as soft as a spirit in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Oh, baby don't know what she do to you
She like a spirit in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Whoa, stand right up and let it shoot through you
Aaaaah, ah, ah, ah, ah

(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)

(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)

Well, the night grew bright and the stars threw light on Billy and Davy
Dancin' in the moonlight
They were down near the water in a stone mud fight
Killer Joe passed out on the lawn

Yes, and 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 songs
Then Janey said it was time to go
So we closed our eyes and said goodbye to gypsy angel row, felt just right
Together we moved like spirits in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Oh, stand right up and let it shoot through you
Like a spirit in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Oh, baby don't know what she do to you
Like a spirit in the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
Whoa, in the night (all night)
In the nigh-igh-ight (all night)
In the night (all night)
In the night (all night)
In the ni-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ight
Oh, now, baby, that's right
Like a spirit in the night
Oh, like a spirit in the night
Like a spirit in the night
Doo, ba, doo, da, da
All right!


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 31 Jan 1973 (early show) performance of SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT at Max's Kansas City in New York City, NY, during what is considered the Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. Tour. The song was played in a full-band, album-style arrangement.

The 31 Jan 1973 Shows

Bruce Springsteen opened for headliner Biff Rose in 1973 during a 6-night stand (from 31 January to 05 February, two shows each night) at Max's Kansas City in New York City, NY.

Promotional ad for the Jan-Feb 1973 six-night residency at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY
Promotional ad for the Jan-Feb 1973 six-night residency at Max's Kansas City, New York City, NY

Soundboard recordings of both shows from the first night are in circulation among collectors. The recording from the early show consists of eight songs (two solo and six with the band) and is believed to be the complete show. The recording from the late show consists of only the first two songs of the show (the solo segment). The remaining setlist for the first night's late show (the band segment), as well as the setlists for the remaining ten shows from this six-night residency, are unknown. In the 17 Feb 1973 issue of Billboard magazine, Jim Melanson wrote a review on one of twelve shows Max's Kansas City mentioning five songs performed by Springsteen. The review could be for any of the twelve shows in the stand, but is more likely from one of the latter ones considering the late publication of the review.

The soundboard recordings from the 31 Jan 1973 shows 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 -- Max's Kansas City
Bruce Springsteen -- Max's Kansas City

Digital album - BKC (no catalog number) - UK, 2015

This is a download-only digital album. It contains the 31 Jan 1973 show at Max's Kansas City, both the early show and part of the late show.
Bruce Springsteen -- Max's Kansas City Night 1973
Bruce Springsteen -- Max's Kansas City Night 1973

Digital album - Doxy Records (no catalog number) - UK, 2015

This is a download-only digital album. It contains the 31 Jan 1973 show at Max's Kansas City, both the early show and part of the late show, plus two bonus tracks
Bruce Springsteen -- Max's Kansas City 1973
Bruce Springsteen -- Max's Kansas City 1973

CD - Zip City (ZCCD059) - UK, 2017

This release contains the 31 Jan 1973 show at Max's Kansas City, both the early show and part of the late show, plus one bonus track.

King Biscuit Flower Hour

By prior arrangement with Columbia Records and Springsteen's then-manager Mike Appel, the D.I.R. Broadcasting Corp. (New York City, NY) recorded Bruce Springsteen's 31 Jan 1973 early and late shows at Max's Kansas City for use on its upcoming new weekly syndicated radio program called "King Biscuit Flower Hour". The D.I.R. Broadcasting engineers had been in Buffalo two days earlier recording the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the week before that in Dallas recording a Blood Sweat & Tears concert. The radio show used a two to four weeks delayed broadcast formula and made its debut on 18 Feb 1973. The debut episode featured mostly Blood Sweat & Tears who were major stars at this time, only one track by Mahavishnu Orchestra, and only one track by Bruce Springsteen (BISHOP DANCED). D.I.R. Broadcasting still retains in its archives a master tape of the entire 31 Jan 1973 early show and the solo segment from the late show. There are conflicting reports as to whether the company also has any of the band segment from the night's late show.

To celebrate its 500th broadcast, the King Biscuit Flower Hour featured a special episode that aired in two parts, on 15 and 22 Apr 1984. Titled "The 500th Biscuit Celebration", the episode mainly contained selections from the show's past eleven years of recordings, including Springsteen's live 31 Jan 1973 (early show) versions of BISHOP DANCED, MARY QUEEN OF ARKANSAS, and SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT. Each of the two parts of the episode was distributed to radio stations on a for-radio-play-only two-record set (see scans below).

King Biscuit Flower Hour: The 500th Biscuit Celebration (promo sheet)
King Biscuit Flower Hour: The 500th Biscuit Celebration (promo sheet)
King Biscuit Flower Hour: The 500th Biscuit Celebration (cue sheet)
King Biscuit Flower Hour: The 500th Biscuit Celebration (cue sheet)
King Biscuit Flower Hour: The 500th Biscuit Celebration (side 1 label)
King Biscuit Flower Hour: The 500th Biscuit Celebration (side 1 label)
King Biscuit Flower Hour: The 500th Biscuit Celebration - Part II (promo sheet)
King Biscuit Flower Hour: The 500th Biscuit Celebration - Part II (promo sheet)
King Biscuit Flower Hour: The 500th Biscuit Celebration - Part II (cue sheet)
King Biscuit Flower Hour: The 500th Biscuit Celebration - Part II (cue sheet)
King Biscuit Flower Hour: The 500th Biscuit Celebration - Part II (side 1 label)
King Biscuit Flower Hour: The 500th Biscuit Celebration - Part II (side 1 label)

The company has repeatedly sought and been declined permission to commercially release its recording of the Springsteen show as part of its ongoing King Biscuit Flower Hour archive CD reissue series. The radio show ended in 2007, although new programming ceased in 1993 and previous shows were repeated from that point. During its prime time, the program was carried by more than 300 radio stations throughout the United States. In 2006, the King Biscuit Flower Hour tape archives were acquired by Wolfgang's Vault which began streaming concerts online, including Springsteen's original King Biscuit Flower Hour recording from 31 Jan 1973. Streaming of the Springsteen recording started in February 2008, and is considered to be a considerable improvement in sound quality over what has been circulating on bootlegs.

Credits / References

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake). Thanks Domingo (dobama at Greasy Lake) and Stefano for The 500th Biscuit Celebration radio show scans.

Some of the above info about the 31 Jan 1973 shows is taken from Brucebase.

Available Versions

List of available versions of SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT on this website:

SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Album version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 31 Jan 1973 (early show) version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 02 Mar 1973 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 24 Apr 1973 (early show) version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 01 May 1973 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 06 Jan 1974 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 05 Feb 1975 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 15 Aug 1975 (early show) version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 18 Nov 1975 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 13 May 1976 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 13 Feb 1977 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 07 Jul 1978 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 08 Dec 1978 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 15 Dec 1978 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 31 Dec 1980 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 20 Aug 1984 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 31 Oct 1992 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 06 Nov 1992 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 25 Nov 1996 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 26 Nov 1996 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 14 Nov 1999 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 08 Apr 2000 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 08 May 2000 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 16 Oct 2002 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 21 Jul 2003 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 31 Aug 2003 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 19 Dec 2004 (late show) version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 22 Jun 2005 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 12 Dec 2006 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 20 Mar 2008 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 23 Aug 2008 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 16 Oct 2008 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 25 Aug 2009 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 20 Oct 2009 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 22 Nov 2009 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Live 26 Jan 2014 version]
SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT [Manfred Mann's Earth Band's cover version]

Page last updated: 05 Jan 2012