THE PRICE YOU PAY

Album version


You make up your mind, you choose the chance you take
You ride to where the highway ends and the desert breaks
Out on to an open road you ride until the day
You learn to sleep at night with the price you pay

Now with their hands held high, they reached out for the open skies
And in one last breath they built the roads they'd ride to their death
Driving on through the night, unable to break away
From the restless pull of the price you pay

Oh the price you pay, oh the price you pay
Now you can't walk away from the price you pay

Now they'd come so far and they'd waited so long
Just to end up caught in a dream where everything goes wrong
Where the dark of night holds back the light of the day
And you've got to stand and fight for the price you pay

Oh the price you pay, oh the price you pay
Now you can't walk away from the price you pay
Alright, go!

Little girl down on the strand with that pretty little baby in your hands
Do you remember the story of the promised land
How he crossed the desert sands and could not enter the chosen land
On the banks of the river he stayed to face the price you pay

So let the games start, you better run you little wild heart
You can run through all the nights and all the days
But just across the county line, a stranger passing through put up a sign
That counts the men fallen away to the price you pay
And girl before the end of the day I'm gonna tear it down and throw it away


PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Info

THE PRICE YOU PAY is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and released on his 1980 album The River. The above lyrics are for Bruce Springsteen's album version of THE PRICE YOU PAY as released in 1980.

Another studio version of THE PRICE YOU PAY (official studio version) was released on The Ties That Bind: The River Collection box set in 2015.

Composition and Recording

SECTION NOT YET COMPLETED

The River

Bruce Springsteen wrapped up the Darkness On The Edge Of Town Tour on the first day of 1979. For the next few months, he altered between composing and practicing solo demos at his home in Holmdel, NJ (between January and June 1979), rehearsing with the band at his Telegraph Hill Road property in Holmdel, NJ (between March and May 1979), and recording in studio at The Power Station in New York City, NY (from March to late August 1979).

By the end of August, enough quality material had been recorded at The Power Station, and it was looking like an album might be released in Christmas 1979. A title, "The Ties That Bind", and tracks were selected and wheels put in motion to produce artwork for the cover. Around September, at least ten tracks were mixed to completion. On 04 Oct 1979, the ten selected tracks were dubbed to two half-track reel-to-reel tapes at The Power Station, and labeled "side one" and "side two". The producer was Jon Landau and the engineers were Neil Dorfsman and Bob Clearmountain. These selected tracks were as follows:


Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (reel #1, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (reel #1, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (reel #2, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind (reel #2, front)

Mock covers with "The Ties That Bind" title were roughed out early in the planning. The cover shot was to be a picture of Bruce Springsteen in front of a barn, with the back cover being a shot of his face behind a screen door. In late September 1979, and for reasons never fully explained, The Ties That Bind album was scrapped as Springsteen's writing process continued.

A second phase of recording sessions was scheduled. Again, for the next few months, Springsteen altered between composing and practicing solo demos at his home in Holmdel, NJ (between September 1979 and February 1980), rehearsing with the band at his Telegraph Hill Road property in Holmdel, NJ (between September 1979 and February 1980), and recording in studio at The Power Station in New York City, NY (from October 1979 to June 1980).

The combined sessions from March 1979 to June 1980 produced the double album The River that was eventually released in October 1980. The studio sessions to some extent extended into August 1980 due to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's involvement in the recording of Gary U.S. Bonds' album Dedication, which was released April 1981).

Bruce Springsteen -- The River
Bruce Springsteen -- The River

The album features 20 new Springsteen compositions and clocks at 83:47. It was produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, and Steven Van Zandt, engineered by Neil Dorfsman, and mixed by Bob Clearmountain, Chuck Plotkin, and Toby Scott. Track list:

According to recording engineer Neil Dorfsman, about 50 songs were recorded to a completed state during The River sessions. 20 were released on The River and 14 were released as B-sides and on official compilations. 14 songs are circulating via the unofficial route, but the majority of them are poor recordings of band rehearsals at the Telegraph Hill Road property, though it is likely that most of them exist as completed takes from The Power Station.

Other Official Releases

SECTION NOT YET COMPLETED

Other versions of THE PRICE YOU PAY were also officially released.

Bruce Springsteen -- The Ties That Bind: The River Collection
The official studio version of THE PRICE YOU PAY was released on The Ties That Bind: The River Collection box set in 2015.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980
The live 31 Dec 1980 version of THE PRICE YOU PAY was released on the Nassau Coliseum, New York 1980 official live download in 2015.
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -- Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA 10/20/09
The live 20 Oct 2009 version of THE PRICE YOU PAY was released on the Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA 10/20/09 official live download in 2017.

Live History

SECTION NOT YET COMPLETED

Covers

SECTION NOT YET COMPLETED

Emmylou Harris -- Cimarron
Emmylou Harris -- Cimarron

LP - Warner Bros. (BSK 3603) - USA, 1981
Sergio Gisbert -- Loose Ends: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's 78-80 Era
Sergio Gisbert -- Loose Ends: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's 78-80 Era

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

This is a Bruce Springsteen tribute album.

Available Versions

List of available versions of THE PRICE YOU PAY on this website:

THE PRICE YOU PAY [Album version]
THE PRICE YOU PAY [Official studio version]
THE PRICE YOU PAY [live version]
THE PRICE YOU PAY [alternative version 2]

Page last updated: 26 Dec 2015